Blind Guardian

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Blind Guardian

Blind Guardian (2016)
Blind Guardian (2016)
General information
origin GermanyGermany Germany
Genre (s) Power Metal , Progressive Metal , Symphonic Metal , Speed ​​Metal
founding 1984 (as Lucifer's Heritage)
1987 (renamed Blind Guardian)
Founding members
Hansi Kürsch
André Olbrich
Electric guitar
Marcus Dork (until 1985)
Thomen Stauch (until 2005)
Current occupation
Hansi Kürsch
Marcus Siepen
André Olbrich
Frederik Ehmke (since 2005)
former members
Christoff Theissen
Hanspeter Frey

Blind Guardian is a Founded in 1984, German Metal - band from Krefeld and Meerbusch . By 2013 the band had sold 2.5 million records.

Band history

Blind Guardian emerged from the band Lucifer's Heritage , which was founded in 1984 , after a line-up change, the name was changed to Blind Guardian in 1987 .

The debut album Battalions of Fear was released in 1988 on the record company No Remorse Records. For the tour for the 1989 album Follow the Blind , the American metal band Iced Earth was hired as the opening act. Both bands got along so well that further tours together followed. The two heads of the bands, Hansi Kürsch and Jon Schaffer (guitarist), later founded the side project Demons & Wizards , which released a total of three albums in 2000, 2005 and 2020. With their third album, Tales from the Twilight World , Blind Guardian continued the collaboration with Kai Hansen from Gamma Ray , who brought in vocal and guitar parts as a studio guest on the previous album.

The fourth album of the band brought the change to the new record company Virgin Records and the first changes in the style of the band. Up to now, speed metal has been more of a pure musician , but Somewhere Far Beyond worked with choirs and extensive keyboards and the music was more bombastic. This development continued through all later albums. Somewhere Far Beyond was the last album Kai Hansen worked on and the first with which the band gained international attention. On their first tour of Japan in 1992, the band recorded the live album Tokyo Tales , which was released in 1993.

Continuing the international success followed in 1995 Imaginations from the Other Side , an album that also partly thematized the Arthurian legend . The song A Past And Future Secret was released as a single. On the accompanying tour there were performances in Europe as well as in Japan and Thailand . In Germany, the album entered the charts at number 33.

Blind Guardian live in Sweden in September 2006

With The Forgotten Tales , the band released a compilation in 1996. The first release of The Bard's Song - In The Forest as a live version took place here. In addition, well-known songs such as Mr. Sandman (original by The Chordettes ) or Surfin 'USA (original by the Beach Boys ) were covered. There was also a single with Mr. Sandman , which was renamed Bright Eyes for the Japanese market . In contrast to the European version, the Japanese single begins with the song Bright Eyes (an original composition) and contains the demo version of the song A Past and Future Secret , which has not been released in Europe .

In 1998 Nightfall In Middle-Earth was released as a single with the song Mirror Mirror . The album is a musical summary of the fantasy book The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien . Another tour followed through Europe, South and Central America.

The next work, A Night at the Opera with the previous single And Then There Was Silence , was released in 2002.

On June 13 and 14, 2003, Blind Guardian organized their own open-air festival in Coburg ( Blind Guardian Open Air ), where they headlined both evenings . The DVD Imaginations Through the Looking Glass is a combination of both days.

In 2004 Blind Guardian switched to the record company Nuclear Blast .

After almost 20 years, drummer Thomen Stauch separated from the band in 2005 . Musical differences were given as the reason. In 2005, a replacement was found in Frederik Ehmke. He can be heard for the first time on A Twist in the Myth .

In September 2005 Blind Guardian announced on the band's official website that they wanted to release a new album in spring 2006 under the new line-up. This was to be followed by a world tour with Astral Doors in the opening act. This was postponed, however, because an acute otitis media Hansi Kürsch delayed the studio work on the new album A Twist in the Myth . After four appearances in May, the main part of the tour took place in September / October 2006. The first single Fly was released in February 2006; A Twist in the Myth was released on September 1, 2006. The album reached first place in the soundcheck in the September issue of metal magazine Metal Hammer .

Singer Hansi Kürsch at a concert in September 2006

In 2007 Blind Guardian took part in the soundtrack for the Uwe Boll film Swords of the King - Dungeon Siege and contributed the theme song. In 2008 they composed the title song for the computer game Sacred 2: Fallen Angel . The ninth studio album At the Edge of Time was released on July 30, 2010.

In January 2012, a best-of compilation entitled Memories of a Time to Come was released , which reached number 6 in the German album charts. After the end of the Memories of a Tour to Come tour, the group withdrew from the public in mid-2012. In the second half of 2012, the musicians worked on the box set A Traveler's Guide to Space and Time , which was announced for February 2013 .

On January 30, 2015, the tenth studio album Beyond the Red Mirror was released.

On November 8, 2019, Legacy of the Dark Lands, the band's long-announced orchestral album, was released. It appeared under the extended band name Blind Guardian's Twilight Orchestra to make it clear that this is not the regular band lineup. Rather, Hansi Kürsch can be heard together with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra . As usual, the music was written by André Olbrich. Work on this began after Nightfall in Middle Earth and dragged on for around 20 years. Initially the intention was to make an album about Tolkien's Lord of the Rings out of it, but in the end a collaboration with the German author Markus Heitz emerged , from whose work The Dark Lands the album is linked.

Music genre

The earlier albums can be assigned to Speed ​​Metal ; Rock Hard's Michael Rensen described Battalions of Fear as "a strong, punk-raw speed metal debut with mostly good songs, some of which have a touch of complexity." He attested the successor Follow the Blind to a thrash impact, with which the band moved away from Helloween etc., and Tales from the Twilight World was "[t] the best German melodic speed / thrash metal album of all time". With Somewhere Far Beyond the band managed to "keep the 'Tales' level and at the same time open up new stylistic territory through bombastic and folk elements".

Today, Blind Guardian is characterized by complex polyphonic guitar arrangements as well as unusual effects and playing technique. The structure of her pieces is almost free of repetitions. The newer albums (especially since A Night at the Opera ) can therefore also be assigned to progressive metal , although the origins of the band in (orchestral) speed metal are still recognizable. This development is particularly evident in the song And Then There Was Silence , which is the climax of A Night at the Opera . In the meantime, according to Rensen, the band is playing “in their own speed / thrash / bombast metal league”.

Blind Guardian (2009)

The lyrics often deal with themes from fantasy literature, especially The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien . The band also picks up on works by Stephen King , Frank Herbert , Walter Moers and Michael Moorcock, among others . Historical, social and religious topics are also addressed. Above all on her album A Twist in the Myth there are also more abstract topics such as the importance of changes and dreams.


Up to and including Imaginations from the Other Side , Hansi Kürsch was singer and bass player at the same time, since then he has only concentrated on singing. For a long time Oliver Holzwarth ( Sieges Even ) was used as bass player for recordings and live performances . His successor as tour bassist is the Dutchman Barend Courbois, who, according to various media reports, was a permanent member of the band shortly before the release of the tenth studio album Beyond the Red Mirror . This was cleared up as a misunderstanding. Blind Guardian also have no permanent keyboard player in the band, although orchestral keyboard sounds have become the band's trademark. Michael "Mi" Schüren has taken the unofficial position of keyboardist.

From Harvest of Sorrow are six different versions (As a bonus track on A Night at the Opera ): Two each in English and Spanish (a "normal" and a purely acoustic), one each in Italian and French.

Both live albums are compilations. Tokyo Tales is a combination of two concerts in Tokyo (December 4, 1992 in the Koseinenkin Hall and December 6, 1992 in the NHK Hall ). There are many studio overdubs on this album . The 2003 live album includes the A Night at the Opera World Tour 2002 . Only live recordings are included here, even if the instruments, the audience or the singing of a song are partly from different concerts.

The Bard's Song (In the Forest) exists in several recordings: u. a. as the original version on Somewhere Far Beyond , as the first live version on The Forgotten Tales , as a newly recorded single from 2003 and as an orchestral version on the best-of album Memories of a Time to Come . Since its release, the song has been regarded as a kind of band anthem, which is sung almost entirely by fans at concerts, which is why the band regularly released other versions.

Blind Guardian are virtually represented in the action role-playing game Sacred 2: Fallen Angel . After completing a special quest, they play a song written especially for the game. The song Battlefield from the album A Night at the Opera can be heard in the heavy metal version of the game Robot Unicorn Attack . They also composed the theme song Children of the Smith for the role-playing game The Dwarfs , in which a quest is also dedicated to them.

The Remasters series

The first six studio albums (from Battalions of Fear up to and including Nightfall in Middle-Earth ), the live album Tokyo Tales and the compilation The Forgotten Tales were digitally remastered in 2007 by Charlie Bauerfeind to mark the 20th anniversary of the band , with bonus songs provided (demos and / or B-sides of singles), and added liner notes and new pictures to the booklet. The cover artwork has also been revised.

The first two albums ( Battalions of Fear and Follow the Blind ) were remixed. These newly mastered versions were released across Europe (a little later worldwide) by their then label Virgin / EMI in June 2007. The CD backs of the 8 CDs, lined up chronologically, give the motif of the "dragon guitar" of the A-Past-and-Future-Secret single in a modernized version.


Studio albums

year Title
music label
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placementsTemplate: chart table / maintenance / without sources
(Year, title, music label , placements, weeks, awards, notes)
1988 Battalions of Fear
No Remorse
DE53 (1 week)
- - - -
First published: May 17, 1988
1989 Follow the Blind
No Remorse
DE51 (1 week)
- - - -
First published: April 14, 1989
1990 Tales from the Twilight World
No Remorse
DE43 (1 week)
- - - -
First published: October 2, 1990
1992 Somewhere Far Beyond
Virgin Records
DE36 (12 weeks)
- - - -
First published: June 30, 1992
1995 Imaginations from the Other Side
Virgin Records
DE21 (14 weeks)
- CH33 (5 weeks)
- -
First published: April 4, 1995
1998 Nightfall in Middle-Earth
Virgin Records
DE7 (9 weeks)
AT39 (1 week)
- - -
First published: April 28, 1998
2002 A Night at the Opera
Virgin Records
DE5 (8 weeks)
AT17thAT CH44CH - -
First published: March 25, 2002
2006 A Twist in the Myth
Nuclear Blast
DE4 (7 weeks)
AT19 (3 weeks)
CH27 (4 weeks)
- -
First published: September 1, 2006
2010 At the Edge of Time
Nuclear Blast
DE2 (8 weeks)
AT9 (6 weeks)
CH14 (4 weeks)
- US108 (1 week)
First published: July 29, 2010
2015 Beyond the Red Mirror
Nuclear Blast
DE4 (8 weeks)
AT8 (4 weeks)
CH10 (4 weeks)
UK54 (1 week)
US132 (1 week)
First published: January 30, 2015
2019 Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands
Nuclear Blast
DE7 (3 weeks)
AT22 (1 week)
CH24 (1 week)
- -
First published: November 8, 2019


Web links

Commons : Blind Guardian  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Volume , accessed September 17, 2013.
  2. Interview on YouTube
  3. Blind Guardian - Marcus Siepen in conversation. (No longer available online.) In: February 8, 2013, archived from the original on February 15, 2015 ; accessed on February 15, 2015 .
  4. Torsten Paßmann: Blind Guardians have high goals: conquering the Metal Olympus . In: Rheinische Post . May 22, 1995.
  5. Michael Rensen: Blind Guardian . 25 years of Fantasy Metal . In: Rock Hard , No. 307, December 2012, p. 27.
  6. BLIND GUARDIAN TWILIGHT ORCHESTRA - Out Now! November 8, 2019, accessed November 10, 2019 .
  7. a b c Michael Rensen: Blind Guardian . 25 years of Fantasy Metal . In: Rock Hard , No. 307, December 2012, p. 23.
  8. Chrischi: Blind Guardian - at the edge of time - BurnYourEars Webzine. In: Retrieved on May 11, 2020 (German).
  9. Blind Guardian. In: Retrieved on May 11, 2020 (German).
  10. Michael Rensen: Blind Guardian . 25 years of Fantasy Metal . In: Rock Hard , No. 307, December 2012, p. 20.
  11. Kai Leichtlein: Hansi Kürsch clarifies the current bassist situation. In: June 12, 2015, accessed April 18, 2016 .
  12. ^ Blind Guardian - The Bard's Song (In The Forest). In: Metal Observer. September 18, 2003, accessed February 15, 2015 .
  13. ^ Sacred 2 - Fallen Angel to feature Music by Blind Guardian. In: IGN. August 4, 2008, accessed February 15, 2015 .
  14. Graham Spark: Blind Guardian - Children Of The Smith (The Dwarves soundtrack). In: December 3, 2016, accessed February 14, 2017 .
  15. The Dwarfs - We play the Blind Guardian Easteregg - GameStar. Retrieved February 14, 2017 .
  16. Chickenfires: Blind Guardian "The Blind Guardian Remasters Series Is There" , June 13, 2007, accessed January 25, 2013.