A concert is more than just music: it’s a journey, an experience. A moment of our lives entirely dedicated to a band. And Blind Guardian seem to be pretty aware of that. With “Live Beyond the Spheres” they give us a recollection of the best live songs from their 2015 European Tour. 33 years and 10 studio albums later, Blind Guardian present us with this set of 3 live CDs and a real time travel through all of their legacy.
Our epic adventure starts with “The Ninth Wave”, from their most recent work. As soon as the intro and the choirs open this act, we immediately feel the contagious enthusiasm of the crowd. Kürsch’s “same old voice” brims with passion and will give you that nostalgic feeling that nothing changed. “Keep in mind this is just the beginning”, he warns us, and he is right. He keeps going, constantly interacting with the public and giving brief introductions to some of the songs, like he does with the classic “Nightfall” (1998). The sound of the strumming is perfectly clear and as soon as it starts, the crowd immediately follows.
After leaving Middle Earth we travel through multiple realms, finally arriving to Troy to assist to its decay with “And then there was silence”. Although I missed some of the back vocals present in the studio record, Kürsch and the rest of the group were up to make a great live act with this 14 minutes masterpiece. With their symphonic and progressive power metal, Blind Guardian always had the ability to take us into mysterious worlds, dimensions and legends of forgotten times; and “Live Beyond the Spheres” is a portal to this magic. Even the public plays a major role in the epicness of this album and “Lord of the Rings” is the proof of that: “This is what i call a tough audience”, says Kürsch.
Although this is an album with performances “from more than ten different shows, the result sounds really uniform. This has been a long journey but the effort was all worth it.”, states Hansi Kürsch. Besides that, the sound is crystal clear and even Ehmke’s powerful drumming stands out. “And the Story Ends” is the perfect example of that. Olbrich and Siepen’s performances are also brilliant. In the song “The Wheel of Time”, one can almost feel Olbrich’s agile fingers sliding across the strings.
Reviewing a live album may imply a risk of being redundant. Even so, this is not just a live show, not just a concert. This is the legacy of a band with 33 years, a testimony of their musical and performative wizardry and might. And for all of those that have been following the blind over these years, this will be like a perfect memory album.