Ferdi : Blind Guardian's last live-cd dates back from 1993. In the ten years that lie between, three full cd's and countless bootlegs saw the light of the day. About time to release a new live-cd, the Bards must've been thinking.
The quite fittingly titled 'Live' contains everything that you expect a proper live-cd to do, and a bit more besides. The setlist is incredible, the performance is absolutely great and the atmosphere is overwhelming. These four perfectionists surely devoted their time and money to making the best possible live-registration imaginable.
The double-cd contains 22 songs from 18 different cities. The attention for detail with which these songs have been selected, is incredible. As someone who has gathered two dozen bootleg-cd's of this band, I can safely say that the guys have chosen the single most unique, expressive performance of each individual song. Some songs seem to have been tinkered with in the studio - especially the backgroundvocals of Andre Olbrich and Marcus Siepen seem to have been beefed up - but the cd sounds very raw and (no pun intended) live.
Does it have any weak point? Very few. Two notable things stand out: the excessive amount of playing-time given to the audience before and after Imaginations From The Other Side; and the rather low volume of the lead-guitars in Time Stands Still. They're minor faults, and underline the overall greatness of this cd more than they deteriorate it.
These incredibly skilled teutonic titans have made a live-cd that's frankly as good as it can possibly get. Blind Guardian's Live ranks amongst the best live-albums ever; and it sits rather comfortable alongside the likes of Live After Death, Another Lesson In Violence, Unleashed In The East and Decade Of Agression. Truly stunning.