Thursday, March 17, 2022

Blind Guardian - Beyond the Red Mirror (2015)

Blind Guardian - Beyond the Red Mirror (2015)

Tracklist front / back album covers

I. The Cleansing of the Promised Land
1. "The Ninth Wave"   9:28
2. "Twilight of the Gods"   4:50

II. The Awakening
3. "Prophecies"   5:26
4. "At the Edge of Time"   6:54

III. Disturbance in the Here and Now
5. "Ashes of Eternity"   5:39
6. "The Holy Grail"   5:59

IV. The Descending of the Nine
7. "The Throne"   7:54

V. The Fallen and the Chosen One
8. "Sacred Mind"   6:22
9. "Miracle Machine"   3:03

VI. Beyond the Red Mirror
10. "Grand Parade"   9:28

Bonus tracks limited, vinyl, and earbook versions
"Chapter IV. The Mirror Speaks", which contains only one track, "Distant Memories", was put right between the two tracks "Chapter III. Disturbance in the Here and Now". This caused the second track from that chapter, "The Holy Grail", to end up in a new chapter, "V. Disturbance in the Here and Now (Reprise)". "Chapter IX. Damnation", which contains only one track, "Doom", is just a bonus epilogue chapter.

Some copies of the earbook came with a bonus vinyl disc, containing alternate versions of two album tracks.

IV. The Mirror Speaks
6. "Distant Memories"   5:51

IX. Damnation
12. "Doom"   5:48

Bonus 10" vinyl single
1. "Grand Parade" (Alternate Version)   9:26
2. "Miracle Machine" (Alternate Mix)   3:04

Lyrical references
"Sacred Mind" may refer to Shangdu, the capital city of Kublai Khan's empire, particularly as referenced in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "Kubla Khan". It could also be inferred to be about Xanadu, the large estate owned by the title character in the 1941 film Citizen Kane.
The bonus track "Doom" was originally written for Nightfall in Middle-Earth. The version on this album has slightly rewritten lyrics to be able to fit the concept of this album better. It originally depicted Húrin being cursed by Morgoth, and traces of that idea appeared here while still showing what happened after "Grand Parade". "Doom" also appears on the 2018 deluxe edition of Nightfall in Middle-Earth with the original lyrics.

Blind Guardian Band Members / Musicians
Hansi Kürsch – vocals
André Olbrich – lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars
Marcus Siepen – rhythm guitar
Frederik Ehmke – drums, percussion

Barend Courbois – bass
Michael Schüren – piano
Mattias Ulmer – keyboards, piano

Thomas Hackmann, William "Billy" King, Olaf Senkbeil – the choir company

Charlie Bauerfeind – production

Felipe Machado Franco – cover and booklet artworks

Hungarian Studio Orchestra Budapest (Peter Pejtsik – conductor)

FILMharmonic Orchestra Prague (Adam Klemens – conductor)

Hungarian Studio Choir Budapest (Peter Pejtsik – conductor)

FILMharmonic Choir Prague (Stanislav Mistr – conductor)

Vox Futura Choir Boston (Andrew Shenton – conductor)

Beyond the Red Mirror is the 10th studio album by German power metal band Blind Guardian, released on 30 January 2015 through Nuclear Blast. It is the band's first album since 2010's At the Edge of Time, marking the longest gap between two studio albums in their career until it was surpassed by 2019's Legacy of the Dark Lands. 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 singer 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."

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