Whether you like power metal or not, you have to respect Blind Guardian. This band is one of the greatest in the world when it comes to their genre, and no one will ever dispute that. While other bands have fallen apart and had to restructure themselves along the way, Blind Guardian has just been trucking along. And while some are unhappy with the band’s long breaks between album releases, others take pleasure in that reality, because it raises the level of appreciation when a new album does finally appear. Today, album number ten from the German legends tops our list. Enjoy!
Blind Guardian, Beyond the Red Mirror (Nuclear Blast)
Very few bands, if any, have ever thought to get their own vintage of wine released as a way to promote a new album. But put Blind Guardian on that list, because that’s exactly what they did. Not that they would need the promotion anyway – 2010’s At the End of Time debuted in the top 100 in fourteen different countries, and it peaked at #108 on the US charts. Red wine or no, Beyond the Red Mirror is most likely going to be the album that pushes Blind Guardian into the top 100 in the US.
Wolfheart, Winterborn (Spinefarm)
Mastermind of numerous projects, Tuomas Saukkonen is responsible for a multitude of bands like Before the Dawn, Black Sun Aeon, Dawn of Solace, and many others. However, you won’t be hearing from any of them again – after the release of Before the Dawn’s seventh album Rise of the Phoenix, Saukkonen decided to shut down all of his projects and focus on a singular entity. It would be a labor of love, one that would not take him away from the joy of creating music for any reason. And thus, Wolfheart was born. Ambitiously, Saukkonen plans to release a second Wolfheart album before the year is out, so if you enjoy Winterborn, then you might not have long to wait in order to get more.
Overcast, Only Death is Smiling (Bullet Tooth)
Before Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall turned the Massachusetts scene into a focal point of American metal, there was Overcast. The hardcore group featured members of those two bands and others during its career, before the members went their separate ways and started forming the legendary successors that would follow. Now, a decade and a half later, Overcast is releasing their entire back catalog (most of which is out of print by now) as one three-disc collection. Check this out to see where the scene first began and what influence the band would have on the future.