Sunday, 5 February 2012

Blind Guardian


   Blind Guardian is a German power metal band formed in the mid-1980s in Krefeld, West Germany.They are often credited as one of the seminal and most influential bands in the power metal and speed metal subgenres.Blind Guardian is a part of the German heavy metal scene that emerged in the mid-1980s.

   The band's lyrics, written by vocalist Hansi Kürsch, are inspired by the fiction of fantasy authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, Robert Jordan and George R. R. Martin as well as traditional legends and epics.Over the years, a running theme has developed personifying the band members as travelling bards, leading some fans to refer to the band affectionately as "The Bards".

   Blind Guardian was formed in 1984 in Krefeld, Germany, by Hansi Kürsch (vocals, bass) and Andre Olbrich (guitar) under the name Lucifer's Heritage. The band first released two demos in 1985 and 1986, despite undergoing chaotic lineup changes: Markus Dörk (guitar) and Thomen Stauch (drums) were replaced by Christof Theißen and Hans-Peter Frey, respectively. Finally, in 1987, Marcus Siepen joined and Thomen came back to form the lineup which would stay consistent for the next 18 years.

  After Lucifer's Heritage signed a contract with No Remorse Records, the band changed their name to Blind Guardian to avoid any speculations about Satanism (in a bio it was stated that they also wanted to distance themselves from the black metal movement, as their demos were placed in with black metal albums at local record shops). They released their debut album Battalions of Fear in 1988, which was essentially a speed metal album heavily influenced by Helloween.These two German bands had close ties, and Helloween founder Kai Hansen made a guest appearance on Blind Guardian's second LP, Follow the Blind (1989), where the band revealed some thrash metal influence.Their third LP, Tales from the Twilight World (1990), had a much more melodic and "epic" feeling, with usage of choir and classical music influence.

   Blind Guardian signed with Virgin Records in 1991, and released their fourth studio album Somewhere Far Beyond in 1992 and the live album Tokyo Tales in 1993. Flemming Rasmussen, former Metallica producer, began working with the band in 1994, producing their fifth studio album Imaginations from the Other Side, released in 1995, and The Forgotten Tales, an album that contained half covers and half original work, released in 1996.

Side projects:

   Along with Jon Schaffer, the leader and founder of Iced Earth, Kürsch is a member of Demons and Wizards, where he is the lead singer.

   Blind Guardian have been working on and off for eight years on an orchestral project writing music about The Lord of the Rings (negotiations failed to be included on the famous The Lord of the Rings film trilogy as the soundtrack, because the band wanted to concentrate on their next album). Although it will not be a power metal album, it will be published under the name of Blind Guardian because it matches the theme of the band's lyrics, according to Hansi.

   Due to the tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, Blind Guardian began working with their former record company, EMI Music, and auctioned off an exclusive studio session for two in the Twilight Hall Studio in Grefrath, Germany for charity in which 100% of proceeds would be donated to the tsunami relief efforts.The auction ended on April 22, 2011 with a final bid of £1,171.00.

Current members:

  • Hansi Kürsch – lead vocals (1984–present), bass (1984–1996)
  • André Olbrich – lead guitar, backing vocals (1984–present)
  • Marcus Siepen – Rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1987–present)
  • Frederik Ehmke – drums, percussion, flute and bagpipes (2005–present)
  • Thomas Hackmann (sessional member) – backing vocals (1990–present)
  • Oliver Holzwarth (sessional and live member) – bass, backing vocals (1997–present)
  • Michael Schüren (sessional member) – keyboards, grand piano (1997-present)
  • Olaf Senkbeil (sessional member) - backing vocals (1998–present)
  • Pat Bender (sessional member) – keyboards, sound effects (2002–present)

Former members:
  • Thomas "Thomen" Stauch – drums (1984–1985, 1987–2005)
  • Markus Dörk – Guitars (1984–1985)
  • Christof Theißen – Rhythm guitar (1986)
  • Hans-Peter Frey – drums (1986)
  • Mathias Wiesner – keyboards, effects (studio) (1989–2002)



   Battalions of Fear is the debut album by German metal band Blind Guardian. It was released in 1988 and is a straightforward metal album. The album is a raw and unpolished speed metal effort that touches on thrash metal. This album lacks many of the stylistic flourishes that would mark the band's music in later years. It was remastered, remixed and re-released on 15 June 2007, with the whole first demo tape, Symphonies of Doom, of the band (at the time called Lucifer's Heritage) as part of the bonus tracks. It is a significant power metal album along with Stratovarius's Fright Night and Helloween's first albums.


   Follow the Blind is the second full-length album from the German metal band Blind Guardian, released in 1989. The album is more in the vein of speed metal, compared to the style that would later define the band's unique sound. According to guitarist Marcus Siepen, "When we were doing Follow the Blind we were listening to a lot of thrash metal bands like Testament or Forbidden, and that's why Follow the Blind was a bit heavier". The album was remastered, remixed and re-released on 15 June 2007, with the whole second demo tape, Battalions of Fear, of the band (at the time called Lucifer's Heritage) as part of the bonus tracks.

   The opening track "Inquisition" is a repetition of the Latin phrase Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem (O sweet Lord Jesus, grant them rest in English) chanted as it would be by monks. The phrase forms part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, and is also identical to that which is chanted by the monks in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

   Kai Hansen of Gamma Ray and ex-Helloween sings in the song "Valhalla".


   Tales from the Twilight World is the third studio album that was released in 1990 by Blind Guardian. The cover artwork was created by Andreas Marschall, who has drawn the artwork for some of Blind Guardian's other releases (Somewhere Far Beyond, Nightfall in Middle-Earth, etc.). It was remastered and re-released on 15 June 2007, with bonus tracks.


   Somewhere Far Beyond is the fourth studio album by German power metal act Blind Guardian. It was released in 1992 and produced by Kalle Trapp. The cover artwork was created by Andreas Marschall, who has also drawn the artwork for some more of Blind Guardian's releases (Tales from the Twilight World, Nightfall in Middle-Earth, etc.). The album saw the band creating its own original sound, while still employing most of their speed/power metal techniques. The strong songwriting of the album (including fan favorite "The Bard's Song - In the Forest") made the album a power metal staple. The image of the cover and the two Bard's Songs gave the band its nickname "The Bards". The use of the nickname has been also extended to the fans of the group, Circle of the Bards being the now defunct fan club and Hansi frequently calling the fans Bards.

   The album was acclaimed by power metal fans all across Europe and especially Japan, allowing them to tour for the first time outside Germany. The tour in the Far East led to the first live album of the band, Tokyo Tales.

  It was remastered and re-released on 15 June 2007, with bonus tracks.


   Imaginations from the Other Side is the fifth studio album by Blind Guardian that was released in 1995. The atmosphere of this album is darker in comparison to their earlier works, such as Battalions of Fear, which had a relatively happy tone. This album also marks the first since their debut in which Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray) did not guest on vocals or guitar, and the last album to feature vocalist-bassist Hansi Kürsch as bassist. It is also their first album which resulted in the release of singles, "A Past and Future Secret" and "Bright Eyes". It was remastered and re-released on 15 June 2007, with bonus tracks and videos.


   Nightfall in Middle-Earth is a concept album by Blind Guardian, released in 1998. It is also Blind Guardian's sixth studio album.

   The album is based upon J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, a book of tales from the First Age of Middle-earth, recounting the War of the Jewels. The album contains not only songs but also spoken parts narrating parts of the story. The cover represents Lúthien dancing in front of Morgoth.

   The music is more "melodic" on this album, compared to previous works such as Somewhere Far Beyond, and the songs have much more fluency, without losing any of the traditional speed or guitar solos and leads. It is also the first album with Oliver Holzwarth as guest musician, playing bass guitar instead of Hansi Kürsch.

   Nightfall in Middle-Earth was the first album by Blind Guardian to be released in the U.S. The sales encouraged Century Media to release their entire back catalog in the U.S. In 2007, it was remastered and re-released, with one bonus track.


   A Night at the Opera is a 2002 album by the German power metal band Blind Guardian, named after the Queen album of the same name. named this the best metal album of 2002.

   This album continues a stylistic change from power metal into a more progressive sound, with multiple overlayed vocals, choirs, orchestral keys and guitar leads and less emphasis on powerful guitar riffs and heavy rhythms. As a result, drummer Thomas Stauch would leave the group, citing dissatisfaction with the direction the group was going in.


   A Twist in the Myth is the eighth studio album by the German power metal band Blind Guardian. It was originally set to be released on September 5, 2006 in Europe (which became the North American release date), but Nuclear Blast changed the release date to September 1, 2006.

   The album was released in several different formats: a normal version, a digipak version with a bonus track and bonus CD, and a limited edition book-version. The book contains the digipak, along with a guitar pick, booklet and certificate of authenticity and autographs, as well as a dragon-shaped seal and a bar of red sealing wax.


   At the Edge of Time is the ninth studio album by the German power metal band Blind Guardian. A two CD version of the album was released, with the second disc containing 8 tracks. The artwork for the album was created by Colombian artist Felipe Machado Franco.The album was released in Europe on July 30, 2010. A music video for "A Voice in the Dark" was released on August 3, 2010.

And now metal brothers and sisters let us be twisted in myth:

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