Arts and Entertainment

Blind Guardian

April 19 2024

7:00 p.m.
The NorVa 317 Monticello Ave, Norfolk, VA 23510 757-627-4547 Price: $28.50

In 1992, Blind Guardian released “Somewhere Far Beyond,” the reference work for German speed metal. 30 years later, even they cannot turn back the iron wheel of time; But her most recent hero’s journey “The God Machine” shows how the fury and power of youth can be easily brought to magical new life.

Seven years after “Beyond The Red Mirror” and almost three years after the mammoth orchestral work “Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands” invite Hansi Kürsch (vocals), André Olbrich (lead guitar, acoustic guitar, rhythm guitar), Marcus Siepen ( rhythm guitar and acoustic guitar) and Frederik Ehmke (drums) for their personal Götterdämmerung. But like the phoenix, one cycle must first be completed before a new one can begin.

The Krefeld band is not only the band that first combined the works of JRR Tolkien with opulent metal epics sensibly and appropriately and co-founded the genre of literary metal; They also gave the leather-bound tome of speed metal two particularly rigorous chapters with their first two hard-hitting records, “Battalions Of Fear” (1988) and “Follow The Blind” (1989), before moving on to “Tales From The Twilight World” (1990). ) and of course “Somewhere Far Beyond” (1992) increasingly made a name for themselves as fantasy metal giants that sold millions of records.

Even if copywriter Hansi Kürsch was inspired by the fantastic works of Patrick Rothfuss or Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”, Brandon Sanderson’s “Stormlight Archives”, “The Witcher” novels, or even Battlestar Galactica: the backgrounds are much more real. And that makes it all the more ruthless. It’s about modern witch hunts, paranoia, war, or the death of his mother. That’s what Blind Guardian put into some of the most aggressive, fastest, and heaviest songs of the last 35 years. Rest breaks? None. “Violent Shadows” rushes across the country with thrash guitars and steel drums, and “Architects Of Doom” is pleasantly reminiscent of “Follow The Blind”. On the other hand, there are great achievements like the sublime “Secrets Of The American Gods”, perhaps the best song that Blind Guardian has composed since “Nightfall In Middle Earth”, and “Blood Of The Elves”, an anthem that many blind listen to Guardian fans have been waiting for years.

“The God Machine” is, it quickly becomes apparent, the effortless pinnacle of their work to date. An album that doesn’t even try to pretend it’s still the ’90s and instead relies on muscle memory of the time. Highly infectious, inspired by the Frodos, Peter Pans, and Captain Nemos of the past, a gripping, aggressive, highly melodic, and, despite all accessibility, brilliantly arranged album, animated by magic and yet not pure escapism. A modern masterpiece in the tradition of the works with which Blind Guardian reached for the stars in the nineties. Simply put: “The God Machine” is the fantasy metal fountain of youth that countless fans have been waiting for for so long.

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