Blind Guardian
Somewhere Far Beyond


4.5
superb

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
July 26th, 2006 | 103 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist


In the modern day, you could virtually spit in the wind and hit a metal fan that knows and loves Blind Guardian. Over several decades, they’ve transformed metal with their definitive days of speed and power metal and albums such as Battalions of Fear and Nightfall in Middle-Earth. In recent times they’ve moved to A Night at the Opera, arguably one of the finest symphonic metal albums ever written. Between all of their legendary performances, transition took place with every album. That transition took place gradually but with definition and gave way to some truly groundbreaking heavy metal albums. Somewhere Far Beyond, their fourth album, is an excellent fusion of speed metal riffs and power metal melodies yielding fast headbangable segments with memorable vocal and instrumental harmonies. No metal album would so perfectly fit the definition of “classic” short of genre-defining albums such as Seven Churches, None So Vile, or Transylvanian Hunger.

Transitions can be rough. Sometimes they can bring fresh, new things to the table and uncover a whole new world of miracles. More often than not they can signify an artists creative death and lack of suitable transfiguration. For Blind Guardian, the change could not have been smoother or better received. Somewhere Far Beyond mixes the early raw, fast, leave-no-prisoners sound of German speed metal with the contemporary style of melodic (nearly symphonic) power metal. The production, while clear, is not the excessively lucid resonance of A Night at the Opera. This technical asset is evident as the metal instruments come crashing down in the opener, Time What Is Time. The instruments are defined and patent yet unrefined at a level of perfection all through this song, as well as the album. This forte is also evident during the speedy, bass-laden intro of Ashes to Ashes. Even The Bard’s Song – The Hobbit brings forth Hansi Kürsch’s powerful, apposite style of singing. Meanwhile, the title track Somewhere Far Beyond is 7:30 of intense riffs, solos, vocals, melodies, and any other positive heavy metal characteristic you can think of.

The power metal attributes present in Blind Guardian’s fourth album are undeniably breathtaking. Lead guitar licks and Hansi’s layered voice are dispersed throughout for the enchanting power metal sensation. The Quest for Tanelorn embodies this like no other, with its triumphant vocal mantras and flurries of metal axe shreddery. Acoustic guitars are at hand all over the album, as the record opens with Time What Is Time’s striking harmony. The Quest for Tanelorn also opens with wondrous acoustic strumming while The Bard’s Song – In the Forestis acoustic in its entirety as well as a Blind Guardian cult classic song. Peacefulness is also found in Black Chamber a minute of Hansi singing to a piano piece, as well as The Piper’s Calling, a bagpipe instrumental. And as the album winds down, none can deny that the title track Somewhere Far Beyond is the finest 7:30 that a power metal fan will ever experience in their lives.

If you think power metal is all about Dungeons and Dragons, cheesy keyboard melodies, and mystical singing, you’re wrong. Power metal is about fast, heavy riffs, intense guitar shredding, lead guitar/vocal melodies, and harmonies beyond imagination. Somewhere Far Beyond is everything that power metal was meant to be plus a speed metal edge. For fans of Nightfall In Middle-Earth and A Night at the Opera, prepare yourselves for an absolutely ferocious journey through the dark while being reduced from ashes to ashes on your quest for tanelorn. You have been warned.

Summary:
- Fast, heavy, technical
- Great vocal work
- Sweet combination of guitar riffs/solos/lead melodies
- Essential power/speed metal!

Favorite moments:
- Ashes to Ashes (:55) – lead guitar flurry
- any part of Somewhere Far Beyond
- The Quest for Tanelorn (2:13) – acoustic guitar backing dark chanting and lead guitar

Recommended song:
- Journey Through the Dark
- Ashes to Ashes
- Somewhere Far Beyond



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Stormrider
July 26th 2006


55 Comments


Nice Review Ben

I too absolute love the title track. I didn't notice the song right away after buying the album though...for some reason.



kno_kontrol
July 26th 2006


448 Comments


Several decades? possibly 20 years at best

anyway, good review, and I need to check this out

south_of_heaven 11
July 26th 2006


5433 Comments


I should probably find this ASAP...
Good review too man.

Shadows
Moderator
July 26th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Arguably Blind Guardian's best album. Definitely a must for anyone into power metal.

Mikesn
Emeritus
July 27th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I wasn't too impressed with Nightfall in Middle Earth, to be honest, but I might as well check out this album, excellent review.

Stoic
July 27th 2006


161 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Very well said bennie. This is the album that got me into BG and it's my favourite along with NIME. I'd like to point out the exceptional crystal clear production as being one of the strongest aspects of the album.

I'm on my journey through the daaark
I'm on my journey though the daaaark


Shadows
Moderator
July 27th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

[QUOTE=Mikesn]I wasn't too impressed with Nightfall in Middle Earth, to be honest, but I might as well check out this album, excellent review.[/QUOTE]
NIME never really impressed me either, but this album struck me immediately. It got me into BG.

Stoic
July 27th 2006


161 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's a wonder NIME hasnt impressed you. I almost cried when I first heard it :-

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 2nd 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

NIME never really impressed me either, but this album struck me immediately. It got me into BG.

Really? I guess I should check this out then, when I get the chance.

Altmer
December 14th 2006


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent shit, the album that got me into Guardian.

Eakflanderyof
December 14th 2006


2143 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think that Blind Guardian's new masterpiece is Nightfall in Middle Earth and this is the masterpiece for their old sound. Overall, I give the edge just slightly to Nightfall in Middle Earth.

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 14th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Of the four Blind Guardian albums I've heard, this is probably my third favourite. After Battalions of Fear and A Twist in the Myth.

Altmer
May 12th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ok, I'm relistening this and it's quite as good as ever. Though the harmony vocal atmospheres remind me of Alphaville and other German artists like that. Very weird. It sounds so nostalgic.

Yazz_Flute
November 28th 2007


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album...but I cant decide if this or IFTOS is better =(

ANATO is still my favorite though.

And the title track on this album is realizing is my favorite BG song ever, i like it even more than "And Then there Was Silence" now. It's just the perfect power metal song.

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

BallsToTheWall
December 17th 2007


44333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Alright brothers, here's the situation. Im at fye with 10 bucks. I see Blind Guardian's Somewhere Far Beyond and Heloween's Kepper of the Keys Part II used for 6 bucks a piece. I ended up purchasing Blind Guardian with no prior experience to either band, should I pick up Keeper Part 2 later?

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 17th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Should have just gotten Keeper Pt 2 and forgotten this.

Altmer
December 17th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

imo this is a pretty good bg album you didn't waste your money. mike is lame >(

SynGates
December 17th 2007


2467 Comments


This is my favorite of their old sound, with Nightfall In Middle-Earth as my favorite of their new sound.
Good pickup Balls

BallsToTheWall
December 17th 2007


44333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty good so far. Ashes To Ashes and Journey To The Dark are sick. I love the fact that these power vocals are pretty aggresive at times. A worthy purchase with the inclusion of a manowar condom order.

Poet
December 20th 2007


5933 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been listening to Blind Guardian for a year now....and I just heard Somewhre Far Beyond a week ago.

Really, what musical planet had I been living on, lol. The song is awesome.



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