Blind Guardian – A Twist In The Myth – Review

blindguardian200Blind Guardian

A Twist In The Myth (Nuclear Blast)
by Martin Popoff

A Twist In The Myth finds Germany’s charmed leprechaun rockers (quite tall, actually) returning by half measures to a bit racier power metalizing, Hansi and crew taking heed of reaction to Night At The Opera as a bit too cinematic. But the experimental tracks are what lift and tuck the imagination. Lead single, “Fly,” is a tour de force of caffeine overworking the brain. It’s not enough that Blind Guardian sound like an army of choirs – yes, picture that – and that their guitars sound claustrophobic and ready to burst like Brian May. Songs like this one bewilder and fascinate, as does “The Edge” – an expansive, rhythmic epic – while “Another Stranger Me” is a plush, reclining, almost hair banded rocker stabbed with prog, adding further-charged excitement and dimension to what this band does so well. Also on board is the swinging, swaying medieval melody-making that courses through the catalogue, rendered traditional on “Skalds & Shadows,” and in the band’s inimitable style, massaged into a sprightly heaviness everywhere else. One can’t help but marvel at the arrangements and the rapid-fire ideating Hansi’s charges fire at will and in all directions. It’s hard to believe that he purposely ratcheted back on the layers of vocals, or even that long-standing drummer Thomen Stauch is gone, because this sounds like completely comfortable, time-honored, dependable Blind Guardian, stout of spirit, pure of unbending will to excel. Indeed, the band have performed their own twist in the myth, capturing the flame of the classic early albums, but quietly demonstrating creativity so far above trite power metal pursuits.