This is what Candlemass truly sounds like, and it's the first time on this list that we've gotten a true taste of that inimitable swagger they carried underneath sweepingly epic atmosphere. This is about as close to a perfect album as you can get, and it's an eternal monument to Candlemass's complete mastery of music in the late 80s. Lots of interaction of the band with the audience enhancing the feeling of an almost private concert. It's only ever so slightly less ferocious than Battalions of Fear but even more melodically sophisticated. I've come around to it somewhat, but it's known as the Thomen Killer for a reason. Epic how we interrupted their line up with 'Guardian, Guardian, Guardian' and tales will be sung how we continued to sing the Valhalla chorus for 10 minutes.
This early era of the band isn't quite as expansive and magniloquent as their symphonic era, but raw and furious German speed metal is one of the greatest short lived subniches in the history of heavy metal and Battalions of Fear showcases why with aplomb. This kept the gloom and misery of most downtrodden metal at the time but slathered it all in massive, destructive riffs and esoteric atmosphere. Crowd energy during both bands was amazing. Don't hassle me about it. So many of the classic elements of the band are missing. So the first matchup is against two weighty institutions of metal, both with huge strings of classics to their name that are consistently rated amongst the best in their respective genres.
The fact that this album seems to have been mostly phased out of live sets is a huge shame, though I do understand why. There's a reason you see that cross-impaled-demon-skull thing on all of their merchandise, almost everything about this album became a Big Fucking Deal. The musicians play perfectly and Hansi as usual just reached the perfection with his voice. Say Band A has the five best albums and also the bottom ten, they'll end with 195 points, while the band that sweeps spots six thru twenty will end with 270. I absolutely have to highlight the most out-of-left-field moment of the band's career though, there's no way to overlook it.
Somewhere Far Beyond obviously sits firmly as the shining example of the latter category. They are often credited as one of the seminal and most influential bands in the power metal and speed metal subgenres. Great public, generous band more than 2 hours of show! If you want to hear something but don't want to shell out the dough for it, it's really fucking easy to just steal shit over the internet. You know a band is perfect for a live setting when the entire crowd sings along to the taped intro as is the case at every single Blind Guardian show. It's just an all around very good album, with all of the elements that made the trio of late 80s albums so iconic, updated for the heavier modern era. In total honesty, I didn't tally the points out before I started writing this and just added them up as I went along, so I genuinely didn't know who was going to win until the last couple entries started making it easier to calculate, and I'm actually surprised. The choirs and choruses have never been better than they are here, every single idea they toy with just hits bullseye.
Like, holy fuck no metal song should ever be about something so saccharine, but here's fucking Candlemass churning out an uplifting doom song about exactly that. This type of doom was all but unheard of in 1986. They were writing the rules, and it didn't matter if they were four full lengths into their run, if they wanted to put in a vibrant and high speed melodic powerhouse of shred, who the fuck was going to stop them? Can't wait for them to return! It really shows, because while this album isn't exactly bad, it's notably a few staircases worth of steps down from their classic era. The best show I have ever been. Grave Digger's merch was slightly more expensive.
Like five of the songs here are consistently rated among their best and I can't really dispute any of them. In 1987, Siepen joined and Stauch returned; under this line-up, which lasted 18 years, the band changed their name to Blind Guardian and released their first album, Battalions of Fear, in 1988. Candlemass was always great at injecting some extra vigor into their riffs, and it shows here. Anyway I've spent too much time blabbing so let's get to the point. If you have beef or want to say something positive for whatever reason feel free to leave a comment or if you're the type shoot me an email at bastardhead828 yahoo. Signing with Virgin Records in 1992, they were one of the very few metal bands to be signed on a major label. I know I just went on a huge rant about how much I love Nightfall and I can say with confidence that I love Somewhere Far Beyond even more, but the problem is that I don't really know what to say about it.
Yeah it may lack the uptempo skippiness of Tales of Creation or the guitar mastery of Ancient Dreams, but this was their undisputed peak of songwriting and majesty. In addition to signing with Nuclear Blast Records, the band - who managed to keep the same line-up for almost two decades - welcomed new drummer Fredrik Ehmke into the fold following the departure of Thomen Stauch. So really, Psalms for the Dead is functionally tied with King of the Grey Islands for me, but for the purposes of the Ladder Match, I'm going to put the band's studio swansong a little bit under the debut with Lowe. Excellent as always, but Grave Digger stole the show. It's by far the most intense album they've ever penned, with more vigor and fury than they've ever mustered before or since. New reviews will show up here along with wherever else on the internet they happen to appear on.
Absolutely epic and I was so surprised how well people knew the lyrics. All I can do is point to certain aspects of it and descend into gibbering lunacy about how good it is. In Canada, the album debuted at 18 on the Top Hard Music Albums chart and 108 on the Top 200 chart. If you have the opportunity, go see Blind Guardian! This is actually going to be a very short entry because fuck, really what can I say about it? Was I way off base? Not only was Robert Lowe the iconic vocalist of the American doom legends, and not only did Solitude Aeturnus play a remarkably similar style to Candlemass in the first place, but Beyond the Crimson Horizon is actually my all time 1 favorite doom metal album ever recorded. The balance between hooks and aggression is tilted a little further towards the latter end still, but it's all coming together nicely, hinting at the direction they'd eventually take ever so subtly.
Blind Guardian is a part of the German heavy metal scene that emerged in the mid-1980s. And yet, I just really don't like it all that much. The bright vibrancy is at an all time high, with more melody and more speedy tempos than the band would ever feature before or since, and it's a very exciting and wondrous journey as a result. It's certainly the darkest album they've recorded, which is kind of odd considering the non-stop Sabbathisms of the Flodkvist era and the leftover brightness of the Messiah era, but it's true. Making good on a promise made in the spring of 1997, vocalist Hansi Kürsch flew over to the U. They played for almost two hours, pouring some really great tunes over the audience we were quite nice too : , and not only the new stuff, but also some amazing classics. The riffs are buried so far under the leads and vocals that it wouldn't even surprise me if you had told me this was initially intended to be a side project.