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Blind Guardian: dramatic dispatches from the power metal trenches

Power metal veterans Blind Guardian show no signs of running out of juice on 12th album The God Machine

Blind Guardian: The God Machine cover art
(Image: © Nuclear Blast)

After 30-plus years on the power metal front lines, Blind Guardian remain as ambitious as ever. The God Machine, the German band’s twelfth studio album, is a characteristically dramatic collision of Teutonic pomp, trad-metal heft and singer/ mastermind Hansi Kürsch’s klaxon-in-a-wind-tunnel vocals. 

But there’s a complexity to this album that sets Blind Guardian apart from most Euro metal cheesemongers. When it shoots for the epic, as on the Neil Gaiman-inspired The Secrets Of The American Gods, Kürsch throws in enough twists and clever sonic detail to avoid raise-your-flagons-high bombast. 

Still, there’s nothing here to scare the horses – the kick-drum barrage of Blood Of The Elves could be the soundtrack to a hi-octane Dungeons & Dragons campaign. 

There are apparently some concessions to real life here – Kürsch has talked about the album tapping into themes of paranoia, bereavement and modern-day witch hunts – but they’re buried deep. Then again, no one is coming to Blind Guardian for a shot of reality. 

Dave Everley has been writing about and occasionally humming along to music since the early 90s. During that time, he has been Deputy Editor on Kerrang! and Classic Rock, Associate Editor on Q magazine and staff writer/tea boy on Raw, not necessarily in that order. He has written for Metal Hammer, Louder, Prog, the Observer, Select, Mojo, the Evening Standard and the totally legendary Ultrakill. He is still waiting for Billy Gibbons to send him a bottle of hot sauce he was promised several years ago.