By Enrico Spinelli

I have never hidden my deep visceral love for Blind Guardian and I certainly don't need to reiterate the importance that their discography, from "Battalions of Fear" to "A Night at the Opera", has covered and played in my growth and musical life. At the same time, I cannot keep silent about the progressive and growing disappointment towards the following releases, two too "fluctuating" albums and two too pompous and orchestral works to exhaustion. 

It was therefore obvious to imagine a step backward by the bards (when you have reached certain levels you hardly go forward) and an inevitable return to a more streamlined sound in line with the power speed beginnings of the good old days, which actually happened, and this is good on paper, but the result? Here the matter is thorny, because if in fact, the power has returned, what is missing is the quality, or at least a certain consistency in quality. If on one hand I applaud the cleansing of the group's sound from the excesses of the past, on the other I cannot be satisfied with a part of the record, still too far from the standards I expect from these gentlemen.

Well, I wrote these words before listening to the record, without reading any reviews and without listening to even the shadow of a single, following a sort of sixth sense. And how much it annoys me to have to admit to being actually right. What I thought/feared was revealed already at the first listening. Of the 9 songs present, the opener, the long-length "Secret of the American God" and even "Violent Shadow", stand out, yet even these songs certainly are not a miracle, we find not very inspired pieces like "Let it Be No More" or "Destiny" ("Blood of the Elves" grows a bit...) ... and in any case, no piece has a melodic line or a chorus so effective that it will get stuck in your head until later several plays, extremely necessary to try to understand if you can like "The god machine" or not. 

I don't like giving marks, but at the moment I can't push myself beyond a 6.5/10, which can become a 7 or a 6 depending on how much I want to listen to it again... and at the moment I really struggle to put it for the third time... And I don't like this!

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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