Somewhere Far Beyond is the fourth studio album by German power metal act Blind Guardian.
It was released in 1992 and produced by Kalle Trapp. The cover artwork was created by Andreas Marschall, who has also drawn the artwork for some more of Blind Guardian's releases (Tales from the Twilight World, Nightfall in Middle-Earth, etc.).
The album saw the band creating its own original sound, while still employing most of their speed/power metal techniques.
The strong songwriting of the album (including fan favorite "The Bard's Song - In the Forest") made the album a power metal staple. The image of the cover and the two Bard's Songs gave the band its nickname "The Bards". The use of the nickname has been also extended to the fans of the group, Circle of the Bards being the now defunct fan club and Hansi frequently calling the fans Bards.
The album was acclaimed by power metal fans all across Europe and especially Japan, allowing them to tour for the first time outside Germany. The tour in the Far East led to the first live album of the band, Tokyo Tales.
It was remastered and re-released on 15 June 2007, with bonus tracks.
* Hansi Kürsch – vocals and bass
* André Olbrich – lead, rhythm, acoustic guitars and backing vocals
* Marcus Siepen – rhythm, acoustic guitars and backing vocals
* Thomas "Thomen" Stauch – drums
* Piet Sielck –effects and guitars
* Mathias Wiesner – effects and bass on "Spread Your Wings"
* Rolf Köhler, Billy King and Kalle Trapp – backing vocals
* Stefan Will – piano
* Peter Rübsam – Scottish and Irish bagpipes
* Kai Hansen – lead guitar on "The Quest for Tanelorn"
* Kalle Trapp – producing, mixing and recording
* Piet Sielck – second engineer
* Andreas Marschall/Becker — Derouet Hamburg – cover paintings
* Tom Nagy – photo
* a•r•t•p•o•o•l – graphics
*"The Bard's Song (In the Forest)" has been covered by German a capella metal band van Canto.
* "Time What is Time" is about someone who finds himself in the Blade Runner world.
* "Journey Through the Dark" is about someone who's forgotten who he is, time travel, and, specifically, Jhary-a-Conel. Jhary a-Conel is a bard and a companion of the Eternal Champion, from the books by Michael Moorcock.
* "Black Chamber" deals with someone finding himself in the Twin Peaks world and facing a dark fate.
* "Theatre of Pain" is based on the fantasy novel The Merman's Children by Poul Anderson.
* "The Quest for Tanelorn" is also about Jhary a-Conel. (Tanelorn is a fictional city in The Multiverse of Michael Moorcock's stories).
* "Ashes to Ashes" is based on reality; it has to do with the death of Hansi's father. Source:http
* "The Bard's Song - In the Forest" is inspired by the computer game The Bard's Tale. Source:http
* "The Bard's Song - The Hobbit" is based on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
* "Somewhere Far Beyond" is a retelling of Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three.
* "Trial by Fire" is about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It's a cover of the heavy metal band Satan.
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Blind Guardian is a German metal band formed in the mid-1980s in Krefeld, West Germany. They are often credited as one of the seminal and most influential bands in the power metal and speed metal subgenres. Blind Guardian is a part of the German heavy metal scene that emerged in the mid-1980s.
The band's lyrics, written by vocalist Hansi Kürsch, are inspired by the fiction of fantasy authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, and Michael Moorcock, as well as traditional legends and epics.Bradford Lee Eden. Middle-earth Minstrel: Essays on Music in Tolkien. McFarland, 2010. ISBN 0786448148, 9780786448142. 215 pages Over the years, a running theme has developed associating the band members with travelling bards.
Blind Guardian formed in 1984 in Krefeld, Germany, by Hansi Kürsch (vocals, bass) and Andre Olbrich (guitar) under the name Lucifer's Heritage. The band first released two demos in 1985 and 1986, despite undergoing chaotic lineup changes: Markus Dörk (guitar) and Thomen Stauch (drums) were replaced by Christof Theißen and Hans-Peter Frey, respectively. Finally, in 1987, Marcus Siepen joined and Thomen came back to form the lineup which would stay consistent for the next 18 years.
After Lucifer's Heritage signed a contract with No Remorse Records, the band changed their name to Blind Guardian to avoid any speculations about Satanism (in a bio it was stated that they also wanted to distance themselves from the black metal movement, as their demos were placed in with black metal albums at local record shops). They released their debut album Battalions of Fear in 1988, which was essentially a speed metal album heavily influenced by Helloween. These two German bands had close ties, and Helloween founder Kai Hansen made a guest appearance on Blind Guardian's second LP, Follow the Blind (1989), where the band revealed some thrash metal influence. Their third LP, Tales from the Twilight World (1990), had a much more melodic and "epic" feeling, with usage of choir and classical music influence.
Blind Guardian signed with Virgin Records in 1991, and released their fourth studio album Somewhere Far Beyond in 1992 and the live album Tokyo Tales in 1993. Flemming Rasmussen, former Metallica producer, began working with the band in 1994, producing their fifth studio album Imaginations from the Other Side, released in 1995, and The Forgotten Tales, an album that contained half covers and half original work, released in 1996.
In 1998, Blind Guardian released their epic album Nightfall in Middle-Earth. "Complete with anthemic choruses, spoken word story lines, and plenty of bombastic power metal punctuating every dramatic turn", says Allmusic's Vincent Jeffries, "Nightfall in Middle-Earth is perhaps Blind Guardian's most triumphant". A concept album based on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, Blind Guardian's music demonstrated some folk rock influence, but also featured heavy use of Queen-style layered backing vocals. Since Nightfall, bass guitar has been played by sessional member Oliver Holzwarth, and Hansi has been able to devote all his attention to singing. Nightfall was also the last Blind Guardian album produced by Rasmussen.
A Night at the Opera, named after the Queen album, was released four years later. On this album, the band's sound lacked almost all influence of their original speed metal. Power and progressive metal abound, with over the top orchestral backing and a consistent vocal and guitar layering throughout. Though not a true concept album, many of the lyrics dealt with the common themes of religion and relations between human and divine powers. It was followed by a live album in 2003 and a DVD, Imaginations Through the Looking Glass, in 2004, which was the last recorded Blind Guardian material to feature Thomen Stauch on drums. He left the band due to musical differences and was replaced by Frederik Ehmke. The first album with Ehmke was A Twist in the Myth, which came out in 2006.
Blind Guardian recently participated in the soundtrack for the In the Name of the King: a Dungeon Siege Tale fantasy movie (Uwe Boll), which came out in 2008. The band also recorded a theme song for Sacred 2 Fallen Angel RPG video game, the prequel to Sacred.
A Voice in the Dark was the next single from Blind Guardian that was released 25 June 2010.
On July 30, 2010 the album followed, called At the Edge of Time. The band started "The Sacred Worlds and Songs Divine Tour 2010", the European dates will have the opening acts Enforcer and Steelwing. The 22 October in Gothenburg, Sweden only Steelwing was the opening act. The US dates will have Holy Grail and Seven Kingdoms and later they were announced that they would play at Wacken Open Air in 2011.
Blind Guardian @ Gods Of MEtal 2009.JPGthumbBlind Guardian with the band's definitive scenery in background
Blind Guardian's first two albums, Battalions of Fear and Follow the Blind, were more in the style of speed metal than their following works. Beginning with their third album Tales from the Twilight World, Blind Guardian gradually began to write more complicated compositions focusing less on speed. As of their sixth album, Nightfall in Middle Earth, Hansi stopped playing bass to focus on singing. At this point the band began to incorporate large amounts of orchestral arrangements, and utilized the technique of overdubbing, heavily influenced by the English rock band Queen.
Blind Guardian's music features the staccato guitars and double bass drumming characteristic of power metal, as well as the use of overdubs and numerous backing vocals to create a dense sound. This technique, especially notable in the guitar and vocal tracks, creates the impression of a vast army of musicians playing in unison and singing in harmony. This proved significant on all albums after the first two but most particularly on A Night at the Opera.
Another definitive feature of Blind Guardian music is frequent use of folk tunes and instruments, especially in power ballads such as "Lord of the Rings", "The Bard's Song", "A Past and Future Secret", "Skalds and Shadows" and "Curse My Name", among others.
Along with Jon Schaffer, the leader and founder of Iced Earth, Kürsch is a member of Demons & Wizards, where he is the lead singer.
Blind Guardian have been working on and off for eight years on an orchestral project writing music about The Lord of the Rings (negotiations failed to be included on the famous The Lord of the Rings film trilogy as the soundtrack, because the band wanted to concentrate on their next album). Although it will not be a power metal album, it will be published under the name of Blind Guardian because it matches the theme of the band's lyrics, according to Hansi.
*Hansi Kürsch – Lead vocals (1984–present), Bass guitar (1984–1996)
*André Olbrich – Lead guitar (1984–present)
*Marcus Siepen – Rhythm guitar (1987–present)
*Frederik Ehmke – Drums, Percussion, Flute and Bagpipes (2005–present)
*Oliver Holzwarth – Bass guitar (Sessional Member) (1997–)
*Michael Schüren – keyboards, Grand piano (Sessional Member) (1997–)
*Pat Bender – Keyboards, Sound effects (Sessional Member) (2002–)
*Thomas Hackmann – Backing vocals (1990–)
*Olaf Senkbeil - Backing vocals (1998–)
*Thomas "Thomen" Stauch – Drums (1984–1985, 1987–2005)
*Mathias Wiesner – keyboards, effects (studio) (1989–2002)
*Markus Dörk – Guitars (Lucifer's Heritage) (1984–1985)
*Christof Theißen – Rhythm guitar (Lucifer's Heritage) (1986)
*Hans-Peter Frey – Drums (Lucifer's Heritage) (1986)
*Dirim Ceseroglu - solo violin (Wheel of Time) (2010)
*Rolf Köhler – backing vocals, lead vocals (1990–2007—his death)
*Martin G. Meyer – Keyboards (2006–2008)
*Alex Holzwarth – drums (live) (2002–2003)
*Billy King – backing vocals (1992–2002)
*Boris Schmidt, Sascha Pierro – Keyboards and sound effects (2002)
*Max Zelzner – flute & alto-flute (1998)
*Norman Eshley, Douglas Fielding – narration (1998)
*Piet Sielck – guitar, backing vocals, effects (1990–1996)
*Kalle Trapp – backing vocals, lead vocals, lead guitar (1990–1996)
*Otto Sidenius – organ (1996)
*Stefan Will – piano (1992–1996)
*Jacob Moth – acoustic guitar on (1996)
*Ronnie Atkins, Aman Malek – backing vocals (1996)
*Kai Hansen – lead vocals, guitar solos, backing vocals (1989–1992)
*Peter Rübsam – Scottish and Irish bagpipes (1992)
*Niko Trznadl – bass (live) (1988)
*Thomas Kelleners – vocals (Lucifer's Heritage) (1984)
*Battalions of Fear (1988)
*Follow the Blind (1989)
*Tales from the Twilight World (1990)
*Somewhere Far Beyond (1992)
*Imaginations from the Other Side (1995)
*Nightfall in Middle-Earth (1998)
*A Night at the Opera (2002)
*A Twist in the Myth (2006)
* At the Edge of Time (2010)
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Blind Guardian on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0