This monumental album was in the writing stages for over two years and the band spent the better part of 2001 in the studio recording it. Featuring some of the most majestic and ambitious metal compositions ever recorded. Includes the bonus track 'Mies … see full wiki
Reams of time and energy were expended on putting _A Night at the Opera_ toghether, more so than is common for anything in the class of power metal. For the most part, it certainly shows. Blind Guardian's writing is so sophisticated that few bands match their acumen, and the attention afforded this release is certainly to their benefit.
At least for the most part. The production is perhaps the only nagging flaw in this otherwise pristine work of typical Blind Guardian awesomeness. I miss Flemming Rasmussen's unmatched production for _Imaginations from the Other Side_ and _Nightfall in Middle-Earth_. People like the rag the poor guy because he `butchered' Metallica's _...And Justice for All_ (allegedly), but Blind Guardian was never better served. Although there are vastly more vocals on display here, peaking with the 100+ vocal tracks on "And Then There Was Silence", Rasmussen's production still managed to give the massive choral onslaughts more `oomph.' When the choruses kick in on songs like "Into the Storm", "Script from My Requiem", or "Imaginations from the Other Side", it's like a punch in the gut -- there might as well be a hundred men singing those lines. Here on _A Night at the Opera_, the overall sound seems softer and choruses lack the same explosive effect.
This should not be too emphasized, for there might be an element of relativity given the sheer amount of vocals on this album. Hansi's voice is rarely heard alone, usually backed by multitracked vocal armies, which hits the peak of intensity on "And Then There Was Silence", Blind Guardian's best song brimming with fifteen minutes of choral exclamations and orchestral guitar arrangements. The other songs are of the usual BG standard, with the ethic of not repeating anything unless it is rearranged or given different inflection repeated on a grander scale. In bringing their music an even greater degree of enormity, Blind Guardian cranks the amount of solemn drama which gives their music such addictive qualities. And since _Imaginations..._, Blind Guardian has been progressively mastering their inventive construction of song structures using various tempos, arrangements, and melodic twists. Also, where the biggest shining point of Blind Guardian songs is almost invariably the choruses, almost more exciting here is not the chorus themselves, but how the choruses are arrived at through sweeping vocals, weaving metal scales and distorted crunch.
This is a masterful album, and judging by the subsequent release _A Twist in the Myth_, executed at a scale we might not see again. Enjoy it!