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Reviewed by David
Special guest: Astral Doors
City: Malmö, Sweden
Venue: KB
Date: 21 September 2006
Astral Doors: 40 minutes
Blind Guardian: 80 minutes


Astral Doors

Astral Doors is one of those bands that you neither love nor hate. They just are, and that's pretty okay. Nils Patrik Johansson still sounds like Dio. They play metal which have the potential to sound great. But the whole thing never lifts to the next level. The same thing reoccurred this evening. They filled their spot as a special guest, but they didn't take the step to make this audience their own. The sparse crowd engaged themselves, more to actually worm up than because of something spiritual happening on stage. Still In Rock We Trust, Evil Is Forever and Cloudbreaker worked fine for me.

6 chalices of 10


Blind Guardian

When the main act entered the stage, a few hundred people, two hobbits and two ninjas (?) had found their way to the club. I can't get a grip of Blind Guardian as a live band. They are absolutely fantastic on record. I cannot recall any other band with such high standard straight through the catalogue. That means that they can choose almost any songs from the career and still make a fantastic setlist. Sure we will always want more of the old stuff, so and so, but there are no chances of total disappointment. Musically the band has no problems to take their sometimes craving compositions out of the studio. I have heard Hansi sing better, but when he really tries he still got it.

But still, it never reached any level higher than 'great'. From time to time I'm even glad that they projected a show of colours, art and film at the back of the stage so that I had something to watch while listening to the band. Hansi has no charisma - at least not beside his voice. He is just a man who covers his beer belly with a black t-shirt and likes to sing. He acts like he is still surprised that anyone would want to come and see him sing his songs. The talking is never more exciting than the usual: "Tack så mycket!" (look I can say something in Swedish…)

To only play two new songs on the tour for a new album must be a quite unique choice. Unfortunately Fly and Another Stranger Me are the two songs on A Twist In The Myth that falls furthest from the Blind Guardian tree. And they sure feels misplaced in this set. Fly is even one of the weakest tracks on the new album, single or not. But the strangest choice of a live song is still And Then There Was Silence. Fifteen minutes of suffering to the weakest track on a quite criticised album is not a perfect way to please a crowd, so to say. I can't see one single reasonable argument why they still play it live, besides from pure spite.

There are highlights as well of course. The sing along to Valhalla and The Bard's Song is impressive, even with the quite small crowd of this evening. The band itself does best in the songs from their finest moment so far, Imaginations From The Other Side. Also Lord Of The Rings is delivered with rare passion. In other words, there are moments, but there is no fundamental magic in the band. With so much inspiration in fantasy literature, it should be possible to have some fantasy on stage as well. I'm not sure I want to see Hansi dressed as a hobbit and fighting a plastic dragon, but there are grades between that and standing lost in a black t-shirt.

6 chalices of 10


Into The Storm
Welcome To Dying
The Script For My Requiem
Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill)
Bright Eyes
Another Stranger Me
Lost In The Twilight Hall
And Then There Was Silence
And The Story Ends
Lord Of The Rings
Imaginations From The Other Side
The Bard's Song - In The Forest
Mirror Mirror

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