BLIND GUARDIAN – “The God Machine”
By Colonel Angus
Let me start off by saying that I am not a fan of the power metal genre as a whole. I find a lot of the bands and their material to be repetitive and quite boring. Much of it sounds the same to me and as much as I try, I can’t seem to embrace this form of metal. But then there are bands like BLIND GUARDIAN who rise to the top and make a big impact on me. I am a late comer to the band, only becoming a fan since 2010 when I was lucky enough to catch them live. Their performance was majestic and since that fateful day, I have been collecting their older material and getting all their new releases as well. I have waited a long time as this is their first disk in 7 years. I can’t believe that “Beyond the Red Mirror” is so long ago but then again, I just reviewed the new MEGADETH and that was 6 years in the making as well.
The big question for me would be was it worth the wait? The only answer I can could give is a big resounding “Yes”. Although “At the Edge of Time” will always hold the top spot for me as that was the tour that started me off on my BLIND GUARDIAN journey, “The God Machine” ranks up there with the best the band has ever produced. There is not one misstep, not one note out of place on the whole record. It all starts off in fine fashion with "Deliver Us from Evil" which quite honestly is my least favorite off this stellar disk. It’s a great track and has all the BLIND GUARDIAN hallmarks with great riffing, soaring vocals, and powerhouse drumming. It says a lot when a great tune like that is still my least favorite. “Damnation” and "Secrets of the American Gods" are epics and the latter especially packs all the greatness of the band in a 7+ minute epic. “The God Machine” does produce pure power metal material and "Violent Shadows" just unapologetically focuses on that genre without veering off into other elements of the metal umbrella. When it comes to just delivering power metal, no one does it better than BLIND GUARDIAN.
Taking a small, but effective turn, "Life Beyond the Spheres" slows things down without losing any of the power. Starting off with a bit of a tribal riff and drumming, "Architects of Doom" wastes no time getting into power metal mode and delivering just what any BLIND GUARDIAN fan would want. Even though it is a ballad type of track, “Let it Be No More” is a not a tune you should skip. It has some fantastic lead work courtesy of André Olbrich and the vocals by Hansi Kürsch showcase why he is one of the top vocalist in the genre. “Blood of the Elves” and “Destiny” finish off the album with the latter being especially great. It contains many twists and turns and packs quite a punch for only being slightly under 7 minutes.
Well, there you have it, another great BLIND GUARDIAN record and one that should be in any metal fan’s collection. As mentioned earlier, “At the Edge of Time” will always hold a special place in my heart but I can guarantee you that “The God Machine” is right up there and will spend a lot of time on my playlist for months to come. For those of you who haven’t jumped on the BLIND GUARDIAN train just yet, you should do yourselves a favor and start with this disk. I know the year is still not over but “The God Machine” will definitely be in my top 10 of 2022.