Monday, December 21, 2009

Retrospective: Blind Guardian (Part 2)

Continuing the discography breakdown of the thrash/power metal band Blind Guardian:

 

Discography - Part 2

  • Somewhere Far Beyond (1992)
Somewhere Far Beyond is Blind Guardian's first album that sounds (to me) as a 'Blind Guardian album.' Continuing with the blending of genres that was seen in Tales From The Twilight World, this album is a seamless collection of thrash-influenced power metal. The operatic elements are present, as well as a slight progressive feel within a handful of songs. This album is also the first Blind Guardian album to host an acoustic, 'campfire song,' a song that one could see being sung for generations; "The Bard's Song (In The Forest)." There is a second part, "The Bard's Song (The Hobbit)," but this song incorporates drums and electric guitars. It still is the dame basic tune and rhythm, but the sound is drastically different. On the special edition album there are two covers added to the track listing, "Trial By Fire" by Satan, and "Spread Your Wings" by Queen. While "Trial By Fire" is forgettable, "Spread Your Wings" is one of my favorite covers; once again Blind Guardian show us their love of Queen, and pull off a fitting tribute. This album embodies what I like about Blind Guardian, and while the previous works are decent, I feel that this is where the band grew into something to be reckoned with. The later works only get better.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Retrospective: Blind Guardian (Part 1)

Starting with their first release, Blind Guardian is a power-influenced thrash metal band, with alot more straight drum and guitar then the melodic, multi-layered sound that the group would be known for. Later albums move more into the power metal sound, but almost all of their albums still hold onto their origins of thrash - which is great if you have been listening to them from the beginning, but if you came in half-way (like myself) the further back you go, the less and less the band sounds like the band you love.
But aside from that, Blind Guardian is one of my favorite bands within the power metal genre. Their combination of speed, melody and epic vocals (especially in the later albums) are something of legend. Hansi K├╝rsch, the lead singer, has one of the most amazing voices in all of metal. His vocal range and ability to sing harsh and operatic within seconds of each other are truly amazing. This band is worth it, just to hear his voice and style.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Favorite Albums: Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes


Continuing with my trend of listening to my foundation of my metal tastes, I'm going to look at the partner (in my mind) to Blind Guardian's Nightfall In Middle Earth, Something Wicked This Way Comes by Iced Earth; seen this way because I bought them both at the same time, around five years ago.

Now I've already gone into this album a bit, with my comparison of the two spin-off albums, the Something Wicked Series, but that was only a basic look at the last three songs, that make up the original 'Something Wicked' story. In this, I'll go more in-depth about the entire album.
First, the album is broken into two parts, the first ten tracks make up the 'album proper,' the stand alone songs, with no story throughout them, just random songs. The second part is the Birth Of The Wicked series, and that begins on track 11 and goes to the end of the album (track 13). I'll go into each separately.
The first few tracks are my favorites on the album, they are all good but some are better. Most of the songs touch on some ulterior motive, either by damning someone or group within the song ("Disciples Of The Lie" and "Melancholy (Holy Martyr)"), or are very heart-throbbing ("Watching Over Me" and "Blessed Are You"). All of the songs are very heavy and a great blend of Jon Schaffer's superb guitar and lyrical writing and Matthew Barlow's (the 'voice' of Iced Earth) amazing vocals.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Video: The Muppets

Ok not metal, not rock(well one is), but it is music and it had me laughing. Here is a collection of some new Muppet shorts that started popping up online a few weeks ago, all Muppet versions of famous songs. It's mostly classical, but they do cover Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and that song is epic.
So please enjoy The Muppets:

More after the break.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Favorite Albums: Blind Guardian - Nightfall In Middle Earth

This month I've been revisiting the bands that got me into metal - both originally and my current tastes. I've been listening to alot of Manowar, and Type O Negative, and I'm now getting into Iced Earth and Blind Guardian. While I grew up with Manowar, Type O Negative, Iron Maiden and Metallica (thank you Dad), both Blind Guardian and Iced Earth are fairly recent additions to my musical tastes, only discovering them about four years ago, shortly after my joining of Last.fm and my discovery of this wonderful thing called 'power metal.' One thing I have noticed over my illustrious music career, is that more often then not the first album I hear by a band becomes my favorite. Manowar's The Triumph Of Steel, Type O Negative's Bloody Kisses, and Iron Maiden's Best of The Beast (greatest hits) all fall into this category. As do Iced Earth's Something Wicked This Way Comes (which will probably become it's own article eventually) and Blind Guardian's Nightfall In Middle Earth.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Retrospective: Queen - Queen (1973)

**Because of the awesomeness of the Queen collection (at least the first half of the discography), I'm going to be breaking the band's releases down in manageable segments**

The first release by the band that would eventually define arena-rock, Queen (the album) is straight progressive rock, with hints of Christianity strewn throughout, just a little more accessible then some of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's releases, they keep it in the realm of understandable.
These first few releases (Queen, Queen II) had almost no fanfare, truly very few people even know they exist, especially within my generation, but they are some of the best of the band's releases. The blending of progressive elements and the eventual operatic vocal style and arena-rock that was to come, make for a vividly unique and memorable experience. If given the option, please give these early attempts a try.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Video: ED's Furry Fucking Guide To Metal!!!! (Take 2)

So this was one of my first posts, but Youtube took it down, so instead of just updating the original post, I decided to re-post the whole thing for the newer viewers of my site (which is everyone). So everyone sit back and enjoy, one of the most clear-cut explanations of metal ever offered


ED's Furry Fucking Guide To Metal!!! - Awesome video clips here

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Albums Listened To In November

Damn November was a good month! My birthday, three months at the new job, a few lady-friends, a new writer for The Guide, some good shit.
Another month of near-record numbers - 94 albums total, 35 new! I spent alot of time re-listening to good bands, albums and complete genres. You'll notice a heavy stoner resurgence, as I decided to listen to every stoner album that I have listened to in the recent months (that I liked anyway). Bands like sHEAVY, The Atomic Bitchwax, Fireball Ministry, Five Horse Johnson, and Hermano, Monster Magnet, all had their entire discographies listened through again - all stoner.