Blind Guardian
Memories Of A Time To Come

2012, Virgin/EMI
Power Metal

Un "best of" di cui nessuno sentiva la necessità può trasformarsi in un guilty pleasure?
Review by Fabio Petrella - Publish on: 14/02/12

Translated by Marco Belafatti

It is no mystery for anyone that Blind Guardian lost a little bit of inspiration after the release of their beautiful full-length “A Night At The Opera”, the one that ended with a fatal omen (see the astonishing suite “And There Was Silence”). To keep following the extreme trekking along the ridges and the magical paths that can be seen through the looking glass, Hansi Kürsch and his mates thought that a “best of” that no one felt the need for would be the crowning achievement for over twenty years of career studded by two albums that simply made history. Sure, the Germans sang a never-ending story that cannot be divided nor split into fragments taken from each chapter, but needs to be absorbed integrally and devotedly, like a sacrilegious Bible.

Memories Of A Time To Come” comes as a double cd containing 16 among the most famous songs of the bards from Krefeld, expressly remixed (except for “Sacred Words”) and re-recorded, as it happened to “Valhalla”, “The Bard's Song (The Hobbit)” and “And There Was Silence”. You can even get a deluxe edition with a third disc of old demo songs, that goes back at the time when the band still called Lucifer's Heritage. Therefore, we can't talk about the usual, unnecessary and lifeless “best of”, neither can we say this is a modern version of “The Forgotten Tales”, a sort of acoustic version of the German band's big hits up to “Imaginations From The Other Side”, together with a few covers. However, even if they know that they're going to fall into a trap, die-hard Blind Guardian fans would hardly resist to their favourite band's enticements (so it was for me and, I can imagine, for many of you who are now reading these frivolous lines). It is also well-known that, as Oscar Wilde wrote, the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. And I totally yelded to “Memories Of A Time To Come”. The very first impression was that this atypical collection doesn't add anything to what our idols have done so far. As if an artisan polished up a piece of furniture a piece of furniture which didn't need it. In some cases, to be honest, this whim to rub down the surface has stripped the songs of their original colours. Nightfall, for example, was deprived of its seducing choirs. A slay. Nevertheless, we must admit that some songs, as Majesy, first one of the debut album, benefited from the renewal, and listening to this more powerful version is not that bad. Same goes for the legendary “The Bard's Song (In The Forest)”, that finally regains its orchestral soul. The most inviting tracks are obviously those who were re-recorded. “Valhalla” and “The Bard's Song (The Hobbit)” have been polished: they're powerful, dynamic and we're hit by the enhancement of their incisive character and their fresh sound. Last but not least, like a ruby on the top of a king's sceptre, among the flames of Troy comes the vainglorious “And There Was Silence”, heirloom of the too often unacknowledged “A Night At The Opera”, the peak of Blind Guardian's moral and material growth, that was never appreciated just because of his endemic audacity. The suite, torn away from his original excess, is the peak that suits the mountain it tops and, in the splendour of its razor-shining ice, it mirrors its merits and faults.

I surely won't be the one to establish the actual value of “Memories Of A Time To Come” and no one will ever do it fairly, be it for their blindness or incorruptible loyalty to the past. What I know is that Blind Guardian look disillusioned and, after walking for so long, they offer us a ticket to travel back in time, to dive into never-faded memories, as if they wanted to remind us who they are and what they have done so far. That's the only reason why we must be satisfied with the present.


01. Imaginations from the Other Side *
02. Nightfall *
03. Ride into Obsession *
04. Somewhere Far Beyond *
05. Majesty *
06. Traveler in Time *
07. Follow the Blind *
08. The Last Candle *


01. Sacred Worlds
02. This Will Never End *
03. Valhalla **
04. Bright Eyes *
05. Mirror Mirror *
06. The Bard’s Song (In the Forest) *
07. The Bard’s Song (The Hobbit) **
08. And Then There Was Silence **

CD 3 (Deluxe Limited Edition)

01. Brian ***
02. Halloween (The Wizard’s Crown) ***
03. Lucifer’s Heritage ***
04. Symphonies of Doom ***
05. Dead of the Night ***
06. Majesty
07. Trial by the Archon
08. Battalions of Fear
09. Run for the Night
10. Lost in the Twilight Hall
11. Tommyknockers
12. Ashes to Ashes
13. Time What is Time
14. A Past and Future Secret
15. The Script for My Requiem

* Remixed 2011
** Re-recorded 2011
*** Re-worked 2011

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