The futuristic artwork of the new record makes it quite clear; Blind Guardian are heralding a new chapter. But one thing after the other. The band from Krefeld released one of the best debut albums of German heavy metal in 1998. Battalions of Fear’ is the title of this masterpiece, which found a decent successor in ‘Follow the Blind’.
Slowly the band developed towards fantasy and brought the works of J.R.R. Tolkiens a bit closer to the metal fans. In addition, the sound became more and more bombastic. Choirs have been part of Blind Guardian from the early days and the increasing orchestral parts gave the band and their sound an additional punch. The successes proved Blind Guardian right and a constantly growing fan base speaks volumes. What faded into the background, however, was the relentless power of the early days. ‘The God Machine’ pays more tribute to that time again.
‘The God Machine’, so the title of the new record, is more to the point and doesn’t get lost in endless details and bombast. Each of the nine songs on the setlist contains the typical Blind Guardian trademarks and at the same time includes a very pleasant simplicity. It seems that the band has shed a lot of ballast. Considering the last orchestral masterpieces, this decision is logical, as it was difficult to top ‘Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands’.
Photo: Dirk Behlau
Looking at ‘The God Machine’ one could say that the new album unites all phases of Blind Guardian. It starts with the arrow-fast ‘Deliver Us from Evil’. It quickly becomes clear that the quartet commits itself to the power of metal. A furious tempo and a typical chorus make the starting point of ‘The God Machine’ a perfect appetizer for a nine-course metal menu.
Next is the cracking ‘Damnation’ which combines heaviness and choruses in a way only Blind Guardian can accomplish. The theatrical elements of the band come to play in the following ‘Secrets of the American Gods’. Held in a medium tempo, the song is a highlight on the album before ‘Violent Shadows’ with a brute riff revives the early Blind Guardian days. The same applies to the raging ‘Blood of the Elves’.
The anthemic ‘Let it Be No More’ proves that the band is also capable of playing the calmer sounds, while the cinematic aspects are brought to the fore in the brilliant closer ‘Destiny’.
‘The God Machine’ has become an album that is outstanding. The return to a more straightforward sound serves the band very well and should be well received by fans of the first albums as well as more recent Blind Guardian fans. For me, the record is definitely one of the highlights of 2022, an album I didn’t expect to be so strong.
- Deliver Us from Evil
- Secrets of the American Gods
- Violent Shadows
- Life Beyond the Spheres
- Architects of Doom
- Let It Be No More
- Blood of the Elves
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Power Metal
Release Date EU: September 2nd, 2022
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