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Van Canto - Break The Silence
Van Canto - Break The Silence

Three years ago, Hero, the second album from the "A Cappella Metal" German band, was really noticed by fans of Blind Guardian because it contained a cover of "The Bard's Song (In The Forest)" and Hansi sang the song "Take To The Sky".

It's now Marcus who appears on one of their albums, Break The Silence, on a song called "Spelled In Waters". This album will be released on September 23rd via Nuclear Blast (Pre-order Break The Silence).

Here is the complete tracklist:

  1. If I Die In Battle
  2. The Seller Of Souls
  3. Primo Victoria (feat. Joakim Broden / Sabaton / Sabaton Cover)
  4. Dangers In My Head
  5. Black Wings Of Hate
  6. Bed Of Nails (Alice Cooper Cover)
  7. Spelled In Waters (feat. Marcus Siepen / Blind Guardian)
  8. Neuer Wind
  9. The Higher Flight
  10. Master Of The Wind (Manowar Cover)
  11. Betrayed (Bonus Track)
  12. Bad To The Bone (Bonus Track / Running Wild Cover)
  13. A Storm To Come (Bonus Track)

Concerning the tour now, the shows planned at Montevideo in Uruguay and Lima in Peru are cancelled. One date in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil is added and replaces the one of Montevideo (September 4th).


You couldn't go to Wacken Open Air this year? Not a big deal, it's Wacken which will come to you!

The German site ndr.de will broadcast this Tuesday, August 9th the best shows of the Wacken Open Air 2011! You can choose between Avantasia, Airborne and Apocalyptica but especially Blind Guardian! Our Bards will be broadcast from 21:30 to 23:00 (German time), don't miss it!

Check the website of ndr.de to enjoy the show: http://www.ndr.de/unterhaltung/musik_konzerte/wacken/wackenlivestream101.html


Why Markus Heitz?

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On August 10th, 2011

Markus Heitz
Markus Heitz

Recently we learned that the group had finally chosen a German author named Markus Heitz and his book series "Legends Of The Albae" (The orchestral project concept!) as concept for the upcoming orchestral album. Until then, the original concept was to be "Lord of the Rings" so fans should ask themselves one question: why Markus Heitz? Hansi gives us the reason for this choice in an interview conducted by the Chilean PowerMetal.cl site.

This was our first idea to do a project based on Tolkien's "Lord Of The Rings", because when we started we were working on Nightfall In Middle Earth, which was heavily influenced by Tolkien's literature, and at that time we came up with two or three songs for this project, so everything speaks a very strong Tolkien language. But on the last seven or eight years, we put our minds backwards and forwards ... what would be the best direction to go for in terms of the concept. At points, we decided that it would be best to go for individual topics, then we decided that it would be best if I come up with an original written by me story, and then, I finally decided that that might be too difficult for me. At that point, we already knew that it would be too difficult to get the rights for such a big project and using anything from the "Lord Of The Rings" literature. So, at that point we knew how the music would sound like, but that it would be too difficult to work with either Tolkien's stuff or stuff written by myself. At the very end, we sort of tried to find a compromise and since Markus Heitz is an author able to deliver stories which have that Tolkien universe attitude, he was the best choice for us, because we work with a German author. So storyboard-wise and ideology-wise, it's very easy to make business and become creative with him at the same time.

I think that the challenge for the orchestral project is still more difficult than Nightfall In Middle-Earth, because at a certain point we had a sort of guideline, from the very early beginning of composing of the album, and we knew which parts of the book to involve or not. It was more a difficult question which exact parts to choose, but after reading these words of The Silmarillion backwards and forwards, it turned up to be very obvious, even though it still was difficult because there was so much content even in that particular small part of "Of The Flight Of The Noldor", where we just were able to cut halfway. If we kept the second half, or the late half, it would be never be released! With Markus, we have the privilege of designing the story suitable for the music as well. That makes it a little easier and gives us a little more headroom with the lyrical issues of the songs. But for Markus, the work might become more difficult because he has to interact with our music as well. And for me, at the very end, it becomes difficult when I have to work with narrative parts and pay justice, pay tribute to his judgment.

To describe the music of this album easily, I would say: just listen to pieces of "Wheel Of Time" or "Sacred Worlds" and you'll make out an idea, but, of course, there is even a more skillful way of featuring an orchestra on these songs, but the atmospheres are very close, and maybe you'll have to add a little bit more of the Tolkien-ish universe into it, it that is possible in terms of music. Apart from that, I still think that these two songs are a very good [representation] of what to expect, apart from, you know, there's no heavy guitars and no gigantic backing vocals choirs, but more intimate singing and yeah, bombastic orchestrals and then orchestral choirs, of course. So if you're into that particular kind of music, the grandeur will be revealed very soon.


Remember April, following the tsunami that struck Japan, EMI Music launched a program to help out victims (Some news ...). The group was offered an exclusive meeting for two in their own studio to re-record "The Bard's Song (In The Forest)".

David McGregor and Martin Machado are the winners of this auction and they have purchased this unique experience for 1,317.42 € ($1,876.54) and this is the last month they were welcomed by the group in the famous Twilight Hall Studios.

During the session McGregor directed the members of Blind Guardian, giving them exact instructions on how the new version of this 19-year classic should sound. In addition, the fans sang along and laid down the bass parts on the song.

Video footage of the studio session can now be seen below (courtesy of the German edition of Metal Hammer magazine):


There have been some changes regarding tour dates. The good news is that Blind Guardian will be playing Caracas, Venezuela on September 15th and a second show has been added in Melbourne, Australia on October 3rd. Also note the new venue for the São Luís, Brazil show is Batuque Brasil. And in bad news for the Bolivian fans; the show in La Paz has been canceled.

André and Marcus will have a meet & greet session on Friday, August 19th from 15:00 to 17:00 at the dtp Entertainment booth (hall 8.1, booth 030) at the Cologne Gamescom 2011. Stop by and say "hi" or maybe even "Guten Tag" ;-)

Additional information in German can be found on Nuclear Blast website.


Hansi told us about the bonus content of At The Edge Of Time:

A long, long time ago we promised additional material for the ones who bought the digipak version of At The Edge Of Time. As usual, things take far longer than expected, but at the very end, we keep our promise. This is just another perfect example. Enjoy our alternate mixing ideas for "Curse My Name" and "Wheel Of Time." One appears a little heavier, the other a little more "Riverdance-ish." :-) Enjoy music, enjoy life.

Check your digipak for access codes and more information about how to access the bonus material on the interactivearea platform.


Metalfest Open Airs 2012

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On September 01st, 2011

First announcement for the 2012 tour of the band and this is an awesome announcement ! Blind Guardian has confirmed his venue to Metalfest 2012 to be held in nine locations spread over eight countries! In other words, this is one of the biggest events of the next summer.

The group will be present on eight of the nine festivals which here are the details:

  • May 31 - June 2, 2012 - Mining, Metalfest Austria
  • June 1 - June 3, 2012 - Jaworzno, Metalfest Poland
  • June 3 - June 5, 2012 - Zadar, Metalfest Croatia
  • June 5 - June 7, 2012 - Milan, Metalfest Italy
  • June 7 - June 9, 2012 - Loreley, Metalfest Germany/West
  • June 7 - June 10, 2012 - Pratteln, Metalfest Switzerland
  • June 9 - June 10, 2012 - Plzen, Metalfest Czech Republic

The Bards will be alongside bands like Kreator, Ensiferum, Hypocrisy, etc ... Feel free to visit the festival website for more details!

Note that the dates of 8 and 30 September have changed! See the tour page for more details.


The Cursed Crusade

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On September 02nd, 2011

Marcus and André are probably the two most geek guitarists in the world of metal! Their presence at the Gamescon Cologne last August wasn't trivial because they attended the launch of a medieval action video game called The Cursed Crusade and produced by dtp Entertainment.

An easter egg will be hidden in this game? Only those who get it from September 16 will answer!


Marcus Siepen will join Sinbreed

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On September 11th, 2011

Marcus Siepen will join Frederik in Sinbreed on second guitar for the following shows:

  • October 22 - GMZ - Wiesbaden, Germany
  • November 04 - Brainstorm Festival - Holland, Apeldoorn

Sinbreed's brand of power metal is described as a blistering combination of speed, melodic and aggressive arrangements combined with high and soaring vocals. For more informations, check the official website: www.sinbreed.com

And for an overview of the band's music, the video of Dust To Dust:


Tons of random interviews and reviews!

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On September 17th, 2011

The Latin America tour is half over and tons of links to interviews and reviews done before the Latin America tour have piled up. There is something for everyone below. Have fun.

Kelly Pratt from Metal Tome: Gateway to Shred sent us a link to a review of the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise including some Blind Guardian photos and videos. Metal-Experience.com also posted some nice photos from the cruise HERE. Blind Guardian can be seen on page 2 and 3.

Music Photocalypse has posted a nice photo gallery from the Guardian gig at the Metalcamp festival. The Metalcamp people also had an online chat with Hansi.

Our friends at Metal Hammer Germany have posted a photo gallery from the Tollwood Festival in Munich on June 24, 2011.

Criss from Metal from Finland caught up with Hansi backstage at the Tuska Open Air in the following interview:

Hansi and Marcus discuss the forthcoming orchestral project in a video interview filmed at the 2011 Wacken Open Air. Yet more orchestral project details are discussed in an audio interview conducted by Jorge Ciudad of Chile's PowerMetal.cl. Patty's Pit conducted an interview with Marcus.

The NDR cameras caught Hansi and André backstage at the Wacken Open Air. The guys at bonedo: Das Musikportal featured Marcus and Frederik in there Wacken review (fast forward to around the 12 minute mark).


An album "Best-Of" for 2012

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On September 26th, 2011

The idea had been brought up a few months ago, when Hansi had chatted with fans of the band on Metalcamp website (Some news of the orchestral project!) But it seems it's confirmed: a "Best-Of" should be released next year via EMI (the record company who had already published the "Remasters" in 2007).

Marcus tells us more: "We did some re-recordings of some of our old stuff for that, we didn't want to just release an ordinary "best of" album that any band would. So there's a lot of work to be done.". It will be an opportunity to discover another aspect of some songs of the group.


Rock am Härtsfeldsee 2012

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On October 01st, 2011

The 2011 tour isn't finished that the one of 2012 is already busy for the month of June! After the big announcement of the Metalfest (Metalfest 2012) it's a new festival in Germany which is planned for the group: the Rock am Härtsfeldsee!

This one will be held on 29 and 30 June 2012 in Dischingen and Blind Guardian will be headlining, of course.

The tour page will be updated when the precise date of the concert will be announce. The same goes for those of Metalfest.


Rockharz Open Air 2012

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On October 05th, 2011

And the series of summer festivals for 2012 continues! That's for the Rockharz Open Air to be held from July 12 to 14 at Ballenstedt, Germany that Blind Guardian has confirmed its coming as headliner.

If the group has made no festival this year, we can't say that this is the case for 2012 because this is the ninth's date scheduled.

All necessary information will be added on the tour page when they'll be available!

For the rest, visit the festival website: www.rockharz-festival.com.


Sweden Rock Cruise 2012

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On October 06th, 2011

We must believe that our Bards enjoyed their cruise to the Caribbean earlier this year and they really liked the concept of playing on the water because they will renew it next year! Certainly not in the hot waters of the Caribbean Sea but in these colder of the Baltic this time.

So, it's on the Tallink Silja Galaxy that the group will participate to the Sweden Rock Cruise. The cruise take place from 29th to 30th March, 2012 from Stockholm to Turku in Finland and return to Stockholm.

Blind Guardian is the first of six groups participating in this cruise to be announced. More informations should be available soon on the festival website: www.swedenrockcruise.com


Memories Of A Time To Come

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On October 11th, 2011

Here is a strange title: "Memories Of A Time To Come", this is the first Best-Of album of the band!

Little information is available at the moment, the only thing we know is that it's scheduled for January 27, 2012 and it's already possible to pre-order it via the website of Nuclear Blast. A deluxe version containing 3 CDs is also available: Memories Of A Time To Come - Deluxe Edition; this third CD contains demos when the band was called Lucifer's Heritage. Apparently it isn't released via EMI Music as previously announced ...

We will keep you informed as soon as more news about it will fall!