Forming in the small German town of Krefeld, Blind Guardian perfected a fusion of gothic- and fantasy-tinged European power metal with the velocity and technical precision of speed metal.
Members Hansi Kürsch (vocals, bass), Marcus Siepen (guitar), André Olbrich (guitar), and Thomen Stauch (drums) initially called themselves Lucifer's Heritage, but elected to change it when a 1986 demo tape began to achieve underground popularity.
They signed with the No Remorse label and issued Battalions of Fear in 1988, following it with Follow the Blind a year later, which helped make a name for the band in Japan. Released in 1990, Tales from the Twilight World became an underground hit in Germany and led to a deal with that country's division of Virgin Records; their major-label debut, Somewhere Far Beyond, was released in 1992. After 1993's live Tokyo Tales, Blind Guardian hooked up with former Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen for 1995's Imaginations from the Other Side. Issued in 1996, The Forgotten Tales was a collection of covers and alternate versions, setting the stage for 1998's Nightfall in Middle-Earth, a Tolkien-inspired concept album that finally became the band's first American release a year later.
Century Media began reissuing portions of the band's back catalog in the U.S. the same year. In 2002, the band released A Night at the Opera, and followed up four years later with A Twist in the Myth. The German power metal quartet released its ninth studio album, At the Edge of Time, in 2010, followed by a compilation of re-recorded and remixed songs called Memories of a Time to Come in 2012. In 2015, the band returned with their tenth studio long-player, Beyond the Red Mirror, a concept album and sequel to 1995's Imaginations from the Other Side.