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Tag Archive: Blind Guardian


best-of-power-metal

Welcome to the third part in our ongoing series of Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s “Best Of” selections where we explore a genre of music and each of our dedicated authors picks a favorite album to share a personal experience with. For our third round, we have once again chosen a genre that is somewhat controversial—Power Metal. This time, the boundaries of the genre are much clearer but the genre itself tends to get a lot of heat.

To be sure, the golden age of Power metal is possibly over. The 90’s brought a slew of bands into what was then a young genre, born from a freaky combination between heavy metal, glam and the emerging emphasis on speed and technicality that was sweeping over the metal world. In that sense, Power Metal is one of metal’s responses to the the 90’s and all that they brought to western culture and aesthetics. However, how relevant is the genre today? Well, we’ve recently had two brilliant releases that are definitely well within the boundaries of this style, so we thought we’d shed some more light on the great albums that can be found in Power Metal among the less…tasteful examples. Without further ado, here is Heavy Blog’s Best Of Power Metal!

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DragonForce – Maximum Overload

dragonforce-maximum-overload-review

As a source of viewpoints and analysis of music, our product is often times opinion and, sadly, bias. Bands that have created a name for themselves soon find that name to be a double-edged sword, no matter how much it was coveted during their early careers. A perfect example of this is DragonForce. Who here among our readers doesn’t already have a pre-conceived notion of what to expect here? This band is known for one thing and one thing only: playing over the top, insanely technical and cheesy power metal. But expecting this album to consist of just that would be a dire mistake. Strangely enough, Maximum Overload is a surprisingly solid album which isn’t afraid to switch up the staple DragonForce sound and allow different types of songs to live side by side.

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edguy

Power metal is a tricky genre at best. To be sure, it has always housed gifted musicians but the less than mature content matter makes it hard to take it seriously. Another strong concern, perhaps linked to the lack of substance, is a strong derivative strain that seems intrinsic to the style: most casual listeners wouldn’t be able to tell apart tracks by different bands, not to mention dress styles or album art. All that being said, the 90’s featured many excellent bands like Blind Guardian and, indeed, Edguy. Several classic albums were recorded back then, setting genre standards higher and maturer than ever before. Edguy themselves are in charge of some of the most moving and evocative creations in the field, like Hellfire Club or Mandrake. The question begs itself: after several sub-par albums, are Edguy still relevant to the genre and can they produce something worthwhile of their earlier success?

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Heaven Shall Burn – Veto

Heaven-Shall-Burn-VetoHeaven Shall Burn

Veto

01. Godiva
02. Land of the Upright Ones
03. Die Sturme Rufen Dich
04. Fallen
05. Hunters Will Be Hunted
06. You Will Be Godless
07. Valhalla
08. Antagonized
09. Like Gods Among Mortals
10. 53 Nations
11. Beyond Redemption

[04/30/13]
[Century Media Records]

Heaven Shall Burn‘s career has seen a lot happen over the course of sixteen years. They’ve always maintained that archetypal German hard-working attitude as a band and that definitely shows in their productivity rate. Back in 2006, their fourth album Deaf to Our Prayers was considered one of the pivotal albums that blend hardcore influences with death metal to produce crushing results. The same design was used to create Iconoclast (Part I: The Final Resistance) and Invictus. This is where people, myself included, can get a bit argumentative. Using the same formula is quite the double edged weapon because it’s usually a hit or miss affair. So now with three years culminating to a period long enough to push Invictus to the background a little, album number seven Veto gets to see the light.

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nayon

Let’s celebrate with champagne

Because it’s that time of the year again

When everyone gives each other gifts

And makes end of the year lists

2012 was a great year

Many albums I did revere

But only a few I must choose

Now before more rhymes I abuse

Let’s get to the favorite albums

So take this list into your cerebellums

(Yes, I know that the cerebellum doesn’t do that, shut up!)

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danwietentoe

As you may have noticed, The Omega Experiment‘s fantastic self-titled debut album ended up on a few of our year-end lists. Their powerful blend of prog metal and soaring hooks — sounding like a crossbreed of Styx and Devin Townsend Project — is both thought provoking and incredibly catchy. We acclaimed the record, and we weren’t the only one who took notice of their excellence either; Listenable Records (home to fellow Heavy Blog favorites Gorod, Betraying The Martyrs, and Sybreed) just signed TOE and are re-releasing their debut album in 2013. We asked frontman and songwriter Dan Wieten to give us a recap of his favorite albums from the year, which you can read below!

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The discovery of a new band is always exciting. Will it be something you’ve heard countless times? An experience that leaves a bad taste in your mouth? Or is it a treat from which you cannot stop consuming? I wanted to take a trip back in time to reminisce about bands/albums that not only introduced me to heavy music, but kept me coming back for more…

From The Archive: Blind Guardian – A Night At The Opera

To me, power metal has always been, and will always be about Blind Guardian. They’re the first power metal band I heard, and they also are my favorite. Unlike other power metal bands, they don’t really care about slaying dragons or being heroes of the land. They’re all about telling melancholic and grandiose stories. Nightfall In The Middle Earth is entirely about The Lord of The Rings (way before the movies), and Imaginations From The Other Side is possibly the best album in the genre. The special thing about Blind Guardian is that they don’t rely on the cliches of the genre, which are constantly tremolo picking guitars, a voice that is in very high falsetto all the time, and upbeat lyrics. No, Blind Guardian songs are at times very dark, very deliberate, and vocalist Hansi Kürsch has remarkable range to bring it all together. There are almost always two distinct guitar lines to spice it up.

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Blind Guardian - At the Edge of Time Blind Guardian

At The Edge of Time

01. Sacred Worlds
02. Tanelorn
03. Road Of No Release
04. Ride Into Obsession
05. Curse My Name
06. Valkyries
07. Control The Divine
08. War Of The Thrones
09. A Voice In The Dark
10. Wheel Of Time

[Nuclear Blast | 08/24/10]

After fours years since A Twist In The Myth was released, Blind Guardian have returned with their highly anticipated 9th full-length album At The Edge of Time. These guys certainly know how to build up hype with each new release, as they provide samples, single(s) and up to date news while they finish recording and adding finishing touches to their album, which just gives the fans more to salivate over. Originally a speed metal band on their earlier albums, they eventually gravitated towards writing more epic, progressive (at times) orchestral styled metal, but never straying away from the sound fans are familiar with.

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