Blind Guardian - 'Beyond The Red Mirror' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 29, 2015    
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Only in a whole serving will you get everything out of the music that the band has poured in.

Blind Guardian, the German Power Metal (?) band, have grown far beyond their early basic Power Metal roots and have turned into one of the best overblown Pomp Metal Titans this planet has to offer. Their new album 'Beyond The Red Mirror' sees the band using TWO full symphony orchestras and THREE choirs to get the sound and depth to the music that they originally envisaged at the writing stage of the project.

This dedication to their music has been the driving force behind this outfit and something that has propelled them ever onward and 'Beyond...' is probably their most dramatic, theatrical and grandiose work so far.

The album itself is a concept that was started some twenty years ago on the album 'Imaginations From The Other Side', where two of that album's songs tell how a young man is drawn towards the magical red mirror and is urged to enter through its portal into a new dimension. The new album deals with what happened to this man and what this new land has in store for him (and for us).

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The story centres on an otherworldly dimension that includes gods, tyrants and the Holy Grail. It all begins with the ten minute epic 'The Ninth Wave' where the choirs and orchestra dramatically join with the band in an ever expanding musical sound-scape that weaves and twists until the whole track reaches its overblown climactic end. The band then continue to take us on a flamboyant journey through the land of The Red Mirror, where we encounter the fast paced 'The Twilight Of The Gods', the ominous 'Prophecies' with its memorable chorus, the bombastic one-two attack of 'Ashes Of Eternity' and 'The Holy Grail' which delivers in spades. Finally we come to 'The Grand Parade' another epic song that has multiple time changes, sweeping discordant ideas and musical vistas that you'll want to visit many times.

I have to be honest and say that 'Beyond The Red Mirror' isn't an easy album to fall in love with, even for a long time fan like me. It's a selection of adjoining musical pieces, an Operatic/Classical suite if you will, that needs time and your undivided attention to be enjoyed; dipping into it here and there does nothing for the bands overall vision and in the end that way leaves the listener feeling cheated. Only in a whole serving will you get everything out of the music that the band has poured in but when you do, I think you'll be very pleased indeed.

Ian Johnson

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