Blind Guardian releases first studio album in 7 years


After seven long years, Blind Guardian has released their newest studio album. After this wait, I can definitely say it was worth it. Previously, Blind Guardian was a pioneer of the power metal subgenre, and for over 30 years, they’ve been releasing music to high reviews from critics.

With nine songs and the longest being only seven minutes, The God Machine is Blind Guardian’s shortest studio album yet. However, this album has the privilege of having every song stand out on its own and be amazing in its own right. Not to mention, the album art is one of the best I’ve seen in a while (it’s so good that I got a hoodie of it before the album even came out, as seen in the thumbnail).

The first song on the album is “Deliver us from Evil”, with lyrics based on “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller (most songs in this album take inspiration from other media). The song sets off the eerie tone for the rest of the album pretty well. The song also feels like a combination of old Blind Guardian and its newer work, and as someone who likes both, it gave me nothing but anticipation for the rest of the album.

“Damnation” is a pretty good follow-up, and I’m a little obsessed with the slow intro that transitions into a faster beat. Still, it doesn’t measure up to the other highs of the album.

If I had to choose my least favorite song from the album, I would say “Secrets of the American Gods.” The ambience at the beginning of the song feels out of place with the rest of the album, but it’s not bad whatsoever. “Violent Shadows” is also another mediocre song, but the fast tempo and riffs makes it more interesting than the previous song. 

“Life Beyond the Spheres” highlights the high production value of this album. The slow yet intense riffs are captivating enough on their own, but the highlight of this song is definitely Kürsch’s vocals . His range is well represented in this song, making this one of the best on the album.

“Architects of Doom” is a weird song if the intro is anything to go by, as the non-distorted guitar threw me off due to how contrasted it was to the rest of the song. However, I can’t deny that the energetic rhythm with a soothing chorus makes it exciting to listen to. “Let It Be No More” follows it, and it’s by far the most emotional of the album. The high production and vocals make it a stellar track. Despite sounding depressing, it doesn’t give up the eeriness the rest of the album has revolved around. 

The lyrics of “Blood of the Elves” is based on the first book of the Witcher series, even sharing the same title. While I’ve never read the books, watched the Netflix series, or played the games, I hope they’re as good as this song. The high tempo and piercing vocals kept me engaged from the beginning to end. I feel like I have no choice but to make this song my favorite of the album.

“Destiny” wraps up the album, and honestly, it feels like a weird note to leave off of. The song has a creepy vibe to it, which makes it interesting, but it doesn’t have the strong emotional impact some of the others did. I feel like if it did, it would have made an even better impression of the album as a whole, but at this point, I’m just trying to find something to complain about.

Metal isn’t the most mainstream music genre out there, but if you’re even slightly interested in the genre, you have to listen to this album. Blind Guardian is one of the founders of the power metal subgenre too (characterized by the focus on melodics more than other subgenres along with the frequent inclusion of keyboards), and there’s no better introduction to the genre than here.