Artist: Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestra
Album: Legacy of the Dark Lands
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: 8th of November, 2019
Released via Nuclear Blast Records
Cover Artwork © Nuclear Blast Records, 2019
As Author’s Choices, every one of our authors gets the chance to pick one album that the rest of the authors need to listen to and write a comment about.
Sometimes, bands are doing weird stuff. Metallica plays with a symphonic band, Skalmöld plays with the Islandic Symphonic Orchestra, opera singers play with Metal bands or Meat Loaf’s whole career: on the one hand, it’s strange, on the other, it’s interesting and you can’t stop thinking about how good Metal and Classic music can be combined. Blind Guardian‘s (Twilight Orchestra) Legacy of the Dark Lands is not an exception about this, it’s very good. It has power, is very well produced and it has its memorable moments. But there has always been one thought: what, if they could do that with Lord of the Rings and not the book Die Dunklen Lande (The Dark Lands) by Markus Heitz (which I don’t know), because the first thoughts about the project was about Tolkiens world. However, I can recommend this album to everyone who likes this kind of crazy “Nerdstuff”, which I like very much too. Nevertheless, I ask for one request to everyone who wants to listen to this album: take your time, listen to the story fully focused. It is worth your time.
Art exhibits can be interesting, mind-bending and sometimes even change your view on certain aspects of life. Every year the „Documenta“ takes place all over the German city Kassel. Throughout the whole city there are installations and other works of art. I was there once and indeed it was an experience I will never forget. I saw things like a tumor built of chewing gum (the artist indeed overcame cancer and that was his way dealing with it), embroidery made with the artist‘s own pubic hair and a video installation where the only thing you saw was a fat woman drinking too much red wine (it spilled the white tablecloth) out of a cooking pot – in an endless loop.
Art, for me, is not about „getting it“ (you have to be this smart, to understand it), art is about feeling it. Especially music works – for me – in a kinetic way, it moves me. And that is my „problem“ with this release, I just don‘t feel it. The genre, the story and the production work together really well, I mean, you see/hear, that there was a lot of effort put into this album. It sounds more like a musical score than a Blind Guardian release. If you are into bombastic, orchestral music, then you should give them a listen, for every other Metal fan, this might be a fat lady drinking red wine in an endless loop.
Rocko F. Transcended
Read Rocko’s review of Blind Guardian’s Legacy of the Dark Lands (here).
Back in 2002 Blind Guardian were about to release A Night at the Opera. I really liked the record during that time but I quickly realized that I could connect better to their previous efforts such as Imaginations from the Other Side and Tales from the Twilight World. During that time my musical preferences were shifting into the more extreme sub-genres of Punk and Metal, I can tell you that it was not easy to catch my attention with traditional Metal. I guess it was the (sometimes thrashy) Speed Metal approach of the band’s early releases paired with the epically catchy choruses that made me listen to them extensively. However, I was not able to connect to the lyrical content at all. At this point, I have to admit that after the release of a live album and their very own 2-day-festival in Coburg in 2003, I slowly lost sight of Blind Guardian‘s career due to the fact that I simply could not follow the band’s course of increasing bombast and complexity of the compositions. As a consequence I could not find my access to The Legacy Of The Dark Lands as well. Nevertheless, I took this Author’s Choice as an occasion to revive old times by exploring Blind Guardian‘s old records again and what shall I say, I really enjoyed it 🙂 Thanks Rocko!
To be honest, I successfully postponed the listening of this album for one month now and deliberately bathed in procrastination because I felt overwhelmed by the playtime of the entire release. Today, I finally took the time to fight through this narrative and eventually was quite happy to step out of the ever-returning delay. Back in the 2000s, I had my first contact with Metal music and Blind Guardian marked one of the first cornerstones during this exploration. I went crazy with albums such as Somewhere Far Beyond or Follow the Blind and blasted them on repeat. Hence, it was nice to get back in contact with a band that started the journey quite some time ago – although this release differs a lot from “regular” Blind Guardian. Once having gotten into the fact that this is an entire narrative told with story and music – I quite liked what I heard. This is the Blind Guardian that is there for fans of film music preferably written bei Hans Zimmer or similar – it knows very well how to build up a climax. Nevertheless, I also never got in direct connection with this hype about film music either, which is why I have to admit an absolute finesse about this release – yet no projected return to the Dark Lands in the near future.
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