|Nightfall in Middle-Earth|
|Studio album by|
|Released||28 April 1998|
|Recorded||July 1997 - January 1998|
|Studio||Twilight Hall Studios|
Sweet Silence Studios
|Producer||Flemming Rasmussen, Blind Guardian|
|Blind Guardian chronology|
|Singles from Nightfall in Middle-Earth|
Nightfall in Middle-Earth is the sixth full-length studio album by German power metal band Blind Guardian. It was released on April 28, 1998, through Virgin Records. It is a concept album based upon J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion , a book of tales from the First Age of Middle-earth, recounting the War of the Jewels. [ citation needed ]The album contains not only songs but also spoken parts narrating parts of the story. The cover represents Lúthien dancing in front of Morgoth. It is widely regarded as one of Blind Guardian's most well-known and well-received albums in their discography. It is also the first album with Oliver Holzwarth as guest musician, playing bass guitar instead of Hansi Kürsch. Nightfall in Middle-Earth was the first album by Blind Guardian to be released in the US. The sales encouraged Century Media to release their entire back catalog in the US in 2007, at which point it was remastered and re-released, with an added bonus track.
The album has been described as "grandiose" and influenced by progressive rock, and has been compared to Queen's operatic approach with "dense choir-like vocal harmonies set against swirling multi-part guitar lines." Music critics have noted the fast, melodic guitar-work and the use of folk instruments, flutes, violins, and other instruments. The album's songs are varied, with "quick-paced numbers", ballads, and operatic pieces.Metal Hammer described it as "a banquet of medieval/folk, speed/power metal, and Queen-esque vocal twists, complete with interludes to illustrate the plot."
The album has drawn universally positive critical acclaim since its release. Writing for SputnikMusic, Kyle Ward said that on this album "Blind Guardian laid down their finest instrumental performance to date. Everything goes hand in hand with each other, the guitars being nearly always furiously paced and extremely melodic, but not over-the-top and cheesy like many other power metal bands out there." He singled out Hansi Kürsch's vocals for particular praise, writing that "In every aspect and mood, Blind Guardian delivers in the vocal department. Whether the song is amazingly fast and melodic, like “Time Stands Still (At the Iron Hill)” or whether the mood is somber and slow (“The Eldar”) you are sure to be hit in the face with a simply remarkable feat in terms of vocal achievement, one of the finest vocal performances I have ever seen on a metal album."AllMusic's Vincent Jeffries gave a similarly glowing assessment of the album, describing the album as "complete with anthemic choruses, spoken word story lines, and plenty of bombastic power metal punctuating every dramatic turn" and "perhaps Blind Guardian's most triumphant effort." Metal Hammer named it in its lists "the 10 essential symphonic metal albums" and in "the 10 essential power metal albums." ThoughtCo named it one the essential power metal albums.
All lyrics are written by Hansi Kürsch; all music is composed by André Olbrich and Hansi Kürsch except where noted.
|1.||"War of Wrath"||1:50|
|2.||"Into the Storm"||4:24|
|6.||"The Curse of Fëanor" (Olbrich, Kürsch, Thomas "Thomen" Stauch and Marcus Siepen)||5:41|
|10.||"Face the Truth"||0:24|
|11.||"Noldor (Dead Winter Reigns)"||6:51|
|12.||"Battle of Sudden Flame"||0:44|
|13.||"Time Stands Still (At the Iron Hill)"||4:53|
|14.||"The Dark Elf"||0:23|
|16.||"The Eldar" (Olbrich, Kürsch, Michael Schüren)||3:39|
|17.||"Nom the Wise"||0:33|
|18.||"When Sorrow Sang"||4:25|
|19.||"Out on the Water"||0:44|
|21.||"A Dark Passage"||6:01|
|22.||"Final Chapter (Thus Ends...)"||0:48|
|Japanese bonus tracks|
|23.||"Nightfall" (orchestral version)||5:38|
|24.||"A Dark Passage" (instrumental version)||6:06|
|2007 re-release bonus track|
|23.||"Harvest of Sorrow" (Siepen, Kürsch and Stauch)||3:39|
|2018 re-release bonus tracks|
|24.||"Harvest of Sorrow"||3:41|
|25.||"The Tides of War"||5:17|
The album retells the events in The Silmarillion , beginning with an episode at the end:
The cover art for the album features Lúthien dancing before Morgoth, from "The Tale of Beren and Lúthien".
In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Noldor are High Elves of the Second Clan who migrated to Valinor and lived in Eldamar. The Noldor are called Golodhrim or Gódhellim in Sindarin, and Goldui by Teleri of Tol Eressëa. The singular form of the Quenya noun is Noldo and the adjective is Noldorin. 'Noldor' meant 'the Wise', that is those who have great knowledge and understanding. The Noldor indeed early showed the greatest talents of all the Elves both for intellectual pursuits and technical skills. They were the Second Clan of the Elves in both order and size, the other clans being the Vanyar and the Teleri. Like the Teleri, they typically had grey eyes and dark hair. The Noldor Elves were the most intellectually gifted of all the Elves, as well as the strongest and the most proud. The Noldor were the bravest and most powerful people among the Sons of Ilúvatar, with a light in their eyes similar to that of the stars. They fought the greatest wars of which dwarves or men have heard.
Finwë, sometimes surnamed Noldóran, is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He was the first High King of the Elven Noldor to lead his people on the journey from Middle-earth to Valinor in the blessed realm of Aman. He was a great friend of Elu Thingol, the king of Doriath. The story of Finwë and Míriel, his first wife, has been described as an important element of Tolkien's mythology. The Silmarillion, prepared by Christopher Tolkien from his father's unpublished writings, only briefly mentions the tale, although sources suggest that Tolkien had intended to incorporate a fuller version.
Fëanor is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium who plays an important part in The Silmarillion as the creator of the Silmarils, the skilfully-forged jewels that give the book their name and theme. He was the eldest son of Finwë, the High King of the Noldor, and his first wife Míriel Serindë. Fëanor's mother, Míriel, died shortly after giving birth, having given all her strength and essence to him. "For Fëanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind: in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and subtlety alike: of all the Children of Ilúvatar, and a bright flame was in him."
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, the First Age, or First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar is the heroic period in which most of Tolkien's early legends are set. Versions of these stories were later published in The Silmarillion, and tales from this period lend a deep sense of time and history to the later period in which the action of The Lord of the Rings takes place.
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional legendarium, Beleriand was a region in northwestern Middle-earth during the First Age. Events in Beleriand are described chiefly in his work The Silmarillion, which tells the story of the early ages of Middle-earth in a style similar to the epic hero tales of Nordic literature. Beleriand also appears in the works The Book of Lost Tales, The Children of Húrin, and in the epic poems of The Lays of Beleriand.
Elu Thingol is a fictional character in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He appears in The Silmarillion, The Lays of Beleriand and Children of Húrin as well as in numerous stories in the many volumes of The History of Middle-earth. He is notably a major character in many of the stories about the First Age of Tolkien's Middle-earth and he is an essential part of the ancestral backgrounding of the romance between Aragorn and Arwen in The Lord of the Rings.
Beren is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He appears in The Silmarillion. He is a human, and his love for the elf maiden Lúthien is central to the Tolkien legendarium.
Maedhros is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. First introduced in The Silmarillion and later mentioned in Unfinished Tales and The Children of Húrin, he is one of the most enduring characters in The Silmarillion, and has been the subject of paintings by artists such as Jenny Dolfen and Alan Lee.
Blind Guardian is a German power metal band formed in 1984 in Krefeld, West Germany. They are often credited as one of the seminal and most influential bands in the power metal and speed metal subgenres. Nine musicians have been a part of the band's line-up in its history, which has consisted of singer Hansi Kürsch, guitarists André Olbrich and Marcus Siepen, and drummer Frederik Ehmke since 2005.
The Lays of Beleriand, published in 1985, is the third volume of Christopher Tolkien's 12-volume book series, The History of Middle-earth, in which he analyzes the unpublished manuscripts of his father J. R. R. Tolkien.
The Fall of Gondolin is, in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, one of the stories in The Book of Lost Tales which formed the basis for a section in his later work, The Silmarillion. A stand-alone, book-length version of the story was published on 30 August 2018. The Fall of Gondolin is one of three stories from the First Age of Middle-earth to be published as a stand-alone book: the other two are Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Húrin.
The Lay of Leithian is an unfinished poem written by J. R. R. Tolkien. It tells the tale of Beren and Lúthien, the story of the love of the mortal Man Beren and the immortal Elf maiden Lúthien. The poem consists of over 4200 verses. It was published after Tolkien's death in The Lays of Beleriand. Its precedents are found in the Welsh tale of Culhwch and Olwen in the manuscripts, the Red Book of Hergest and the earlier White Book of Rhydderch.
Live is the second live album by the band Blind Guardian. It was recorded during the Blind Guardian World Tour 2002/2003 in Tokyo, Stockholm, Lichtenfels, Venice, Düsseldorf, Milan, Florence, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Avilés, Madrid, Granada, Valencia, Bremen, Moscow, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart.
"Mirror Mirror" is a single by the German power metal band Blind Guardian, released in 1998. Cover art was painted by Andreas Marshall. The song was composed for the 1998 album Nightfall in Middle-Earth. Lyrics of "Mirror Mirror", based on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, recount how Turgon, in view of inevitable defeat, builds the city of Gondolin, aided by Ulmo.
The tale of Beren and Lúthien, told in several works by J. R. R. Tolkien, is the story of the love and adventures of the mortal Man Beren and the immortal Elf-maiden Lúthien. Tolkien wrote several versions of their story, the latest in The Silmarillion, and the tale is also mentioned in The Lord of the Rings. The story takes place during the First Age of Middle-earth, about 6,500 years before the events of The Lord of the Rings.
Morgoth Bauglir is a character from Tolkien's legendarium. He is the main antagonist of The Silmarillion, The Children of Húrin, and The Fall of Gondolin, and is mentioned briefly in The Lord of the Rings.
The Silmarils are three fictional brilliant jewels composed of the unmarred light of the Two Trees in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. The Silmarils were made out of the crystalline substance silima by Fëanor, a Noldorin Elf, in Valinor during the Years of the Trees. The Silmarils play a central role in Tolkien's book The Silmarillion, which tells of the creation of Eä and the beginning of Elves, Men, and Dwarves.
The Silmarillion is a collection of mythopoeic works by English writer J. R. R. Tolkien, edited and published posthumously by his son, Christopher Tolkien, in 1977, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay. The Silmarillion, along with J. R. R. Tolkien's other works, forms an extensive, though incomplete, narrative that describes the universe of Eä in which are found the lands of Valinor, Beleriand, Númenor, and Middle-earth, within which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place.
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