Have you ever loved a band but been unable to get into the genre? It seems that everyone who loves Blind Guardian–my favorite German power metal band–also likes metal bands such as Iced Earth, Dream Theatre, Iron Maiden, etc. I’ve listened to some from each of those groups, and mostly I find them annoying after more than one listen, but I keep going back and back again to Blind Guardian.
Here’s a song off my favorite album of theirs, Nightfall in Middle Earth, which is a musical telling of Tolkien’s Silmarillion. (If you’re not familiar with the Silmarillion, it’s Tolkien’s Old Testament for his New Testament, the Lord of the Rings. If you’ve read the Silmarillion then the Lord of the Rings makes so much more sense, in the same way that the Gospels are only complete with a knowledge of what came before.) Blind Guardian had the audacity to write an entire album about this one work and its fascinating characters. “Mirror, Mirror” (below) is about the tragedy and loss of the Eldar in their wars with Morgoth, and the ultimately futile hope that the hidden kingdom of Gondolin will be their salvation.
And that’s not even their grandest work. On their followup album, 2006’s A Night at the Opera, Blind Guardian included a 14-minute track called “And Then There Was Silence” that describes the Trojan War as told from the perspective of Cassandra. It took them six months just to record this track, which is innumerable drum, guitar and orchestral tracks, and deeply layered vocals, and If you want to skip to the best parts try 7:30-8:40. No video on this, just music: