|Review: Blind Guardian - Follow the Blind|
|Follow the Blind|
Label: No Remorse Records (Germany)
Year released: 1989
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: February 27, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:Follow the Blind
Rated 4/5 (80%) (11 Votes)
Blind Guardian was one of the first bands I checked out when I was rediscovering metal in the early 2000s and this album, 1989's Follow the Blind, was my first time hearing them. I bought the CD but was so unimpressed I sold the CD back to the place I bought it from. Since it hasn't been reviewed for the site yet, and my tastes have changed, I figured I'd check it out again.
I often see this album listed as "speed" metal and while it is played almost uniformly fast and has a thrashy vibe on many of the songs, I call it crunchy power metal. I had visions of early Helloween (Kai Hansen lends his voice to "Valhalla") and Stormwarrior, bands who had no room for keyboards, just lots and lots of guitars, drums and big choruses crammed into every song. Hansi Kursch was not yet the singer he has become, and it sounds like he's pushing to get through his vocal lines, hoping that louder and grittier will make up for deficiencies in technique and perhaps comfort level with English. He's not bad, just not as dynamic a performer as he is on later Blind Guardian albums. Highlights for me are the buzz saw riffing on "Damned for All Time" and some sweet lead work on "Beyond the Ice" but after that, I found nothing outstanding on the album, least of all the wholly out of place cover of "Barbara Ann," a song best known for being a Beach Boys staple. It is clearly an early work by a band that had yet to find their footing.
I've never been a huge fan of Blind Guardian, but I do enjoy their recent works more than this somewhat flat and monotonous album. Some bands hit the nail on the head right out of the gate while some get better with time. Put Blind Guardian in the latter camp.
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