All music written by André Olbrich and Hansi Kürsch. All lyrics written by Kürsch.
1. “Sacred Worlds” — 9:17
2. “Tanelorn (Into the Void)” — 5:58
3. “Road of No Release” — 6.30
4. “Ride into Obsession” — 4.46
5. “Curse My Name” — 5:52
6. “Valkyries” — 6:38
7. “Control the Divine” — 5:26
The German Power Metal legends are back! A long awaited 10th album is finally here! After the critics of their loyal fans about their last album “A Twist in the Myth” who were disappointed and were left behind in the “Nightfall in Middle-Earth” era, Blind Guardian put the Epic and Power back in their mystical music like never before.
The Band first put online and on YouTube teaser videos about the new material and now it is within our reach!
The amazing thing about this album is that it is perceived as an album, as a whole, not to be heard in pieces. “At the edge of Time” starts with a heavy orchestrated intro with chanting violins from one side to another introducing softly with a heavy melody the main heavy guitar riff of “Sacred Worlds”; the album then ends with another much orchestrated song “Wheel of Time” that puts a harmonic closure to the album.
The first track had a big impact on the band as well as the fans; in an interview with the band where they were getting motion captured (a brief description: wearing dotted suits to be transformed to digital characters) for the game “Sacred 2” where the originally titled “Sacred” song is the main song of the game the guys answered some questions about what drove them into doing a theme song for a game.
Hansi Kursch: “That’s quite an interesting story. Having three very active fantasy computer game nerds in the band, it’s easy to imagine the big impact Sacred 1 has had on us. Because of their passion for Blind Guardian, some of the people at Ascaron in charge of Sacred 2 saw it as an opportunity to have us in the game musically. Coincidence or predestination? We’ll never know. Fact is, when we were finally contacted by Ascaron, asking if we were interested in doing a song for the game, we immediately agreed to do so. So far the whole thing has been great fun for us. The reason for that is quite simple: Blind Guardian’s music and the world of Ancaria perfectly blend together.”
So the 2008 released hack-and-slash game from “Ascaron” featured the Blind Guardian’s song as well as the band performing on stage with the guitarist having weapons shaped guitars and Hansi having a Mage’s staff for a microphone.
The band has surely evolved since their first 2 albums inspired mainly by the Power Metal Pioneers Helloweeen where the main theme for the songs was speed, just play fast.
Some of the changes the band made concerning their style show in the band’s fantasy driven songs.
All of the songs have Blind Guardian written so clearly; their style is unique and even if they have epic and fantasy songs they distinguish themselves very well from fantasy driven bands such as the Italian Power Metal band “Rhapsody of Fire”.
As you all know, the guys from Blind Guardian are huge fans of fantasy and mystical subjects; in this next section of the review I’ve listed the themes and the sources of inspirations
An edited version of the original song ‘Sacred,’ which has a new orchestral intro and outro. It was written by Blind Guardian for the video game Sacred 2: Fallen Angel.
Tanelorn (Into the Void)
Based on Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion series. (Hansi: “Oh, it’s behind Elric already and as far as I remember the entrance is denied anyway to him. And, he is still crying for it so there’s going to be the essential sentence in the song. He sings “I cry for Tanelorn” but he is more crying for the whole universe and we meet him at the very last steps just before he sacrifice himself to Stormbringer.”)
It is an old style song which seems to be inspired by Somewhere Far Beyond; it has very fast rhythm, thrashy guitar, and raspy voice.
Road of No Release
Based on Peter S. Beagle’s The Innkeeper’s Song. Introduced by piano and clean voice, the song grows to a melodic chorus.
Ride Into Obsession
Based on Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. (Hansi: “An introduction to the main characters, the Dragon Reborn and the Dark Lord Ba’alzamon.”)
It has a very fast rhythm and a powerful chorus.
Curse My Name
It’s based on The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, a political writing by John Milton where he legitimizes the killing of a king who didn’t carry out his duties. It’s the first ballad of the album, with a medieval mood and several instruments, such as flutes.
Inspired from Norse mythology, especially Valkyries, as well as the perception of time. One of the less immediate songs of Blind Guardian, it has many time changes more akin to progressive rock.
Control the Divine
Based on John Milton’s Paradise Lost. (Hansi: “That one is about Paradise Lost and it’s telling something about the downfall of Lucifer and the way he tries to motivate the other angels to follow him and the way he is justifying his deeds and ideas. He is standing for his motives and there’s a certain logic in what he is doing and I just tried to feature that a little stronger.”)
It has rich dynamics like many songs of A Night at the Opera.
War of the Thrones
Based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. It’s the second ballad on the album, with a happy refrain and melancholic verses.
A Voice in the Dark
Based on George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. It tells the story of Bran Stark, a key character in the series. Like “Tanelorn”, it’s a return to the band’s earlier style. It contains a very fast and heavy guitar line and a melodic chorus, and is also the first single from the album.
Wheel of Time
Based on Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series. (Hansi: “This one is about ‘Wheel of Time’ but mainly about the true source of power which controls all male who have that power so there’s no chance for a male to become the master of this true source.”)It starts with an orchestral, Middle Eastern mood. It is reminiscent of “And Then There Was Silence,” with many time changes and two different choruses sung together towards the end of the song.
Even if it has some weak points in the middle of the album we can’t say that they didn’t blow their fans’ minds with this new mystical album. As a fan I invite you to get the album; this 63:58 long album is worth listening to while being teleported to a new magical dimension.