Blind Guardian - Follow The Blind
No Remorse
Speed/Power Metal
9 songs (38:49)
Release year: 1989
Blind Guardian
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Although you might not think so from the rather awful cover art, Blind Guardian’s second full-length is a highly respectable burst of pure, gleaming Metal action sure to satisfy all those hard-nosed shlubs who thought the band was all about the Night At The Opera. Although that was my introduction to the band and I loved it for the exact reasons that some hate it, it’s nigh on impossible not to love their earlier work too, especially when you actually pay attention to what you’re listening to. The intro here, Inquisition, is taken from Monty Python And The Holy Grail, and reworked into some glorious declaration of imminent fantasy epicness – the irony is delicious. Of course, chances are that you’ll be too busy headbanging to care about irony once first track proper Banish From Sanctuary comes roaring in, the pure molten steel of those racing guitars erasing all false metals from your attention. Andre Olbich and Marcus Siepen make quite the team, riffing and soloing like madmen, Hansi Kürsch’s bass there somewhere in the mix, well beneath Thomas Stauch’s drums, who must have insulted his mother in a past life because he beats the holy crap out of them.

I’d be surprised if the MetalReviews Thrash crew ignored this, because moments like the start of Damned For All Time put Annihilator to shame in sheer Metallic force. Even Kürsch’s vocals are far from the comparatively soppy singing of later, but verge on growls at times, vicious Thrash singing rather than melodic Power Metal singing. Pleasingly, the band’s grasp of the grandiose is present and correct even now, and moments like the acoustic opening to the title track are well implemented without at all taking away from the impact of the ensuing metal storm, slower yet more intense and powerful. Hall Of The King could be by Slayer, such is the Thrashing intensity and necksnapping energy, even the crashing keyboards that come in for a second after some rather awesome soloing sounding wonderful.

It’s hard to fault any aspect of this album, really; later albums may be more controversial but there’s no complaining about kickass metal tracks like Fast To Madness with its absolutely killer chorus, clattering instrumental Beyond The Ice and ultimate neckbreaker Valhalla. Of course, later versions of this have killer cover versions of Don’t Break The Circle and Barbara Ann to enjoy, but the original songs are what deserve the plaudits, and what are usually forgotten in the sands of time when ‘best Blind Guardian songs’ lists are drawn up. Banish From Sanctuary especially is a great opening, but all are excellent and fans of the heavier sorts of Power Metal and Speed Metal a la early Rage simply must check this out.

Killing Songs :
Banish From Sanctuary, Damned For All Time, Follow The Blind, Hall Of The King, Fast To Madness, Beyond The Ice, Valhalla
Goat quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Blind Guardian that we have reviewed:
Blind Guardian - Beyond the Red Mirror reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Blind Guardian - Somewhere Far Beyond reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Blind Guardian - At The Edge Of Time reviewed by Kyle and quoted 86 / 100
Blind Guardian - A Voice In The Dark (CD Single) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Blind Guardian - Imaginations From The Other Side reviewed by Ben and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 16 reviews click here
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