Blind Guardian - A Night At The Opera review


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Band: Blind Guardian
Album: A Night At The Opera
Release date: March 2002

01. Precious Jerusalem
02. Battlefield
03. Under The Ice
04. Sadly Sings Destiny
05. The Maiden And The Minstrel Knight
06. Wait For An Answer
07. The Soulforged
08. Age Of False Innocence
09. Punishment Divine
10. And Then There Was Silence
11. Harvest Of Sorrow [acoustic version] [Japanese bonus]
12. Mies Del Dolor [Spanish bonus]
13. La Cosecha Del Dolor [Argentinean bonus]
14. Frutto Del Buio [Italian bonus]
15. Moisson De Peine [French bonus]

They're back! Yes, finally we are getting more from Hansi and friends. Be warned, this album is brilliant but it takes some work to get into it. Going to the opera with Blind Guardian truly requires some effort on the part of the listener, so this is not something you want to play in the background!

Let me explain... Listening to the album for the first time, I knew I had just listened to something grand and outstanding, but I could not grasp onto anything. No song, melody, chorus, or guitar riff particularly stuck in my head to make me want to revisit that particular piece. However, being a loyal Blind Guardian fan, I just listened to the album whenever I could, and after about the third time around, things started to take shape, melodies and guitar work began to crystallize, and the album began to reveal its beauty.

Before I get into some of the songs, I need to tell you first off that there are two components to this album that make me give it a 10/10 rating right away: Andre's guitars and Thomen's drums. I don't know of anybody else who can play a solo on top of somebody else's (Hansi's) vocals the way Andre can. And Thomen, who was always good before, completely outdoes himself here with versatility, skill, and power.

Ok, favorites. Most definitely I have to mention 'Sadly sings Destiny', which contains work, once more, from the brilliant Choir Company, Blind Guardian's own group of background singers. 'The Soulforged' is another great song, as typical of Blind Guardian as any. 'Age of false Innocence' displays Hansi's mature lyric writing ability. This song, in my understanding, deals with somebody's struggle between religion and science - a topic someone could write a whole book about.

This album gives you (almost) no chance to catch your breath until the very end. 'And then there was Silence' is probably the most complex, multi-layered song Blind Guardian have ever done and it also must have taken the most work. There is more in this one song than many other bands are capable of putting into an entire album. The bonus track, a tender, melancholy ballad, 'Harvest of Sorrow' (not available on all releases) was recorded in different languages (French, Italian, Spanish). Hm, personally, I would have loved to hear it in German!

Again, show some patience with this album. What may sound at first like a little too much "sameness" is really packed full of surprises and versatility. And all components are linked together in bombastic grandeur that would not be complete if any of the songs were missing. Blind Guardian spent a lot of time recording this and it was definitely worth the wait. And one last tip: check out the photos from the recording session on the official Blind Guardian website ( They are really quite funny.

Written by Emalaith | 02.09.2003


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 23   Visited by: 182 users
07.08.2006 - 17:32
Account deleted
Pretty Good review. Id give it a 9.5.

And then there was Silence took one full year of mixing and mastering because it was composed of 200 Vocal tracks, 100 keyboard tracks, 50 guitar tracks (and you know... one or 2 bass and drum tracks) hahaah.
02.09.2006 - 04:36
Cloud Strife
Account deleted
Very well..

One of my favorite BG albums (just losing to, of course, Nightfall in Middle-Earth)
But it is simply a luxury.
I'd give a 9 or 9.5.
02.09.2006 - 07:13
Account deleted
Very fitting review here, very appropriate rating, although it may not be their best, definitely extremely close to it imo...
03.09.2006 - 04:18
Baz Anderson
yes. i think just behind 'Imaginations From The Other Side' this is my favorite Blind Guardian album
people have a problem with all the over production and all the rest of it mostly, but i really dont mind that at all
it is a good chunky album that always has a lot going on in it
also includes one of my favorite songs 'And Then There Was Silence'
..the memories that songs contains
16.11.2006 - 02:27

lol, I fucking cannot express how much I love this album by just using mere words alone! I am not even joking, I will not hesitate to say that I believe this is the best Blind Guardian have ever put out! They have truly outdone themselves . The vocals sound phenominal on this album

"The Maiden And The Minstrel Night" is such an awesome yet underrated song on there too! Aside from that, my other 2 favourites are "Battlefield" and "The Soulforged"....that would be my top 3 songs off this album (in no particular order!)

This release is just BRILLIANT!
17.12.2006 - 22:33
Best Blind Guardian album, hands down. Don't think they'll ever top this.
My account on other musical pages:
18.05.2007 - 08:34
Doc G.
Full Grown Hoser
great album, the first Blind Guardian album I ever bought...and that was about 15 months still getting into it though.
"I got a lot of really good ideas, problem is, most of them suck."
- George Carlin
29.06.2007 - 21:49
Account deleted
A Night Of The Opera : An Epic Masterpiece !!!
01.07.2007 - 21:33
one of the weaker of BG-seemed to me at times far too complex becoming boring!something s wrong with guardian more than 7 for this one...OK Maybe i was too harsh with this album-i relistened to it a while ago-seemed a little better than i had decided-i had bought it the first days came to the stores-An 8 would be more fair i think...
Don't turn away just take my hand and when you make your final stand i ll be right there i ll never leave all i ask of you is believe...
06.10.2007 - 18:49
Heaven Knight
great album...highlights : The Maiden And The Minstrel Knight, And Then There Was Silence
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again

16.07.2008 - 21:03
13.01.2009 - 14:06
A real Masterpiece.

I really love those over-produced song. For me, it's like having a 3D song. Great, great work.
Nothing is real
29.03.2009 - 05:53
Mountain King
K i K o
This needs to be heard carefully and over and over's good
29.03.2009 - 16:27
replica of me
I didn't like initially, but now I think this record is one of their best (much better that ATITM)
30.03.2009 - 06:08
I absolutely love this album. While I do love the styles of IftOS and NoME too, the multi-layed complexity of this album is wonderful. And Then There Was Silence... is probably their best song.
Despair is death, and I'm not interested in dying.

Member of the True Crusade against True Crusades
31.03.2009 - 19:51
The Shooter
I hate the Hansi Kürsch voice.Between acute and nasal, simply i hate!
31.03.2009 - 22:51
It takes some getting used to, and that goes for both Hansi's voice and ANATO. I didn't like it at first, but once I listened to it a few times through it definitely grew on me.

Anyway, great review (though I realize that's a rather late compliment).
16.04.2009 - 15:03
Liver Failure
Exellent... but maybe not 9.9 exellent. The best song of the band is in this album: Battlefield. Simply awesome for every music fan. The other are one step behind this one: ''Soulforged'', Age Of False Innocence and Punishment Divine.

I just didn't liked the four last songs, useless bonus, doesn't make any difference.

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
20.05.2010 - 03:52
This album kicks ass for sure. Musically speaking may be the best of Blind Guardian. Its clearly that the band worked really hard in this album. "Precious Jerusalem" is an excellent song. An incredible opener. Theres no words at all to describe "Battlefield" one of the best songs of the band. I love "Under the Ice", it has an incredible opener, great riffs and solos and a wonderful chorus! And i must point out also "The Soulforged" another spectacular song, the Catchy "Sadly Sings Destiny", the beautiful "Age of False Innocence", the Powerful "Punishment Divine" and the Epic fabulous song "And Than There Was Silence".
As the reviewer said this album is not easy to swallow with only one listening. Several listenings are required to capture the real essence of this masterpiece! One of my favourites of BG!
13.06.2012 - 08:47
Secundum Filium
It is without a doubt my favorite album by the band! I personally feel this is their magnum opus, since it does feature some of their most complex and spellbinding compositions yet! This is probably the most "progressive" the band has ever become and it shows through the extremely ambitious and glorious material displayed here. And Then There Was Silence has to be the best Blind Guardian song ever written, and the rest of the material is just as amazing. It is definitely one of the biggest gems of my CD collection and one of my favorite albums of all time.
Ordinary men hate solitude. But the Master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe (Lao Tzu).
10.02.2015 - 00:23
John Shock
I enjoyed the review a lot...didn't listened to it on it's entirely...but now, you gave me the curiosity to do so!!!
18.12.2015 - 15:20
I don't understand why this isn't considered their best work. I listened to Beyond the Red Mirror, Imaginations from the Other Side and Nightfall in Middle Earth a lot before coming to this one, and it just blew all of them straight out of the water. Every single song here is perfect, and And Then There Was Silence even tops that. I have never been so satisfied after one song as with that one. Just absolutely brilliant track. Tops every other song I've heard so far. Even Dream Theater's A Change of Seasons can't top it. Stunning song and album.
25.01.2016 - 03:27
Written by Dominus on 31.03.2009 at 19:51

I hate the Hansi Kürsch voice.Between acute and nasal, simply i hate!

I've always hated how this album sounds processed and fake. And I think this is especially true for the vocals.
"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"

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