F.X Escarmís

 

Blind Guardian - Somewhere Far Beyond (1992)

Say yeah!
5

This album is the first that Blind Guardian did under the umbrella of the Virgin multinational, after 3 albums with No Remorse. They continued the style change begun with de previous year’s album, Tales From The Twilight World, which changed Speed Metal for Power Metal, more melodic and worked out, and the voice of Hansi Kürsch, between clean and harsh, took a new protagonism. From my point of view, both albums are very tied brothers, the one taking the path the other begun. I feel it this way because, when I heard them both for the first tie (and many, many times after that) was in a walkman, in a tape with both albums, one in each side.

The album begins with Time What Is Time, an epic song about the replicants that Philip K. Dick created for his story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, adapted for the famous Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner.

Next comes the hymnic Journey Through The Dark, a typical live song, a perfect example of the positive vibe that Blind Guardian show in their concerts.

The soft Black Chamber gives us a little break, showing us the most melodic side of Hansi’s voice, only joined by a piano.Theatre Of Pain follows in the list, bringing the band to a more orchestral path.

After that we have The Quest For Tanelor, based in the stories of the Eternal Champion by Michael Moorcock and the lost city of Tanelorn, with a stellar apparition by the mythic Kai Hansen, ex-Helloween and Gamma Ray leader.

The apocalyptical Ashes To Ashes shows us what would Queen sound if they were a Metal band.

At this point, we reach the peak of the album and all the band’s shows: The Bard’s Song – In The Forest. Joining thousands of people to sing this song in a live show makes you feel part of something more than just yourself, and all the hall, the public and the band become only one thing. An unrepeatable experience that Blind Guardian caught very well in the 2003 single that compiled the ‘updated’ studio version and three live recordings from different live shows, where the reaction of the audience can be heard, true protagonist of this song.

Its second part, The Bard’s Song – The Hobbit, is its musical following and, as the title well says, is based in the tale-prelude of The Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit.

The Piper’s Calling is a bagpipe introduction that puts us in situation for the title track: Somewhere Far Beyond. Based in the Dark Tower saga by Stephen King, is an epic, melodic song, Power Metal in its finest. In 7 minutes and a half, Blind Guardian resume in its multiple parts all the gamut they can offer: songs that, from the beginning to the end, go in multiple and divergent directions that, without knowing how, lead to sticky codas and hymnic choruses which can be easily remembered.

The CD version of this album also has 3 bonustracks: Spread Your Wings, an astounding Queen cover; Trial By Fire, an ultrafast cover from a song by Satan; and a ‘classic’ version of Theatre Of Pain, where the (synthetizer) orchestra highlights even more, and makes us wish they finish the real orchestra album about The Lord Of The Rings they are working on.

To sum up, a brilliant album, ideal to elevate the mood and make us start in full force in the morning… Try it!

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Updated: 26/11/2011 - 14.23h.

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