Blind Guardian

A Twist in the Myth

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Blind Guardian fans have grown accustomed to waiting long periods between the band's studio albums, which these masters of German progressive power metal tend to deliver only every four years or so -- much like World Cups, curiously enough. That was precisely the gap separating 2002's A Night at the Opera, which dismayed some longtime fans with its nearly symphonic, unusually complicated compositions, and 2006's A Twist in the Myth, which establishes something of a middle ground between that trend and the group's slightly more approachable earlier material. Of course Blind Guardian, by any era or definition, can still be counted on to inject enough pretentious pomp into high-flying metal anthems such as "This Will Never End," "Straight Through the Mirror," and especially album standout "Turn the Page," to make Ronnie James Dio pull out his fantasy almanac, get Freddie Mercury nodding in posthumous approval. Speaking of ol' Mercury, "Carry the Blessed Home" marries Queen-sized guitar and vocal orchestrations to BG singer Hansi K├╝rsch's recurring extrapolations on Stephen King's Dark Tower novels; and his reading habits are given even further disclosure on the likes of "Otherland" (inspired by Tad Williams' novels by the same name) and the Celtic myth-inspired "Skalds and Shadows." In fact, it's hardly surprising to find just one song -- the psycho-analytical "Another Stranger Me" -- that might actually be (emphasis on "might") entirely based on real-world experience, not that the band's fans would have it any other way. And whether fans want to nitpick and argue over minor changes in direction, the fact is that A Twist in the Myth is tailor made for the everyman Blind Guardian supporter. Now if they can only hang in there until the next World Cup rolls around.

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