Blind Guardian @ Sheperd’s Bush Empire, London 2010

If there is one thing to be learned tonight, it’s that power metal fans are incredibly passionate, once they have torn themselves away from one fantasy land to another this evening. It’s a soggy Sunday night, the tubes are appalling, yet Blind Guardian have an anaconda of a queue waiting to be warmed up by support act Steelwing. The Swedes managed to pick up quite a following after this year’s Bloodstock performance, and are sure to have converted many more, especially as Enforcer have pulled out tonight, leaving the newbies to showcase more of their melodies.

Despite such a magical reception at last year’s Bloodstock festival the German lords of power metal rarely ever come to the UK, causing a hell of a hype as they enter the stage. With an album recently released Blind Guardian plough through three new tracks like Aragorn in a storm, as well as an equally dreamy selection from their vast discography of blistering battles and creatures you’d only imagine to find in computer games galore. Tracks like ‘Fly’ exhibit the tight sound whilst fresh tunes like ‘Sacred Worlds’ present that Blind Guardian fans have already done their homework, singing along to every single word.

Whether you like it or not, there is no denying the genuine unity between band and crowd, frontman Hansi Kürsch wallows in the spot light, while a screen behind the band and hypnotises you into a fictional land, the setlist being the perfect soundtrack. It’s another visually and audibly pleasing gig from Blind Guardian showcasing the confidence and experience that the band should bring over to the UK more often.

Review by Lily Randall

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