Blind Guardian - A Twist In The Myth
A Twist In The Myth, the highly anticipated new album from Blind Guardian, a band that I believe doesn't really need any further introduction. This is the first album that marks a change in their line-up since their debut with Battalions Of Fear from 1988. Drummer Thomen Stauch who had been in the band since the beginning left to form Savage Circus and a rather unknown guy named Fredrik Ehmke has filled his place.
A couple of straightforward tracks in This Will Never End and Otherland begin the album and the sound and signature guitars from Blind Guardian are precisely as you want them to be. The songs are filled with the might that this band can process and it quickly becomes obvious that this album is not as complex as the former A Night At The Opera (2002) but has perhaps more in common with Nightfall In Middle-Earth (1998). It is not as much layers as on A Night At The Opera but nonetheless it is rich in flavour, meaning it is filled to the brink with the great melodies only Blind Guardian can create.
I am not so sure if this album gives proof of any particular progression but it nevertheless strengthens their position. They don't set any new standards for themselves even if a track like Fly shows a little different and a perhaps more progressive side than earlier. 'The Bards Of Metal' is an epithet Blind Guardian has earned for their bard inspired songs and rest assured, the quota is filled here as well with the tracks Turn The Page and Skalds & Shadows. The first is the heavy and metal one with folk inspired elements in classic Blind Guardian manor while the second is a ballad in the vein of The Bard's Song (In The Forest) that very well can become a great and appreciated element of their live performances.
As always the standard on an album with Blind Guardian is extremely high all the way through, nevertheless I don't see any real future classics here. It is not the whole songs in general that are what's best this time but it is all those wonderful and, oh so clever melody-lines that makes the biggest impression on me. The way they intelligently weaves vocal-melodies and guitar-lines into each other in the songs is brilliant and you find parts all over the place that are worth repeating only to hear it over and over again. I had my worries when Thomen left his position as drummer in the band, but can now relax since the new guy Fredrik Ehmke shows that he is surely a worthy predecessor, not least in the tougher and a little darker track The Edge, that has also some great guitar harmonies courtesy of André Olbrich and Marcus Siepen.
A Twist In The Myth surely is dynamic and it is hard to resist this great album. My expectations on Blind Guardian is always very high and not once yet has this band let me down. As a close follower for a long time and a huge fan of Blind Guardian I love this album, and if I try to be an objective reviewer, I still find impossible not to love this album.