Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

June 8, 2012

Blind Guardian - A Night At The Opera

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Style: power metal, symphonic metal, speed metal, German
Label: 2002
Year: Virgin
Home: Germany

Members: Hansi Kursch ~ vocals
Andre Olbrich ~ guitars
Marcus Siepen ~ rhythm guitar
Thomas Stauch ~ drums

Additional: Oliver Holzwarth ~ bass
Pad Bender, Boris Schmidt, Sascha Pierro, Michael Schuren, Matthias Wiesner ~ keyboards
Rolf Kohler, Thomas Hackmann, Olaf Senkbeil, Billy King ~ b. vocals

Anyone for a little Queen? Maybe a lightning fast power metal take on "Bohemian Rhapsody"? Well, I can't offer that - exactly - but borrowing an album title from Queen, German group BG answers the question of 'what if the symphonic sounds including chorus vocal parts of Queen were developed out by a speed power metal band'? The answer: Epic, upbeat versus dark metal, a nod to Dragonforce, over the top. On A Night At The Opera GB pulled all the stops out on their most ambitious release that moved away from straight prog-metal to something that is symphonic in every sense of the world, including the traditional classical & how Yes & Dream Theater define symphonic. I'll confess I originally bought this album because of the Queen title & I liked the album art, but knowing nothing about the band. I got what I paid for. The problem is Queen knew how to be complicated & over the top yet also subtle & soft. BG are complicated, busy, in your face, layer over layer. Subtle & soft is not in their pallette for this album, thus while on one hand this show off their creative multi-layered world music influence at its best, yet at the same time may not show off BG at their representational best. I honestly don't know if I can tell you what BG sound like after listening to this & I've never felt compelled to find their other albums. This really must be taken at high volume or at least with good headphones as there are so many layers & so many things tucked into the mix that low volume a lot is lost. You miss their creativity ... but, for me, that's for me a sign that its time to pull back. At the end of the first song, a meager 6 minutes, I'd heard so many changes & epss & flows that I thought I'd heard numerous songs & the album was nearing completion. I've yet to be able to sit through the entire album in one go as halfway through my ears are exhausted & so is my mind. There's albums that are overly long but I should never have to cut an album up to listen by choice. It's one thing if I don't have the time to listen. But, creativity at its best never comes with the ensurance that it will be completely accessible to the audience.

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