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Blind Guardian - Somewhere Far Beyond CD (album) cover


Blind Guardian


Progressive Metal

3.66 | 129 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars High energy, razor sharp riffing, and screamiing vocals make this an enjoyable, if overall lightweight entry into the early prog-metal genre. It might be more accurate to describe Blind Guardian as prog-speed metal, since the group's songs here are built around precise twin guitar riffing which burns a speedy pace through most of the album. While Somewhere Far Beyond is definitely a guitar lovers' record, the group flexes its song writing skills somewhat with the inclusion of acoustic interludes with a medieval feel, as well as the occasional dynamic shift mid-song, which adds an element of artistry that elevates it above the group's more conventional peers. Technically speaking, this album is par for the course when compared to other prog-metal releases, but the band's sound is unique enough to keep things exciting.

The main attraction here is the energy, punctuated in the killer display of instrumental skill in the opener, the non-stop shredfest of "Jouirney Through the Dark", and the spooky mood in "Ashes to Ashes". There is an epic feel to most of these songs, giving it an air of power metal. The vocalist, Hansi Kürsch, adds a lot to the feel of the band as well, his powerful voice consisting mostly of a gravelly scream that is relentless in its delivery.

However, the album's schtick wears thin by the halfway piont, with the second "Bard's Song" sending the record into a nose dive that crashes with the bizzare "Spread Your Wings"-- which sounds like the group is covering an Elton John tune. This, and the general feeling of sameness which blasts through most of the first half, makes Somewhere Far Beyond an entertaining if flawed experience. A good metal album, but clearly missing something to make it a great one.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |


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