Blind Guardian formed as a speed metal and power metal band in the mid-1980s in Krefeld, West Germany. Ten musicians have been a part of the band's line-up in its history, but since 2005 has consisted of vocalist Hansi Kürsch, lead guitarist André Olbrich, rhythm guitarist Marcus Siepen, and drummer Frederik Ehmke. Barend Courbois is the band's new bassist. Kürsch and Olbrich compose the music, with Kürsch's lyrics frequently inspired by fantasy fiction authors, traditional legends and epics. As such, fans see the band members as travelling storytellers and have nicknamed Blind Guardian "The Bards." Blind Guardian released its 10th studio album, and the first in five years, Beyond the Red Mirror, on January 30, 2015.
Although Blind Guardian has existed for some 30 years, the current 22-date tour is only the band's fourth tour of North America. At Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom, Blind Guardian performed songs from all its albums except, curiously, A Night at the Opera. Throughout the set, the band's melodic metal featured solid use of Kürsch's expressive range and anthemic style of singing, Olbrich's stinging guitar work, and dense, epic musical arrangements. The use of European folk melodies deepened and helped authenticate the songs' fantasy-laden premise, and intricately-woven progressive metal arrangements brought muscle into the mix. The intense two-hour performance was recorded for a live album.
Visit Blind Guardian at www.blind-guardian.com.