Blind Guardian
Somewhere Far Beyond


4.5
superb

Review

by Venpts16 USER (27 Reviews)
April 30th, 2012 | 29 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blind Guardian takes on a new style, and creates a grandiose successor to "Tales From the Twilight World."

1992 was a very good year for Heavy Metal. Countdown to Extinction was released, and is considered to be one of Megadeth’s best albums, along with Iced Earth’s Night of the Stormrider; which was their second step into the Thrash Metal limelight. Images and Words, by Dream Theater, helped create Progressive Metal, and, last but definitely not least, Somewhere Far Beyond by Blind Guardian brought a completely new style to both Blind Guardian and Power Metal.

Somewhere Far Beyond contains a much more melodic sound than any of the band’s previous albums, straying further away from the formula from songs like “Run For the Night” or “Damned For All Time.” The fast shredding appears multiple times throughout this album; especially on “Ashes to Ashes” and “Journey Through the Dark;” the fastest and most aggressive song the band has made after Tales From the Twilight World. The extremely fast pace serves as a good wake-up call for old fans who feared the worst for the band, and is a fantastic piece of Power and Speed Metals.

Of course, the new style is why you would listen to this album. “Time What is Time” and “Theater of Pain” experiment with symphonic elements, layered vocals and more progressive song structures; flowing extremely well with the calm and the heavy of the many songs. The harmonies make the sing-along choruses more pronounced and clear; further pushing the Power Metal sound that the band has been crawling towards on the previous LP. “The Bard’s Song – In the Forest” is the second experiment with a ballad by the Bards, and exhibits such a Power Metal sound. Admired by the fans, the song is sang along by legions of concert attendees, from the vocals to the instrumentals, and is considered to be the essential Blind Guardian ballad.

The longest songs on the album, “Ashes to Ashes” and “Somewhere Far Beyond,” are easily two of the best songs the band has ever made. Featuring almost choral singing (“Drink the poison/Feel that this is life/Hallowed be thy game.”) combined with Speed Metal riffs, the songs are the perfect combination of old and new Blind Guardian. Both songs contain career-best executions from each and every member of the band, from Hansi Kursch’s emotional vocals to the dual shredding of Andre Olbrich and Marcus Siepan; especially displayed in the last few minutes of the album’s title song.

As awesome as the album is, there are some unfortunate low-points. “The Quest for Tanelorn” is rather boring by Blind Guardian standards; with a chorus melody that just does not meld with the boring verses. The two intermission tracks, “Black Chamber” and “The Piper’s Calling,” are unnecessary and cringe-worthy (especially the minute of unnecessary bagpipe playing). I can understand that this is a band trying something new, but these combined two minutes really take away from the final effort presented; with these songs removed, the album would be an easy classic.

Somewhere Far Beyond, just as the title indicates, is Blind Guardian’s leap to a new direction. Though not immediately abandoning Speed Metal, the band has combined the sound with a much cleaner combination of Power and Progressive Metals. Many of the songs deserve to be beloved by many fans of these genres; and the album as a whole is an essential purchase for anyone who wishes to listen to, or already listens to, Blind Guardian.



Recent reviews by this author
Rage Secrets In A Weird WorldStratovarius Elements, Pt. 1
Primal Fear Primal FearPrimal Fear Devil's Ground
Primal Fear Nuclear FireHelloween High Live
user ratings (838)
4.2
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
KILL
April 30th 2012


81580 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review

Venpts16
April 30th 2012


283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you! I find this to be Blind Guardian's second best of their career, and it could have used another review and more love (the title track and Ashes to Ashes are pretty metal).

Poet
April 30th 2012


6146 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I absolutely love some songs on here but this is nowhere near a 4.5 or the band's second best album. More like 4th or 5th best for me

jopower
April 30th 2012


113 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nicely written review. Blind Guardian's best album. I prefer albums such as Tales from the Twilight World and this over their newer work.

Dreamflight
April 30th 2012


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I absolutely love some songs on here but this is nowhere near a 4.5 or the band's second best album. More like 4th or 5th best for me "



This



Great review nevertheless

Venpts16
April 30th 2012


283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I respect your opinions; there is a lot of love here for their more symphonic, later releases. Though I love their albums from Tales From the Twilight World through A Night at the Opera the most, very little in Power Metal even comes close to songs like Sacred Worlds, Wheel of Time, Time Stands Still, And Then There Was Silence, Punishment Divine...

Dreamflight
April 30th 2012


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's not just the preferance for their later symphonic apporach. For instance, I'm really fond of Tales, and think A Twist in the Myth is one of their weakest works to date.

Venpts16
April 30th 2012


283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That also makes sense. Twist is really straightforward compared to a lot of their albums, (probably since Follow the Blind)

though I personally enjoy it because of its simplicity in the same way I enjoy Gamma Ray's Majestic or Iced Earth's The

Dark Saga. It all comes down to personal preference (which, come to think of it, makes a lot more sense).

Dreamflight
April 30th 2012


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, even if Twist is still full of lawyerd vocals and such, the approach is really straightfoward. I actually preffer The Dark Saga to that album, bue yea, I see what you mean. :D

Bigboss
April 30th 2012


35 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A couple of tracks are cheesy and hilarious but this is still a great album.



If Blind guardian releases another album someday I think that they should include at least one track similar to Somewhere far beyond, Ashes to ashes and Time what is time... In other words, a new song more in the style of speed metal than symphonic/power metal would be awesome.

Venpts16
April 30th 2012


283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That would be very nice; though they have fairly close songs to those in recent years. Have you heard

Punishment Divine, Tanelorn (Into the Void), or Ride Into Obsession off of A Night at the Opera or At

the Edge of Time? Though they lack the aggression of Time what is Time or Ashes to Ashes, I feel they

come close to those heights.

Bigboss
April 30th 2012


35 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well thats true, those songs you mention are quite good.

Then Maybe a more agressive tone in that new song or songs is what they should include.

Venpts16
April 30th 2012


283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

An aggressive Blind Guardian album again would be incredible! Though I greatly enjoy epics like Wheel of Time, I feel they succeeded with Somewhere Far Beyond, Imaginations From the Other Side, and The Last Candle. I wish they could come up with a varied speed-metal album again in the likes of this, or the three first albums of their career.

Acanthus
April 30th 2012


9812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album's pretty fun, took me awhile to appreciate it however.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2012


10769 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Blind Guardian's best album

ZedO
April 30th 2012


1096 Comments


agreed!

Yazz_Flute
April 30th 2012


19174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As phenomenal as the title track is, this is probably one of my least favorite BG releases.



A Night at the Opera > Imaginations From the Other Side > Nightfall at Middle Earth > At the Edge of Time > A Twist in the Myth > Somewhere Far Beyond > Tales From the Twilight World > Battalions of Fear > Follow the Blind

Venpts16
April 30th 2012


283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Follow the Blind last? I'm surprised! That album has songs like Valhalla, Damned For All Time, Hall of the King, Banish From Sanctuary...



Also Imaginations and A Night at the Opera! Very good choices; those are near the top of my list too (as both were my two first albums by them). Night at the Opera took a lot of time to get into; while Imaginations was almost instantaneous.

Yazz_Flute
April 30th 2012


19174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Follow the Blind never did much to stick with me, possibly because I've never been a huge thrash/speed metal fan in the first place and Blind Guardian didn't even do that very well in my opinion.





Venpts16
April 30th 2012


283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That makes sense; Follow the Blind isn't one of the best Guardian albums, but I like it just a bit more than At the Edge of Time and Battalions of Fear. It just gets a bit too goofy and/or boring sometimes (Barbara Ann, Fast to Madness).



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy