330: BLIND GUARDIAN

The first time I saw footage of Blind Guardian performing The Bard’s Song live, to an endless sea of passionate fans who chanted along, is the first time I think I really got power metal. The sincerity, the beauty, the passion and, of course, the power. With their (perhaps corny) tales of myths and magic, Blind Guardian are certainly one of the greatest ambassadors for this wonderful corner of the metal world.

Blind Guardian’s increased use of folk elements and a shift away from a speed metal sound led them to become one of the most influential bands of the modern European power metal movement. By taking inspiration from many fantasy authors and various tales and legends, over time they have painted themselves as sort of travelling storytellers, affectionately known to fans as ‘The Bards‘. It is around these stories that Blind Guardian build their songs – grand and powerful heavy metal epics, with lush production and theatrical presentation.

Vocalist Hansi Kรผrsch’s voice is incredible and immediately identifiable, delivering fantastical tales with glorious, soaring cleans. The combination of his voice and and the amazing instrumentals makes for a breathtaking sonic experience like little else. Orchestral elements only increase the grandeur of the compositions, and this leads me to 2019’s ‘Legacy of the Dark Lands‘.

A concept worked on for over 20 years, ‘Legacy of the Dark Lands’ is an entirely orchestral musical piece from Blind Guardian, combining the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra with the vocals of Kรผrsch. Billed as Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestra, it bears all the character and wonder of Blind Guardian’s metal releases, but in an entirely new and dramatic way.

There is something remarkable about Blind Guardian. They summon a passion in crowds that one wouldn’t expect from a band singing about wizards and dragons, but watch any festival crowd footage, and that passion is not only undeniable, it is infectious.