End all the battles and holy wars now; the definitive description is set:
“The world’s most popular fantasy metal band”.
Blind Guardian are finally back with a new studio recording.
Which looks to be a concept album worth of a good book – and if you read the news and then check out pre-order options, you will find there is an interesting edition that may well come with a story. All I know is that iTunes is, for me, the most reliable and cheapest way of getting the record the moment it’s out (because I. Have. Waited. Too. Long!!), but I want that physical edition, too.
Now, to the single itself. I like it. I really do. It’s not the kind of song that feels as though it was written specifically for me – Blind Guardian have penned quite a lot of these already, you can’t just always expect your favourite authors to set up camp inside your mind, can you? – but it is definitely Fantasy and definitely Metal. And it’s definitely not the worst sort of production that herr Bauerfeind is capable of.
You see, years ago I took a long break from Blind Guardian because I could not understand what was so wrong about their 21st century recordings (and with some other recordings that had amazing songs, but also something that prevented me from listening to them over and over again). Now that I’ve gathered knowledge and experience, I realise that the problem was the way Charlie Bauerfeind approaches recording, mixing and mastering. If you want proof, borrow the Memories of a Time to Come remix/remaster feast and listen to it back to back with the original Kalle Trapp or Flemming Rasmussen productions: I bet you are going to hear what I am talking about!
His best BG-related work is definitely “Live”; his best studio effort with BG must be A Night at the Opera. And this new album looks like it might either be at least as “good”, or maybe even better. At least, judging by this single, it’s not as problem-laden as Twist or Edge.
I measure this by the amount of plugins I have to use in my “anti-Bauerfeind” remastering projects (ANATO needs the fewest, then comes Twist and only then Edge). And, well, take a good listen to the vocals (get a CD or an iTunes copy, though; the youtube version may suffer further because of compression artefacts): you don’t have to feel for them blindly in the dark, unlike it was with the latest two LPs. They are there, where they should be.
Still, it’s a shame a singer of Hansi’s calibre does not get an equally amazing recording/mixing engineer. But, well, such is life.