Blind Guardian is back again with The God Machine, its new album.
Created in 1984 under the name of Lucifer’s Heritage, the German band changed its name in 1987, one year before the release of its first album. Since then, Hansi Kürsch (vocals, ex-Demons & Wizards), André Olbrich (guitar) and Marcus Siepen (guitar, ex-Sinbreed), accompanied since 2005 by Frederik Ehmke (drums, Sinbreed) and since 2021 by Johan van Stratum (bass, Vuur, ex-Stream of Passion) reign over Power Metal with twelfth album.
From the very beginning of Deliver Us from Evil, the first track, we feel that the band has not lost any of its superbness by mixing dark and fast sounds with those vocal parts whose signature we immediately recognize. The catchy rhythmic sometimes welcomes some mystical choirs while becoming softer or by adorning itself with epic leads, then Damnation strengthens this oppressive and mysterious side with more aggressive parts. We will find this theatrical and majestic voice that splits the darkness before letting heady harmonics bewitch us, while the long Secrets of the American Gods is soothing from the first notes while it slowly progresses towards more impressive sonorities. Orchestrations give the track a very majestic atmosphere which contrasts with its rather pessimistic lyrics, especially towards the final which leads us to the energetic Violent Shadows and its jerky riffs. Tortured leads are perfectly integrated to this efficient rhythmic which becomes more and more heavy until the final scream, just before Life Beyond the Spheres surrounds us with mystery. The heavy oriented riffs are catchy but they keep those dark and majestic elements which create an interesting relief before coming back to more raw sounds on Architects of Doom, a composition whose heady refrains already haunt us. The frontman gratifies us once again with his voice’s intensity, whether it is on melodious or heavier parts, then Let It Be No More reveals us some quietness before letting a light sweet disturb this sweet ballad’s softness. The band will come back to heavier and livelier riffs for Blood of the Elves, a composition which perfectly represents the style they have been developing for all these years, mixing aggressiveness, epic tones and diversified vocals, just like Destiny, the last track, which lets keyboards express themselves again to frame catchy and efficient riffs. Special mention to the vocalist, who will always manage to surprise me positively.
The name of Blind Guardian is on everyone’s lips while talking about Power Metal, and the reason is simple: the Germans master their style like no one else. The God Machine is an additional proof of their supremacy, whether it is on the level of riffs, orchestrations or this incredible voice.