Nightfall in Middle-Earth
Nightfall in Middle-Earth is an album by Blind Guardian that was released in 1998.
The album is a concept album based on the J.R.R. Tolkien book The Silmarillion. Many of the tracks from the album are not complete songs, but are merely narratives to further the story. Every track that tells a piece of the story has a great ambience, and contributes greatly to enhance the listening experience. Blind Guardian owes many of its lyrics to Tolkien's work, but this album is exclusively dedicated to "The Silmarillion", a book of tales from Middle-earth. The lyrics range from the quest for the Silmarils until the dawn of the Third Age, period in which The Lord of the Rings occurs. Technically speaking, Blind Guardian is much more "melodic" in this album. Compared to previous works such as "Somewhere Far Beyond", the songs have much more fluency, without losing any of the traditional speed or guitar solos and leads. "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" was the first album Blind Guardian released in the U.S.. The result was so positive that Century Media started to release old Blind Guardian hits in the U.S. (records such as "Follow the Blind" and "Battalions of Fear"). "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" includes a few of the band's best, such as "Mirror Mirror" and "Into the Storm". "Mirror Mirror" is included in the now-released Blind DVD: Imaginations Through The Looking Glass. This DVD was rated by many different music-specialized sites as "a masterpiece".
- Vocals: Hansi Kürsch
- Lead Guitar: André Olbrich
- Rythm Guitar: Marcus Siepen
- Drums: Thomas "Thomen" Stauch
- Bass : Oliver Holzwarth
- Keyboards : Mathias Weisner
- Piano : Michael Schuren
- Flute : Max Zelner
- Narrations : Norman Eshley, Douglas Fielding
- War of Wrath 1:50
- Into the Storm 4:24
- Lammoth 0:28
- Nightfall 5:34
- The Minstrel 0:32
- The Curse of Fëanor 5:41
- Captured 0:26
- Blood Tears 5:23
- Mirror Mirror 5:07
- Face the Truth 0:24
- Noldor (Dead Winter Reigns) 6:51
- Battle of Sudden Flame (song) 0:44
- Time Stands Still (at the Iron Hill) 4:53
- The Dark Elf 0:23
- Thorn 6:18
- The Eldar 3:39
- Nom the Wise 0:33
- When Sorrow Sang 4:25
- Out on the Water 0:44
- The Steadfast (song) 0:21
- A Dark Passage 6:01
- Final Chapter (Thus Ends...) 0:48
- Bonus Tracks
- Nightfall (Orchestral Version)
- A Dark Passage (Orchestral Version)
- In "War of Wrath", Sauron advises his master Morgoth to flee the triumphant Valar in the War of Wrath. Morgoth sends him away and reflects on the events leading up to his defeat.
- In "Into the Storm", Morgoth and Ungoliant, fleeing from Valinor after having destroyed the Two Trees, struggle for the possession of the Silmarils.
- "Lammoth" is the scream of Morgoth with which he fights off Ungoliant.
- In "Nightfall", Fëanor and his seven sons mourn the destruction wrought by Morgoth, including the slaying of Finwë, Fëanor's father, and swear to get revenge on him, in spite to the Valar's disapproval.
- "The Minstrel" is most likely about Maglor, son of Fëanor, who composed the song "The Fall of the Noldor" based on the Kinslaying.
- In "The Curse of Fëanor", Fëanor expresses his wrath and anger and relates the misdeeds he commits, especially the Kinslaying, in pursuit of Morgoth.
- In "Captured", Morgoth addresses the captive Maedhros, Fëanor's son, and chains him to the Thangorodrim mountains.
- In "Blood Tears", Maedhros relates the horrors of his captivity and his deliverance by Fingon.
- "Mirror Mirror" recounts how Turgon, in view of inevitable defeat, builds the city of Gondolin, aided by Ulmo ("The Lord of Water").
- In "Face the Truth", Fingolfin reflects about the destiny of the Noldor.
- In "Noldor (Dead Winter Reigns)", Fingolfin recounts his Noldor army's passage from the icy waste of Helcaraxë and the prophecy by Mandos about the Noldor's fate; he reflects on his own and his people's guilt and foreshadows their ultimate defeat.
- "The Battle of Sudden Flame" talks about the battle in which Morgoth breaks the Siege of Angband using his Balrogs and dragons.
- "Time Stands Still (At the Iron Hill)" is about Fingolfin riding to the gates of Angband to challenge Morgoth to a duel. Fingolfin wounds Morgoth seven times but is eventually killed.
- "The Dark Elf" refers to Eöl who seduced Turgon's sister and fathered Maeglin, who would eventually betray Gondolin.
- In "Thorn", Maeglin reflects on his situation and decides to betray Gondolin to Morgoth.
- "The Eldar" is Elvenking Finrod Felagund's farewell to his people, dying from wounds received in saving his human friend Beren from a werewolf.
- In "Nom the Wise", Beren mourns his friend Finrod. Nóm means "wise" and was the name given to Finrod by Beren's forefather Bëor.
- In "When Sorrow Sang", Beren sings about his love to the Elven princess Lúthien and his death at the teeth of Morgoth's wolf Carcharoth.
- "Out on the Water" refers to the last dwelling-place of Beren and Lúthien.
- In "The Steadfast", Morgoth curses his captive Húrin who steadfastly refused to reveal the secret of Gondolin.
- In "A Dark Passage", Morgoth ponders his triumph in the fifth battle. The song also relates the origins of the kindred of men and Morgoth's curse on Húrin to be witness to his children's tragic fate.
- "Final Chapter (Thus ends ...)" concludes the album, speaking of Morgoth's victory by the "treachery of man" but also of the hope for a new day.
- "Harvest of Sorrow" is the bonustrack on the remastered version of the album. Túrin mourns the loss of his sister Niënor.