BLIND GUARDIAN — Somewhere Far Beyond

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BLIND GUARDIAN - Somewhere Far Beyond cover
4.28 | 52 ratings | 7 reviews
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Album · 1992

Tracklist

1. Time What Is Time (5:46)
2. Journey Through the Dark (4:48)
3. Black Chamber (0:58)
4. Theatre of Pain (4:17)
5. The Quest for Tanelorn (5:57)
6. Ashes to Ashes (6:00)
7. The Bard's Song: In the Forest (3:10)
8. The Bard's Song: The Hobbit (3:54)
9. The Piper's Calling (0:59)
10. Somewhere Far Beyond (7:30)

Total Time: 43:19

Bonus Tracks (all versions except vinyl):

11. Spread Your Wings (4:15)
12. Trial by Fire (3:44)
13. Theatre of Pain (classic version) (4:14)

Total Time: 55:33

Bonus Tracks (2007 Remaster):

14. Ashes to Ashes (Demo Version) (5:51)
15. Time What Is Time (Demo Version) (5:09)

Total Time: 66:33

Line-up/Musicians

- Hansi Kürsch / Vocals, Bass
- André Olbrich / Guitars, Backing Vocals
- Marcus Siepen / Guitars, Backing Vocals
- Thomas "Thomen" Stauch / Drums

Guest/Session Musicians:

- Kai Hansen / Guitars
- Piet Sielck / Effects, Guitars
- Mathias Wiesner / Effects, Bass (bonus track #11)
- Kalle Trapp / Backing Vocals
- Billy King / Backing Vocals
- Rolf Köhler / Backing Vocals
- Peter Rübsam / Bagpipes
- Stefan Will / Piano

Production Staff:

- Kalle Trapp / Producing, Mixing, Recording
- Piet Sielck / Engineer
- Tom Nagy / Photography
- Andreas Marschall / Cover Art

About this release

Release date: June 29th, 1992
Label: Virgin Records

Thanks to Time Signature, adg211288, diamondblack for the updates

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BLIND GUARDIAN SOMEWHERE FAR BEYOND reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

martindavey87
Blind Guardian’s fourth studio album, ‘Somewhere Far Beyond’, was released in 1992, and follows on from the bands previous three albums, in which this is mostly generic power/speed metal, but with outside influences creeping in. Prior to this the band had dabbled with folk and Gaelic influences, and here the band incorporates subtle medieval and pop influences.

Overall however, this is still very much a power metal album, and much like the bands prior efforts, I struggle to really pick out many highlights. The production has been improved, making the music heavier and giving it more clarity and depth, but the writing overall is still pretty lacking, with most songs having uninspired guitar riffs and bland melodies throughout.

Now, I know this is sacrilegious, but hear me out! I swear, I do love Blind Guardian! But this is a simple matter of taste. I love the bands later material, the epic, orchestral and progressive stuff. So perhaps this is what these earlier albums are missing? Because all I’m hearing here is one speed riff after another.

If I had to pick out any highlights, opening track ‘Time What is Time?’ is decent enough, and ‘Theatre of Pain’ introduces some of the more orchestral elements that the band would really excel at, but ultimately, probably the most memorable track from this album is a cover of Queen’s ‘Spread Your Wings’, which, while Blind Guardian do a great job of this, truly making it sound like one of their own songs, it also speaks volumes about the quality of their own material, at this point, anyway.

To any fans that are furious at my blasphemy, I swear, I love this band, I really do! But it would just seem that these earlier, straight-up power metal albums just aren’t for me. Bring on the concept albums and orchestras!
Kingcrimsonprog
Somewhere Far Beyond is one of those masterpiece must-own albums. The 1992 effort was German Power Metal legends Blind Guardian’s fourth full-length studio album and saw the band really hit their stride. Everything about this album is perfectly developed, finely honed and impressively delivered.

Opening with the beyond-catchy “Time What Is Time” the album kicks out powerfully with a brand of Melodic European Power Metal that owes as much to Bay Area Thrash acts like Testament, Exodus and Forbidden as it does to the Neoclassical and NWOBHM legends who usually inspired Power Metal bands of the same generation. People who worry that Power Metal may be too wimpy for them need a stat dose of Blind Guardian. Stylistically this isn’t the band’s most progressive release, but sees the band well on their way to heading in that direction, with a lot of song writing depth and efforts made not to just be straightforward or simplistic. Overall; Its kind of something like listening to Keeper Of The Seven Keys being covered by Kreator.

The album unleashed some of the band’s classic material, such as “The Bard’s Song” “Journey Through The Dark” and the aforementioned “Time What Is Time” and impressively the rest of the album holds up to that high standard; there’s no weak tracks and nothing worth skipping, its just all pure high quality, interesting and well written music filled to the brim with chunky riffs, blistering double-kicks, interesting melodies and catchy choruses.

Highlights include “Theater Of Pain,” “Quest For Tanelorn,” (featuring guest guitar by the legendary Kai Hansen) and the seven-minute title track.

I could go on; but really you just need to hear it for yourself. If you have any interest in Power Metal you either own this already or are probably about to own it soon, all I can really add is another happy convert’s voice to the list of many praising reviews. Give this classic a chance, you won’t be disappointed.
666sharon666
Though they've made other great albums, the years 1990 - 1995 remain the quintessential period of Blind Guardian's career. Starting with Tales from the Twilight World through to Imaginations from the Other Side the German band turned out one power metal classic after another. The middle of the three albums produced in that time is 1992's Somewhere Far Beyond, which has many claims to being the very best of them all despite stiff competition from its 1995 follow-up.

Here Blind Guardian deliver an album that has both fast paced power/speed metal anthems like Journey Through the Dark, one of their trademark folk ballads in The Bard's Song: In the Forest and the song that arguably remains their best ever, the title track; a 7:30 epic anthem themed around Stephen King's The Dark Tower novel series. And they still leave room for surprises on the album. Black Chamber is one such track. Though it's not even a full minute long, the way it's just Hansi Kürsch accompanied by piano is really quite the effective interlude after the belter that was Journey Through the Dark. It sounds like something that wouldn't be out of place on any classic rock album. Later The Piper's Calling is, as one might guess, a bagpipe piece, an element that then recurs in the title track.

I've always found it tough to choose between Somewhere Far Beyond and it's follow-up Imaginations from the Other Side and that's because, to repeat myself from my earlier review of the other album, they are both defining releases of the power metal genre. But really, why choose, when you can have both?

Attribution: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/blind-guardian-somewhere-far-beyond-t3583.html
Warthur
Somewhere far beyond takes the approach of Tales From the Twilight World, diversifies the sound a little, and continues down the usual Blind Guardian path of endearingly dorky fantasy fiction references wrapped in power metal riffs. This time around, the band sound more confident than ever - perhaps at points verging on the pretentious, but power metal is one of those genres which benefits from time to time from a little bit of megalomania - and the inclusion of some elements of folk metal makes it a bit less homogeneous than previous albums from the group. On the whole, the early 1990s was a very exciting time to be a Blind Guardian fan, thanks precisely to albums like this.
adg211288
Somewhere Far Beyond is without any doubt Blind Guardian at their very finest and indeed their most diverse. Sitting nicely between the speed metal days and their newer, more progressively inclined material, it is the Blind Guardian album that has something for everyone.

To begin the album we have two speed metal songs, the first one Time What is Time beginning with some acoustics before launching into an instant Blind Guardian classic. Journey Through the Dark continues the pace and if anything gets the album going even faster. The chorus of this song is particularly epic “You're the mystical old bard on your journey through the dark”. Hansi Kursch delivers with true vocal power here, in a standard that is set for the whole album.

Black Chamber doesn’t even clock in at a full minute, and is just Hansi singing with piano. It’s a nice enough piece but is over so fast you don’t have much time to appreciate it. In a way it’s almost as if it’s there to allow you to take a breather after the two speed metal anthems that is Time What is Time and Journey Through the Dark.

Theater or Pain and The Quest for Tanelorn are heavy songs again but neither has the pace of the first two songs, showing signs of Blind Guardian’s shift from speed to power metal. They are however no less epic for it. Hansi shines on Theater of Pain and later track Ashes to Ashes.

Later there is the two part track The Bard’s Song. The first, In the Forest is a light acoustic piece more akin to the bands track Lord of the Rings from the previous album Tales From the Twilight World. The second part, The Hobbit gets the album going heavier again. Both are good in their own right.

The Piper’s Calling is another interlude. No vocals this time, just bagpipes. Yeah bagpipes. Yet for some reason doesn’t sound out of place on the album.

But they save a monster of a track for last, the title track, Somewhere Far Beyond. This is Blind Guardian at their most epic. A seven and a half minute mix of speed, power, prog and folk metal, topped off with Hansi’s incredible vocals. A very strong way to close their best album, Somewhere Far Beyond is an album which will have you going back to it for many years to come. A true must have not just for Blind Guardian fans, but for metal fans in general. Even with its bagpipe surprises this album is faultless in every aspect, vocals, guitars, bass, drums, lyrics, production, you name it, Somewhere Far Beyond has got it. Overall it's not quite my favourite Blind Guardian release, but it is the second in what I consider their trio of masterpieces. Essential.

(Review originally written for Heavy Metal Haven)
Conor Fynes
'Somewhere Far Beyond' - Blind Guardian (7/10)

Up until this point, Blind Guardian was more or less a speed metal band with some fantasy- themed lyrics and content. It was really not until this album that Blind Guardian made a name for themselves as being masters of their genre. It's a classic for power metal, and a great album in general. 'Somewhere Far Beyond' also has progressive significance, and it was the first album where Blind Guardian started to have some forward-thinking in terms of their musical style.

Despite the fact that Blind Guardian was starting to experiment, this is still first and foremost; a power metal album. Being a casual fan of the genre, I really liked it, although I could understand a purely progressive listener not appreciating it.

While the complexity hasn't reached the levels that 'Nightfall In Middle Earth' and especially 'A Night At The Opera' reached, there's songwriting skill here that was not seen in previous releases. Multilayered vocals, impressive melodic playing and machine-gun guitar riffs all function to create a feeling of 'epicness.' Songs like 'The Bard Song' and the Blade Runner themed 'Time What Is Time' are very memorable, energetic tracks. The album doesn't have the resonance to warrant it being called a masterpiece, but it's very good and all fans of the band should be able to appreciate it as being a great album.
Time Signature
The guitarist's calling...

Genre: power metal / speed metal

One of my favorite metal albums, "Somewhere Far Beyond" is a quite magnificent power metal album which successfully combines the epicness of power metal with the fast picking of speed metal; it is also, with its acoustic sections, compositional dynamics and semi-complex song structures, progressively inclined without really being a progressive metal album at all.

I really don't think that there are any weak moments on this album. There are some cheesy moments, but, hey, it's power metal. Anyway, it never becomes too cheesy (well, "Black Chamber" comes pretty close, though). There are several things that make this album interesting to listen too: catchy choruses, catchy guitar melodies, guitar riffs galore, Hansi Kursch's voice, unusual song structures, bagpipe sections and just the pure energy from the speed metal and thrash metal elements that are on this album.

As I said, I don't think there really are any weak moments, but there are a couple of songs that deserve to be highlighted such as "Time What is Time", "Journey Through the Dark", "Quest for Tanelorn", "Ashes to Ashes" and the title track, which are fast and epic speed/power metal tracks, and "Theatre of Pain" which is more melodic and more in the vein of traditional heavy metal.

This album should hit the spot for power metal fans, but I can imagine that some fans of traditional metal and thrash metal might also like it.

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