Blind Guardian - Fly - Nuclear Blast 2006
Running Time: 12:38
With the title track, Blind Guardian demonstrates their knack for taking the most non-Metal subject matter and turning it into a damn fine exercise in power/speed precision. The syncopated, stuttering chord pattern that begins "Fly" may confuse the diehard fans, but quickly enough, Hansi's vocals crank themselves to full screech, powered upwards by the Olbrich/Seipen duo. Bassist Oliver Holzwarth is reliable as ever, which is no small feat when keeping up with new skinsman Frederick Ehmke's versatility behind the kit, one moment kicking the double-bass like he was running from Captain Hook himself, the next laying back for a subtle percussive interlude in this tale of, yes, Peter Pan. "Skalds And Shadows" (from the upcoming album) makes an appearance here, but as a Jethro Tull / Uriah Heep acoustic love-in - think Tull's "Dun Ringill" intertwined with "Lady In Black" by the latter. Beautiful. Mercifully, Blind Guardian's choice of cover material has improved over the years, and transplanted them from the ridiculous '50s ("Mr. Sandman") and the misfire of '65's "Barbara Ann" square into the birth era of metal as we know it. "In A Gadda Da Vida" is as straightforward a version of this song as Blind Guardian could possibly pull off, and they do so with class and all the pomp they're known for. Kudos for leaving out the drum solo, guys.
Continuing with their tradition of releasing singles as preludes to a new full-length project, Blind Guardian yet again manages to make a three-song disc clocking in at just over ten minutes as worthy a purchase as A Twist In The Myth will surely be later this year.