Tag Archives: thomen staunch

Blind Guardian’s Debut “Battalions Of Fear” Hits 30 Years (1988-2018)

Before I get started on this latest album anniversary or “music milestone” as we’ve been apt to refer to them, I must admit that way back in the days of 1988, I was NOT listening to the band Blind Guardian at all and the same applies for a lot of bands from this region of the world. We are still going to raise a goblet of our favorite drink in honor of the birthday of their debut album “Battalions Of Fear” which came out care of No Remorse Records on this very day thirty years ago. Fans of Blind Guardian who might have come on board over the last dozen years or so ago love them for the polished and exciting Power Metal that they are true masters of. Given my lack of overall background on the debut itself, I’ll be deferring readers to the official Wikipedia entry at the close

Having referenced the bands acumen as Power Metal leaders, it might surprise some of you to learn that this was not at all how the band started out. When you begin to give a listen to “Battalions Of Fear” you find instead a fast-paced, more Speed Metal meets Thrash Metal type of release. In 1988 I can honestly say that Blind Guardian had more in common with the likes of Metallica and Exodus or even Anvil in terms of how the drumming and frenzied riffs were being laid down. It was interesting to me for sure because in 1988 I was really focused on more of the US Metal, even though I did have a few bands from that side of the pond that I enjoyed quite a bit. “Majesty” rips you a new one while “Guardian Of The Blind” has some awesome layers to it and drumming that made me bang my head while I was composing this toast. Believe me that is not easy to do when you are trying to type. “Trial By The Archon” reminded me a lot of the vibe that early Iron Maiden had to them and perhaps this short instrumental number was designed to be an homage of the Brits. “Wizard’s Crown” continues the same vibe and there is a strong cohesion to the full release. The members of the band for the debut are of course singer Hansi Kursch who was also on bass at the time. Andre Olbrich was on lead guitar and Marcus Siepen on rhythm while Thomas “Thomen” Stauch played drums
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“Dreamland Manor” by Savage Circus

Artist: Savage Circus
Title: “Dreamland Manor”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 3/21/2006
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 8/10

The minute you begin to play the debut release by Savage Circus you will feel as though you are revisiting classic Blind Guardian music with some unreleased archives or even perhaps something by Demons & Wizards. In reality this is something new and exciting but due to the line up responsible the resultant confusion is possible. Formed by Thomen Staunch (previously of Blind Guardian) this new band takes a gamble by choosing to revisit the roots of the genre and as each track goes by you can tell that this was a smart bet to take. “Omen” felt returning to his classic style and sound would be accepted by the legions that also enjoy his work in Blind Guardian. Joining him in this endeavor would be two members of the Swedish band “Persuader” (Jens Carlsson, vocals & Emil Norberg, guitars) along with Piet Sielck from Iron Savior. From there the formula was simple for the band would be adept and accomplished in this style and easily able to handle the framework of the material. Quick time changes and intricate yet powerful melodies are par for the course on this album that will appeal to Blind Guardian fans very much. As a matter of fact you will be impressed at how much Jens pulls off a Hansi like vocal style all around the record. Being able to handle vocals of this style just goes to show the level of performer that Jens is. It also makes me feel we can count on some Blind Guardian to be performed when the band tours. Perhaps a little “Persuader” or “Iron Savior” can be counted on as well, and if you have not heard these two bands you should look into them. Savage Circus takes a little from each and makes it something special for music fans.
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