Blind Guardian is a German power metal band formed in the mid-1980s in Krefeld, West Germany. They are often credited as one of the seminal and most influential bands in the power metal and speed metal subgenres. Blind Guardian is a part of the German heavy metal scene that emerged in the mid-1980s. The band''s lyrics, written by vocalist Hansi K├╝rsch, are inspired by the fiction of fantasy authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, Robert Jordan and George R. R. Martin as well as traditional legends and epics. Over the years, a running theme has developed personifying the band members as travelling bards, leading some fans to refer to the band affectionately as "The Bards".