Tue. Dec 1st, 2020

REVIEW: Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestra – Legacy of the Dark Lands

For as long as I have known the band, BLIND GUARDIAN has promised to release an orchestral album. The time finally has come for the iconic German power metal act to combine two of my passions: classical music and heavy metal with the release of “Legacy of the Dark Lands”, out through Nuclear Blast on the way 8 November 2019. We had the chance to give the album a spin and wrote down our thoughts for you…

The album starts off in a very classical way with the Ouverture “1618 Ouverture” containing some of the melodies, and themes from the album, which builds off the album extremely well. In between the songs, narration dramatic narration takes over, which binds the songs together, and makes it a true story feeling, and reminds of “Nightfall In Middle Earth”. The first official track is “War Feeds War”, which feels kind of like a typical way of opening a classical (or even a musical) work. It’s an introductory song that presents the world to us in a very epic way, it has a slow and dynamic build-up and takes the approach of storytelling. “Dark Clouds Rising” slows the album down, and takes the story to the path of adventure, as dark clouds are rising and the threatening atmosphere is audible after the first half of the song. We are then taken to the exciting “In the Underworld”, a song filled with lots of tension and suspense. Midway one of my favorite and one of the most epic sections of the album starts off. In “A Secret Society” a new character is introduced to us, which we get acquainted with in “Secret Society”, a song that feels a bit more lighthearted, and moving at the same time. “In The Red Dwarf’s Tower” is perhaps one of my favorite tracks, as it starts off with the feeling of a dangerous adventure, which Hansi beautifully guides with his natural gift of storytelling. The backing vocals on this track are playful and genius. “Treason” is a track that flows nicely with more melancholy. “Point of No Return”, again is another highlight for me. This is the first single, and it is a perfect showcase of how this album is a complete puzzle between two worlds that might seem impossible to match up. In this song, the orchestra gets adds an otherworldly feel to the album, and at times even has the power to induce goosebumps. The title of “Nephilim” already feels like events are turning in the story, and this is well-represented in the music and lyrics. “Harvester of Souls”, sounds very dark at first, and builds up beautifully. “This Storm”, also one of the singles, again beautifully embraces the classical orchestra, which at times sounds possibly more metal than any guitarist would have sounded. “Beyond The Wall” and “A New Beginning”, are possibly the most beautiful way to end an album. With a spoken part at the beginning, Hansi in a hopeful way sings “Let This Story End”, and emotionally pushes through the song. Slowly marching forward, the song picks up its pace and turns into an epic piece that will blow you away with every second with its epicness.

Even though BLIND GUARDIAN have talked about this album for a long time now, the end result still blew me away. Some fans were preoccupied with the lack of the band, however, I see absolutely no reason why this album would need these elements. The album is in the style of what BLIND GUARDIAN would typically do, but foremost this is not BLIND GUARDIAN this is BLIND GUARDIAN TWILIGHT ORCHESTRA. For an orchestral album, based on a story, this definitely is a unique venture and truly something that can blow someone’s mind if they’re open enough to listen to this grand opus.

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

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