BLIND GUARDIAN — Somewhere Far Beyond (review)

BLIND GUARDIAN — Somewhere Far Beyond album cover Album · 1992 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
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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)
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