A Review of the Album Called "Somewhere Far Beyond" by German Speed and Power Metal Band Blind Guardian
The front cover for the album Somewhere Far Beyond
Some reasons why Somewhere Far Beyond should be given a listen and consideration
"Somewhere Far Beyond" is the 4th album by Germany’s Blind Guardian and it was released in 1992. With this album, the band shows their excellence and maturity and that they can compete with bands such as Tankard, Holy Moses, and Kreator. The album also has a few bonus tracks that were included in the 2000 and 2007 re-mastered versions. These are “Spread Your Wings” (Queen song), “Trial By Fire” (a song by the British band Satan), and a classic version of the song Theatre of Pain. Blind Guardian also had done a cover of the Beach Boys famous hit song Barbara Ann back in 1989. But this review is to show why Somewhere Far Beyond is such an outstanding album. It still has the harsh yet good vocals of front man Hansi Kursch. What Blind Guardian album would be the same without Hansi Kursch? He gives this band their identity.
Somewhere Far Beyond: the Songs
- Time What is Time
- Journey Through the Dark
- Black Chamber
- Theatre of Pain
- The Quest for Tanelorn
- Ashes to Ashes
- The Bard’s Song-In the Forest
- The Bard’s Song-In the Hobbit
- The Piper’s Calling
- Somewhere Far Beyond
- Spread Your Wings
- Trial By Fire
- Theatre of Pain (Classic version)
The beginning songs of Somewhere Far Beyond really show the band's skill and creativity
The lyrics tend to focus on fantasy themes and would form the basis of the band’s concept album Nightfall in Middle Earth (1998). The first song Time What is Time starts with some beautiful acoustic guitar before getting into a speed and thrash classic with lots of melody. We were exposed to this type of melody in the song Traveler in Time on the band’s previous album. The song is about someone that goes through life realizing that the dreams they had were not their own, that these dreams were thought up by someone else. He envisioned a free life only to find out that he had lived a lie. His past life is remembered by GOD for GOD always has the answers for us. Journey Through the Dark is another one of the album’s great songs. This one is about someone that has written many songs about the journey that he has been through. His mind is full of thoughts that have been lost in his mind. His mind feels like it has no direction and that it is a wasteland. He does not even remember his name as he travels through the darkness to try and find his way through the journey called life. This concept is repeated in the short track called Black Chamber. It is not like a song because it is under a minute long.
The CD Somewhere Far Beyond should be included as one of 1992's best metal albums
The Quest for Tanelorn and Ashes to Ashes are two more reasons to get this album
The Quest for Tanelorn has the same style and format as the first song, starting with acoustic guitar in the beginning and switching to thrash metal infused with melody. It is about a warrior that is standing at some ruins while he is waiting to enter a place called Tanelorn. The paths that he takes never really succeed as he looks like a broken man. It is often said that you have to fail many times before you succeed. Musically, this album has more variety in the songs instead of every song being fast and heavy. That is one of the most important ways to show maturity as a band. Blind Guardian is one of those bands that can slow down just a bit and still write quality songs. Ashes to Ashes makes reference to the fact that all human beings have a limited time on Earth and once that clock strikes signaling the end of our lives, we have no choice but to depart. Many of us do not want to think of such things but this is one of life’s unfortunate realities. If there is one thing that we can all try to do it is to enjoy our time on this Earth as much as possible. The more listens of this album show that Blind Guardian transition into a more power metal kind of group and they are more melodic compared to their first three releases.
Somewhere Far Beyond is an album that had a large following and deserves proper recognition
"Somewhere Far Beyond" won a large following of fans in Europe and Japan as it is ranked as one of the best power metal albums in those two regions of the world in 1992 and 1993. This is very impressive for a band that started out as a speed and thrash metal band. Somewhere Far Beyond is not as good as the band’s first two albums but it is still very solid with good vocals, good guitar work, and great melodies. This writer gives this album a very solid 90 out of 100 points! “Time What Is Time” is a great way to begin this album that sees Blind Guardian begin to transition to power metal from the speed and thrash that they were performing in the 1980’s.
© 2016 Ara Vahanian