Blind Guardian - Beyond The Red Mirror review



Reviewer:
9.0

518 users:
7.84
Band: Blind Guardian
Album: Beyond The Red Mirror
Release date: January 2015


01. The Ninth Wave
02. Twilight Of The Gods
03. Prophecies
04. At The Edge Of Time
05. Ashes Of Eternity
06. Distant Memories [limited and earbook edition bonus]
07. The Holy Grail
08. The Throne
09. Sacred Mind
10. Miracle Machine
11. Grand Parade
12. Doom [earbook edition bonus]


It was hinted At The Edge Of Time. A new symphonic focus and refinement that would bring Blind Guardian's sound fully into modern times. Production has never been as important in showcasing yet another distinctive album experience in their pioneering style of power metal. What lies beyond is assurance as much as surprise.

Beyond The Red Mirror is a new level of symphonic involvement, founded in the kind of orchestral placement that made At The Edge Of Time such an improvement over the questionable and seemingly self-allusiveA Twist In The Myth. From its majestic opening in "The Ninth Wave," the continuation of the band's recent aims are determined in an effort four-and-a-half years in the making. As such, listeners can rest assured that they are in for another album experience that has been crafted with attention down to the detail.

A wholly cohesive and organised structure is this album's greatest strength, the driving force in what emphasises consistency in a manner unlike any of Blind Guardian's preceding records; an impressive feat considering their tendency to avoid inconsistency. A number of tracks are of a prevailingly up-tempo delivery that harkens to the band's speed metal origins with their irresistible drive and situated within an album best demonstrating Blind Guardian's symphonically enhanced modern sound, such as those occupying the album's centre in "Ashes Of Eternity" and "The Holy Grail," as the rhythm section dominates and urges the track-list onward. A majority of the record, however, seeks close arrangement with the orchestral component to form and maintain denser compositions with a tight unison between band and the enlisted grand orchestras and choirs (two and three, respectively). The purpose of this album is to cement such a uniformity in the style Blind Guardian have come to define over their thirty year journey, spearheading the power metal genre in a fashion entirely their own, ever seeking to enhance themselves to deliver fresh and engaging material, of which Beyond The Red Mirror is no exception.

Track development is significantly longer on average than what listeners may expect, the orchestral accompaniment extending song progression across the board to limits unforeseen in Blind Guardian's discography, housed within the two equally enveloping nine-and-a-half minute tracks neatly arranged and situated at the album's beginning and conclusion. Despite obvious track differentiation, a drawback from this more extensive approach is the reduction in the rhythmic variance typical of Blind Guardian, as the pace often becomes fixed at higher tempo within the context of a number of tracks. In some ways, though, this would spur the track-list on with notable energy and consistency, sustaining an engaging delivery overall, as the band's trademark vocal arrangements forwarded by Hansi Kürsch are well layered in the mix with added bolstering from the aforementioned choirs, and the rhythm section operating effectively on its own or operating upon the orchestral swell.

The record's unbroken nature provides ample grounds for refining a new focus that is all the more impressively arranged leading on from 2010's At The Edge Of Time, and is herein more wholesomely written into the songs. Beyond The Red Mirror is another carefully constructed album experience, and adds further distinctive enhancement to Blind Guardian's catalogue.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10


 



Written on 17.01.2015 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.


Comments

Comments: 30   Visited by: 719 users
17.01.2015 - 11:07
Andreas
Interesting review! I'm very much looking forward to this. By the way, on the Blind Guardian forum there's alot fuss about the production being bad (something I don't have an ear for anyway, so I don't care). So it's interesting that you gave this a 10 for production
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17.01.2015 - 12:19
Wukk
The review is not what I was expecting based on the single they released. Still makes me want to hear it though.
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If you're 666 then I'm 777
http://www.last.fm/user/Joodicator
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17.01.2015 - 15:09
D.T. Metal
Admin
Agree - there are very few albums I like upon first listen but this one got under my skin right away. Great review.
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17.01.2015 - 17:32
ZafÞ
Phlegmish
Forgive me if I take this review with a grain of salt, since the single released wasn't very good (even if I don't take into consideration the fact that they didn't release it in stereo)
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And the tears that we will weep today
Will all be washed away
By the tears that we will weep again tomorrow
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17.01.2015 - 18:09
Bad English
Masterchief
Gonna judge my self after listening ..booking ticket to ausie and visiting review dude
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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17.01.2015 - 18:49
John Shock
Nice review!!! Now i have even more curiosity!!!
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17.01.2015 - 19:57
Arcesse Eum
Oh god I'm excited.
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As above, so below.
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17.01.2015 - 20:40
bblitz
Interesting review...Guitars
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17.01.2015 - 20:41
Joe Zombie
The single didn't impress me but I'll hold out for the rest of the album.
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18.01.2015 - 00:14
AngelofDeth
Cyborg Raptor
I've always preferred Blind Guardians orchestral tracks over their stripped down heavier tracks, At the Edge of Time is their only album I like in it's entirety so this promises to be a great album to me... Can't wait to get my hands on it!
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pewpew.. gotcha
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18.01.2015 - 00:52
Susan
Smeghead
Interesting review indeed! You more than did your job in getting my interest piqued. I am one of those rare people who think A Twist In The Myth is an absolute gem, and their only newer album that excited me as much as the classics. I love very symphonic music as well so if that is their destination with this record then hopefully it'll become another of the BG greats!!
----
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
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18.01.2015 - 02:09
mikeprado30
The hype for this one is growing greatly! I can't await for January 30th!!!!
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BARDS WE ARE, BARDS WE WILL BE!
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18.01.2015 - 08:57
Papa_Ray
I guess I'm one of the weirdos who think A Twist in the Myth is the best album they've released since Nightfall in Middle-Earth. I very much look forward to this one, as a new Guardian album is always cause for celebration.
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18.01.2015 - 13:04
OpenMind
I don't expect nothing else than a masterpiece, like always from these guys..
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19.01.2015 - 03:59
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Thanks for the comments all!
Written by Andreas on 17.01.2015 at 11:07

Interesting review! I'm very much looking forward to this. By the way, on the Blind Guardian forum there's alot fuss about the production being bad (something I don't have an ear for anyway, so I don't care). So it's interesting that you gave this a 10 for production


On the production end of things, I think there's an improvement here over the previous two records, certainly over A Twist In The Myth. I suspect that some of the criticism is being levelled at the band again simply because it's (unfortunately) become an expectation that there'll be noticeable production issues on any new record they put out.

For its purposes in blending the orchestral aspect with Blind Guardian's sound, this album is excellently produced, I have to say.
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19.01.2015 - 04:00
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by Wukk on 17.01.2015 at 12:19

The review is not what I was expecting based on the single they released. Still makes me want to hear it though.


I'd say that the single isn't particularly representative of the album overall.
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19.01.2015 - 04:03
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by ZafÞ on 17.01.2015 at 17:32

Forgive me if I take this review with a grain of salt, since the single released wasn't very good (even if I don't take into consideration the fact that they didn't release it in stereo)


If it's any consolation, I found it to be the least remarkable track on the record. Still very much an enjoyable and listenable one though.

edit: and as some others have mentioned below you, it's a typical BG track, which I agree with as it's the most typical number on here.
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19.01.2015 - 04:08
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by deadone on 17.01.2015 at 23:40

Interesting review. The single seemed like more of the same.

More symphonic components + longer songs actually seems like a bad thing to me.

My biggest issue with the last couple of albums is the songs aren't a memorable as in the past. Night at the Opera had a lot of goods one but started the downward trend in interesting and memorable songwriting.

Is this new one any better on song writing?


As they've taken a different approach to the song writing here, with a heavy focus on blending their style with those orchestral elements throughout the record (something which you may have issues with, judging from what you've said) I'd say it's more memorable than A Twist In The Myth overall, and on a par with the previous. It certainly stands out on its own terms in their discog.
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19.01.2015 - 04:10
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by AngelofDeth on 18.01.2015 at 00:14

I've always preferred Blind Guardians orchestral tracks over their stripped down heavier tracks, At the Edge of Time is their only album I like in it's entirety so this promises to be a great album to me... Can't wait to get my hands on it!


I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by this one
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19.01.2015 - 04:13
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by Susan on 18.01.2015 at 00:52

Interesting review indeed! You more than did your job in getting my interest piqued. I am one of those rare people who think A Twist In The Myth is an absolute gem, and their only newer album that excited me as much as the classics. I love very symphonic music as well so if that is their destination with this record then hopefully it'll become another of the BG greats!!


Thanks Susan! While I can understand the appeal in A Twist In The Myth, I don't think it meets the BG standard in terms of performance, song writing and production, though I do like the rather "folksier" approach to it (for want of a better word) and it stands out in their discography in that sense, so I'd give it higher points in originality over its defects.
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19.01.2015 - 04:16
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by Papa_Ray on 18.01.2015 at 08:57

I guess I'm one of the weirdos who think A Twist in the Myth is the best album they've released since Nightfall in Middle-Earth. I very much look forward to this one, as a new Guardian album is always cause for celebration.


There's nothing weird about having our preferred BG albums, no matter which one it happens to be. They have a ridiculously consistent standard as far as records go, after all, and an output well above what's being released in the genre these days. As you say, it's always cause for celebration!
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19.01.2015 - 04:35
Susan
Smeghead
Written by Papa_Ray on 18.01.2015 at 08:57

I guess I'm one of the weirdos who think A Twist in the Myth is the best album they've released since Nightfall in Middle-Earth. I very much look forward to this one, as a new Guardian album is always cause for celebration.


I thought I was the only one. Yes. Those are easily the two best BG albums for me, though I accept that we're in the minority.

I have a great feeling about this one. I did already and then this review confirmed it as much as is possible without hearing the actual music. Hopefully it'll make a trio of favorite albums for me!
----
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
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19.01.2015 - 11:35
ZafÞ
Phlegmish
Written by R'Vannith on 19.01.2015 at 04:03

If it's any consolation, I found it to be the least remarkable track on the record. Still very much an enjoyable and listenable one though.

edit: and as some others have mentioned below you, it's a typical BG track, which I agree with as it's the most typical number on here.

Well, that's good then. Your review does make it seem like it's a continuation of the symphonic elements hinted at in the previous album, which is what I liked most about that album in the first place, so this album definitely has a lot of potential to appeal to me.
----
And the tears that we will weep today
Will all be washed away
By the tears that we will weep again tomorrow
Loading...
24.01.2015 - 02:40
GordOfThunder
Looking Forward to hearing this album, liked Twilight of the Gods track, but it sounds like the rest is going to be more symphonic sound, I was wondering if you think they will be able to do it Live on stage ? Will it blend in with the previous album songs or do you think it will have to be done in it's entirety. Which tracks from previous albums do you think they can mix into a concert with the new songs ?
It was said they were using 3 different Orchestra's on the album, can you distinguish any different sounds from each one?
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07.02.2015 - 16:28
BlankFile
Altough it doesn´t reach the quality of it´s predecessor, i think this one is a really excellent álbum. It reminds me a lot of ANATO in various moments. I think we have another BG gem here.
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06.03.2015 - 19:10
The Shape 1973
10 for production? You must have an amazing sound system. What ever I have listened to it on it sounds like a muddy mess. There is too much going on and it merges into noise. Nothing is clear, the songs don't stand out. It is like they got Yngwie Malmsteen on production duties.
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Greta drives a Lambo
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07.03.2015 - 12:59
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by The Shape 1973 on 06.03.2015 at 19:10

10 for production? You must have an amazing sound system. What ever I have listened to it on it sounds like a muddy mess. There is too much going on and it merges into noise. Nothing is clear, the songs don't stand out. It is like they got Yngwie Malmsteen on production duties.


Yes, I have a good pair of headphones, these. Nothing more amazing than that. There is a lot going on, which is exactly the point. This isn't the recording of a simple four-piece guitar, bass, drums and vocal combo. This is the recording of a band that already uses significant overdubbing, and further mixes within this context multiple orchestras and choirs. To allot adequate space for each of this album's components and give them their audibility is a challenging undertaking, which has been achieved remarkably well here. The instrumentation and vocals are all audible, which is a considerable feat given the complexity of the album's arrangement. To my ears, the production carries the involved content well and clearly.
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14.04.2015 - 05:33
mikeprado30
Written by deadone on 10.03.2015 at 01:29

Blind Guardian production has been going down the toilet since A Night At The Opera and this new album just takes the cake. Throw in really average unmemorable song writing and voilà: Blind Guardian have released their first shit burger.

It's a matter of tastes. I found specially very amazing At The Edge of Time, The Throne and Sacred Mind, and I love the other songs from the album.

But I agree with you, the production was bad for this one (not so for ATEOT album and the 2014 boxset, at least IMHO)
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BARDS WE ARE, BARDS WE WILL BE!
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11.09.2015 - 18:47
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
After listening to this about 6 times, I just still can't get into it. I can't even explain what it is I don't like. I can barely remember anything after every listen and it just seems so forgettable to me. Production is a bit weird and I have a very good sound system, even the layered vocals just seem unimpressive. A shame .
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27.11.2018 - 00:03
BlankFile
I think it´s still a very rewarding and very good CD, with lots of great moments. Off course the good old Blind Guardian days are long gone, but they still kickass. I would put "The Ninth Wave", "Twlight of the Gods", "At The Edge of Time", "Sacred Mind" and "The Grand Parade" as the highlights on this one.
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