I will admit that Blind Guardian have been slow coming to my record collection with this their 14th full length release. The band saw its beginnings as Lucifers Heritage with demo releases in 1985, they soon changed their name before a record deal was signed. The early days saw the bands sound as being more speed metal but this developed to a more melodic/ progressive sound. Being based in Germany with influences from other bands from that part of the world, the sound has a certain European feel to it which is reflected in the sound of this release.
The opener of this record is a very majestic, symphonic sound which actually made me think of a film sound track which also crops up in one or two of the other songs but this does add nicely to the sound. After the introduction, the sound of the music shows a good combination of symphonic, traditional and power metal all rolled into one which makes this release one of the enjoyable ones of this year. The drumming throughout is heavy, at times it seems to drown out the guitars, whether this is intended or not I am not sure but the drums are very noticeable in places. Over all the guitar work is excellent but seems to be faded to in places in favour of symphonic music but this does, on occasion enhance the song. The vocals are typical sounding European melodic power metal style which remind me of Sabaton and Accept. In balance the vocals and music combine to make a good record but the production seemed to favor certain sounds in places.
This is one of those records that makes me want to check out the earlier albums although I feel that it will appeal to some and not others.