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Blind Guardian

Progressive Metal

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Blind Guardian Somewhere Far Beyond album cover
3.67 | 171 ratings | 13 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Time What Is Time (5:45)
2. Journey Through The Dark (4:48)
3. Black Chamber (0:58)
4. Theatre Of Pain (4:17)
5. The Quest For Tanelorn (5:56)
6. Ashes To Ashes (6:00)
7. The Bard's Song: In The Forest (3:10)
8. The Bard's Song: The Hobbit (3:53)
9. The Piper's Calling (0:58)
10. Somewhere Far Beyond (7:30)

Total time 43:15

Bonus tracks on 1992 & 2007 CD releases:
11. Spread Your Wings (4:15)
12. Trial by Fire (3:44)
13. Theatre of Pain (classic version) (4:14)

Extra bonus tracks on 2007 remaster:
14. Ashes To Ashes (Demo) (4:15)
15. Time What Is Time (Demo) (5:39)

Line-up / Musicians

- Hansi Kürsch / lead vocals, bass
- André Olbrich / lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
- Marcus Siepen / rhythm & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
- Thomas Stauch / drums

- Piet Sielck / guitar, effects
- Kai Hansen / guitar solo (5)
- Stefan Will / piano
- Peter Rübsam / bagpipes
- Mathias Wiesner / bass & effects (11)
- Kalle Trapp / backing vocals, producer & mixing
- Rolf Köhler / backing vocals
- Billy King / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Andreas Marschall

LP Virgin ‎- 213 066-8 (1992, Europe)

CD Virgin ‎- 0777 7 86831 2 4 (1992, Europe) With 3 bonus tracks
CD Virgin ‎- 0946 3 96515 2 8 (2007, Europe) Remastered by Wolfgang Eller with 2 extra bonus tracks

Thanks to MikeEnRegalia for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BLIND GUARDIAN Somewhere Far Beyond ratings distribution

(171 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

BLIND GUARDIAN Somewhere Far Beyond reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars What a nice acoustic guitar fills in classical mode which opens this album through "Time What Is Time" which then flows beautifully in fast tempo accompanying Hansi Kursch's singing style. The guitar sound has emerged into what later became the trademark of Blind Guardian's music. "Journey Through The Dark" continues heavy riffs music with a faster speed than the opening track. "Black Chamber" starts mellow with lead singer and piano work. It's a nice opening with great piano notes. The lead vocal singing style is awesome. "Theater of Pain" starts with the sound of keyboard followed with drum and symphonic multi-layered keyboard. It's a nice song combining good guitar riffs and keyboard. "Ashes to Ashes" demonstrates true sound of Blind Guardian especially on singing style and guitar melody / solo.

"The Bard's Song" has become legendary track which comprises two tracks: "In The Forest" and "The Hobbit". It starts with excellent acoustic guitar work. The vocal and backing vocal harmonies are really good. The Hobbit is a true power metal song. "The Piper's Calling" sounds like a traditional (Scotland?) music melody which reminds me to "Braveheart" movie. It serves as a bridge to the title track "Somewhere Far Beyond". My CD contains two bonus tracks: "Trial By Fire" and "Theater of Pain" (Classic version).

This album is recommended for those who can appreciate power metal music. The overall album is more on power metal with no prog element at all. That's okay. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Typical German Power Metal with fantasy lyrics is what Somewhere Far Beyond is known for. Much like their three previous efforts this album don´t hold much of interest for prog fans.

The Album starts with the powerful tune Time What is Time which is rather fast paced, and continues with a mix of heavy songs and more folky slower songs. All delievered Blind Guardian style which is elaborate and bombastic, with lots of Guitar and vocal layers and choir ( their style was not fully developed yet, and would be more and more bombastic through the later albums).

I´ll have to mention the very weak track Spread Your Wings, which I find to be ridiculous, and I find it to be a really bad decision that Blind Guardian included this song on the album. What´s with that mood ? This is way too cheesy for me.

The production is not my cup of tea as I find it hollow. The musicians are brilliant and the ideas behind most of the compositions are terrific, but I think something is lacking, if I should give more than 3 stars.

This is an ok album, and if you like Power metal ( the german variant) this might please you more than it pleases me.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars BLIND GUARDIAN are of course the legendary Power-Metal band from Germany. And while this isn't my favourite Metal sub-genre by a long shot, I must admit this release did impress me. This isn't Speed Metal from beginning to end either as they impliment some pleasant acoustic passages and tempo variations. The vocalist is also really good which helps a lot. It's kind of cool as well that they take 8 stories from 8 authors and present their take on them here. Notice the 8 guys on the front cover gathered around (in the woods) telling stories and playing music.

"Time What Is Time" opens with intricate and gentle acoustic guitar, which is flattened by a wall of heaviness. The heaviness pulls back some when the vocals arrive. Then it kicks back in. This really kicks ass! I really like his vocals when he's not yelling, but they're are great either way. A killer guitar solo before 3 minutes as drums pound relentlessly. Another guitar solo a minute later. The song ends with synths,reserved vocals and acoustic guitar. Nice. "Journey Through The Dark "absolutely smokes ! It hits the ground running and it's on fire. Some vocal harmonies in this one. A ripping guitar solo after 2 1/2 minutes.This is one of my favourites on the album. It doesn't let up.I have to say right here that the lyrics are very well done and are an interesting read. "Black Chamber" features vocals and piano melodies for about a minute. "Theater Of Pain" opens with some orchestral sounds before a beautiful guitar solo comes in. It's tasteful and one of my favourites on here. Vocals arrive and a great beat follows. Orchestral moments are sprinkled in throughout this song. Synths are prominant at times. Harmonies too.

"The Quest For Tanelorn" is an amazing tune. It opens with gentle guitar and some faint crying guitar as as well.Vocals arrive. Heavy riffs a minute in. Yes! A guitar solo follows as vocals come back and the tempo picks up.Harmonies join in on the chorus. Nice. Guest guitarist Kai Jensen then comes in firing away on his guitar. He will deliver 3 more solos before this song ends. He's played with HELLOWEEN, IRON SAVIOR, PRIMAL FEAR and GAMMA RAY, and guested on ANGRA's "Angel's Cry". "Ashes To Ashes" is quite dark to open before a punishing sound comes in, including some ripping guitar. I really like when they sing "Ashes to ashes dust to dust" as the heavy, fast paced riffs are played. Check out the guitar before 4 minutes. "The Bard's Song : In The Forest" is the first part of the two part song. This one opens with beautiful guitar as vocals come in. Harmonies too. This is a great folk song. "The Bard's Song : The Hobbit" is crushingly heavy to open, but it doesn't stay that heavy. Nice guitar solo 2 1/2 minutes in. It ends as the first part began with some gentle guitar. "The Piper's Calling" is a very short Scottish bagpipe passage. "Somewhere Far Beyond" is the epic really. Fast paced drums and guitar as vocals come in quickly. Some fantastic guitar after 3 minutes. Some Irish bagpipes come in. More amazing guitar before 5 minutes. I like on the chorus when the backup singers sing "Somewhere far beyond" while the lead singer screams out his words at the same time. This song really rocks out ! It's relentless.

Lots to like here I just wish I was more into Power-Metal.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Somewhere Far Beyond' - Blind Guardian (81/100)

I think Somewhere Far Beyond would have been the perfect album to be introduced to Blind Guardian with. Like so many others, the first track I ever heard of theirs was "The Bard's Song", but when it came time for a more substantive experience of the power metal titans, I dove straight into Nightfall in Middle-Earth, where many of the threads introduced on this and Tales from the Twilight World would finally come full-circle. Considering they soon earned a spot as one of my must-listen metal bands, I don't think it was a misstep on my part, but there's something about this one that makes it the quintessential Blind Guardian album in my opinion. Somewhere Far Beyond may not be as biting or as consistently written as Tales, nor does it ascend to the ambitious heights of the output that followed it, but in good faith, could I really recommend a better album to someone who wanted to know what the Bards are all about?

Although I might call Somewhere Far Beyond the 'safest' of their classics, that's only in hindsight; the evolution between this and Tales from the Twilight World two years prior required a grand leap of faith. For all of the intelligence and literacy Blind Guardian demonstrated on their three earliest albums, they still had a coat of speed metal grime to hide behind, if ever their ambition outreached their grasp. Although "Time What is Time" and "Journey Through the Dark" are both speedy and aggressive enough to have fit on Tales snugly enough, there's a much greater emphasis on the finer facets of musicianship. Somewhere Far Beyond is the first album of theirs that sounds completely professional in its execution. And all of this without the sense of feeling overbearing, as much of Blind Guardian's latter material (as much as I love it) is blatantly guilty of. I've always thought Tales from the Twilight World as the album of their most significant artistic evolution, but it was on Somewhere Far Beyond where they truly found their voice.

Although the songwriting sessions for Tales from the Twilight World had greater energy and produced a wider array of standout tracks, I don't think there's a single weak song on Somewhere Far Beyond. The Blade Runner-inspired "Time What Is Time" is one of the best openers they ever had, and a perfect representation of their 'heavy metal Queen' style. While Hansi Kürsch had made a point of establishing his choral arranging/performing genius on their third album, Somewhere Far Beyond makes a strong point of showing André Olbrich's skill and character with the guitar. Ubiquitous comparisons to Brian May aren't unfounded; he has a similarly playful, futuristic sound to his leads, and though I doubt any seasoned rock listener won't have the reference pass through their heads when they first hear the band, I think Olbrich came onto his own as an exceptional, unique musician.

"Theatre of Pain" and "Ashes to Ashes" are better proof of the artistic evolution between albums. "Theatre of Pain" is one of my favourite cuts off the album, being an early adopter of their future 'symphonic' leanings, as well as an uncharacteristically melancholic power metal anthem. The latter goes a step further, taking a reprieve (however brief) from the band's fantasy imagery to explore the very real pain of Hansi having then-recently lost his father. While the two "Bard's Song" tracks are crafted from a much more typical Blind Guardian topic (Lord of the Rings-- what else?) the two combine to make one of my favourite BG songs ever. It's a real shame that the second, 'metal' half of the set gets overlooked in comparison with the acoustic tune; the first "Bard's Song" may be more iconic, but the second is one of the most exciting songs of theirs I've ever heard.

There are days I might argue that this album's slower approach resulted in less memorable songwriting, but as a whole, Somewhere Far Beyond comes off as far more confident than any of its predecessors. If anything may be said for this album, it's that I think Blind Guardian were finally making the kind of music they dreamed of creating. Everything I associate with them-- the intelligent, fantasy-inspired lyrics, the complex vocal arrangements, the Brian May-influenced guitar leads, the grand scale of composition; the works! -- come to pass on Somewhere Far Beyond. What's more; the album gave us some of their best songs; "Time What Is Time", "Theatre of Pain, and the "Bard's Song" duology chiefly among them. There's no way they could rightly be described as a speed metal band by this point-- even calling them a power metal band does little to convey their depth and personality. It's far from my favourite of their albums, but I can't think of another time in their history where they sounded so much like... themselves.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars High energy, razor sharp riffing, and screamiing vocals make this an enjoyable, if overall lightweight entry into the early prog-metal genre. It might be more accurate to describe Blind Guardian as prog-speed metal, since the group's songs here are built around precise twin guitar riffing which burns a speedy pace through most of the album. While Somewhere Far Beyond is definitely a guitar lovers' record, the group flexes its song writing skills somewhat with the inclusion of acoustic interludes with a medieval feel, as well as the occasional dynamic shift mid-song, which adds an element of artistry that elevates it above the group's more conventional peers. Technically speaking, this album is par for the course when compared to other prog-metal releases, but the band's sound is unique enough to keep things exciting.

The main attraction here is the energy, punctuated in the killer display of instrumental skill in the opener, the non-stop shredfest of "Jouirney Through the Dark", and the spooky mood in "Ashes to Ashes". There is an epic feel to most of these songs, giving it an air of power metal. The vocalist, Hansi Kürsch, adds a lot to the feel of the band as well, his powerful voice consisting mostly of a gravelly scream that is relentless in its delivery.

However, the album's schtick wears thin by the halfway piont, with the second "Bard's Song" sending the record into a nose dive that crashes with the bizzare "Spread Your Wings"-- which sounds like the group is covering an Elton John tune. This, and the general feeling of sameness which blasts through most of the first half, makes Somewhere Far Beyond an entertaining if flawed experience. A good metal album, but clearly missing something to make it a great one.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Review by Warthur
3 stars Somewhere Far Beyond takes the approach of Tales From the Twilight World, diversifies the sound a little, and continues down the usual Blind Guardian path of endearingly dorky fantasy fiction references wrapped in power metal riffs. This time around, the band sound more confident than ever - perhaps at points verging on the pretentious, but power metal is one of those genres which benefits from time to time from a little bit of megalomania - and the inclusion of some elements of folk metal makes it a bit less homogeneous than previous albums from the group.

On the whole, the early 1990s was a very exciting time to be a Blind Guardian fan, thanks precisely to albums like this. There's the slight feeling of a formula being further polished; if it happens to be a formula you particularly like, that will be a plus. At the same time, it's hard to deny that Blind Guardian are exemplars of what one might call the "high cheese" wing of power metal, which might put off some.

Review by Kempokid
4 stars Power metal is a genre that I've had a lot of back and forth interactions with. There have been many points in time where I've decided to give it another shot only to be met with the same reality every time, I'm just not a huge fan of it. Over time I've come to realise why I haven't completely dropped this pursuit, and the answer is pretty simple, I don't like the idea of completely dismissing a genre, but also, Blind Guardian absolutely rules. Somewhere Far Beyond marks a bit of a middle ground in in the band's style, taking from a lot of those speed metal elements from their earlier material, yet also leaning really hard into these dramatic, soaring melodies more reminiscent of regular power metal from their later era, and this is where I feel like a lot of their appeal stems from to me. This more aggressive take on the genre without abandoning the core elements of it leads to this having a certain bite to it that gives its grandiose, wonderfully excessive nature so much more impact, all while backing it up with some consistently catchy and effective songwriting.

Time What is Time kicks off the album and is one of the all time great metal songs from my perspective. The song erupts with energy very quickly after its fun acoustic intro and basically doesn't slow down at all. The way this escalates so intensely is electrifying, doing it at such a rapid pace that it hits the point of having a certain erratic quality to it, but it also knows the perfect point to peak and ground the song with the chorus, stopping it from feeling a bit too full-on. The chorus itself really seals the deal as well, it's incredibly fun, with Hansi's vocal performance bringing so much conviction to it all. While the album follows a pretty similar pattern for the most part, the majority of these songs do something distinct and interesting enough to differentiate themselves from the pack. Examples include the more consistent pacing of Theatre of Pain combined with its orchestral flourishes, the folky sounds of The Bard's Song - The Hobbit or the mournful tone of Ashes to Ashes. All of these varying directions taken contribute to Somewhere Far Beyond having a lot of personality without sacrificing any of its defining traits, the melodies remain grandiose, and the riffs remain incredible.

Despite all of what's been said, I feel that the thing that truly elevates this to something even greater is the was it can slow down once in a while without feeling like a low point in the experience. Both the Quest for Tanelorn and The Bard's Song - In the Forest are perfect pace breakers that keep the epic imagery and atmosphere going strong, both being able to pain vivid pictures of this rich, detailed fantasy world. Overall this is just a consistently great album without much of a lull in its quality, bringing in a certain aggression that makes the incredibly dramatic nature of it feel way more appealing to me. While I feel like Somewhere Far Beyond ends up being a bit long winded, with this sort of dense music all blending together a bit by the end, even with the aforementioned pace breakers alleviating this issue to a degree, I cannot deny that every song has its place here, and that Somewhere Far Beyond is an excellent showcase of Blind Guardian's talent.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I got this album back in 1993, a year after it was released. It was my album of the summer of '93, well the whole year actually. It was so alluring from the start, I remember listening to Time What is Time while going on a vacation, the magic was in the air. Good old days of innocence. It's stil ... (read more)

Report this review (#2216917) | Posted by Lore Knowledge | Friday, May 31, 2019 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Blind Guardian's fourth studio album, 'Somewhere Far Beyond', was released in 1992, and follows on from the bands previous three albums, in which this is mostly generic power/speed metal, but with outside influences creeping in. Prior to this the band had dabbled with folk and Gaelic influences, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2136059) | Posted by martindavey87 | Tuesday, February 12, 2019 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Somewhere Far Beyond ? 1992 (2.4/5) 9 ? Best Song: Bard Song (The Hobbit) You know what artistic growth equals to in the world of heavy metal? You look at the guy who made the most money in the last few years then do what he did. In this case you have Blind Guardian's first real album (the ot ... (read more)

Report this review (#441408) | Posted by Alitare | Sunday, May 1, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Often regarded as a classic, “Somewhere Far Beyond” represents also an important transitional point for Blind Guardian, from the relatively straight-forward speed metal music they were playing, in the beginning, to the more ambitious path they went through with this record and all it ... (read more)

Report this review (#180429) | Posted by Nhorf | Thursday, August 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is Blind Guardian's Magnum Opus. Somewhere Far Beyond takes their euro-teutonic power metal one step further from "Tales..", their previous also excellent album... But, this time they managed to minimise their -more than obvious- Helloween influences and find a more personal sound. They ... (read more)

Report this review (#148445) | Posted by toolis | Thursday, November 1, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A Brilliant album and only hints what's to come. Very poweful choruses and guitar licks. The fantasy lyrics are also very cool to read especially the ''Dark Tower'' one . ( Somewehre far Beyond). For any fan of progressive metal. A bit of prog here and there but if Rhapsody is in the archives, ... (read more)

Report this review (#127968) | Posted by Winter_is_Comin | Monday, July 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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