Blind Guardian – Live Beyond the Spheres
Blind Guardian was formed in Germany during the late 80’s, and has become perhaps the most beloved power metal band in the world. Next February the band will mark their 30th anniversary. Their new live album Live Beyond the Spheres arrives just in time to herald this incredible milestone.
To metal fans Blind Guardian is a band that needs no introduction. To the uninitiated, they could be described as Lord of the Rings meets metal music. They even have an album that retells J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Simarillion.
Their music is marked by catchy hooks, majestic choruses, and a blend between elements of folk and speed. Singer Hansi Kürsch often layers his vocals in complex, overlapping harmonies, similar to Freddie Mercury.
For a live album being released so near to their 30th anniversary, the track list is a great blend of material from their entire catalogue. It includes crowd favorites such as “Nightfall” and “Bright Eyes”, as well as more rare tunes like “Wheel of Time”. The track list is a sweet balance of new and old material.
Blind Guardian – “Prophecies”
Live Beyond the Spheres marvelously showcases the band’s on-stage charisma. Hansi segues cleverly into each new song, revealing his strong stage presence. The audience singing along to every song so enthusiastically further affirms the band’s relationship to their fans.
A band’s skill can be judged by how well they perform live. As complex as their music is, it transitions to a live setting quite well. The intricate epic “And Then There Was Silence” is pulled off particularly admirably. These live interpretations stand as their own unique experience, free of the ornamentation found on their studio albums. The few tiny mistakes there are do not discredit the band. Rather, they reveal the honest essence of the performances.
The songs on Live Beyond the Spheres don’t make up one continuous concert. Instead, they are a selection of the best performances from their 2015 Beyond the Red Mirror tour. This also allows the track list to be a whopping 22 songs. That’s almost three hours of music!
Blind Guardian – “Twilight of the Gods”
Live Beyond the Spheres will satisfy long-time fans and newcomers alike. It strikes the perfect balance of old and new, fan favorite and rare. Furthermore, with three hours of engaging music you are getting a bang for your buck!
For close to twenty years Blind Guardian has been working on an orchestral album. Consequently there is a large amount of hype surrounding the mysterious project. In a recent interview Hansi revealed he believes it will be released in 2019.
Furthermore, work has already begun on the next studio album. He notes one song in particular called “The Architects of Doom”, which is “very fast, very heavy and very surprising. The pure metal heart will be pleased about that song.” Hansi estimates the next album will be released in 2020.
It’s not uncommon for Blind Guardian to take 3-4 years between albums. Their last album Beyond the Red Mirror came out in 2015. If Hansi’s estimates are true then this will be a five year wait between studio albums. However, if the long awaited orchestral album is finally release in 2019 it will be a one-two punch K.O.
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