Beyond The Red Mirror (Digibook)

SKU: 727361327200
Label:
Nuclear Blast
Category:
Power Metal
Add to wishlist 

Deluxe digibook edition with one bonus track.  Please note - other versions will be available shortly.

"Previewing their tenth album "Beyond the Red Mirror" with the previously-released "Twilight of the Gods" EP, German power-symphonic metal maestros BLIND GUARDIAN capitalize on a long break with an encompassing and magical effort. For "Beyond the Red Mirror", the band worked with three different worldwide choirs from Budapest, Prague and Boston, along with two full-scale orchestras bearing 90 members apiece. The results are as larger-than-life as the band intended, fleshing out a sci-fi and fantasy piece bridged to their 1995 album, "Imaginations from the Other Side".

As "Twilight of the Gods" (one of only two songs to clock in beneath five minutes) proved to ring like a broad-scoped, QUEEN-esque musical sonnet, the rest of "Beyond the Red Mirror" is simply massive. Beginning and ending with two epics that roll at 9:29 each, this album plays like BLIND GUARDIAN's reach for a masterpiece, and they practically hit it.

You couldn't ask for a more breath-stealing intro with the gusting chorus opening the expansive "The Ninth Wave", a song stuffed as much with electronica buzzes and defined guitar lines as there are swarming voices. Hansi Kürsch, one of the best metal vocalists in the business, is nearly secondary to the enthralling choral tides that introduce and conclude the track. This could've been a near-ten-minute EP unto itself, that's how conclusive and meticulous the song is structured.

The decorative harpsichord setting off "Prophecies" is a delicious intro for André Olbrich and Marcus Siepen to plow through successions of IRON MAIDEN-derived chords and marching progressions. Why BLIND GUARDIAN gets away with it is due to the incredible vocal outpourings around them. Again, the majestic theater aspect of QUEEN plays into this track as much as IRON MAIDEN and it's the proficiency behind the delivery that makes "Prophecies" sing instrumentally on top of the wondrous voices around it. Equally enchanting is "At the Edge of Time", which keeps a frolicking back beat and spritely orchestral accompaniment behind Frederik Ehmke's gradual stamp. The delicate measures BLIND GUARDIAN puts behind the thrusting march of "At the Edge of Time" are astonishing to behold, no matter how many symphonic metal albums you've been exposed to.

The swift "Ashes of Eternity" gusts on the heels of Frederik Ehmke's fluid pounding, the breezing guitars and Hansi Kürsch's vocals, which toughen to full snarls at times, but never fail to exhale with full conviction. The gorgeous backing vocals add to "Ashes of Eternity"'s tireless drafts. Even more vigorous is "The Holy Grail" thereafter, which does HELLOWEEN and GAMMA RAY proud, much less HAMMERFALL and MANOWAR with its hurricane-speed tale of valor. Let the musical echoes of battle always sound this powerful.

The 7:56 "The Throne" is a metal opera unto itself while serving the album's overall goal in sweeping the listener from one riveting plane to another, transitioning the twenty years between "Imaginations from the Other Side" and this album. "The Throne" works a little harder to find its spark as the band and orchestral pieces thicken up the longer the piece rolls, but Hansi Kürsch valorously leads the way and put to the stage, this piece should sound even bigger, so long as all of its recorded parts are presented live.

What can be safely assumed is that the album's carnival-esque finale, "Grand Parade" will make it to their live forum. Cited by André Olbrich as the best song BLIND GUARDIAN has ever written, there's substance to this claim as it rolls, romps and cascades with all the gala these guys can load up. "Grand Parade" is a cheerful promenade for much of the ride with a thundering chorus ushering it along until a dramatic change in tone arrives with the first guitar solo, altering the course toward a valiant and clamorous bang. A return to the battle front with power metal thrusts and cinematic orchestration ram the song back to its original celebratory cavalcade for a triumphant finale. Indeed, this is the best song BLIND GUARDIAN has conceived. Phenomenal.

With no disrespect intended to their contemporaries, BLIND GUARDIAN delivers symphonic metal of the highest art on "Beyond the Red Mirror". How far these guys have come since "Battalions of Fear" is not only remarkable, it's tremendous. As Hansi Kürsch has described the story behind this album, the red mirror is a representative, lone-standing portal to purported salvation and it must be found at all costs. What BLIND GUARDIAN has found with this album is inspirational and it's inexcusable the Grammy committee has long kept a sightless eye toward these virtuosi of metal music." - Blabbermouth

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • "The news of Angela Gossow stepping down as the front of ARCH ENEMY is still fresh as the band launches their latest album, "War Eternal". The new record features THE AGONIST's Alissa White-Gluz on the mike and former ARSIS guitarist Nick Cordle, who gets his first album representation following the 2012 departure of Christopher Amott.Change often sucks, but hardly in this case. The new blood in ARCH ENEMY has propagated a tremendous creative spark in Michael Amott. Simply put, "War Eternal" is the best ARCH ENEMY album in years. Though Angela Gossow held her post with honor, the songwriting under her tenure fell into a script that's observed on occasion here, but stepped well beyond."War Eternal" captures immediate attention with an overture opening featuring harpsichord and choral lines, "Tempore Nihil Sanat (Prelude in F Minor)" before ripping straight into "Never Forgive, Never Forget". The latter yields the same structuring as most ARCH ENEMY songs during the Gossow years with bombastic thrash-grind lines melded with modified slowdowns. Overall, the song is a scorcher and it comes with guitar solos that are dealt at a zillion notes they're worth backing up.Afterwards, the title track jumps in with an excellent shredded intro and retains a harmonious curve all the way through its mid-tempo stamp. This and the gloriously anthemic "You Will Know My Name" are the closest "War Eternal" get to accessible and the strident focus of the band puts these songs at peaks of near-perfection, once again bringing active, detailed solo sections full of jerked strings and fret dances. The solo on "War Eternal" needs to be shaved by about ten seconds, but otherwise, that track is one of the most affecting tunes ARCH ENEMY's written in some time."As the Pages Burn" is completely savage on the verses, but the stepped-back choruses that make an attempt at neoclassical-based melody does the headstrong thrash a slight disservice. Still, the song's a cooker. Speaking of neoclassical, Michael Amott and Nick Cordle lead and fill the steady crusher "No More Regrets" with scales galore and the fret garnishments assume a stately flair beyond the song's gruesome double hammer and fierce breakdown. By this point, it's evident Michael Amott and ARCH ENEMY mean to outdo themselves on this album.The brief guitar interlude, "Graveyard of Dreams", is a nice set-up for the heavy thrust of "Stolen Life", which the shredding lines and Alissa White-Gluz's spit-flung delivery keep the energy level of the album from faltering. The lullaby opening to the massive "Time is Black" is the perfect opener as the song rolls through a symbiosis of classical lines and progression that jack up in both intensity and elegance.Suffice it to say, the concentration upon Bach and Mozart behind Michael Amott, Nick Cordle and Sharlee D'Angelo's intricate lines becomes a theme on "War Eternal" and the method elevates the band beyond their powers. Once more incorporating harpsichord and symphonic strings for the intro and the fills of the headbanging groove on "Avalanche", the opportunity for auxiliary grace is capitalized intuitively.The band's tireless performance on "War Eternal" is comparable to a veteran baseball team with a powerful batting lineup giving a new pitcher a seven run lead to break in with. Blue-coiffed Alissa White-Gluz can rip esophagi with them best of them and she's a natural fit for ARCH ENEMY. She possesses excellent pentameter even in ralphing mode and she sounds like a demoniac on "As the Pages Burn". It doesn't hurt to have her predecessor looming in the background as the band's new manager. Gossow must be feeling proud, if bittersweet that ARCH ENEMY hits a higher level of craft on "War Eternal" than they have in a long time. There are transitional moments in a band, but this is a veritable catharsis." - Blabbermouth.net
    $9.00
  • "ALLEN/LANDE (or ALLEN-LANDE) is a Melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal super group / band project formed in 2005 by guitarist Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR, STARBREAKER) with two highly acclaimed metal vocalists - vocalist Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X) and former MASTERPLAN vocalist Jørn Lande. The band released such albums: "The Battle" (2005), "The Revenge" (2007), "The Showdown" (2010) and "The Great Divide" on 17th October 2014.Opening track “Come Dream With Me” takes listeners on the journey through the Melodic Rock & Metal world where you can find stronger melodic guitars with wonderful vocals, clear rhythmic section, catchy chorus with an impressive guitar solo which makes goose-flesh, and little PRIMAL FEAR echoes. Powerful drums and mega energetic guitar riffs in “Down from the Mountain” are truly kick-ass with amazing vocals in climate of BLACK SABBATH, AXEL RUDI PELL and memorable refrain in high style. All tracks have similar sounds to GAMMA RAY and TIMO TOLKKI songs. The energetic atmosphere of “Dream About Tomorrow” is caused by heavier riffs, SCORPIONS echoes, great solo, and keys in Power Metal style.My favourite song on the album is “Lady of Winter”, which has everything that is the best in Hard Rock and Metal music – so gentle piano opening, then heavy riffs, clear drums, fabulous memorable high chorus, and perfect worked guitars full of melody. Stunning track with rockin sounds, mid-tempo, perfect bass, slower climate, and totally in the style of JORN. Stronger riffs with gentle keys and massive JORN vocals in pathetic melodic refrain in track “Solid Ground” is perfect, also with a massive and brilliant guitar solo!The band proves that they are on high-class level in powerful “In the Hands of Time” where keys and melodic guitars have STRATOVARIUS echoes. The energetic “Reaching for the Stars” with gentle keys in the background with memorable refrain and massive sounding “Hymn to the Fallen” with mixing Heavy Metal sounds together with rockin style.Also I like very much the ballad titled track “The Great Divide” with beautiful strong voices of singers, calmer guitars, keyboards, and passionate guitar work and chorus in high style with choir in amazing slower tempo – what a wonderful sound! Another ballad “Bittersweet” has a slower rate, clear drums, piano, and brilliant singing together with climatic stronger high riffs. Sounds total perfect!ALLEN/LANDE, again, proved that they are Kings of Rock and Metal. They connect different kinds of sounds – Hard Rock, Heavy Metal with doses of melody. The band creates music with passion. Every track is a masterpiece and in each sound the experience of musicians is hear able. ALLEN/LANDE is simply a fantastic band, and their fresh CD “The Great Divide” is more than highly recommended to every lover of Melodic strong sound!" - Metal Temple
    $16.00
  • "Transformation is a very apt title for Canadian Prog veterans FM, for not only has their music transformed numerous times over the years, so has their line-up. Joining bassist/keyboard player Cameron Hawkins this time round is drummer Paul DeLong (Roger Hodgson/Kim Mitchell), violinist/mandolin player Edward Bernard, who has performed with Druckfarben and violinist (yes, there are two violinists here) Aaron Solomon. The recording group being completed by legendary Rush, Dream Theater, Fates Warning producer/engineer Terry Brown, who does an excellent job.So you'll gather then that the first proper FM album since 1987's Tonight still follows in its predecessors footsteps of placing violin front and centre. Yet while that may sound risky in today's often sanitised Prog world, Transformation sounds remarkably contemporary and, at the same time, true to this band's 70s roots. More beautiful than punchy, in places the songs on this album feel like Yes with copious amounts of violin strung over it, the air being light, melodic and captivating. DeLong is stunning throughout, his rare ability to be ridiculously busy and intricate, underpinned by a solidity which fixes everything in place. Nary a second goes by where the percussionist isn't whispering a ghost beat, paradiddling the toms to within an inch of their lives, or alternating between snare, hi-hat and cymbals at break neck speed. However, amazingly, he never interrupts the beautiful flow of the vocals provided by Hawkins, Solomon and Bernard; the trio causing another reason for celebration in the process. However no album was built on drums and voice alone, so the stunning, varied violin, viola and mandolin work which weaves and dances across Hawkins deep resonant bass and darting, lilting, pointed synth contributions, are as impressive as they are vital to the unbridled success of this album.There's a real depth of sound and arrangement across the nine tracks on show, the likes of "Tour Of Duty" a journey from fragile art through fractured beauty, into controlled frenzy. "The Love Bomb (Universal Love)" and "Brave New Worlds" contrast this approach excellently, a sparse framework thriving on roaming bass, while gentle string stabs allow the vocals to express the emotions of melancholic introspection, but overriding hope and belief displayed in every one of the songs on this album. And it's that uplifting feeling which really infuses Transformation with the power to captivate and control your attention from start to finish, whether through the harsher attack of the bristling "Re-Boot, Reawaken", unsettling pulse of "Children Of Eve", the almost jauntily optimistic "Safe And Sound" or idyllic "Heaven On Earth".Often when a band reappears from the past, as if by magic to reclaim their past glories, the results are safe and deflating. Transformation however falls far from that trap, instead announcing itself with a triumphant confidence which never fades once as its beauties unfold, and vitally it just gets better with each and every luscious visit to the land of hope and understanding it creates." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $17.00
  • "After last year’s glorious live album/DVD Swedish Empire Live, Sabaton return with a new studio album, Heroes. It’s their first effort following the mass exodus of four members who left and formed Civil War.Vocalist Joakim Broden and bassist Par Sundstrom rounded out the lineup with guitarists Chris Rorland and Thobbe Englund along with drummer Hannes Van Dahl. With plenty of touring under their belt, including the aforementioned live album, the transition into the studio was a smooth one.There are no big surprises on a Sabaton album. You know you are going to get bombastic power metal with lyrics based on war and battles. That’s exactly what you get with Heroes. It gets off to a potent start with “Night Witches,” and the momentum continues with “No Bullets Fly.”The songs have huge melodies, singalong choruses and top-notch musicianship, and the lyrics are about real-life war heroes. Those featured on Heroes range from American World War II hero Audie Murphy (“To Hell And Back”) to a Belgian infantry group that fiercely resisted the Germans (“Resist and Bite”) to Polish soldier Witold Pilecki, leader of the resistance movement in Auschwitz (“Inmate 4859“).Sabaton change things up with the arrangements, sometimes emphasizing big orchestral parts, and other times going more straightforward. “The Ballad Of Bull” comes about halfway through the album, a nice change of pace before things crank back up with “Resist and Bite.”Peter Tagtgren has worked with Sabaton for a while, and does another yeoman’s job behind the mixing board. The production is crisp and punchy with a big drum sound. The guitars shine through, mixing effortlessly with the symphonic and atmospheric elements.It’s a streamlined effort with little if any filler. The 10 tracks clock in at a brisk 37 minutes, with the longest song just over 4 and a half minutes long. Heroes shows that Sabaton have carried on nicely after the lineup changes, with their patented style and sound fully intact." - About.com
    $11.00
  • Latest album from this Michigan band - once again produced by Terry Brown. The album kicks off with the 17 minute title track - perhaps this is their 2112? Still plenty of Rush-isms but it sounds like the band is trying to take more chances and stretch out a bit more. After this track the album reverts to more concise material that does bring back the Rush comparisons. Some interesting guests pop in for a visit, most notably legendary Canadian AOR guitarist Kim Mitchell and ex-Discipline leader Matthew Parmenter on violin.This the limited edition version that comes with a bonus CD - a live "bootleg" taken from their support tour with Dream Theater.
    $7.00
  • "Remastered from the original tapes are Godzilla; Goin' Through the Motions; I Love the Night , and the rest of this 1977 fave. PLUS you'll hear unissued versions of Be My Baby; Please Hold; Night Flyer , and more!"
    $7.00
  • "I am no stranger to the awesome might of Between the Buried and Me. Back when I first started writing for MetalNuhUh, as the scant old school among you may remember, I endured a not-so-sexy injury bike accident which resulted in a broken shoulder, and it was shortly after said injury that I first got to witness the glory of a BTBAM show, on Halloween no less. This was back in the Colors days (probably still my favorite offering from the band), and I’ll be damned if the music — and a handful of whiskeys, as well as the cute flirty smile of the bartender — didn’t make me wanna throw caution to the wind and fight my way through the pit with a broken shoulder.Thankfully I restrained myself – hard to find the motivation when some poor bastard was carried out of said pit with a protruding ankle bone sticking out of his leg – but the real lesson to take away here is that this is a band with the ability to conjure up such a wicked level of excitement with a stupendous live performance…CUT TO:Several years and a couple noodley records later, my perception of BTBAM’s current music had become slightly underwhelmed, but catching the band earlier this year on tour with Intronaut and Deafheaven reminded me just how sickly tight the playing is.  And this is a similar feeling I get when watching new Blu-ray DVD release Future Sequence: Live at the Fidelitorium; to see these dudes crank it out live reminds me every time where the magic lies.Sure, it’s easy to dismiss some of the tunes as a bit too proggy, ostentatious, melodramatic even — there are several decidedly clowny video game/carnival/musical theater-inspired moments (which actually makes quite a bit of sense since the group recently alluded that it will be embarking on a journey to create a rock opera), but these guys are such gifted individual musicians that truly elevate to a whole other level together that no matter how you may feel about any of their material, the impression they leave will drop your jaw every time.In watching Live at the Fidelitorium, as seeing the band live, it’s almost impossible not to fawn over BTBAM’s tightness. There are several moments that sound pretty impossible, but wait a second—I just saw five humans make that happen…  Drummer Blake Richardson is a beast who straddles the magnificent line between heavy hitting and ripping jazzy groove chops, the guitarists and bassist display jaw-dropping dexterity for days, and Tommy Rogers once again astonishes with his pearly singing timbre that somehow escalates into one of the most br00tal growls I’ve ever seen from a little dude.And this particular performance also features some additional players, special guests including bassist Dan Briggs’ saxomophone cohort from fusion outfit Trioscapes, a tuba player, a string quartet, and a glockenspiel/marimba player.  For some reason, these guest performances are presented in such a matter-of-fact way (cutting into their footage all of a sudden when their parts drop in) that it’s hard to get a sense of where these additional players are situated geographically. One assumes that they are somewhere in the same studio as Tommy and the boyz, but from a directorial/editing perspective it’s difficult to tell where they are are situated.Overall it’s a real pleasure to watch such a simple, barebones performance from such a crazy band — aside from the extras (some additional pretty pointless “behind-the-scenes” footage documenting the studio setup and some interesting interviews explaining the impetus for the DVD), Future Sequence: Live at the Fidelitorium is a mostly no-frills studio recording, meant to show the band in a subdued, intimate setting without the distractions of a crowd or the chaos of a live show. And it’s definitely a treat to see the guys do their thing. Any BTBAM fanboy (or fangirl, but c’mon—let’s get real here) will be psyched to lay eyes on this DVD, but I’d be pretty surprised if anyone new to the band was extremely bowled over by this largely ho-hum studio “concert” setting. At this point in such a killer band’s impressive career that probably doesn’t matter much though; it’s just nice to sit back and watch BTBAM do its thing." - Metal Sucks
    $17.00
  • "I would not have thought in my wildest dreams about a comeback from German speed metaliacs Scanner. The band from Gelsenkirchen, Germany had two pretty good records in the end of the 80's. In 2002 their latest record "Scantropolis" was published before the band disbanded.And now the unforeseen new album "The judgement" is now in the starting blocks; waiting to be released during January via Massacre Records. It is a bit of the same question as it was with the new Stormwitch longplayer: What to expect?Compared to the guys from Swabia, Scanner's "The judgement" became a real surprise. The new record contains 10, mainly fast, power metal anthems and one intro. The sound of the album is powerful and the big gain is singer Efthimios Ionnidis. His voice fits very good to the German speed metal from Scanner and he is doing a great job.But also the riffs of bandleader Axel Julius are remarkable. One of those is the base for the heavy "Warlord". The song has an enormous punch and the high vocals of Ionnidis remind to old days in power metal. "Warlord" is a definite highlight on the album.Looking back on "Hypertrace, the debut, and "Terminal earth", Scanner was known for their outer space passion. This comes back in "Eutopia", which is a mid pace rocker that grooves very well.Looking on the seven minutes of "Battle of Posedon" you might expect an epical metal anthem. But Scanner pushes the pedal to the metal and here and there the early Helloween is shining through. This was actually a thought I had a few times while listening to the album. Scanner brings back this typical German speed metal from the 80's. Listen to "The race" and you know what I mean.That Scanner can also reduce the pace without losing the heaviness is what they show with "Known better". It's a slower track that has an gloomy chorus and the riff reminds very much to Dream Theater. Pretty cool stuff."The judgement" was a big surprise to me. Scanner added an album to their discography that at least can live up to the first two records of the band. I personally think, that it's even their best one so far. Welcome back." - Markus' Heavy Music Blog
    $12.00
  • Lethal third album from this German heavy stoner/psych quartet.  Waiting For The Flood clocks in near 50 minutes and consists of only four tracks (!).  While mixing in Eastern motifs and instrumentation(dig the sitar), the band explores some of their heaviest terrain.  Bass lines distort, drums pound away, and then the wah wah laced soloing blasts into the deepest realm of the cosmos.  Ocassionally some keys will crop up adding a nice effect.  The music effortless morphs from doomy Sabbath metal into Guru Guru sonic explorations that will definitely rattle your cage.  Think Masters Of Reality meets Hinten. A total mind blower that scores a 6 on the vaporizer scale.  BUY OR DIE! 
    $15.00
  • "Four years in the making, Norway's Triosphere returns with their third album, The Heart of the Matter. It was worth the wait. While reviewed previously on this site by another reviewer, this is my first experience with the band.There's many things to like about Triosphere. Not the least of which, for a female-fronted band, is that vocalist and bassist Ida Haukland is a pure melodic metal singer, not swaying to the extremes of operatic or death vocals. Another significant element is simply their superb sense of songwriting. They have an arsenal of weapons to draw from whether an abundance of catchy riffs, a strong melody, vocal harmony, notable rock groove, or sizzling leads. I think, more than anything, the guitar structure, riffs and leads, are rather immense and attractive, propelling the album. You can't avoid the swell of riffs and leads within songs such as Steal Away The Light or As I Call, melodic and inspiring. But Triosphere wraps all these elements up in imaginative and entertaining arrangements, nearing progressive metal, that make for essential melodic metal listening.While the entire album is a rich tapestry of melodic metal, a few songs deserve some attention thanks to some interesting passages within. One is Breathless, a steady sturdy number that has this interesting breakdown after the half way point. The riffs collapse for this light guitar work, almost fusion, over equally slight drums. Another terrific song follows in Departure. It has its share of riffs and some staccato drums, but once more, it's the latter guitar segue that grabs you. More emotive and lighter leads over subtle bass and drums. A third song of interest is the later Remedy with a smooth melody and enormous vocal harmony. But the kicker, once more, is the guitar breakdown in the latter half. Different than the previous songs, it's sharper and heavier, riff based yet fiery, and propelled by some intricate drumming. Finally, the entire swail of riffage is abandoned at the end of the album for the acoustic and gentle ballad Virgin Ground. A respite perhaps? All in all, Triosphere, with The Heart of the Matter, has turned out a rather terrific and enjoyable album of melodic heavy metal. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog
    $16.00
  • Clearly one of the great progressive rock albums of all time but believe it or not still not the pinnacle for Eloy. Full blown Pink Floyd space rock worship instilled into a concept album based around the fall of Atlantis. Digitally remasted...unbelievably great.
    $13.00
  • Mr. Schulze has been having a bit of a renaissance lately.  Sadly the analogue years are long gone but within the context of the music, Shadowlands harkens back to the days of X.  Large scale symphonic electronics in the Berlin School tradition that he helped create.  Thomas Kagermann provides violin and flute as well as voice.  Lisa Gerrad, Chrysta Bell and Julia Messenger add vocals.  For the past few decades his releases have been a bit hit or miss but this one is definitely a winner.
    $18.00