The band briefly expanded into a quintet with the addition of a second lead vocalist, Thomas Kelleners. However, after three months Kelleners left the band in a mutual agreement.
Finally, in , Marcus Siepen joined and Thomen came back to form the lineup which would stay consistent for the next 18 years.
Name change and rise to success — [ edit ] After Lucifer's Heritage signed a contract with No Remorse Records , the band changed their name to Blind Guardian to avoid any speculations about Satanism in a bio it was stated that they also wanted to distance themselves from the black metal movement, as their demos were placed in with black metal albums at local record shops. The band's new name was inspired by the Fates Warning album Awaken the Guardian.
Blind Guardian signed with Virgin Records in , and released their fourth studio album Somewhere Far Beyond in and the live album Tokyo Tales in Flemming Rasmussen , former Metallica producer, began working with the band in , producing their fifth studio album Imaginations from the Other Side , released in , and The Forgotten Tales , an album that contained half covers and half original work, released in Tolkien 's The Silmarillion ,  Blind Guardian's music demonstrated some folk rock influence, but also featured heavy use of Queen -style layered backing vocals.
Since Nightfall, bass guitar has been played by sessional member Oliver Holzwarth , and Hansi has been able to devote all his attention to singing. Nightfall was also the last Blind Guardian album produced by Rasmussen. A Night at the Opera , named after the Queen album , was released four years later.
On this album, the band's sound lacked almost all influence of their original speed metal. Power and progressive metal abound, with over the top orchestral backing and a consistent vocal and guitar layering throughout.
He left the band due to musical differences and was replaced by Frederik Ehmke. The first album with Ehmke was A Twist in the Myth , which came out in Blind Guardian participated in the soundtrack for the In the Name of the King: On July 30, the album followed, called At the Edge of Time. Hansi went on in the post to explain that they wanted to really get down to work and focus on a new record before returning to the road once again in at the latest.
He also mentioned that he really wanted to perform songs that they had never played live before when they return to touring.
On October 18, , Hansi announced via a news post on the official website that he expected the new record to be fully produced and finished by May The new live album, Live Beyond the Spheres was announced to be released on July 7, There's one song called 'Architect of Doom', which is a real heavy song. Very thrashy at points. And there's another song called 'American Goth', which is kind of what you would expect from Blind Guardian, but yet the way we maintained the drums, for example, the way we maintained the orchestra, and that is a song with orchestra, again, it's so different.
I'm pretty sure that there will be a significant change when you listen to these two albums and from that point of view, yes, Live Beyond the Spheres is the end of an era.
Beginning with their third album Tales from the Twilight World , Blind Guardian gradually began to write more complicated compositions focusing less on speed.
As of their sixth album, Nightfall in Middle Earth , Hansi stopped playing bass to focus on singing. At this point the band began to incorporate large amounts of orchestral arrangements, and utilized the technique of overdubbing , heavily influenced by the English rock band Queen.
This proved significant on all albums after the first two but most particularly on A Night at the Opera. Influences[ edit ] The band was initially inspired by their fellow countrymen Helloween , and in its early releases also showed some influence from Iron Maiden and Metallica. Queen became a huge impact, in particular concerning the choir arrangements and harmonies, an effect most notable on A Night at the Opera.
Frederik Ehkme was a founding member of the band Sinbreed , in which Marcus Siepen was a session member. Later on, during , Marcus became a full member of the band. After the tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, , Blind Guardian worked with their former record company, EMI Music , and auctioned off an exclusive studio session for two in the Twilight Hall Studio in Grefrath, Germany for charity. All of the proceeds were donated to the tsunami relief efforts.