Ten musicians have been a part of the band's line-up in its history, which has consisted of singer Hansi Kürsch, guitarists André Olbrich and Marcus Siepen, and drummer Frederik Ehmke since 2005.
Blind Guardian is a part of the German Heavy Metal scene that emerged in the mid-1980s.
Over their releases, Blind Guardian established themselves as a notable successful band and as pioneers of the Power Metal movement.
In 1996, Kürsch stopped acting as the band's bass guitarist to focus on vocals. Various session members replaced him, mainly Oliver Holzwarth. However, in 2005, Stauch left the band, disapproving of Blind Guardian's transition into a more complex progressive sound with a heavy use of backing vocals, and was replaced by Ehmke.
Most of Blind Guardian's albums were well received by fans and critics alike: Somewhere Far Beyond (1992), Imaginations from the Other Side (1995), and Nightfall in Middle-Earth (1998), are especially seen as influential works. The music is mostly composed by Kürsch and Olbrich together, and the lyrics, written by Kürsch, are mostly inspired by the fiction of fantasy authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, Robert Jordan, Stephen King and George R. R. Martin as well as traditional legends and epics.
Over the years a theme has developed which personifies the band members as travelling storytellers, leading fans to refer to the band affectionately as "The Bards".
Studio Albums List
1) Battalions of Fear (1988)
2) Follow the Blind (1989)
3) Tales from the Twilight World (1990)
4) Somewhere Far Beyond (1992)
5) Imaginations from the Other Side (1995)
6) Nightfall in Middle-Earth (1998)
7) A Night at the Opera (2002)
8) A Twist in the Myth (2006)
9) At the Edge of Time (2010)
10) Beyond the Red Mirror (2015)
Members Name Check
- Hansi Kürsch – lead vocals (1984–present), bass (1984–1996)
- André Olbrich – lead guitar, live backing vocals (1984–present)
- Marcus Siepen – rhythm guitar, live backing vocals (1987–present)
- Frederik Ehmke – drums, percussion, flute, bagpipes (2005–present)
- Thomas Kelleners – lead vocals (1984)
- Markus Dörk – guitars (1984–1985)
- Christof Theißen – rhythm guitar (1986)
- Hans-Peter Frey – drums (1986)
- Thomas "Thomen" Stauch – drums, percussion (1984–1985, 1987–2005)
- Thomas Hackmann (studio) – backing vocals (1990–present)
- Billy King (studio) – backing vocals (1992–present)
- Michael "Mi" Schüren (live and studio) – live keyboards, studio grand piano (1997–present)
- Olaf Senkbeil (studio) – backing vocals (1997–present)
- Matthias Ulmer (studio) – keyboards, piano (2007–present)
- Barend Courbois (live and studio) – bass (2015–present)
- Mathias Wiesner (studio) – keyboards, effects (1989–2002), bass (1992)
- Rolf Köhler (studio) – backing vocals (1990–2007; his death)
- Oliver Holzwarth (live and studio) – bass (1997–2011)
- Alex Holzwarth (live) – drums (2002–2003)
- Pat Bender (studio) – keyboards, sound effects (2002–2006)