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One of the best Power Metal Albums ever - 93%

Brentwood, September 14th, 2003

Power Metal is just like any other metal genre..there are some great power metal bands, and they are some bad and incredibly cheesy ones as well , such as Manowar and the like. These "cheesy" bands are cheesy becuase they take the idea of Power Metal and just go too far, and can even make themselves look like glam rock. I like Power bands such as Iced Earth and the like..and Blind Guardian is one of the few bands that can write songs about J.R.R Tolkien books and other fantasy themes without being cheesy at all. That's why I think they are one of if not the best modern power metal band out there. And " Somewhere Far Beyond" is an album that truly shows this.

Things start up with " Time What is Time". The beginning features a strange acoustic spanish inspired intro, which progresses into a thrashy riff that starts off a great song. The chorus of this song is one of the catchiest I've ever heard. " Journey Through the Dark" also blends in with the mix of Power Metal and Thrash Metal, and like the previous track , has a catchy chorus as well. " Black Chamber" is a bizarre song because in retrospect it is pretty much a 50 second ballad. I really enjoy the song and find it catchy, but you sometimes want to think what drugs Blind Guardian were really doing when they came up with the idea for the song. " Theatre of Pain" takes things back to normal with an excellent power metal track. " Quest for Tanelorn" does the same, with Kai Hansen from Gamma Ray/ Helloween playing lead guitar as a guest musician.

" Ashes to Ashes" has a weird introduction for a power metal band that could easily be used in a Black Metal band's song. Pretty good song as well. " The Bard's Song-In the Forrest" is one of the songs when you want to get high/drunk with your friends and sing along to it. A beautiful, 3 minute Acoustic ballad is one of the best on the album. The album continues as " The Bard's Song-The Hobbit" and the intro " The Piper's Calling" go by, and are both great songs. The title/final track is one of the best on the album. I love the " Sommmmeeewhhheerrre Farrr Beyyyonnd" rhythm. If you have the Remastered version, then you have the cover songs " Spread Your Wings", " Trial by Fire", and " Theatre of Pain( Classic Version)" . All are great songs and I actually prefer the classic version of Theatre of Pain.

Overall, Somewhere Far Beyond is a great album that I reccomend to any metalhead.