CD review BLIND GUARDIAN TWILIGHT ORCHESTRA ‘Legacy Of The Dark Lands’

(10/10) ‘Legacy Of The Dark Lands’ is for sure one of the most anticipated releases in 2019. All signs clearly guided into a direction of something great being on its way. Expectations have been sky-high and I can say that expectation are exceeded with this release.

‘Legacy Of The Dark Lands’ is much more than merely a longplayer. This release is the glorious realization of a project that has its roots in the mid ’90s when Blind Guardian started to add orchestral elements to their music. The result of more than 20 years of work and planning results in a mammoth record that certainly belongs to the musical highlights beyond the frames of Heavy Metal.

Blind Guardian’s new offer is a bombastic masterpiece that’s extremely well though through from start to end. It lifts the bar of how to approach Symphonic Metal. Actually we’re not even talking about Metal here since the longplayer is done without any guitars and powerchords. Instead it’s the 90-musicians strong Prague Filmharmonic Orchestra that, together withthe band, takes you into a gloomy world of illusion and fantasy.

What becomes obvious already with ‘War Feeds War’ is the fact that the typical Blind Guardian trademarks and orchestral music can interact in a great fashion. It’s the interaction and combination that adds a deep emotional aspect to this release. Furthermore it amplifies density of each song on the album, shifting it to a cinematic masterpiece. You literally listen to 100% Blind Guardian without guitars.

Lasering in on some of the songs doesn’t make any sense since they are all great. But let me take ‘In the Red Dward’s Tower’ as an example that stands very much for what this album delivers. The orchestra leads-off the song, accompanied by Hansi Kürsch terrific vocals. Interacting sound layers reflect the typical Blind Guardian sound, supporting each other very well. It’s like to strong elements leading to something even stronger. That’s ‘Legacy of the Dark Lands’.

It goes almost without saying that the album is reflecting a storyline too. Having said this, ‘Legacy of the Dark Land’ is more than solely a concept album. The story of Nicolas is created with support by German author Markus Heitz who’s latest novel ‘Die Dunkelen Lande’ acts as a prequel to Blind Guardian’s new album. It’s a story that takes you back into the days of the Thirty Year’s War narrated by lyrics as well as spoken-words parts.

‘Legacy Of The Dark Lands’ is more than just a number of songs. It’s a holistic experience with music, lyrics, concept and artwork creating a Gesamtkunstwerk. This album sets the standards of Symphonic Rock music, a record that from an impact-perspective easily can handle any comparison with the big Rock operas like ‘Tommy’ and ‘The Wall’.

Tracklist:

01. 1618 Ouverture
02. The Gathering
03. War Feeds War
04. Comets And Prophecies
05. Dark Cloud’s Rising
06. The Ritual
07. In The Underworld
08. A Secret Society
09. The Great Ordeal
10. Bez
11. In The Red Dwarf’s Tower
12. Into The Battle
13. Treason
14. Between The Realms
15. Point Of No Return
16. The White Horseman
17. Nephilim
18. Trial And Coronation
19. Harvester Of Souls
20. Conquest Is Over
21. This Storm
22. The Great Assault
23. Beyond The Wall
24. A New Beginning

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Symphonic Rock Opera

Release Date EU: November 8th 2019

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