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Стиль: Speed / Power / Heavy Metal
Год образования: 1986
Страна: Germany
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Биография группы

BLIND GUARDIAN, probably more so than any other German act, epitomise the very essence of 'Teutonic Metal'. Despite being an extremely powerful Heavy Metal band and gaining massive success in their native Germany, the reputation of BLIND GUARDIAN unfortunately mean little in the English speaking countries. Beginning life as LUCIFER'S HERITAGE (releasing a demo under that name in 1986) the then self-managed group evolved into BLIND GUARDIAN and signed to No Remorse Records for the release of the 'Battalions Of Fear' album in 1988. The opening track from that record, 'Majesty', remains a live favourite to this day.

Produced by Kalle Trapp at Karo Studios in M?nster, 'Battalions Of Fear' served the group well, selling 10,000 copies and found the group supporting it on tour with GRINDER. The sophomore album, 'Follow The Blind' (also produced by Trapp) saw the group experimenting with orchestral passages and a strange choice of a cover song in the form of the BEACH BOYS' 'Barbara Ann' (!), although the record also included a cover of DEMON's 'Don't Break The Circle'. Kai Hansen, latterly of GAMMA RAY fame guests on vocals and guitar parts on the tracks 'Hall Of The King' and 'Valhalla'.

'Follow The Blind' not only improved the group's standing in their native Germany but also led to heavy interest in Japan and enabled them to negotiate a Japanese deal. Oddly, despite the success of the records BLIND GUARDIAN's live appearances were rather sporadic. Instead the band remained content at improving their musical prowess in the studio, evolving from a Speed Metal outfit to one that combined many different Metallic styles and arrangements as well as lyrics often inspired by the work of Stephen King or J.R.R. Tolkien.

1990's 'Tales From The Twilight World' was the first album to highlight the improved standards and promptly sold over 30, 000 copies in Germany and was also a big hit in Japan. The album found Kalle Trapp still producing and featured another guest showing from Kai Hansen.

In 1991 the band finally toured again, in this instance with ICED EARTH. They also appeared at the Rock Hard Festival the same year. By this time BLIND GUARDIAN had plans to produce their own demo material and work began on the building of the group's own studio. They also split from No Remorse and signed to Virgin Records.
1992's 'Somewhere Far Beyond' (once more featuring the work of Trapp and Hansen!) was a conceptual album and witnessed further experimentation with bagpipes making a debut showing on a BLIND GUARDIAN record! The CD version featured the addition of a cover of QUEEN's 'Spread Your Wings' and SATAN's 'Trial By Fire'. The album sold 130, 000 copies and enabled BLIND GUARDIAN to tour once more with ICED EARTH and another showing at the Rock Hard Festival.
In 1993 BLIND GUARDIAN visited Japan for the first time, recording the 'Tokyo Tale' live album whilst over there in the Far East. The group were reported to have played to an average of 2,500 people at each gig and sold 175, 000 DM's worth of merchandising! Upon their return to Germany the quartet set to work on a new album and wound up working at Sweet Silence in Denmark with producer Flemming Rasmussen. 'Imaginations From The Other Side' took eight months to complete and saw PRETTY MAIDS' Ronnie Atkins guesting on backing vocals. The album would, upon release, sell more than 220,000 copies worldwide and open up markets in southern Europe, South Korea and Thailand.

At this point the group engaged MANOWAR manager Tom Miller to handle their affairs as they toured Germany in 1995 (with NEVERMORE opening) and travelled to Japan and Thailand (playing Bangkok in front of 7'100 people). The band rounding off the year headlining the Christmas Metal Meeting over SAXON, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, RAGE, SKYCLAD and LOVE/HATE.

'The Forgotten Tales', more or less a 'Best Of…' package, also contained such delights as covers of the 50s chestnut 'Mr Sandman', the BEACHBOYS' 'Surfin' USA', URIAH HEEP's 'The Wizard' and MIKE OLDFIELD's 'To France'. Other highlights included an orchestral version of 'Theatre Of Pain' and a live rendition of 'The Bard Song - In The Forest' which the crowd sings rather than the band! This latter track is said to have been included to illustrate the strong bond that has grown between BLIND GUARDIAN and their fan following from the release of the debut.

BLIND GUARDIAN honoured British Metal institution JUDAS PRIEST by including their version of 'Beyond The Realms Of Death' on the Century Media JUDAS PRIEST tribute albums 'Legends Of Metal.
The quartet headlined the 1996 'Bang Your Head' festival in Southern Germany on a bill including GLENMORE, TOKYO BLADE and SAVAGE before starting work on a new album. K?rsch also found time to guest on Argentinean band NEPAL's ''Manifiesto' album.

The 1998 album 'Nightfall In Middle Earth' was a Rock first being recorded on a massive120 channel mixing desk. Once again Tolkein themes abounded. For touring the band drafted former SIEGES EVEN bassist Oliver Holzwarth.

K?rsch allied himself with guitarist Jon Schaffer from American Metal band ICED EARTH in 1999 to create the hugely popular DEMONS & WIZARDS. The resulting self-titled album, sounding not too dissimilar to BLIND GUARDIAN, scored a number one record in Greece. Holzwarth would also accompany K?rsch and Schaffer on tour with DEMONS & WIZARDS. On the BLIND GUARDIAN front a massive fan campaign was launched in order to persuade the makers of the epic 'Lord Of The Rings' trilogy of movies to use the band's music for the soundtrack. Although highly publicised, this campaign failed.

BLIND GUARDIAN announced a return to action in December of 2001 with the epic 14 minute single 'And There Was Silence'. The CD single, the first ever released on the Century Media label, also included the rare outtake 'Harvest of Sorrow' recorded during the 'Nightfall In Middle-Earth' sessions. The accompanying album 'A Night At The Opera' would reap an impressive tally of European chart placings going top five in Germany and grabbing the no. 1 position in Greece for two weeks. The band would also be announced as headliners of the 2002 'Bloodstock' festival, BLIND GUARDIAN's debut UK appearance, as well as putting in their first North American appearance scheduled for the 'ProgPower' USA festival in Atlanta, Georgia during November. Although South American dates were also organised, scheduled shows in Argentina would be pulled due to the county's financial crisis.

The band's status in Europe was such that they ambitiously revealed plans for a full blown 'Blind Guardian' festival in Coburg, Germany during mid 2003. A supporting cast numbering artists such as A.O.K., BRAINSTORM, FREEDOM CALL, GRAVE DIGGER, MAGO DE OZ, METALIUM, RAGE, STORMHAMMER, TANKARD and WHITE SKULL would quickly be confirmed. The group planned to perform two completely different sets over two nights made up of tracks requested from their fans through their website.

With regular drummer Thomas Stauch suffering from a tendon infection BLIND GUARDIAN pulled in the services of RHAPSODY drummer Alex Holzwarth for Brazilian dates. For North American dates in November the band would hook up with SYMPHONY X. However, the San Francisco and San Diego dates on this jaunt would be cancelled when the band's bus broke down. With Stauch suffering a re-occurrence of his tendonitis problem Holzwarth would be back behind the kit for the European leg of the world tour.

Hansi K?rsch guested on the 2004 album from high profile Brazilian Prog-Metal band ANGRA. The band readied a DVD, 'Imaginations Through The Looking Glass', for issue in June with material mainly recorded at the June 2003 'Blind Guardian' festival. That September guitarist Marcus Siepen broke his leg badly in a skateboarding accident, this injury luckily falling in a p

eriod of down time for the band.
During early 2005 BLIND GUARDIAN drummer Thomen Stauch announced the formation of side project COLDSEED in collaboration with SOILWORK frontman Bj?rn Strid.

Участники группы Blind Guardian

Текущий состав:
Hansi Kursch. В группе с: 1986 - . Роль в группе: Vocals, Bass
Сторонние проекты: Demons & Wizards, Edguy, Therion, Angra, Rage, Gamma Ray
Andr? Olbrich. В группе с: 1986 - . Роль в группе: Guitars
Marcus Siepen. В группе с: 1987 - . Роль в группе: Guitars
Thomas Stauch (Thomen). В группе с: 1986 - . Роль в группе: Drums
Сторонние проекты: Iron Savior
Бывшие участники:
Kai Hansen (Гость). Роль в группе: Vocals, Guitars on Tales, Somewhere
Сторонние проекты: Gamma Ray, Helloween, Iron Savior, Avantasia, Heavenly, Stormwarrior, Heavenwood, Heavens Gate, Angra, Michael Kiske
Piet Sielck (Гость). Роль в группе: Vocals, Guitars on Tales, Somewhere, Imaginations
Сторонние проекты: Iron Savior, Heavenly, Helloween
Alex Holzwarth (Гость). Роль в группе: Drums on tour 2002, 2003
Сторонние проекты: Angra, Avantasia, Kamelot, Looking-Glass-Self, Paradox, Rhapsody, Sieges Even
Marcus Dork. Период: 1986 - 1986. Роль в группе: Guitars
Christoff Theissen. Период: 1986 - 1987. Роль в группе: Guitars
Hans-Peter Frey. Период: 1986 - 1987. Роль в группе: Drums
Mathias Wiesner (Гость). Роль в группе: Bass, Keyboards on On Tales, Somewhere, Imaginations, Nightfall
Rolfi Kohler (Гость). Роль в группе: Backing Vocals On Tales, Somewhere, Imaginations, Nightfall
Thomas Hackman (Hacky) (Гость). Роль в группе: Backing Vocals On Tales, Imaginations, Nightfall
Сторонние проекты: Genius
Kalle Trapp (Гость). Роль в группе: Backing Vocales on Tales, Somewhere
Billy King (Гость). Роль в группе: Backing Vocals on Somewhere, Imaginations, Nightfall
Stefan Will (Гость). Роль в группе: Piano, Backing Vocals on Somewhere
Peter Rubsam (Гость). Роль в группе: Scottish and Irish bagpipes, Backing Vocals on Somewhere
Jacob Moth (Гость). Роль в группе: Guitars on Imaginations, Forgotten Tales
Сторонние проекты: Blink, Fate
Ronnie Atkins (Гость). Роль в группе: Backing Vocals on Imaginations
Olaf Senkbeil (Гость). Роль в группе: Backing Vocals on Nightfall
Oliver Holzwarth (Гость). Роль в группе: Bass on Nightfall
Сторонние проекты: Sieges Even, Val`Paraiso
Michael Schuren (Гость). Роль в группе: Grand Piano, Drums on Nightfall, A Night
Max Zelzner (Гость). Роль в группе: Flures on Nightfall

Дискография

Demo: Lucifer`s Heritage (1985) Трэклист.
Demo: Symphonies of Doom (1985) Трэклист.
Состав: Hansi Kursch - vocals, bass, Andre Olbrich - guitar, Marcus Dork - guitar, Thomas Stauch - drums
Demo: Battalions of Fear (1986) Трэклист.
Состав: Hansi Kursch - vocals, bass, Andre Olbrich - guitar, Christoff Theissen - guitar, Hans-Peter Frey - drums
CD: Battalions of Fear (1988) Студия: Karo. Трэклист.
Состав: Hansi Kursch - Vocals, bass, Andre Olbrich - Guitars, Marcus Siepen - Guitars, Thomas Stauch - Drums
Комментарий: Virgin CD-release in 1992.
9 - CD Bonus.

Songs "Majesty", "By The Gates Of Moria" and "Gandalf's Rebirth" were inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord Of The Rings".
Song "Guardian Of The Blind" was inspired by Stephen King's "It".
Song "Run For The Night" was inspired by Antonin Dvorak
Promo: Banish From Sanctuary (1989) Трэклист.
Live Promo: Live promo (1989) Трэклист.
CD: Follow the Blind (1989) Студия: Karo. Трэклист.
Состав: Hansi Kursch - Vocals, bass, Andre Olbrich - Guitars, Marcus Siepen - Guitars, Thomas Stauch - Drums, Kai Hansen - Vocals
Комментарий: Virgin CD-release in 1992.
9 - CD Bonus.
Promo: Tales From The Twilight World (1990) Трэклист.
Demo: 1990 (1990) Трэклист.
CD: Tales From the Twilight World (1990) Студия: Karo. Трэклист.
Комментарий: Guest Musicians: Piet Sielck, Mathias Wiesner, Rolfi Kohler, "Hacky" Hackmann, Kalle Trapp, Kai Hansen.
Demo: 1991 (1991) Трэклист.
Комментарий: It's 5 songs, which would be on "Somewhere
Far Beyond", but with slight differences.
CD: Somewhere Far Beyond (1992) Студия: Karo. Трэклист.
Комментарий: The last three tracks are only included on the CD.
Guest Musicians: Piet Sielck, Mathias Wiesner, Rolfi Kohler, Billy King, Kalle Trapp, Stefan Will, Peter Rubsam, Kai Hansen.
Live CD: Tokyo Tales (1993) Студия: Karo. Трэклист.
Комментарий: Recorded: Koseinenkin Hall (4th Dec), NHK Hall (6th Dec) in Tokyo, 1992. Mixed at Karo Studio Brackel/Hamburg in Jan 1993.
Single: Bright Eyes (1995) Трэклист.
Комментарий: Released in Japan instead of the "Mr. Sandman" single, it has a bit different tracklisting.
Single: A Past and Future Secret (1995) Трэклист.
Состав: Hansi Kursch - Vocals, bass, Andr? Olbrich - Guitar, Marcus Siepen - Guitar, Thomas Stauch - Drums
CD: Imaginations From the Other Side (1995) Студия: Sweet Silence. Трэклист.
Состав: Hansi Kursch - Vocals, bass, Andre Olbrich - Guitars, Marcus Siepen - Guitars, Thomas Stauch - Drums
Комментарий: Japanese release by Victor Entertainment (VICP-5519) includes two bonus tracks.
Promo: Blind Guardian Plays Beach Boys (1996) Трэклист.
Комментарий: Cardsleeve CD single. For promotion only.
Single: Mr. Sandman (1996) Трэклист.
Compilation: The Forgotten Tales (1996) Студия: Sweet Silence. Трэклист.
Single: Mirror Mirror (1998) Трэклист.
Состав: Hansi Kursch - Vocals, Andr? Olbrich - Guitar, Marcus Siepen - Guitar, Thomas Stauch - Drums, Oliver Holzwarth - Bass
CD: Nightfall in Middle-Earth (1998) Студия: Twilight Hall/Karo/Sweet Silence. Трэклист.
Комментарий: The Choir Company: Billy King, Rolf K?hler, Thomas Hackmann and Olaf Senkbeil.

Guest Musicians: Oliver Holzwarth (bass guitar & fretless bass), Mathias Wiesner (keyboards & orchestral effects), Michael Sch?ren (grand piano), Max Zelzner (flute & alto- flute).

Japanese release by Victor Entertainment (VICP-60295) includes two bonus tracks.
Single: And Then There Was Silence (2001) Трэклист.
Состав: Hansi Kursch - Vocals, Andr? Olbrich - Guitar, Marcus Siepen - Guitar, Thomas Stauch - Drums, Oliver Holzwarth - Bass
CD: A Night at the Opera (2002) Студия: Twilight Hall/Hammer Music. Трэклист.
Комментарий: The Choir Company: Billy King, Rolf K?hler, Thomas Hackmann and OlafSenkbeil

Guest Musicians:
Oliver Holzwarth (bass guitars)
Mathias Wiesner (keyboards & orchestral stuff)
Michael Sch?ren (piano on Age of False Innocence)
Pad Bender, Boris Schmidt and Sascha Pierro at Neuton Musik (Keyboards and sound effects)


There are different versions of the album with a bonus track of Harvest of Sorrow. This song has 6 different versions, as follows:
2 in english
2 in spanish
1 in italian
1 in french
Live CD: Live (2003) Студия: Twilight Hall. Трэклист.
Комментарий: There is a limited (2000) picture-LP version which features for version of The Bard`s Song (In The Forest): new studio version, live in Milano, live in Munich, live in Madrid.
Single: The Bard`s Song (In The Forest) (2003) Студия: Twilight Hall. Трэклист.
DVD: Imaginations Through The Looking Glass (2004) Трэклист.
Комментарий: Double DVD in Deluxe digipak with booklet.
Disc 1 contains listed tracklist.
Disc 2 contains:

- Interview with BLIND GUARDIAN
- Backstage Scenes of the "A Night At The Opera Tour 2002"
- The making of "The Blind Guardian Festival Coburg 2003"
- Slideshow

Bonus songs:
01. Majesty (Wacken 2002)
02. Into The Storm (Stuttgart 2002)
03. Welcome to Dying (Stuttgart 2002)
04. Lost in the Twilight Hall (Stuttgart 2002)


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