In his 2013 New Year's Address recently posted on the band's website, BLIND GUARDIAN frontman Hansi Kürsch offers an update on: a) the long-promised orchestral album, and b) the new studio album. Some excerpts:
“…[T]hroughout the last 18 months we have recorded 7 songs in Prague. There probably is a handful of additional songs to record during this year, but they are also already finalized with regard to composition. In theory we do not need any further songs for this album but ideas simply seem to flow endlessly… The reason why this album is still far from being released is partly based on the regular album, which we definitely would like to release first. At this point in time I am in a very tricky situation. How to continue from here? I think it is probably easiest to simply continue by telling you something about the regular album since this would be next anyway. Keep in mind that 'next' is relative!
"…[W]e have started working on four songs and already were able to finish two songs musically. The working titles are ‘Encrypted Time’ (I think this title is inspired by André's passion for World of Warcraft or so – I can only guess…) and ‘The Ocean’ (here, André has been inspired by my undefined mumbling in the song). 'Encrypted Time' is a modern speed metal song with some tribal aspects and some ‘70s inspirations, while ‘The Ocean’ is a very progressive (this time I talk about ELP meets Savatage art rock when I say progressive) orchestra dominated song which will give you a further glimpse of what to expect from the orchestral album. I am clueless about the right story board for ‘Encrypted Time’ but ‘The Ocean’ could be used as a theme opener for the orchestral project. We will see… The other four songs seem to turn out very special and obviously very different. Working titles: 'The Irish Hill,' ‘Prophecies,’ ‘Soundtrack 2,’ and ‘Midtempo Song.’ I cannot tell you exactly about how many times we have had a song over the years which was first called ‘Midtempo Song.’ I am pretty sure we are not the only band abusing this spectacular title over and over again. Thank God, the title is not copyright protected, yet. We would be in trouble then. Maybe it is and that’s the reason why it barely ever ended up as a title on the album.”
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In 2010, BLIND GUARDIAN’s tenth studio album, At The Edge Of Time, attained the highest first-week sales numbers in the United States in the history of the band’s existence and secured the #1 position on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. It also debuted at #108 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. In Canada, At The Edge Of Time debuted at #18 on the Top Hard Music Albums chart and #108 on the Top 200 chart according to Nielsen Canadian Soundscan.