ck

Metal Mayhem HQ

Metal's Museum

Enter Keyword To Search

Blind Guardian
Genre: Power Metal
Country/Location: Germany
Formed In: 1986
Activity: 1986 - Present
Status: Active
Year: (2015)
Track(s):
 (10)
Album Duration: (01:05:03)
1. The Ninth Wave
2. Twilight of the Gods
3. Prophecies
4. At the Edge of Time
5. Ashes of Eternity
6. The Holy Grail
7. The Throne
8. Sacred Mind
9. Miracle Machine
10. Grand Parade

Sources/Links

 
Ad


Blind Guardian
Beyond The Red Mirror
Review


The latest record by Blind Guardian (a German Power Metal Band founded in 1984 under the name "Lucifer´s Heritage"), is called "Beyond the Red Mirror" and people all over the world were curious on how this would turn out after their Masterpiece "At the Edge of Time" released in 2010.

For me, "At the Edge of Time" is probably their best record, filled with one bombastic song following another. Hansi Kürsch, the vocalist, didn´t spare himself and used the whole bandwith of his voice to create (arguable) one of the best Power Metal records in history. It is only natural that people had very high expectations regarding their latest release.

"Beyond the Red Mirror" was produced by Charlie Bauerfeind, a german producer and journalist.

I'll name a few examples of bands he worked with:

Freedom Call

Gamma Ray

Gotthard

HammerFall

Helloween

Motörhead

Saxon

Van Canto

Venom

As you can see, the names speak for themself and I knew that the production was going to be top-notch again.


Blind Guardian are known for songs filled with melody and strong, catchy parts as well as complex arrangements. The formula they are using currently can be seen and heard for more than 20 years already ("Somewhere Far Beyond" being their first "real" Power Metal album), yet it sounds as fresh as never before. Hansi´s voice is unique and harmonizes with all the components of the songs. The instrumental work is really outstanding, they managed to fill it with energy without losing melody.

To be honest, initially this album left me with question marks. I simply didn´t knew what to think about it, because I was used to the sound they had on ATEOT.

This quickly changed though. The more I listened to it, the better it became. I was really surprised to hear so many various instruments on the album.

The guys hired two orchestras and three choirs (!) to create a diversity hardly heard from another band yet. They also stepped up in terms of songwriting and added some "proggy" elements. The song "Prophecies" for example reminds me a bit of Queensryche. Blind Guardian manages to keep the listener interested, spiking the album with highlights that are quite memorable.

It has it´s flaws though. Especially their opener "The Ninth Wave" seems to be one of the weakest songs. While the first three minutes sound really great, the chorus kinda "kills" the song. A pity, since it had a lot of potential. "Twilight of the Gods", second on the track list, seems to follow the previous song, disappointing with shallow riffs and a chorus not being able to convince. Track Nr. 3, "Prophecies", mentioned above already, is a track I like to call a "Relaunch". If the album hasn´t pleased you yet, this is the crucial moment. The track is really great, able to keep the balance between heaviness and melody. A perfect example of what Blind Guardian is capable of. Each and every following song succeeds, delivering another great album (except "The Holy Grail", Nr. 7 on the track list)

Especially "The Grand Parade", Track Nr. 10, is one of their best songs ever written, comparable to the track "And Then There Was Silence" on "A Night at the Opera".


Lyrically, the record continues to tell the stories started on their 1995 record "Imaginations from the Other Side". Two Worlds exist with a mirror working as some kind of gateway between them. Both of them face major troubles and all pathways except the Red Mirror have been destroyed. So if you´re interested in the whole experience, read up the background story first or (better!) listen to it. If you don´t want to that, this doesn´t mean that you shouldn´t listen to this album, just because you don´t get the concept behind the lyrics. Many fans still argue on how to interpret the lyrics, for Hansi hasn´t explained every song/reference yet. It seems that the band wants to keep their fans busy. Maybe they do so to shorten the waiting time for their next record, who knows? 


All that I have left to say is that this album will probably take a bit of time to grow onto you. You might want to listen to this a few times, before you can be sure of your opinion.

It took me some time to really appreciate the work, but "Beyond the Red Mirror" is one of the best Metal releases of 2015. There is a reason why Blind Guardian is still revered as a pinnacle in Power Metal.

This is the proof.

If you are even slightly interested in Power Metal, consider buying this. You will not regret the decision!


Reviewed By: Roland


Ad