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Beyond the Red Mirror
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Beyond the Red Mirror
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Epic, orchestral power metal rules ... and Blind Guardian - who have been around since the late 80's - are continuing to craft their innovative brand of metal with the release of their 10th studio album. It's been 5 long years since their last release At The Edge of Time (2010), which was excellent in its own right, but here we now have the long awaited sequel to 1995's Imaginations From the Other Side. One look at the glossy digibook packaging and you know this is going to be something special ... and epic! With the help of the Hungarian Studio Choir and Orchestra Budapest, the FILMharmonic Choir and Orchestra Prague and the Vox Futura Choir Boston BG have perhaps created one of their most intricate releases to date. One look at the prolific libretto will confirm the massive nature of the project - 11 tracks, clocking in at 1:11'11'' - no coincidence that. In fact, this may be one of the most lyrically/vocally dense metal albums I've ever heard. It's a complex story to say the least - the Words of the Crow after track 9 offering quite a bit of information not readily apparent from the song lyrics themselves. The combination of myth, fantasy and science fiction bridges themes from other BG releases.
Musically, this is phenomenal to say the least. There is this bombastic quality to the music that gets the blood pumping - probably the perfect blend of the symphonic/choral elements with the metal elements. Hansi Kurcsh has such a distinctive vocal quality and he leads this aural assault with majesty and clarity, yet I love how he doesn't dominate the mix so that all of the voices are heard equally. If anything, this mix has a decidedly muscular low end.Read more ›
For the uninitiated (which included me up until a year ago), Blind Guardian have a truly unique sound. They started out in the late 80s playing thrash metal. Unlike most thrash bands at the time, their songs were inspired by fantasy and science fiction, particularly Tolkien's Middle Earth. (The last song on their first album, 'Battalions of Fear,' was titled "By the Gates of Moria.")
Over time, their sound morphed from straight up thrash to incorporate more cinematic and symphonic elements. These days, they are classified as "power metal" because they have lots of double bass drumming, lots of melody, and high-pitched vocals. But they are so much more than that. I don't even know how to describe their sound accurately, other than "amazing," and that feels like a cheat. (After all, that's a very subjective word.)
Musically, 'Beyond the Red Mirror' continues in the same vein as 'At The Edge of Time' and 'A Twist in the Myth.' It is these latter albums that initially grabbed my attention, and then I worked my way back through their older catalog. So, if you have enjoyed their musical progression over the last decade, I don't see any reason you shouldn't enjoy this just as much if not more.
Hansi Kürsch has a voice quite unlike anyone else I've heard. While he usually sings with quite a bit of gruffness, he is also capable of clean, pure notes, which he usually reserves for the background vocals.Read more ›
Also remember that this is a Concept album, so if anything sounds a little repetitive as in lyrics, it makes sense, because they are telling a story from the first song to the last. And here is a BIG difference between buying the MP3 version and the CD, the CD gives you the story's background, and brings more sense to the lyrics. The MP3's you just get the great music.
The fact that they got three groups of orchestrations. is just mind blowing.. And for those who keep saying they want them back to IFTOS, you may enjoy a few songs on here, because there are a few that are harder then the past three CDs. but no , they did not go back to that sound. and IMO I love them just the way they are.
::EDIT:: I just wanted to add this to the review of the CD. it doesn't have so much to do with the CD , as it does the band as people and artists.. I have a terminal illness. and I , well lets just say it I pulled the piety card out on someone inside their group, and needless to say these huge stars, are taking time out of their personal time to do something with me.
So just in case you may have been thinking their music is the best, just remember that they are great Human beings and so humble, to play to a 500 venue when they can sell out a 11,000 plus venue. If integrity is what you want to see in your favorite band, let me assure you. Hansi, Andre, Markus, and Fredrick have it in spades, I cant forget to mention DR Jason either,the man who made my meeting them possible, I'm looking forward to next month's Tempe AZ concert
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Blind Guardian likes to experiment with every album that they do. While some fans may not agree with this, I absolutely love it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an amazing album, and easily their best since Nightfall in Middle Earth. Must buy for fans of power metal and just good metal in general.Published 5 months ago by S. Paige
I'm quite late to the Blind Guardian party, having only given them a go on last 2010's At the Edge of Time (also a track name on this album, strange). Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kenneth E. Rathburn