Hans Jürgen Kürsch, better known as Hansi Kürsch (born August 10, 1966 in Lank-Latum, Germany) is the lead vocalist of power metal band Blind Guardian. Together with André Olbrich, he is also the principal songwriter for the band. He was also the bassist in Blind Guardian until the 1998 album Nightfall in Middle-Earth. His more common name, Hansi, is actually a diminutive of Hans Jürgen.
A signature of Kürsch's songwriting is his practice of doubletracking his own voice innumerable times in complex, overlapping harmonies on his recordings, effectively creating the atmosphere of a huge choir. This is very similar to the production techniques employed by Freddie Mercury of Queen, of whom Hansi is a huge fan. His vocal range is formidable - for example, the track "Chant" on the first Demons & Wizards album comprises vocals only, in the style of a traditional Gregorian Chant. Hansi's is the only voice on the song. His vocal range is approximately four octaves.
Over the years, Hansi has developed his harmonizing and layering techniques more and more, to the point that some fans of Blind Guardian found the vocals to be overwhelming at times (particularly on the 2002 release A Night At The Opera, although that album featured several guest vocalists). However, Blind Guardian's newest release, A Twist In The Myth, has toned the complexity down a bit for the sake of making the songs more suitable for playing live (as stated by the band in the audio interview bonus track on the album).
He is married and has a son named Jonas.
He has stated in an interview that he is a faithful but very critical Christian.
Hansi has also recorded two albums for his side project with Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth, Demons & Wizards.
* Demons & Wizards - Demons & Wizards (2000)
* Demons & Wizards - Touched by the Crimson King (2005)
Hansi has done guest vocals on the following albums, in the following songs (listed chronologically):
* Gamma Ray - Land of the Free - "Farewell" (1994)
* Grave Digger - Tunes of War (1996, backing vocals only)
* Nepal - Manifiesto - Besando La Tierra, Estadio Chico (1997)
* Iron Savior - Iron Savior - "For The World" (1997)
* Edguy - Vain Glory Opera - Out of Control, Vain Glory Opera (1998)
* Grave Digger - Excalibur (1999, backing vocals only)
* Therion - Deggial - Flesh of the Gods (2000)
* Rage - Unity (2002, backing vocals only)
* Angra - Temple of Shadows - Winds of Destination (2004)
* The Arrow - Lady Nite - Never Say Never
* Ljósálfar - Ljósálfar - Forevermoor
* Nuclear Blast All-Stars - Into The Light - Slaves To The Desert
* Ayreon - 01011001 (2008) - Age Of Shadows, Beneath The Waves, Newborn Race, The Fifth Extinction, Unnatural Selection, River of Time, The Sixth Extinction
* Dreamtone & Iris Mavraki's Neverland - Reversing Time - To Lose The Sun
* Aneurysm - TBA
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