REVIEW: Blind Guardian at Kool Haus

by Bill Whish

December 1, 2010






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Photo courtesy of Adam Wills /

Take a thousand metal fans and place them in the same room to belt out songs about The Lord of the Rings, dragons and other fantastically nerdy topics. The outcome is your typical set by German power metal legends Blind Guardian, who are undoubtedly one of metal’s most unifying bands – and guiltiest pleasures.

Blind Guardian returned to Toronto for the first time in several years this past weekend and were welcomed back with enthusiasm in the form of fist-pumping, hair-whipping, and unrepentant chanting along to their catalogue of stupidly catchy songs.

Along for the ride was Seven Kingdoms, a power metal band from Florida. Although appearing quite green, they were fortunate enough to be the right fit for most of the audience, as their female-fronted brand of power metal was well received.

What Seven Kingdoms lacked in stage presence was sucked up and spit out by Holy Grail. The California thrashers were electric on stage and almost wore the audience out via the sheer energy of their high speed harmonic attack. They are surely a band to check out if they have a longer set time.

By the time Blind Guardian arrived, it was clear that most of the crowd had reserves of energy stored up that had been saved to welcome the Germans. Starting off with a mid-paced and progressive epic “Sacred Worlds” was a little disheartening, as one of their speedier tracks may have resulted in a better opener. This was remedied by segueing right into their classic scorcher, “Welcome to Dying”.

As the band threw out traditional set list staples (“Born In A Mourning Hall”) and more recent songs (“Fly”) it became obvious that vocalist Hansi Kursch doesn’t hit every high note that we are treated to on the album tracks. This was initially a bit disappointing, but when you realize that he’s got to keep his voice controlled for over 90 minutes and still be able to deliver by the end, all is forgiven. This fact is even made all the more better when 90% of the audience knows 100% of the words to every song, so Hansi always has plenty of help.

Aside from album opener “Sacred Worlds”, Blind Guardian threw 2 other songs into their set from their latest release, “At The Edge of Time” (“Wheel of Time” and “Voice In The Dark” being the others), and then mostly stuck to the safety of their back catalogue. While some of the older material, such as “Time Stands Still” was welcomed with open arms (and full volume voice) by the audience, it was their late-set classic songs that got the best response. From the slower (“Lord of the Rings”, “The Bard’s Song – In the Forest”) to the everlasting chorus of the biggest crowd-pleaser, “Valhalla”, Blind Guardian delivered what the audience had been screaming for all night. By the time the inevitable closer “Mirror Mirror” was done, the Kool Haus was awash in smiles and hoarse voices from metal fans of all corners of the genre. Barely a single one of them left wondering why Blind Guardian is such a guilty-pleasure, nor unsatisfied by their thunderous performance.


1) Sacred Worlds

2) Welcome To Dying

3) Born In A Mourning Hall

4) Nightfall

5) Fly

6) Time Stands Still (at the Iron Hill)

7) Mordred’s Song

8) Lost In Twilight Hall

9) Lord Of The Rings

10) A Voice In The Dark

11) And Then There Was Silence

12) Wheel Of Time

13) The Bard’s Song – In The Forest

14) Valhalla

15) Mirror Mirror

Tags: Music, News, blind guardian






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