Somewhere Far Beyond has all the elements of classic Blind Guardian: fantasy and horror-story tracks inspired by the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and Stephen King; speedy double-bass riffing; and searing melodic vocals punctuated by anthemic group choruses. Bassist/vocalist Hansi Kürsch seems to possess several different voices, which serve his band's dynamic purposes well. From regal tales of dragon warfare ("The Bard's Song: The Hobbit,") to minstrel ballads ("The Bard's Song: In the Forest,") to Blind Guardian's trademark early-'90s speed metal matrix of hyper riffs and melodic multi-voiced choruses ("Journey Through the Dark," "Ashes to Ashes," and "Somewhere Far Beyond,") every pompous, excessive base is covered. Practically unknown in America, Blind Guardian had grown into quite a formidable metal outfit by the time of this 1992 release. The coming world-wide revival of '80s-influenced European metal certainly did their burgeoning career no harm and the group began penetrating the U.S. market. This delighted many old-school metal fans tired of the fake anger, pasty hip-hop posturing, and overall uniformity of American "hard" music. With plenty of great performances, challenging material, and some wicked guitar playing, Somewhere Far Beyond is a cornerstone of Blind Guardian's sizable reputation.
AllMusic Review by Vincent Jeffries
feat: Kai Hansen