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Friday, April 21: Blind Guardian, “Guardian of the Blind”

“Guardian of the Blind” epitomized the earliest material of one of Germany’s most beloved power metal institutions, presenting a group of thrash-happy misfits infatuated with J.R.R. Tolkien.  But while some things never change, Battalions of Fear’s second track bore little resemblance to Blind Guardian’s most famous work: the sheer frenzy of “Guardian of the Blind” would be jarring for anyone first introduced to the band via Imaginations from the Other Side, let alone Nightfall in Middle-Earth or At the Edge of Time.  Thomas “Thomen” Stauch’s drumming was pure mania, outpacing the rest of the band by several laps- no wonder Hansi Kϋrsch eventually hung up his bass to focus on singing, there was no way he could ever keep up.  The song captured Blind Guardian’s hunger and drive to outrace every other band in Germany, but none of the bombast and grandeur that would come to define the band as soon as their third album.