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Blind Guardian - At The Edge Of Time review




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Reviewer:
9.3

1115 users:
8.47
Band: Blind Guardian
Album: At The Edge Of Time
Style: Power metal
Release date: July 2010


Disc I
01. Sacred Worlds
02. Tanelorn (Into The Void)
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

Disc II [bonus digipack CD]
01. Sacred Worlds [pre-production version]
02. Wheel Of Time [orchestral version]
03. You're The Voice [radio edit]
04. Tanelorn (Into The Void) [demo]
05. Curse My Name [demo]
06. A Voice In The Dark [demo]
+ Sacred Worlds [video]
+ A Journey To The Edge Of Time (Studio Documentary) [video]

The bards have come out of the forest. Yes, the Blind Guardians are back baby! And did they ever do it in style. Surely one of the year's most anticipated albums, At The Edge Of Time is sure to rank high on personal lists for a while.

Hit in the face with the 9+ minute long opening masterpiece "Sacred World", I had to replay it for half an hour before being able to continue on with the rest of the album. Majestic orchestral intro, grand entrance killer riffs, and vocals to die for. The first thought that went through my head at that exact time "This is already better than the entire previous album". Hell, this is Blind Guardian with a renewed energy and a hint of progressive influences I only dreamt about in the past.

I really don't want to go into a song by song review here but if I were to cover the highlights of this album, this is exactly were this would be heading right now. So, much to my chagrin, I will evoke some key moments such as the unusually complex and progressive structure of a tempo changing jewel of a track called "Road Of No Release", the more trademark yet surprising and catchy as hell "Ride Into Obsession", the new standard of bard ballad in "Curse My Name", the extremely fast-paced while mesmerizing "Voice In The Dark", and finally the usual killer operatic of an ending song with "Wheel Of Time".

The duo of guitarists André Olbrich / Marcus Siepen is cracking some of their most achieved work to date, and I am not referring to the solos alone. Between the orchestral arrangements and the newly found progressive musical direction, their hand in making this an incredible album is undeniable. Master vocalist Hansi Kürsch delivers once again an impressive body of work, using his many registers with seemingly disconcerting ease. Drummer Frederik Ehmke is clearly fully integrated now. As a matter of fact, I highly suspect he is a huge reason behind the more progressive sound on this album. The supporting cast, including the orchestra is equally of top-notch quality.

Artwork and production, you may ask? People, this is a Blind Guardian album. This statement should by itself should answer that. This is German savoir-faire at its paramount. The limited edition includes a second CD that features an orchestral version of "Wheel Of Time" that could have made the main album, demo versions of other tracks and a cool cover of John Farnham's "Your're The Voice". It is absolutely worth it.

So? Still reading this? I could not make myself clearer; At The Edge Of Time is up there with Blind Guardian's best efforts. The band managed to achieve this while adding innovative elements to their established sound. And the best part is that it is actually still growing on me after 4 weeks of intense listening sessions. I am off to adding this album to my 2012 survival gear.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10





Written on 21.09.2010 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.


Comments page 2 / 3

Comments: 86   Visited by: 721 users
22.09.2010 - 02:21
ErnilEnNaur
Account deleted
Written by RavenKing on 22.09.2010 at 02:12

But don't forget this Powermetal rule: "Everything Tolkien-related is awesome. You must praise it. No matter if you actually listen to it or not".


And yet an actual Tolkien fan will despise everything that doesn't live up to the source material, power metal or no power metal. You do realize how obvious of a cop out your claim is though, don't you?
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22.09.2010 - 03:25
Rating: 8
elseif
No one seems to mention "Valkyries", I like it a lot.
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22.09.2010 - 10:40
Rating: 9
Dark Blood
The Avenger
Very nice review here, man. But not as good as the album!
I had the same impressing that this album is one of BG's best achievements to date. Not wanting to undervalue their classics, of course, but this one is surprisingly good and epic. I'm really enjoying it.

Written by elseif on 22.09.2010 at 03:25

No one seems to mention "Valkyries", I like it a lot.

I second that. I like Valkyries a lot too.
----
It is humanity who must pay homage to the greatness of the Universe... not the Universe to the human narcissism.
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22.09.2010 - 11:33
Rating: 9
Angelic Storm
Melodious
I also love Valkyries. Its very different for BG, but still a great song. xD
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22.09.2010 - 11:53
Baz Anderson
Staff
I fail to have been suckered in by this album. Maybe I just haven't given it enough listens, but it didn't seem to have any of their old charm.
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22.09.2010 - 12:07
Rating: 9
Angelic Storm
Melodious
It is a grower, or at least it was for me. Only 2 or 3 songs I loved right away. Maybe you just dont like it, but definitely for me, I needed about 3/4 listens to fully absorb it.
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22.09.2010 - 14:08
Rating: 9
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk
To Mega Therion
I haven't listened it for more two weeks now (exams period, all work, no play), but I still find myself humming some random song from the album. Sacred Worlds, Tanerlon, Valkyries, A Voice In The Dark are the ones that grow on you instantaneously, the others may take more time. And Wheel Of Time has great music, but lyrics are kind of weak (the spinning/beginning part).
----


Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one, and they all stink.
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22.09.2010 - 14:20
RavenKing
Written by [user id=105293] on 22.09.2010 at 02:18

Written by RavenKing on 22.09.2010 at 00:25


Funny, how opinions differ. I find NIME an extremely boring album with barely any good moment. And those interludes are utterly pointless.


Just one of those interludes is worth more than some other band's entire discography.


A bit far-fetched, isn't it? Better end this discussion here. I don't enjoy debates with blind fanboys.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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22.09.2010 - 15:37
MeTalRea|istiK
Written by Angelic Storm on 22.09.2010 at 11:33

I also love Valkyries. Its very different for BG, but still a great song. xD

im with u
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22.09.2010 - 21:15
ErnilEnNaur
Account deleted
Written by RavenKing on 22.09.2010 at 14:20

A bit far-fetched, isn't it? Better end this discussion here. I don't enjoy debates with blind fanboys.


That would be the equal of me calling you a blind hater, which I haven't. Apprently you think it is OK for you to post your opinion as fact when speaking negatively of an album, but no one else should do it when complimenting an album they like or you're going throw out the "fanboy" cop out. Ending a conversation you no longer wish to take part in should be done with _grace_. Go get some injected.
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23.09.2010 - 02:48
Written by [user id=105293] on 22.09.2010 at 02:18

Written by RavenKing on 22.09.2010 at 00:25


I've never been able to listen to this entire album without getting bored out of my mind.


That would describe every Opeth album I have ever had the great misfortune of listening to.


Booyeah!

Anyway, listened to it again, still can't get into it. There's just nothing to grab on to, no real catchiness. Apart from Ride into Obsession. You know what they say, nothing good lasts forever.
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23.09.2010 - 02:53
ErnilEnNaur
Account deleted
Written by insanity.peppers on 23.09.2010 at 02:48

Booyeah!

Anyway, listened to it again, still can't get into it. There's just nothing to grab on to, no real catchiness. Apart from Ride into Obsession. You know what they say, nothing good lasts forever.


"War! It's now or never, we shall stand together!/We are the one, we are the nation, we are the one, we are the law!" not catchy? I am not sure what your idea of catchy is supposed to be. Ride into obsession is actually one of the less interesting songs for me, the kind of song that doesn't take too much blood, sweat or tears to create, unlike Sacred Worlds or Wheel of Time. Anyone who's written music should be able to recognize that this album is their best effort since the holy trilogy of Somewhere/Imaginations/Nightfall.
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23.09.2010 - 03:00
Rating: 10
Vikcen
Metálico
@Hidden_Dictator: When you say something like this:

Written by RavenKing on 22.09.2010 at 02:12


But don't forget this Powermetal rule: "Everything Tolkien-related is awesome. You must praise it. No matter if you actually listen to it or not".


generaly you will get the label of "blind hater". By the way, your sentence is terribly unfortunate, you are prejudging ridiculously.

NIME is awesome, generaly you will get by the people that NIME is one of the best Blind Guardian's record. But you hate NIME, ok, ok, no problem .

NIME is awesome, end of this discussion .
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23.09.2010 - 03:50
RavenKing
Written by Vikcen on 23.09.2010 at 03:00

@Hidden_Dictator: When you say something like this:

Written by RavenKing on 22.09.2010 at 02:12


But don't forget this Powermetal rule: "Everything Tolkien-related is awesome. You must praise it. No matter if you actually listen to it or not".



generaly you will get the label of "blind hater". By the way, your sentence is terribly unfortunate, you are prejudging ridiculously.

NIME is awesome, generaly you will get by the people that NIME is one of the best Blind Guardian's record. But you hate NIME, ok, ok, no problem .

NIME is awesome, end of this discussion .


Well, it's my opinion that NIME is nothing more than pretentious, overblown crap with very little real Power/Speed Metal. Truth is I like some Power/Speed Metal (mostly old stuff because barely any band still play real Power/Speed Metal since the millenia), but I hate it when bands start to incorporate symphonic/bombastic shit in their melodic Speed Metal music. It's the melodic Speed Metal element I enjoy in Powermetal, not anything else, so I will always prefer plain, straightforward Power/Speed Metal to symphonic or folk elements.

And I'm not the only one who considers NIME as one of the most overrated Powermetal albums in history. All Blind Guardian's albums from "Battalions Of Fear" to "Imaginations From The Other Side" blow this filler trackfest out of the water. Even ATITM is probably a bit better than NIME. Same for Hansen-era Helloween and any Gamma Ray album, except for "To The Metal" (this album really sucks big time).
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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23.09.2010 - 06:05
Rating: 10
Hrothdane
Written by RavenKing on 23.09.2010 at 03:50

Written by Vikcen on 23.09.2010 at 03:00

@Hidden_Dictator: When you say something like this:

Written by RavenKing on 22.09.2010 at 02:12


But don't forget this Powermetal rule: "Everything Tolkien-related is awesome. You must praise it. No matter if you actually listen to it or not".



generaly you will get the label of "blind hater". By the way, your sentence is terribly unfortunate, you are prejudging ridiculously.

NIME is awesome, generaly you will get by the people that NIME is one of the best Blind Guardian's record. But you hate NIME, ok, ok, no problem .

NIME is awesome, end of this discussion .


Well, it's my opinion that NIME is nothing more than pretentious, overblown crap with very little real Power/Speed Metal. Truth is I like some Power/Speed Metal (mostly old stuff because barely any band still play real Power/Speed Metal since the millenia), but I hate it when bands start to incorporate symphonic/bombastic shit in their melodic Speed Metal music. It's the melodic Speed Metal element I enjoy in Powermetal, not anything else, so I will always prefer plain, straightforward Power/Speed Metal to symphonic or folk elements.

And I'm not the only one who considers NIME as one of the most overrated Powermetal albums in history. All Blind Guardian's albums from "Battalions Of Fear" to "Imaginations From The Other Side" blow this filler trackfest out of the water. Even ATITM is probably a bit better than NIME. Same for Hansen-era Helloween and any Gamma Ray album, except for "To The Metal" (this album really sucks big time).


You are entitled to your opinion, and I appreciate that you actually gave some details on why you don't like this album or NiME. I, for one, (and apparently many others) happen to like symphonic and folk elements in music. I can understand and appreciate that you don't. However, calling something "pretentious, overblown crap" generally doesn't generally spawn constructive and worthwhile discussion.

I recommend learning a little more tact.
----
Despair is death, and I'm not interested in dying.

Member of the True Crusade against True Crusades
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23.09.2010 - 11:35
Rating: 8
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
Written by RavenKing on 22.09.2010 at 02:12

But don't forget this Powermetal rule: "Everything Tolkien-related is awesome. You must praise it. No matter if you actually listen to it or not".


i have another rule - everythig Blind Guardian-related is awesome

Praise it you must!
----
My rest seems now calm and deep
Finally I got my dead man sleep


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23.09.2010 - 13:35
Rating: 9
roger73
Written by Hrothdane on 23.09.2010 at 06:05

Written by RavenKing on 23.09.2010 at 03:50

Written by Vikcen on 23.09.2010 at 03:00

@Hidden_Dictator: When you say something like this:

Written by RavenKing on 22.09.2010 at 02:12


But don't forget this Powermetal rule: "Everything Tolkien-related is awesome. You must praise it. No matter if you actually listen to it or not".



generaly you will get the label of "blind hater". By the way, your sentence is terribly unfortunate, you are prejudging ridiculously.

NIME is awesome, generaly you will get by the people that NIME is one of the best Blind Guardian's record. But you hate NIME, ok, ok, no problem .

NIME is awesome, end of this discussion .


Well, it's my opinion that NIME is nothing more than pretentious, overblown crap with very little real Power/Speed Metal. Truth is I like some Power/Speed Metal (mostly old stuff because barely any band still play real Power/Speed Metal since the millenia), but I hate it when bands start to incorporate symphonic/bombastic shit in their melodic Speed Metal music. It's the melodic Speed Metal element I enjoy in Powermetal, not anything else, so I will always prefer plain, straightforward Power/Speed Metal to symphonic or folk elements.

And I'm not the only one who considers NIME as one of the most overrated Powermetal albums in history. All Blind Guardian's albums from "Battalions Of Fear" to "Imaginations From The Other Side" blow this filler trackfest out of the water. Even ATITM is probably a bit better than NIME. Same for Hansen-era Helloween and any Gamma Ray album, except for "To The Metal" (this album really sucks big time).


You are entitled to your opinion, and I appreciate that you actually gave some details on why you don't like this album or NiME. I, for one, (and apparently many others) happen to like symphonic and folk elements in music. I can understand and appreciate that you don't. However, calling something "pretentious, overblown crap" generally doesn't generally spawn constructive and worthwhile discussion.

I recommend learning a little more tact.


Ignore this boy, he is enough popular between Maiden's fans as totally negative piece of something. Now he is starting his carrier with fans of Bards
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23.09.2010 - 14:15
RavenKing
Written by roger73 on 23.09.2010 at 13:35


Ignore this boy, he is enough popular between Maiden's fans as totally negative piece of something. Now he is starting his carrier with fans of Bards


Shut up. You don't know what you're talking about. Those Maiden fanboys were just crazy and most of them seem to have been banned. You can't compare the situations.

Anyway, people who can't stand crticism at bands should stay away from metal boards.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
Loading...
23.09.2010 - 14:26
Rating: 9
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk
To Mega Therion
I've said it before people - "Ignore" function can be very useful. If you think someone's on a topic just for the Trolls' sake, simply go to their profile and click the "Ignore" button and you won't see their posts anymore (except is someone quotes them). Works with both fanboys and haters
----


Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one, and they all stink.
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23.09.2010 - 15:00
Rating: 10
Vikcen
Metálico
Written by Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk on 23.09.2010 at 14:26

Works with both fanboys and haters

Haha =).


Personally i don't like ignore to the people in this way.
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23.09.2010 - 15:34
Rating: 9
roger73
Written by RavenKing on 23.09.2010 at 14:15

Written by roger73 on 23.09.2010 at 13:35


Ignore this boy, he is enough popular between Maiden's fans as totally negative piece of something. Now he is starting his carrier with fans of Bards


Shut up. You don't know what you're talking about. Those Maiden fanboys were just crazy and most of them seem to have been banned. You can't compare the situations.

Anyway, people who can't stand crticism at bands should stay away from metal boards.


I know exactly what I'm talking about, I've read these discussions. You have no arguments only phrases which you think you can piss off persons which you think are "funboys". I don't think that new Gaurdian or Maiden are brilliant but you can't give one reasonable argument why it is so - in all your tons of messages
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23.09.2010 - 16:02
Rating: 10
Hrothdane
Written by RavenKing on 23.09.2010 at 14:15

Written by roger73 on 23.09.2010 at 13:35


Ignore this boy, he is enough popular between Maiden's fans as totally negative piece of something. Now he is starting his carrier with fans of Bards

Anyway, people who can't stand crticism at bands should stay away from metal boards.


I find it tragic that you don't know the difference between thoughtful criticism and name-calling.
----
Despair is death, and I'm not interested in dying.

Member of the True Crusade against True Crusades
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23.09.2010 - 17:57
ErnilEnNaur
Account deleted
Written by Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk on 23.09.2010 at 14:26

I've said it before people - "Ignore" function can be very useful. If you think someone's on a topic just for the Trolls' sake, simply go to their profile and click the "Ignore" button and you won't see their posts anymore (except is someone quotes them). Works with both fanboys and haters


Ignore button is for pussies who are afraid of what they might read. There is no reason in the universe to us it. If someone has a point to make in the comments, then that is good. If somene is being a retard in the comments, then that is entertainment. Either way, ignore is for _pussies_.
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23.09.2010 - 21:33
Valaskjalf
Account deleted
Pretty good album, I must confess Ive never been much of a Blind Guardian fan I could never gel with them....well its more Hansi's vocals that creeps me out. But this is their best in the last couple of years I think. For me "A Voice in the Dark" is the best one, also obviously the first one I heard off the album.

His vocals still push it a bit in my opinion. Its at the edge of uncontrolled especially when he goes for the really high notes (sort of like a pig being slaughtered alive). But having said that, its the Blind Guardian sound and it makes them unique so I can appreciate that.

7/10, better than most of the stuff Ive heard the last couple of weeks.
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23.09.2010 - 23:04
Written by [user id=105293] on 23.09.2010 at 02:53

Written by insanity.peppers on 23.09.2010 at 02:48

Booyeah!

Anyway, listened to it again, still can't get into it. There's just nothing to grab on to, no real catchiness. Apart from Ride into Obsession. You know what they say, nothing good lasts forever.


"War! It's now or never, we shall stand together!/We are the one, we are the nation, we are the one, we are the law!" not catchy? I am not sure what your idea of catchy is supposed to be. Ride into obsession is actually one of the less interesting songs for me, the kind of song that doesn't take too much blood, sweat or tears to create, unlike Sacred Worlds or Wheel of Time. Anyone who's written music should be able to recognize that this album is their best effort since the holy trilogy of Somewhere/Imaginations/Nightfall.


I'm talking about the music, not the lyrics. Far as I'm concerned they could be singing about drowning puppies and it wouldn't matter as long as the music rocks.

The reason why Ride into Obsession was the only song that really stood out for me was because they finally took a simplistic, balls-to-the-wall approach, which is what BG do best (just look at most of their stuff before NFIME). The problem with BG is when they do put all their "blood, sweat and tears" into a song it turns into one big boring mess. Yes, And Then There Was Silence isn't all it's cracked up to be.

But this is the case with most power metal bands, not just them. You can achieve so much more with stripped down, focused, dynamic music than you can trying to be the biggest, most layered, complicated, epic thing out there.
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23.09.2010 - 23:30
ErnilEnNaur
Account deleted
Written by insanity.peppers on 23.09.2010 at 23:04

I'm talking about the music, not the lyrics. Far as I'm concerned they could be singing about drowning puppies and it wouldn't matter as long as the music rocks.

The reason why Ride into Obsession was the only song that really stood out for me was because they finally took a simplistic, balls-to-the-wall approach, which is what BG do best (just look at most of their stuff before NFIME). The problem with BG is when they do put all their "blood, sweat and tears" into a song it turns into one big boring mess. Yes, And Then There Was Silence isn't all it's cracked up to be.

But this is the case with most power metal bands, not just them. You can achieve so much more with stripped down, focused, dynamic music than you can trying to be the biggest, most layered, complicated, epic thing out there.


I was talking about music too, I quoted the lyrics from moments I thought were most epic. I hoped you'd get that.

Simplistic and focused are just synonyms for dry as far as I am concerned. There is nothing much to enjoy there. The song doesn't make me want to sing along, it doesn't make me want to listen to it again once it's ended. Emotional impact = zero. And nothing that I would call epic is present.

I prefer symphonic, film-score inspired songs to fast stormers anyday. Because Sacred World makes me want to sing along, because even if I just hummed the tune without lyrics it would still be recognizibly Sacred Worlds, not just another speedmetal song. Because it is truly a story in music. An epic.
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24.09.2010 - 05:39
Rating: 9
Angelic Storm
Melodious
@Short, snappy burners vs layered complicated epics: Both Sacred Worlds and Ride Into Obsession are awesome to me... guess I must be weird then.
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24.09.2010 - 17:16
Rating: 9
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk
To Mega Therion
Written by [user id=105293] on 23.09.2010 at 17:57

Written by Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk on 23.09.2010 at 14:26

I've said it before people - "Ignore" function can be very useful. If you think someone's on a topic just for the Trolls' sake, simply go to their profile and click the "Ignore" button and you won't see their posts anymore (except is someone quotes them). Works with both fanboys and haters


Ignore button is for pussies who are afraid of what they might read. There is no reason in the universe to us it. If someone has a point to make in the comments, then that is good. If somene is being a retard in the comments, then that is entertainment. Either way, ignore is for _pussies_.

I'm not afraid of what I might read, I just get tired of some people repeating basically the same things all over the boards. It's to no point, haters' gonna hate. And while it may be entertaining at first, it gets boring fast. And it's not like I ignore dozens of people, the number's 3 at the moment, an all 3 are blind haters repeating things like spambots.
----


Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one, and they all stink.
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24.09.2010 - 23:27
Written by [user id=105293] on 23.09.2010 at 23:30

Written by insanity.peppers on 23.09.2010 at 23:04


Simplistic and focused are just synonyms for dry as far as I am concerned.

I prefer symphonic, film-score inspired songs to fast stormers anyday.



Symphonic, film-score inspired songs are just synonyms for fluff as far as I'm concerned.

Different strokes for different folks.
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25.09.2010 - 00:56
Rating: 7
Dark Cornatus
Powerslave
Elite
Written by [user id=105293] on 21.09.2010 at 23:17

Written by Dark Cornatus on 21.09.2010 at 17:24


I would add Nightfall in Middle Earth too, but i can't stand the layout of the album... let's face it, it's a MESS! Who actually listens to it through from start to finish? It's too dramatic and boring. The actual lengthy songs are all great however.


Don't like the concept? Fine, but there isn't a boring moment on NIME and the interludes are very well done and the voice acting is excellent. If you want over dramatic, listen to Rhapsody of Fire.

It's not the concept i don't like. I love the story. It's just a personal opinion thing. I really don't like interludes all through albums. Another good example is Haggard 'Tales of Ithiria'. They put in REALLY BAD interludes in between all songs. The BG ones aren't really annoying, but sometimes you just want to here the flow of an album and not get bogged down with background noises and narration.
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