Marcus Siepen


During time when German Metal legends Blind Guardian were in visit to Belgrade (Serbia) I haven't missed a chance to do interviews with the band members where we will discuss the upcoming album ‘’At the Edge of Time’’. While with Hansi I focused on some lyric-wise questions, with Marcus I discussed about music. Actually, here you can find his comment for the each song that is going to be included on the forthcoming issue.
Sacred Worlds:
It was the first song that we have written for this album. Actually we started to doing it just after the the finishing ‘’A Twist in the Myth’’ tour because we got opportunity to write the song for the computer game which was ‘’Sacred II’’. So, we wrote that song, back then it was called ‘’Sacred’’. And as I just said it was the first song that we did for the new album, but the version that is at the computer game it didn't have the real orchestra. It has programmed keyboard orchestration. We also like the track and played it live already, and the reaction of the fans was very, very good, but we wanted to do it with the real orchestra for this album. And, finally we have an opportunity to do it with this album. So, this is how ‘’Sacred’’ turned into ‘’Sacred Worlds’’, but little longer. I think if you compare it to the version that was in the game you can catch this difference between this programmed orchestra, which was very good already, and when you hear real orchestra, the difference is so big, and makes so much of difference, and I am glad that we have finally a chance to do something like this and its awesome.

It’s a very fast and aggressive song, in the tradition of old Blind Guardian, and people sometimes complain that we should go back in the old times and do something like ‘’Somewhere Far Beyond’’ again. You know, we don't like to repeat ourselves, but the roots are all there. We are coming from the speed metal, from the fast and aggressive stuff, and we never forget about this. If people listen to that song they can hear that we still have it and it's a lot of fun to play it. It very fast, aggressive stuff, old Blind Guardian meeting new-school Blind Guardian. And, I love it – it’s one of my favorite songs on the album.

Road of No Release:
It starts pretty calm but when the song progresses it gets more and more heavy. It’s more like modern side of Blind Guardian - but it could sound stupid. But, it’s more in the tradition of later Blind Guardian’s albums. I would say that there are more elements from ‘Imaginations…’’ or ‘’Nightfall’’ and stuff like that. It has a very nice way to built up and, as I said, it starts rather calm but it gets heavier and more aggressive and its also one more track that I like a lot.

Ride Into Obsession:
Pure Speed Metal !!! That is very, very fast song, high-speed guitars and drumming, And that's the track that we think that we need to rehearse and we didn't rehearse that one yet. We just did set of 4 days of rehearsals where we practice like 40 songs, or something like that. And for the next set of rehearsals we are also aiming for that song, too. So, we can see how old we are and if we are fast enough (laughing). That's again tradition old-school Blind Guardian’s Speed Metal stuff.

Curse my Name:
It's a ballad and it's a very folkloric song with a lots of very folkloric instruments like flutes, back-pipes and stuff like that... very Celtic-like. There's even one very instrument on that one: that's step-dancing. Some people were there during the step-dancing and we recorded it and you can see it on one of previous trailers. It’s a unique track. We have already these Celtic and folkloric influences but we never took it that far. And I really love the result and I doubt that we can play it live because there’s so many instruments going on and we are just six guys on the stage so it will be hard. So, I don’t know how it would sound if we ask keyboard-player to play this stuff and maybe we have to do the step-dancing on stage (laughing), but I have to say, on the album it is one of my highlights. I am really into this kind of music. The song is really great and what I really like is that it adds a lot of dynamic to the album. Because, right before that song you have high-speed very aggressive metal stuff and then things calm down a bit and I like this.

Marcus Siepen
For me that’s a kind of mixture between ‘’Imaginations’’and ‘’Night at the Opera ’’ style, so again it is modern side of Blnd Guardian, if you want to call it like this. It has some ‘’Bright Eyes’’ elements in there, it’s mid-tempo, and I think when people hear that song they will understand where the journey is leading us, because we have the aim where we want to go with our music. And, you know, ‘’A Night at the Opera’’ was one of steps that we have to do to get there and I think that with this song ‘’Valkyries’’ we reached the name of that track and I really, really love it.

Control the Divine:
It’s also a mid-tempo stuff and also I would say more modern side of Blind Guardian, very nice song, heavy guitars, good melodies, very good chorus - I like it a lot - just good track!

War of the Thrones (Piano):
As you can already guess it’s kind of a ballad-like song, with obviously lots of piano-stuff going on. This song is much more calm song, very easy going, very nice chorus and with indeed melodic stuff and, at the end, really important for the dynamic of the album. Because if you would go like having 10 or 11 songs just going high-speed all the time with full power it would be boring, in my opinion, just as you can't put only the ballades on the album - it would be also boring. So, the dynamics of the album is very important to us

A Voice in the Dark:
Obviously its going to be the first single. It’s again traditional Blind Guardian Speed Metal, very aggressive with fast guitars. And I think that the nice thing is, as I said before, that many people tend to think that we will not do this stuff anymore and we prove them wrong, by putting this one as the first single. It’s kind of statement from us, like showing them: ok we do not need radio, ballad or what ever song to be listened, we can do Speed Metal stuff.

Wheel of Time:
The basic version, the original version for this track, was not written for this album, because it meant to be on the orchestral project that is supposed to come a little later. And it didn't really worked in this pure orchestral concept, so Andre tried to turn in in heavier song which worked much better but still not the way that we want it to be and then Charlie said: ‘’Hey, we should feature all these oriental melodies’’ and Andre didn’t realise about these oriental melodies before Charlie mentioned it and that’s what gave the song complete turn because there is a lot of oriental stuff there concerning scales and melodies that we have used. And this was heavily featured and that's along with the ‘’Sacred Worlds’’ the second song that features the real orchestra and it blows me away, I have to say. That track is so epic and this song has actually everything that Blind Guardian is all about, it has the epic orchestration, fast heavy aggressive guitars, great vocals and melodies; for me it’s the perfect ending of the album because it starts with this big version of ‘’Sacred Worlds’’ and you have everything in between, and it come to an end with this song. In my humble opinion - just perfect!

Answers by Marcus Siepen
Interview was done by Marko Miranović