Seriously. Beyond the Red Mirror, Blind Guardian’s recent release definitely exceeded expectations.
In recent years I have been relegating my power and folk metal to hiking or workout sessions. As someone approaching 30 and starting a family it just seemed like the inevitable course of events.
Adding to this drift have been a few disappointing releases from some of my favorite bands from the late 90’s and early 2000’s. A few lead singers who were in their prime when I was 14 and running around in a cloak waving my reproduction Sting sword have, in the last fifteen years, gone to seed. The videos are the worst. I still like the bands, and appreciate the music they gave us when we were younger so I don’t want to give specific examples, but the music videos have been downright cringe-worthy. I can’t fathom how they passed muster.
Beyond the Red Mirror, on the other hand, brought me back to the days of Nightfall in Middle Earth. It was my favorite Guardian album and I never expected them to match it. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting the new album to be bad, I was just planning on it being a little out there and not being to relate to it like I used to.
I think of most of my old metal bands as crazy Uncles, and while I love them they’re not practical to have hanging around all the time. Blind Guardian is the exception. I mean, they’re still crazy uncles- but they’re welcome anytime in my mead hall!
The Ninth Wave was the first song on the album, and was so epic I thought it was just an intro… WRONG. A live choir transitioned into a MASSIVE Hansi solo and I was hooked. So far I’d say Ashes of Eternity is my next favorite but I’m still digesting it all…