Blind Guardian - _Beyond the Red Mirror_
(Nuclear Blast, 2015)
by: Julia Semprich (8 out of 10)
After more than thirty years, Blind Guardian still manage to surprise their fans with an innovative new sound while preserving the band's characteristic traits. Their tenth release _Beyond the Red Mirror_ starts where their previous album _At the Edge of Time_ ended, but creates an even better symbiosis between symphonic and power metal.

Two orchestras and three choirs provide a perfected symphonic sound which complements and alternates with Hansi Kürsch's prominent voice and speedy power metal passages provided mainly by Olbrich's and Siepen's excellent guitar interplay. Yet, despite the bombastic orchestral sound and the ample backing vocals, _Beyond the Red Mirror_ manages to revert back to Blind Guardian's earlier and heavier releases.

_Beyond the Red Mirror_ opens with a nine and a half minute piece, "The Ninth Wave", which slowly moves from a voluminous choir to Blind Guardian's characteristic power metal. What follows is a nearly 65 minute masterpiece which effortlessly interweaves symphonic-melodic elements with speedy power metal. This mixture provides ample complexity for those who like the recent path the band has taken, but also heavier, more metallic songs such as "Twilight of the Gods" and "Ashes of Eternity". The obligatory Blind Guardian ballad "Miracle Machine", however, is a completely acoustic piece using only piano, violins and backing vocals to support Hansi Küsch, whose voice sounds relatively tame compared to the spectrum he delivers on the rest of the album.

Unfortunately, the quality of the production leaves a lot to be desired. It's flat with hardly any bass component. At times, the percussion fades too much into the background, sadly diminishing some of Frederik Ehmke's excellent drumming.

Nevertheless, Blind Guardian have shown once again that they are capable of writing an exquisite album presented with uttermost versatility, and that they are still not tired of venturing out into new territory while still remaining connected to their musical roots.


(article published 29/3/2015)

4/12/2002 A Bromley Blind Guardian: Singing Out Loud
10/14/2006 Y Stefanis 7.5 Blind Guardian - A Twist in the Myth
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