Save for Tanelorn and maybe Valkyries, each song introduces quite some fresh elements to them, on top of revisiting nearly all their past styles of songs. It could be that we have a different perception of inspiration, but revisiting a certain style while succesfully creating new songs with their own "identity" is not a lack of inspiration to me. If so, I would call Ayreon, Dream Theater, Threshold, Kamelot, Nightwish, Iron Maiden, Queens of the Stone Age etc. (just naming random bands I like) inspirationless for most parts of their careers, while those artists have plenty of fresh albums whilst keeping a trademark style (to varying degrees).bestpike wrote:The way I see it Ateot started the "inspiration drought" era of Blind Guardian, which is basically where every other good band is at (Blind Guardian have innovated themselves more times than any other band I know could ever dream of). This is basically copy yourself a bit, insert a few new bits, and voila a new album. Both Ateot and now Btrd lack the clear vision of the previous albums (I guess they decided to stop that since Atitm actually had a vision, it just wasn't that good). Instead we get this "mix the old with the new" quote on interviews of the last two albums, which doesn't seem very hopeful for the future (not necessarily including the next album). Adding symphonic stuff is good, but it doesn't make a song much better (in my ears).
BG did have quite the changes troughout their career offcourse. From Imaginations to ATITM they basically had a completely different sounding album each time. But being inspired is not only about sounding totally different or new ways of songwriting. They can be inspired to add to a certain sound or combine it in new ways. Which they did with ATEOT. Changing your style drastically for the sake of it is not inspiration. In the case of ATITM, I actually think they were a bit uninspired at times as quite some songs have a samish feeling on that album and/or are a bit flat/monotonous in terms of songwriting.
As for symphonic pieces/orchestras contributing to the songs it depends on the type of song. The way they used it in Wheel of Time was really awesome, the song revolves around the orchestra and it pays off. Sacred does not rely on the orchestra in terms of songwriting nearly as much (save for the intro and outro, which are a bit unnecessary), so still sounds a bit more like usual powermetal fare.