Affectionately known to fans as simply 'the bards,' those traveling minstrels Blind Guardian pause to release their first compilation album, Memories of a Time to Come. The 16 song two-disc set, 31 songs in the digital edition, covers their 25 year career offering some their best songs, picked by the band themselves. This review considers the two-disc set.
Blind Guardian: hail the Bards.
For this collection, 12 of the songs have been remixed, but three have been re-recorded including Valhalla, Bard Song-Hobbit, and And Then There Was Silence. Only one song, Sacred Worlds, was left untouched. Considering their extensive catalog, there's much to choose from. One wonders how difficult it was for them to select. Yet, there's some great ones here even some personal favorites including Traveler in Time, Nightfall, Mirror Mirror, and Somewhere Far Beyond. All these fall in the collection of new mixes.
For me, the wild card in Blind Guardian has always been the vocals of Hansi Kursch. His style swings between singing and grizzly metal screaming, more the latter. Frankly, I just dig the music, and simply forbear with Kursch.
But the issue with the compilation is not the vocals, but rather Blind Guardian's epic career and positive impact upon heavy metal. Eschewing modern metal trends, Blind Guardian in 25 years has made their tale-telling melodic power metal a standard by which many should be measured, but few can compare. Memories of a Time to Come is a good introduction for the novice. I suspect diehard fans will find it acceptable, but too finite. Therefore, for pure Blind Guardian gluttony, fans should get the expanded digital edition, which also includes the Luciferís Heritage demos (the early incarnation of the band).
Blind Guardian's Memories of a Time to Come is an acceptable and entertaining collection of seminal songs from their 25 year career, suitable for the initiate and longtime fan.
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