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Blind Guardian - "Fly" (CD/EP)

Blind Guardian - "Fly" CD/EP cover image

"Fly" track listing:

1. Fly
2. Skalds and Shadows (acoustic version)
3. In A Gadda Da Vida

Reviewed by on July 14, 2006

"they have both created a gem…as well increased the anticipation for the upcoming album"

Power metal stalwarts Blind Guardian decided to release a special edition CD single and preview of their upcoming full-length album to hold over fans until the much anticipated release of “A Twist In The Myth” this fall. In doing so, they have both created a gem in this CD-single as well increased the anticipation for the upcoming album.

The main single, “Fly,” is a simply a masterfully composed landscape of sounds and various Blind Guardian styles layered together in one track. “Fly” melds together all of the various sounds and techniques that comprise the band’s traditional power metal infused with even more technical prowess, and a dose of folk metal. In typical Blind Guardian fashion, they avoid much of the over-the-top cheesy power metal riffs, screams and lyrics. The single moves effectively from a sense of urgency to calm folky choruses punctuated by the occasional wailing and/or traditional power metal riff or solo.

The acoustic version of folk metal ballad, “Skalds and Shadows,” is a nice addition as well. While there is little that is “metal” about this track, I am a sucker for well-executed folk or medieval sounding music. “Skalds and Shadows” has a grand Tolkeinesque feel to it, while fitting in with Blind Guardian or Demons and Wizards’ sound easily. The emphasis that this is the acoustic version of the track implies that the version on the upcoming album will not be acoustic.

Blind Guardian’s cover of the venerable Iron Butterly single “In A Gadda Da Vida” does the classic song proud. The three and a half minute rendition is interesting in that it combines seemingly conflicting musical styles – doom and power metal. The song comes across as a struggle between the two at times, with power metal finally winning out in the end. After dozens of listens, I've concluded that this rendition even rivals Slayer’s take on the classic song.

Highs: A landscape of sound and some unique tracks for a CD-single

Lows: Production quality of the other tracks pales in comparison to that of single “Fly”

Bottom line: A nice treat to hold over Blind Guardian fans until "A Twist In The Myth" is released, and a must-have for obsessive collectors

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)