The tenth full-length studio album by legendary German Power Metal band.
The band's first album since 2010's "At the Edge Of Time", marking the longest gap between two studio albums in their career (being three days longer than the gap between 2002's "A Night At The Opera" and 2006's "A Twist In The Myth"). It is also their first album without former session member Oliver Holzwarth on bass guitar since 1995's "Imaginations From The Other Side", with Barend Courbois replacing him. "Twilight of the Gods" was released as a single to promote this album.
A concept album and a sequel to "Imaginations From The Other Side", "Beyond The Red Mirror" has been described by Hansi Kürsch as "A story between science fiction and fantasy. The two worlds described have changed dramatically for the worse since then. While there used to be several passages between the worlds, there is only one gate left now: The Red Mirror. It has to be found at any cost".
"Beyond The Red Mirror" is a new level of symphonic involvement, founded in the kind of orchestral placement that made "At The Edge Of Time" such an improvement over the questionable and seemingly self-allusive "A Twist In The Myth". From its majestic opening in "The Ninth Wave," the continuation of the band's recent aims are determined in an effort four-and-a-half years in the making. As such, listeners can rest assured that they are in for another album experience that has been crafted with attention down to the detail.
A wholly cohesive and organised structure is this album's greatest strength, the driving force in what emphasises consistency in a manner unlike any of Blind Guardian's preceding records; an impressive feat considering their tendency to avoid inconsistency. A number of tracks are of a prevailingly up-tempo delivery that harkens to the band's Speed Metal origins with their irresistible drive and situated within an album best demonstrating Blind Guardian's symphonically enhanced modern sound, such as those occupying the album's centre in "Ashes Of Eternity" and "The Holy Grail", as the rhythm section dominates and urges the track-list onward. A majority of the record, however, seeks close arrangement with the orchestral component to form and maintain denser compositions with a tight unison between band and the enlisted grand orchestras and choirs (two and three, respectively). The purpose of this album is to cement such a uniformity in the style Blind Guardian have come to define over their thirty year journey, spearheading the Power Metal genre in a fashion entirely their own, ever seeking to enhance themselves to deliver fresh and engaging material, of which "Beyond The Red Mirror" is no exception.
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". The record's unbroken nature provides ample grounds for refining a new focus that is all the more impressively arranged leading on from 2010's "At The Edge Of Time", and is herein more wholesomely written into the songs.
"Beyond The Red Mirror" is another carefully constructed album experience, and adds further distinctive enhancement to Blind Guardian's catalogue! It is an ambitious concept album, unearthing an all new treasure trove of magic & fantasy!!
Nuclear Blast Records, 2015 (NB 3272-1). Made in Germany. First press. 180 g vinyl.
1. The Ninth Wave 9:28
2. Twilight Of The Gods 4:50
3. Prophecies 5:26
1. At The Edge Of Time 6:54
2. Ashes Of Eternity 5:39
3. Distant Memories 5:51
1. The Holy Grail 5:59
2. The Throne 7:54
3. Sacred Mind 6:22
1. Miracle Machine 3:03
2. Grand Parade 9:28
Total playing time: 70:54 min.