Blind Guardian - Beyond The Red Mirror (2015)

From the guardian of power metal, here comes the tenth studio "Beyond The Red Mirror". Behold all followers and worshipers, Blind Guardian is back. With so many good years passing by, and so many young generations that made Blind Guardian as their inspiration, could Hansi Kursch and friends still on top of their game? To make sure of it, the band has to go all out, putting lengthy chorus intro in "The Ninth Wave" which is their first song. In a quick listening, it seems Blind Guardian now adopt even more symphonic elements on their music. The choice of implemented less-double-or-galloping-pedal drumming on their first song is strong indication the band wanted to go something else by now. Nevertheless in nine minutes it is possible to put lots of interesting elements in, rich song structure and some killer guitar duo solos. Heat up is hot riffs for "Twilight Of The Gods" and now we are back to Blind Guardian classic. Much trivial is a song "At The Edge Of Time", as we know is also the title of their previous album. A song that received help of intricate orchestral string attack. "Ashes Of Eternity" is their straight forward heavy tracks.    Also interesting is "The Throne", a song that has interesting operatic singing in it. The only full ballad song is "Miracle Machine", but no folk instrument a la Bard Song because it is indeed done with piano accompaniment.

Still "Beyond The Red Mirror" has many melodies to enjoy. Just that the album is now more symphonic than ever, in the cost of lessened the folk elements. Compared to "At The Edge Of Time" this is also slightly decreased in heaviness. "Beyond The Red Mirror" supported by full backing voices, Hansi Kürsch offered the same singing level as any their previous albums. In the same time, as with any Blind Guardian albums, the sound mixing is signature where it is kind of muddy and mid frequency only. It is a concept album, sequel to one of their previous album, done in a premise of "...when the world of science-fiction and fantasy become worse, the red mirror is the gate left..." It is the first album without long time Oliver Holzwarth in bass. And the story ends.....

Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of ten

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Blind Guardian - Beyond The Red Mirror (2015)

1. The Ninth Wave
2. Twilight Of The Gods
3. Prophecies
4. At The Edge Of Time
5. Ashes Of Eternity
6. The Holy Grail
7. The Throne
8. Sacred Mind
9. Miracle Machine
10. Grand Parade

Hansi Kürsch – lead and backing vocals
André Olbrich – lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars
Marcus Siepen – rhythm guitar
Frederik Ehmke – drums, percussion

Charlie Bauerfeind - production
Barend Courbois - bass guitar

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