Blind Guardian - The Forgotten Tales

Year of Release: 1996
Label: Virgin
Catalog Number: 724384162627
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:24:00

..... song by song.

This will be the last time I ever listen to or write about this band, so fire up those flamethrowers for the very last time. Be warned, I've purchased the new Kevlar bullet / fireproof vest, so mere names and flames can't hurt me.

I purchased this disc basically because someone sent me some cuts a loooong time ago, and I thought they were pretty cool; however, Kursch's voice is becoming more and more of an irritant to me, and I find that I can't handle anything that this band does. In the spirit of music, here is what I am finding out about The Forgotten Tales:

1) "Mr Sandman" - If anyone had told me this song was on the disc I would have dismissed it entirely. I had the Mr Sandman EP a long time ago and traded it away instantly. This is as cheesy as it gets. The saving grace is that it's 2:09.

2) "Surfin USA" - Need I say anything about this? Ok, I can't believe that any band would include a cover of this song on their disc. I'm done.

3) "Bright Eyes" - Awesome sound, superb acoustic guitar, great vox harmonies ... I love this song. Damn this guy CAN sing in a normal tone, I wish he would do this all the time.

4) "Lord Of The Rings" - Again, incredible acoustic guitar sound, great vox harmonies. If he could sing in this tone all the time, I could be a fan. Great song, this is why I bought the disc. I love those Queen-ian vox harmonies, I can see why Hansi is a fan.

5) "The Wizard" - I could listen to this band play soft acoustic passages all day. They have a great acoustic flair that I love. When Hansi sings as soft as the music, it rules me. When he growls on a soft passage, he loses me. This isn't a bad song either, mellow, and he is starting to growl a bit. Cool use of the organ, too. I didn't like the chorus of this song too much, and I found myself moving onward.

6) "Spread Your Wings" - Sheer butchery. Every time I hear this, I imagine Freddy turning over in his grave; damn Hansi, pick a song you can sing to. Freddy had a distinct tone, and not many people could handle it. The music is nailed, the vocals are atrocious, I found myself cringing before hitting the fast forward button. I can think of a ton of Queen songs they could have covered, not this one.

7) "Mordred Song" - Awesome intro, these guys have me teetering back and forth from greatness to butchery. Those mandolins are cool, as are the acoustic guitars, and vox harmonies. Hansi then injects his growly voice into the beauty and then loses me ... he doesn't do it too often on this song, and I like it a lot. Great song !!!!

8) "Black Chamber" - Awesome vox harmonies ... only 1:15 long, but great!!!! It's basically a vocal line with harmonies, and it works well. He growls about 50 seconds into the song, and he doesn't lose me because of this. Someone tell this guy he doesn't NEED to growl, he sounds great without it.

9) "The Bard's Song (live)" - I can't help imagining Glenn Harveston [ProgPower USA organizer; prog metal fan -ed.] in the audience, drunk on his ass, throwing his fist in the air and singing along with this one. I can even see him borrowing someone's lighter and waving it around until he burns the hair off of the German dude beside him and he gets his HillBilly ass kicked German style ...

10) "Barbara Ann / Long Tall Sally" - I'm embarassed for this band ... I'd hide in shame after releasing something like this on an otherwise great disc.

11) "A Past And Future Secret" - Those acoustic, mandolin-like intros get me every time ... I wish the whols disc was like this, and that he sang like this in every song. Excellent vox and harmonies, and I love those flutes. Pretty much why I bought this disc, hoping that all of the songs followed in this vein. Those 50s songs do damage to this disc, but I do realize why they did it, too. This song is probably my favorite on the disc even through his growls. The growls don't seem as irritating when the music kicks in. Great song.

12) "To France" - Excellent song; again, this is how I like it. Nice acoustics, nice orchestrations, and GOOD singing ... I can only imagine a 13 song disc with songs like this on it.

13) "Theatre Of Pain" - Does anyone have better introductions on their disc than Blind Guardian? I think not. This is incredible, and I can see this song as an opening intro for their stage show before they rip into some heavy kick ass tune of theirs. The most orchestrated song on the disc, it's a 4:15 song which would serve as a great intro to any band's stage entrance, and Hansi doesn't even sing on this one ... I certainly put vox to this song, but I guess they chose not to.

All in all, this is a cool disc, but not enough to make me keep coming back to play them over and over. I'd definitely program those 50s songs out of the playback, as they really are an embarassing part of this disc. The rest of the songs are great, except for the sheer butchery of Queen's "Spread Your Wings." This will end my Blind Guardian journey, I can't think of too many bands that I've spent so much time with trying to absorb what they are about. The bottom line is the vocals, and I think BG would gain one more fan if he didn't insist on growling the way he does. It sounds like he is forcing the growls out most of the time, although he has a VERY pleasant voice in his normal tone. I'll never figure out why singers who sound good choose to growl they way they do.

Mr. Sandman (2:09) / Surfin' USA (2:23) / Bright Eyes (acoustic) (4:20) / Lord of the Rings (orchestral) (3:55) / The Wizard (3:16) / Spread Your Wings (4:14) / Mordred's Song (acoustic) (5:16) / Black Chamber (orchestral) (1:15) / The Bard's Song (live) (4:11) / Barbara Ann/Long Tall Sally (1:43) / A Past And Future Secret (3:47) / To France (4:40) / Theatre Of Pain (4:15)

Marcus Siepen - guitars
Andre Olbrich - guitars
Thomas Stauch - drums
Hansi K?rsch - vocals and bass

Battalions Of Fear (1988)
Follow The Blind (1989)
Tales From The Twilight World (1990/1999)
Somewhere Far Beyond (1992/2000)
Tokyo Tales (live) (1992)
Imaginations From The Other Side (1995/1999)
The Forgotten Tales (1996)
Nightfall In Middle-Earth (1998)
A Night At The Opera (2002)
Live (2003)
A Twist In The Myth (2006)
At The Edge Of Time (2010)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website:
Hits: 1253
Language: english


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