Blind Guardian has a Gollum in their music studio.
Well, it sounds good, but I still have some issues. I miss the unique sound of Night at the Opera. Twist in the Myth was good and all, but the song selections from this album sound pretty similar. The great thing about their albums from 1992 until now is they all have a distinct sound. That song sounds very similar to a bunch of stuff from Twist in the Myth.
There's also the fact that part of the guitar riff of the speedier song they play is almost exactly the same as a riff out of This Will Never End, the first track on TITM.
Of course, after Night at the Opera Guardian got a shit ton of backlash from fans because 1) there are "too many guitar parts" so it doesn't sound as good live, and 2) it's too different from their earlier stuff. So as a result the album after they tried to fall in between. It still sounded good, but at the same time it felt as if they were held back. The fact that this sounds so similar only tells me that they really are being held back.
Let's face it, there are some bands that are just meant for live performances. Iron Maiden is a perfect example of this. The guys are how old and they still have how much energy up on stage? Blind Guardian...not so much. Their music is at its best coming off the CD, mp3 or, quite possibly, vinyl. Live shows are nice for the energy and comraderie, but their sound shouldn't be forced to change just so it can sound better live.
My favorite works by Blind Guardian will always be their stuff from Nightfall onward, but the biggest reason Night at the Opera is their best album to date is the simple fact that it's them composing what they want without worrying about fan reaction so much. Now they need to worry about songs sounding good live or sounding like their older stuff, and as a result their creativity is stifled.
If anything pisses me off about the metal culture, it's that there is an adolescent obsession with "being metal" that only limits the musical genre. Imagine if people grew up and start listening to not only Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and all these power metal bands, but Yes, Styx, Kansas and Boston as well. It would be epic!
But people need to grow up first.
Anyway, that's my rant. It's also too early to tell how the entire album will sound based off of this small clip. On the whole I'm excited, but that's because at this point Blind Guardian has to do a lot for me to not like something they'll do.