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Blind Guardian: Beyond The Red Mirror

It's so exciting to finally have a new Blind Guardian studio release, another with so much to offer and one that will be welcome by those prefer Blind Guardian at their epic best. The orchestral power metal recording Beyond The Red Mirror is the sort of premier album we would expect from a band with such a glowing record. Packed with so many of Blind Guardian's finest classic ingredients, and showing again what master metal craftsmen they are.

The organisation they have undertaken in getting everything into place is quite an accomplishment, as Blind Guardian have ramped up the extras with not one but three classical choirs that are from Prague, Budapest, and Boston. But that's not all as there are two grand orchestras each with 90 musicians enlisted for the creation of Beyond The Red Mirror. All playing a sizeable role in that epic sound this album exudes and of course there is a great deal of guitar and dynamic drumming in the mix. Beyond The Red Mirror is a concept album which features the continuation of a story that began all the way back on the 1995 release Imaginations from the Other Side. Mirrors serve as portals to different worlds and we find that the boy from that much earlier recording has now reached adulthood, and the only gate that remains is the red mirror and no matter what it must be found, and so the story unfolds.

Those marvellous choirs are promptly introduced on "The Ninth Wave" before Hansi Kursch takes his place steering this mighty musical vessel. From a drumming viewpoint Blind Guardian have always had those tracks that require a truly vigorous performance and "Twilight of the Gods" is one such song. It's a traditional Blind Guardian sound we find on and not limited to "Prophecies", "At the Edge of Time" is a stunner that captivates as it builds in momentum, whilst next is more of a heavy hitter "Ashes of Eternity" . Besides all the sweeping orchestral arrangements and choirs Blind Guardian do get their speed metal on for the blazing "The Holy Grail" in classic style Blind Guardian, "Sacred Mind" is another that has quite explosive eruption of pace. A brief but agreeable ballad "Miracle Machine" is the albums most peaceful tune which lead us to a premier track on Beyond The Red Mirror and the finale "Grand Parade", as the album concludes as it began with one the longest inclusions and more mesmerising Blind Guardian metal. I should mention the bonus tracks, one is on the Digi version titled "Distant Memories" and this plus another called "Doom" are both included with the more expensive Earbook deluxe edition. While yes extra tracks are nothing new from what I am led to believe as having only heard "Distant Memories" for partial confirmation, these two songs do tell part of the story. So you will have fork out the extra funds to immerse yourself in the complete Beyond The Red Mirror experience.

Beyond The Red Mirror is the culmination of much time and effort in a quest for perfection resulting in more of those rewarding powerful compositions. As they build on the unmistakeable vocals of Hansi Kursch and that guitar sound there is only one Blind Guardian, and they've done it again with another sublime release that may one day be considered a classic among their albums.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
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

Added: February 27th 2015
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3029
Language: english

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Blind Guardian: Beyond The Red Mirror
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-02-28 07:56:02
My Score:

The always dependable power metal juggernaut known as Blind Guardian have really hit it out of the park here on their latest release Beyond the Red Mirror. The word I can give to describe this album is 'epic', which we tend to misuse around here from time to time, but it really does represent the experience you get when listening to this fabulous album. With the addition of some classical choirs, the band have upped the ante in not only the presentation of the arrangements here, but the songwriting is simply stellar, the songs on display are heavy, powerful, progressive, and most importantly instantly memorable. Lead singer Hansi Kürsch is at the peak of his powers throughout, and the twin guitar attack of André Olbrich & Marcus Siepen weave one intricate riff and one blistering solo after another. Highlights are many, but be on the lookout especially for "The Ninth Wave", "Twilight of the Gods", the classical meets metal of "At the Edge of Time", and the crushingly heavy "Ashes of Eternity", complete with some mind blowing vocal passages and killer guitar work. Honestly, there's not a bad song in the bunch, and the album engages the listener from the opening notes and never lets go, which, is the way to really deliver the goods folks. "Grand Parade" closes things out in majestic fashion, with soaring choirs, orchestral keys, powerful riffs, and Hansi reaching for the heavens...just wonderful stuff. You can tell that a lot of hard work and love went into the creation of Beyond the Red Mirror, and the legions of Blind Guardian fans are going to be quite happy with what they hear. It's sure to stack up with some of the best of their vast catalog.

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