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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait? I think so!
Well, it's been four years since Nightfall in Middle Earth was released, or to be more precise, three & a half. Those of you who loved Nightfall.. and were expecting an album of similar taste, be prepared for a change. A Night at the Opera, unlike some of Blind Guardian's previous albums, is heavy, fast, thumping, and... orchestral. It's a completely different side of...
Published on 25 July 2002 by arolas

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3.0 out of 5 stars Average album, containing some great material
Like many Blind Guardian albums, they tend to flatter to deceive, with the exception of the awesome Imaginations From The Other Side and their latest At The Edge Of Time.
From Nightfall onwards, most of their releases have been "quite good". What I mean is, that they all contain two or three superb tracks, with the remainder of the album being fairly average...
Published on 2 Oct 2011 by Metalstar


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait? I think so!, 25 July 2002
This review is from: Night at the Opera (Audio CD)
Well, it's been four years since Nightfall in Middle Earth was released, or to be more precise, three & a half. Those of you who loved Nightfall.. and were expecting an album of similar taste, be prepared for a change. A Night at the Opera, unlike some of Blind Guardian's previous albums, is heavy, fast, thumping, and... orchestral. It's a completely different side of Blind Guardian, and tracks such as The Soulforged show the contrast between this & some of their previous songs. Coincidentally, The Soulforged was a song that came about due to the fans, who voted for the lyrics of one song on the album to be about the Dragonlance series.
Hansi's voice is as powerful as ever, with his beautiful highs & lows, the guitar playing is still epic, the drumming close to perfection, and they remain, in my opinion, the best metal band since the late 80's. But it isn't all as heavy songs. The very last track, And Then There Was Silence, is better described as an epic journey rather than a piece of music. At just over 14 minutes long, it ranges many different sounds & types of music, and everything seems to have been arranged almost gracefully. Overall, this album is definetely worth a listen for any Blind Guardian fans. But then, if you're a Blind Guardian fan I didn't need to tell you that. For anyone reading this review, I urge you to download a few songs before buying the album. Listen to the sound clips provided by Amazon. I've always admired Blind Guardian to be a band that change the style of their music depending on what fits the lyrics. But regardless of the style of their music, if you like one Blind Guardian song, you will like them all. This type of music isn't world wide known. It's never been mainstream, and it's never been publicised to great extents. And yet it remains one of the most genuinely fantastic genres I've ever listened to. This is epic metal.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blind Guardian, 23 Dec 2004
By 
Ivellias (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Night at the Opera (Audio CD)
This is the first Blind Guardian album I heard, and was the one that made me go and buy all of their other albums.
The first thing I must say is that Hansi's voice is spectacular on this album. The multi tracked layers of his voice work really well and add an epic feel to this album.
In terms of songs, all of them are great, apart from tracks 4 and 6 which don't quite contend with the other tracks on this album.
Some people may feel that this album has been overproduced, but I think Blind Guardian are one of the only bands that this type of production actually works with. Each time you listen to this album you notice something new. The production really creates an epic feel, which after all is what power metal is all about.
This album shows what tremendous progress this band has made within the last 15 years or so. The intelligence of the songwriting and production has really developed and is the strongest in their whole career in my opinion.
Overall, if you're a newcomer to Blind Guardian, buy 'Imaginations from the other side' or 'Nightfall in Middle Earth' first, but buy this album second.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What can you say....., 24 Feb 2004
By 
Mr. D. Attwood (Worcs, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Night at the Opera (Audio CD)
Well, basically Blind Guardian have done it again. This is one of the best albums ever. Unlike NoME (one of their previous albums), its harder to get into and the melodies aren't as alluring. However you still can't beat blind guardian compared to any other progressive metal (or any metal at all in my opinion).
The album still has outstanding vocals and melodies, which is what you expect from blind guardian. I am fairly new to them really, and got into their music through a friend.
I would advise you to get Nightfall in Middle Earth before you get this album.
Also it is the intern version and you don't get a bonus track (mostly in other languages except the Jap version which has Harvest Of Sorry, which is a fairly good song. I bought their single And Then There Was Silence, my favourite song on this album just to get harvest of sorrow as the b-side track).
Blind Guardian have a high standard of music and have worked hard on the lyrics and rifts and melodies. Baically its just like all the others just a bit more with the lyrics on this album and the guitar solos aren't as prominent, yet they are all still good.
This is a great album! get it!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Ever Metal Albums, 21 Aug 2002
By 
Mr. J. P. Cooper "COOPJ" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Night at the Opera (Audio CD)
I was not sure what to expect when I first listened to this album. It was the first BG album I had ever heard. It does take some time to get into because of the detail given to each and every song. However after a few spins the quality of the album becomes apparent. It so overshadows any of the so called mainstream metal music or music in general. I now have the BG back catalogue and I agree it is different to their earlier albums which are all of an extremely high quality. I have to say though along with Imaginations... this is their best album. The album is so good there is no need to pick out individual songs. I would definately put this down as my album of 2002 already. It is such a shame, that in Britain it will be criminally ignored.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Reviews!, 18 Oct 2010
By 
This review is from: Night at the Opera (Audio CD)
Jeepers, what an album! The band had been around for a couple of decades and were one of the pioneers of European power metal. I had already been a fan of their big songs but personally felt that their albums, while always ambitious and mostly good, never held together as a single, powerful whole. For whatever reason though everything suddenly clicked and they produced the album of their careers and easily the best metal album of the year. To say it could well the best metal album of the decade would not be too far from fact. Yes it is ridiculous, with choirs, orchestras, huge songs, epic lyrics and over the top theatrical vocals, but it is also ridiculously better than anything else of the time. There is so much packed into each track that the creativity, ambition, and force here puts most other bands to shame. If you like metal, get it now. For fans of subtlety, you may want to hide.

`Precious Jerusalem' is based on the final days of Jesus, though like most of the songs here you will really have to study the lyrics sheet to fully appreciate/hear the lyrics thanks to the force and scope of the music. It blasts off the album in epic style with a multitude of drums building together while a thousand guitars and an army of Hansi clones sing at different levels. The song moves through many phases seamlessly, the best of which is the chorus (?) with the choir belting out the lyrics as if being tied to a Charyou Tree. This is an epic opener which sets the tone for the madness which follows.

`Battlefield' opens calmly enough sounding like the band of old with folksy guitars. It isn't long until all hell breaks loose again and the music and vocals blend together once again to create a glorious cacophony. There is so much overlapping here, so many ideas and melodies and voices clashing that you will notice something new on each listen. Based on the Song Of Hildebrandt it continues the band's trend of putting a spin on their favourite literature. Like many other songs here, just as you think it is going to end the song takes another twist and throws another few ideas at you.

`Under The Ice' opens with echoing guitars, one of the few peaceful guitar moments you will find on the album. Within a few seconds we get a number of chaotic riffs and overdubbed layers and we are off the crazy town again. This track at least seems to follow a simpler pattern with more discernible verses and choruses, and it is brilliant. One of the best tracks the band has written it is again packed full of melody, particularly the mammoth chorus, and there is emotion and force squeezed from every second. Lyrically this one is based on the Trojan War.

`Sadly Sings Destiny' is based around a character who had an indirect part in the death of Christ. It opens with a funky, distorted guitar riff while the other guitars, drums, and effects build effectively around it. Great vocals throughout, once again the focal point is another gargantuan chorus which is so overblown it may as well be a giant on earth reaching up and choking Heaven. By this point in the album you may well need to have a rest.

`The Maiden And The Minstrel Knight' thankfully slows things, another classic `round the camp-fire' style song from the band. It gives Hansi a chance to restrain his vocals, the chorus again has wonderful melody and it is full blown cheese given authenticity by the some of the forceful moments. Anyone who knows the band knows there will always be at least one track like this one any album, and again this is amongst their best. The rest of the band do blast in around halfway through to fit in with the rest of the album's style but this is mostly a laid back song with good playing and melodies.

`Wait For An Answer' gets things moving quickly again, starting in media res in typical Homer style. Everything here seems restrained until the first chorus booms out and we get the wonderful chorus of voices fulfilling the operatic nature of the album. There aren't as many great ideas and melodies here but it still all works well.

`Soulforged' is a more traditional BG song with tones of melodic guitars and strong vocals. Of course the operatic style is still there but not as prevalent as on every other track. Based on the Dragonlance series the lyrics are suitably fantastical and silly but thankfully the power of the music covers anything too bad.

`Age Of False Innocence' opens in a much softer manner with great vocals and soothing piano. The song gradually builds, almost dance like, until the thumping drums knock everything else out of the way. We get absurdly high vocals and yet another excellent chorus with great choir work. We get some more phases and shifts which work well and return us to the main chorus seamlessly.

`Punishment Divine' opens with a few effects before booming out at a hundred miles an hour. The song slows again before the vocals start with lyrics about Nietzche's insanity. The pace grows and slows throughout and while the chorus is massive again it doesn't have the melody of others. We get a nice solo in the middle to appease some who may complain that the guitars have been too squashed throughout the album.

`And Then There Was Silence' describes Cassandra's visions of the fall of Troy and clocks in at over 14 minutes to mimic the epic nature of both Homer and Virgil's poems. It was the only single from the album, a quite bizarre choice, but as a song it encapsulates the album as a whole- ridiculous, overblown, exquisite construction, melody overlapping melody, and a tonne of power and ambition. It is a difficult one to explain due to its scale, I don't love it as much as others seem to as none of the melodies are as powerful as the other good ones from the rest of the album, but it is clearly a work of infernal genius.

`Mies Dies Dolor' is a hidden track depending on where you got the album. A ballad which doesn't really fit with the tone and style of the album it is still a great song. With synth and acoustic guitars it is another `round the fire' song with nice verse and chorus parts.

That's how you make a metal album. Rarely before has a band created such a huge sound and one which isn't simply noise and solos, but one with great melodies and music, skilful playing, and thoughtful writing. It is true that the unprepared may not make it far past the first song, and it is a difficult album to listen to in one sitting (possibly as each individual track has an album's worth potential within) but listening to a few tracks and finding the nuances and the strengths is enough to make you certain that this is a masterpiece. This is one of the best albums of the decade and no metal fan should be without it. For non metal fans I would still recommend it as you won't have heard anything like it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Average album, containing some great material, 2 Oct 2011
This review is from: Night at the Opera (Audio CD)
Like many Blind Guardian albums, they tend to flatter to deceive, with the exception of the awesome Imaginations From The Other Side and their latest At The Edge Of Time.
From Nightfall onwards, most of their releases have been "quite good". What I mean is, that they all contain two or three superb tracks, with the remainder of the album being fairly average.
This is no different.
Out of eleven tracks, three are very good, "Battlefield", "The Maiden And The Minstrel Knight" and "The Soulforged", but the piece de resistance, is the almighty 13 minute epic, "And Then There Was Silence".
This track alone is worth purchasing the CD and to this day, having heard every single Blind Guardian song, this has to be my favourite.
Overall though, the rest of the album is average.
Difficult to mark this one, as they have some great songs as well.
I've put in a three, but more like a three and a half.
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5.0 out of 5 stars perfection, 15 Nov 2010
This review is from: Night at the Opera (Audio CD)
After getting into Blind guardian from hearing sacred worlds in Sacred 2 fallen angel, I didn't know where to start. This album is perfection Hansi's voice is amazing and this is a truly eclectic band.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let down, 3 Jan 2010
By 
Exodus Prime! (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Night at the Opera 1 (Audio CD)
After the amazing and inspired "Nightfall.." I wanted to love this album. Listened to it a few times, but only Under The Ice is worth it's salt. The rest of the album seems hookless, toothless and just a bit weak. Pah! Plus, that atrocious album cover hurts my eyes.

I think we're all better off pretending this never happened and fast forwarding to Twist In The myth, which quite frankly RULES!
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9 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BORING, MESSY AND OVERPRODUCED, 5 Aug 2002
By 
ihsan (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Night at the Opera (Audio CD)
Firstly, it must be said that Blind Guardian's last album, "Nightfall on Middle Earth," was one of the best I have ever heard. It saw them rise above the crowd of mediocre European bands with such quality of production, and interesting, memorable song-writing. That album was a 4 or maybe 5 star album, but their latest effort "Night at the Opera" is anything but that.
Blind Guardian are not Stratovarius, Nightwish, or Iron Maiden. Each one of those bands is so completely different that they can't be compared. There are two main problems with Blind Guardian on this album: the first is the vocals, and secondly the song-writing.
What first strikes you is the sheer number of the backing vocal layers - far too many and overpowering - which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but one of the main problems with this album is Hansi Kurch's extremely bad singing. He has only 2 modes on this CD - shouting and talking - he doesn't actually SING. Well, he does sing on the "bonus track" which somehow comes as a relief after the heavy vocal pounding you have to endure beforehand. But because of the lack of melodic singing, the layered vocal choruses throughout the CD sound more like a drunken, disordered, rowdy crowd (like that on the cover), rather than anything resembling ideal "Queen-like" layered vocals. All you get to hear is shouting vocals, vocals, and more vocals, and the entire album seems to have been an exercise in studio production for Hansi to cram as many vocal layers as he can into every sentence.
The vocals, in general, drown out the music - sometimes it's like a wall of sound, with the guitars and everything merging together and no distinction between instruments. The guitar work, it must be said, is extremely disappointing after the "Nightfall..." CD - there is no creativity or melody, and a tedious, annoying over-reliance on repetitive note-playing to back (or fight with) the vocalist.
The next major problem, and this is the most important, is the song-writing - there isn't a single well-written song on this CD, not a single song that is appealing enough to make you want to listen to it again. There's such a massive lack of melody on this CD that you wonder what the band was thinking when they wrote this stuff, with Biblical references dotted about here and there, and it's so incredible that this can happen after "Nightfall..." which was full of great melodies. Where has your melody gone, Blind Guardian? Most of the songs don't have a defining feature about them to distinguish them from the others, they are just not MEMORABLE.
The cover artwork and inside pages sum up this CD, it's a joke.
It's messy and boring, with no distinction between songs, badly written, poorly performed, and thoroughly deserving of a one-star rating (if not less). "Nightfall on Middle Earth" must have been, as some may have suspected, a one-off, as Blind Guardian seem to have lost the plot and abandoned their one-time winning formula.
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A Night at the Opera
A Night at the Opera by Blind Guardian (Audio CD - 2002)
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