Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Blind Guardian - A Night at the Opera (2002)

Blind Guardian - A Night at the Opera (2002)

Tracklist front / back album covers

1. "Precious Jerusalem" 6:22

2. "Battlefield"   5:37

3. "Under the Ice"   5:44

4. "Sadly Sings Destiny"   6:04

5. "The Maiden and the Minstrel Knight"   5:30

6. "Wait for an Answer"   6:30

7. "The Soulforged"   5:18

8. "Age of False Innocence"   6:05

9. "Punishment Divine"   5:45

10. "And Then There Was Silence"   14:06

Bonus tracks

11. "Harvest of Sorrow (Acoustic Version)" (Japanese bonus)   3:39

12. "Mies del dolor" (Spain/North American bonus)   3:39

13. "La cosecha del dolor" (Argentine bonus)   3:39

14. "Frutto del buio" (Italian bonus)   3:39

15. "Moisson de peine" (French bonus)   3:39

2018 re-release bonus tracks

11. "Age of False Innocence (Preproduction Mix 2018)"   5:42

12. "Under the Ice (Preproduction Mix 2018)"   5:40

Lyrical references

The album features the concepts and themes familiar to Blind Guardian fans, such as historical battles and religious references.

"Precious Jerusalem" is based on the final days of Jesus of Nazareth and his temptation in the desert.

"Battlefield" is based on Song of Hildebrandt, an old German tale of a father and son who find themselves in a duel to the death.

"Under the Ice" has connections to the Iliad, focuses on Cassandra and what happened to her after the Trojan War, particularly from The Oresteia.

"Sadly Sings Destiny" is based on the religious aspect of the Messiah in the Old Testament, and tells of the crucifixion of Jesus from the point of view of a character who reluctantly helps fulfil the prophecy, by doing such things as building the cross and weaving the Crown of Thorns.

"The Maiden and the Minstrel Knight" is based on an episode from the story of Tristan und Isolde.

"The Soulforged" is based on the Dragonlance saga's tales of the mage Raistlin Majere.

"Age of False Innocence" is about Galileo Galilei.

"Punishment Divine" is about Nietzsche's decline into insanity where he imagines himself being judged by a court of saints.

"And Then There Was Silence" is about Cassandra's visions of the coming Trojan War. It was inspired by Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid.

"Harvest of Sorrow" is based on Tolkien's tragic story of Túrin Turambar, which appears in the Silmarillion.

Blind Guardian Band Members / Musicians

Hansi Kürsch – lead and backing vocals

André Olbrich – lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars

Marcus Siepen – rhythm guitar

Thomen Stauch – drums & percussion

Oliver Holzwarth – bass guitar

Mathias Wiesner – keyboards & orchestral arrangements

Michael Schüren – piano on "Age of False Innocence"

Pad Bender, Boris Schmidt & Sascha Pierro – keyboards and sound effects

Rolf Köhler, Thomas Hackmann, Olaf Senkbeil & Billy King – The Choir Company

Charlie Bauerfeind – production, mixing, recording

Nordin Hammadi Amrani – assistant engineer, additional recordings

Clemens von Witte – recordings (backing vocals)

Detlef – recordings (backing vocals)

Paul Raymond Gregory – cover painting

André Olbrich – front cover concept

Dennis "Sir" Kostroman – booklet design

Axel Jusseit – photos

A Night at the Opera is the 7th studio album by the German power metal band Blind Guardian, released in 2002. It is named after the 1975 Queen album of the same name, which is itself named after the Marx brothers film of the same name.

This album continues a stylistic change from power metal into a more progressive sound, with multiple overlaid vocals, choirs, orchestral keys and guitar leads and less emphasis on powerful guitar riffs and heavy rhythms. As a result, drummer Thomen Stauch would leave the group, citing dissatisfaction with the direction the group was going in.

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