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Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 11:18
by Edain
Indeed, I couldn't agree with this as well. However, the parts about Power Metal in general and The Throne in particular were what I found really spot on.

Edit: Whoa, my first -page-. What a feeling!

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 14:28
by OmegaSlayer
I started to read it but I got bored at the 3rd ok. :(

The record is currently sitting at an average of 91% out of 2 reviews on Metal-Archives and got a 7/10 on Metalitalia which didn't even put the album between the top ones.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 03:57
by dragonbees
Thoreg wrote: My problem with post-Thomen rhythms is the following: whenever a great melody and rhythm starts to build up and my head is prepared for some serious headbanging, the song suddenly slows down and turns into a f**ing math equation and destroys the music. Then I feel very disappointed and I feel that this is soulless and artificial. There's no real feeling in BG's music anymore, it's just a plain boring equation delivered with great expertise (wasted talent and effort) rather than being music. The situation is the same with Hansi's vocals. I can't remember more than 2-3 short melodies from the album. It's full of ridiculous vocal overlays. Also, the vocal and guitar melodies do not control the songs anymore, more likely the rhythm patterns do. The memorable melodies were the main strength of this band in the old days. I can sing each and every song's guitar and vocal lines until ATITM. I can't nearly say that about the last two albums. This direction of Blind Guardian is very bad. I would REALLY love to like them but I cannot. Of course the orchestrations are cool but I give them a s**t if the songs are bad. The band forgot the goal of their music some years ago. And still, they're lightyears above any other band that exists.
-----
Some points about the album to highlight:
- the vocals are generally too quiet
- Twilight of the Gods is simply terrible, it hurts my ears
- The Holy Grail is probably my favourite
- Miracle Machine is a nice hommage to Queen's "The Miracle"
- the album is much better than ATEOT
-----
I think I have to give the album many more spins to settle with a final opinion.
couldn't agree with you more man. that's exactly what I think .

besides anyone think that the lyrics on the last two albums are not as strong and interesting as on let's say A Night at the Opera!? I mean now's just simple lines like "the king is gone, Don't look back, No more gods, no more lies" and you wouldn't understand much if you don't know about the story already. I personally think that Hansi was much better at writing lyrics before.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 08:48
by RandomName
Like many others, I was a bit disappointed when the official lyrics video of Twilight of the Gods appeared on the net; I felt like someone who wrote "hope it is the worst song of the album". And when I finally got the album, I was just blown away! It is a really great album, it is music that takes you to another world if you are naive / brave enough to go there.

The Throne is an absolute masterpiece but the whole album is great; really difficult to find words to convey how it makes feel :D I am currently unemployed and desperately seeking job but when I got the album I stopped applying for 2 days (hope I missed not too many possibilities as it was the weekend :D ) and spent these days listening to the album and reading reviews. And yes, the more you listen to it the more it involves you; and I don't think this advice (to try several times) sounds arrogant or so; you can get right away that you don't like a new song of Britney Spears for example and it is hardly worth listening another time but when it comes to complex music it is absolutely normal to listen it several times before you start to understand and admire it; there music is very close to math I guess :D

Anyhow, BG have made great music again :D

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 15:29
by Dragonfly
RandomName wrote:Like many others, I was a bit disappointed when the official lyrics video of Twilight of the Gods appeared on the net; I felt like someone who wrote "hope it is the worst song of the album". And when I finally got the album, I was just blown away! It is a really great album, it is music that takes you to another world if you are naive / brave enough to go there.

The Throne is an absolute masterpiece but the whole album is great; really difficult to find words to convey how it makes feel :D I am currently unemployed and desperately seeking job but when I got the album I stopped applying for 2 days (hope I missed not too many possibilities as it was the weekend :D ) and spent these days listening to the album and reading reviews. And yes, the more you listen to it the more it involves you; and I don't think this advice (to try several times) sounds arrogant or so; you can get right away that you don't like a new song of Britney Spears for example and it is hardly worth listening another time but when it comes to complex music it is absolutely normal to listen it several times before you start to understand and admire it; there music is very close to math I guess :D

Anyhow, BG have made great music again :D
Man, looking for a job sucks. I hate it even more than having an actual job. :mrgreen:

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 18:19
by t.a.j.
I think I've to revise my opinion. It really grows on me.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 18:34
by DREAMASTER
It's kinda curious that almost nobody mentions the bad mixing/masterng job. It looks like everything sounds great.

Well when I evaluate an album, I evaluate:

composition (voice, bass and guitar work, and drums work & others instruments)
lyrics
mixing
mastering


So an album can have good songs but they can be quite ruined by a bad mixing and mastering job.

And this is what I think that happens again in the new album. Since Charlie is on the helm since ANATO, everything sounds lifeless, steryle and bad. The instrument that suffered the most is the Drums. Is getting worst with each album. Which makes very dificult for me to listen to the albums and enjoy them.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 19:27
by t.a.j.
When considering the mix, one should keep in mind that what comes out of the production onto the medium is only the base which produces the final sound that you hear only through whatever audio equipment you use. Equalizers, presets, the qualities of speakers and headphones, even the acoustics of the room your in will influence what you hear.

And while none of the recent albums has a really good production (This starts even with Imaginations), it is generally adequate and focussed on bringing the main melodic voices and their accompaniment to the fore, a difficult job if you have some 200 tracks to mix.

Finally, the sound of an instrument is not primarily a matter of the mix (which is concerned with the relative volume and presence of different tracks and the distribution of voices on the frequency spectrum), but of the physical qualities of the equipment used, including instruments and their parts, effect equipment and amps. Even if you use e.g. triggered drums, the samples used must come from somewhere and their sound is mostly determined by these factors.

Concerning the mix as such: I find the vocals too much in the fore and miss the crunchy parts (bass, rythm guitar, not sure if there even is a lot of non-diddly guitar buried somewhere in the mix).

I still think that there's too much diddlyness and not enough crunchiness over all. Like it's been since NIME really, but hey...

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 20:04
by OmegaSlayer
Taj was pretty spot on about the equipment.

I don't know what pickups Andréìs Ibanez Lacs is equipped with, but his RGD has stock pick-ups and let's not talk about Marcus' Gibson Les Paul which despite the name is a step down from the ESP Eclipse, which looks the same but has better woods/electronics.

Those guitars sounds muddy by themselves, so the production can't help that much.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 20:11
by blindgfan
Dragonfly wrote:
RandomName wrote:Like many others, I was a bit disappointed when the official lyrics video of Twilight of the Gods appeared on the net; I felt like someone who wrote "hope it is the worst song of the album". And when I finally got the album, I was just blown away! It is a really great album, it is music that takes you to another world if you are naive / brave enough to go there.

The Throne is an absolute masterpiece but the whole album is great; really difficult to find words to convey how it makes feel :D I am currently unemployed and desperately seeking job but when I got the album I stopped applying for 2 days (hope I missed not too many possibilities as it was the weekend :D ) and spent these days listening to the album and reading reviews. And yes, the more you listen to it the more it involves you; and I don't think this advice (to try several times) sounds arrogant or so; you can get right away that you don't like a new song of Britney Spears for example and it is hardly worth listening another time but when it comes to complex music it is absolutely normal to listen it several times before you start to understand and admire it; there music is very close to math I guess :D

Anyhow, BG have made great music again :D
Man, looking for a job sucks. I hate it even more than having an actual job. :mrgreen:
What about looking for a job while having it? Does it suck as well?

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 21:12
by RandomName
blindgfan wrote:
Dragonfly wrote: Man, looking for a job sucks. I hate it even more than having an actual job. :mrgreen:
What about looking for a job while having it? Does it suck as well?
Yes everything related to this process sucks; especially creating CVs :evil:

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 23:41
by ErHaO
DREAMASTER wrote:It's kinda curious that almost nobody mentions the bad mixing/masterng job. It looks like everything sounds great.

Well when I evaluate an album, I evaluate:

composition (voice, bass and guitar work, and drums work & others instruments)
lyrics
mixing
mastering


So an album can have good songs but they can be quite ruined by a bad mixing and mastering job.

And this is what I think that happens again in the new album. Since Charlie is on the helm since ANATO, everything sounds lifeless, steryle and bad. The instrument that suffered the most is the Drums. Is getting worst with each album. Which makes very dificult for me to listen to the albums and enjoy them.
If you look at the initial reactions the production is mentioned quite often and I am not nvery fond of it either.

Fun fact I discovered on Charlie's site: he was a drummer in a few bands himself before becoming a producer :lol:

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 23:49
by RandomName
ErHaO wrote:Fun fact I discovered on Charlie's site: he was a drummer in a few bands himself before becoming a producer :lol:
That's sort of revenge then when he buries drums as deep as possible :mrgreen:

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 07:04
by Warmoth
So I got my deluxe earbook today. (totally surprised, NB site said it's not "released" in the US til the 9th)

I read through in the appropriate order and listened to the songs as cued. Overall it's pretty awesome. Having appropriate context for each song just before listening to it adds so much
The story is a lot to digest. A bit cryptic at first, but that's for another thread.

I then listened to the bonus vinyl.
Doesn't look like anyone has mentioned anything about this yet.

The "Miracle Machine" Alternate Mix sounds very much like the regular. (My record player isn't exactly high-end, I didn't notice anything outstandingly different....I'd like an official digital copy of it to be sure)
The "Grand Parade" Alternate version is interesting. The lyrics are completely different in many places. Musically it seems to be the same. Some of the lyrics stood out as awesome. I'd be really interested in reading them all. I might transcribe them if no-one else does.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 10:23
by warchanter
Warmoth wrote:I then listened to the bonus vinyl.
Doesn't look like anyone has mentioned anything about this yet.

The "Miracle Machine" Alternate Mix sounds very much like the regular. (My record player isn't exactly high-end, I didn't notice anything outstandingly different....I'd like an official digital copy of it to be sure)
The "Grand Parade" Alternate version is interesting. The lyrics are completely different in many places. Musically it seems to be the same. Some of the lyrics stood out as awesome. I'd be really interested in reading them all. I might transcribe them if no-one else does.
At last! I have the vinyl but haven't played it yet as my equipment rests in my parent's house, and they live in another city (arghhh)!
Now I'm curious. So, Miracle Machine has no heavy guitars? And Gran Parade, does it have only lyrics changes or is there something different in the music too?

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 17:52
by Warmoth
"Miracle machine" sounds like it has the same few instruments, Piano, Hansi, light orchestration.
Perhaps there's more emphasis on the piano, and less vocal tracks?
It was probably my player, but it really sounded like an old phonograph. As if the speed was varying slightly, but only on the piano track. Going for a vintage feel? :lol:

Grand parade sounded fine in that regard, but the quality seemed more like a demo. I could hear the guitars more than the regular version, but the orchestra was still there.
The lyrics were probably 50% different, and perhaps could offer more insight to the story line that is being discussed.

I listened to each twice, I didn't have time for any more.

There's a guy on youtube who records his vinyl and uploads it in really high quality, it sounds amazing compared to mine. We need him to do that for these songs. :wink:

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 19:09
by warchanter
Warmoth wrote:There's a guy on youtube who records his vinyl and uploads it in really high quality, it sounds amazing compared to mine. We need him to do that for these songs. :wink:
:D
Anyway, thanks

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 19:47
by DREAMASTER
t.a.j. wrote:When considering the mix, one should keep in mind that what comes out of the production onto the medium is only the base which produces the final sound that you hear only through whatever audio equipment you use. Equalizers, presets, the qualities of speakers and headphones, even the acoustics of the room your in will influence what you hear.

And while none of the recent albums has a really good production (This starts even with Imaginations), it is generally adequate and focussed on bringing the main melodic voices and their accompaniment to the fore, a difficult job if you have some 200 tracks to mix.

Finally, the sound of an instrument is not primarily a matter of the mix (which is concerned with the relative volume and presence of different tracks and the distribution of voices on the frequency spectrum), but of the physical qualities of the equipment used, including instruments and their parts, effect equipment and amps. Even if you use e.g. triggered drums, the samples used must come from somewhere and their sound is mostly determined by these factors.

Concerning the mix as such: I find the vocals too much in the fore and miss the crunchy parts (bass, rythm guitar, not sure if there even is a lot of non-diddly guitar buried somewhere in the mix).

I still think that there's too much diddlyness and not enough crunchiness over all. Like it's been since NIME really, but hey...


Well. Kalle Trap was improving the production and his mixing with each album but I like Flemming Rasmussen mixing in IFTS. The sound of the Drums for examples is more powerful and clear. The only little problem is that the Bass is a bit too quiet in the mix. The sound of NIME is a bit mufled but somehow with all those layers, it goes well together with the songs.

Now, with Charlie Bauerfiend on the helm since ANATO that the sound of everything got worst and worst with subsequent albums and since Thomen left the band, the Drums were the ones that suffered the most.

If they want to use orchestras in all their songs then get someone that know to melt perfectly the band instruments with tte classic instruments and not some confusion of everything.

You have bands that have achieved this, Rage, Therion, Rhapsody, etc. So why can't BG achieve it too? I repeat, Charlie Bauerfiend might be a very good producer but as a mixing/mastering engineer is quite bad and is not only with BG. Look for example for the last Helloween albums. They are unlistenable because of the bad mixing/mastering by Charlie.


Blind Guardian - Born in a Mourning Hall music video (HQ Sound) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbVWe8PaaXA

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 21:35
by Warmoth
Another thing about the earbook.
I don't really want to bash Felipe Machado, but.. I guess I'm not a big fan.

All the artwork in the book is only "meh" to me. I can see it's technically good. There's a lot of detail going on, but for some reason, I'm just not compelled to just sit there and really "dig in"
You see one picture, you've seen them all. He's got a very formulaic approach, and It's just not my taste.

I understand the band really like the guy, it seems they like how fast he can produce something. ..Perhaps that's not a good thing? They take their time getting the music right, I think the artwork should be handled the same way.

In the end, It doesn't effect the music so it doesn't matter. I just think the earbook could have been a little better.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 22:04
by JazzJackrabbit
Warmoth wrote:Another thing about the earbook.
I don't really want to bash Felipe Machado, but.. I guess I'm not a big fan.

All the artwork in the book is only "meh" to me. I can see it's technically good. There's a lot of detail going on, but for some reason, I'm just not compelled to just sit there and really "dig in"
You see one picture, you've seen them all. He's got a very formulaic approach, and It's just not my taste.

I understand the band really like the guy, it seems they like how fast he can produce something. ..Perhaps that's not a good thing? They take their time getting the music right, I think the artwork should be handled the same way.

In the end, It doesn't effect the music so it doesn't matter. I just think the earbook could have been a little better.
I definitely prefer the insert artwork in ATEOT to BTRM.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 22:28
by DREAMASTER
Warmoth wrote:Another thing about the earbook.
I don't really want to bash Felipe Machado, but.. I guess I'm not a big fan.

All the artwork in the book is only "meh" to me. I can see it's technically good. There's a lot of detail going on, but for some reason, I'm just not compelled to just sit there and really "dig in"
You see one picture, you've seen them all. He's got a very formulaic approach, and It's just not my taste.

I understand the band really like the guy, it seems they like how fast he can produce something. ..Perhaps that's not a good thing? They take their time getting the music right, I think the artwork should be handled the same way.

In the end, It doesn't effect the music so it doesn't matter. I just think the earbook could have been a little better.


Well you are not the only one feeling that about Felipe Machado artworks. There's lot of fans of others bands where he also does the artwork that don't like his work at all and averyone say almost the same thins you did "You see one picture, you've seen them all. He's got a very formulaic approach". What is more serious and I don't know if the band knows this, he used part of the artworkf he did for BG compilation and used in in a band album cover. For me this guys is overrated and very lazy. Ah yeah, I also think the artwork should be handled the same way as the music. Miss the days that Andreas Marschall used to do BG albums and singles covers.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 23:38
by OmegaSlayer
I think Machado's problem is that he works with bands within the same sub-genre, so he doesn't have the need to push his imagination somewhere else and focus on new ideas and new techniques.

It has a really bad print on the digipak, but I think this is the best cover art BG ever had
Image

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 23:42
by ErHaO
I think it is beautiful. There is a thin line for me liking his art and he crosses it quite often (one look at his site and many terrible stuff can be appreciated), but I like what he did here and it is very consistent. I think a difference is that he has a clear direction here and worked together with the band. There are tons of details and it ties in great with the concept. It feels like a coherent storybook when I look at the pages. I do agree he should use some other colour patterns here and there though, but that is more for varieties sake than the quality of the images itself. That, and he tends to put the emphasis on a lightsource (usually the middle) too much, making the total balance of the image a bit "uneven" at times.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 00:38
by Warmoth
The fly cover does look good. I always liked that, and "Another stranger me"

A lot of versions of this are too blue
Image

For some reason though, I love Marschall's work. It seems straight from the fantasy realm, I always though it fit BG perfectly.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 01:15
by DREAMASTER
The fly single cover is good but nothing until now beats Andreas Marschall ilustrations.


Image


Image


Image


Image


Image

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 01:17
by Gandalf de Grijze
I really love the artwork in the earbook! For me they ARE compelling and sucking me up deeper into the picture. While I do agree that Machado is overrated, I think the earbook art is possibly his best work... And the exception to the general rule

Live is definatelyy my favorite by marschall

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 01:34
by Warmoth
DREAMASTER wrote:The fly single cover is good but nothing until now beats Andreas Marschall ilustrations.
Don't forget
Image


and Imaginations extended
Image

Yeah Marschall is amazing

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 02:37
by DREAMASTER
and this.


Image

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 03:05
by Led Guardian
OmegaSlayer wrote:File 664 is a register permission in Linux system
Huh. I was wondering what that was. I wouldn't think Hansi would know anything about Linux.

Anyway, I'll go ahead and offer my initial two-listen opinion, which I'm sure will change as time goes on. First, it doesn't grab me as much as I seem to recall ATEOT doing. I have to agree with the people who said that there weren't a lot of memorable melodies, not much to get stuck in the head. There are a few, but I can't call up a lot of the album like I could with parts of ATEOT after the first couple listens. The fact that some of those people are revising their opinions makes me hopeful though, along with the fact that I never like a BG album at first as much as I do later.

My biggest initial issue with the song writing is that there is too much 'climax' on the album. A weird description, but the best I can manage. A lot of the songs don't build so much as sound like the whole thing is the climax of a bigger song. ATEOT (the song) really exemplifies this feeling for me. It's more a feeling than anything I can pinpoint, but it might be why I'm not grabbed as much as on other albums.

I'm not a big production buff, but I tend to agree that this production is kinda 'meh'. Which is alright, because BG to me has never, ever to my ears had that great of production. ATEOT I thought sounded like it had the best mix, sans weird hiccups. The drums in this are kind of buried, and Hansi's voice sometimes gets lost in the choirs, and sometimes the guitars (Ninth Wave verses).

I may be the minority, but at the moment my favorite, most memorable songs are The Ninth Wave and Sacred Mind, particularly the latter. The chorus may not be lyrically special, but I really like the melody. I think it's one of the more unusual choruses they've had, and quite interesting. I quite like Miracle Machine as well.

Overall, to me this album is currently my least favorite from IFTOS onward, along with ATITM. Which isn't to say it's bad or that I don't like it, because unlike a lot of people here I actually think ATITM is good (other than CTBH). But it's BG, so I doubt any of this will be my final opinion. There's been so much positive buzz from people about this album, that I suspect there is something there that I'll pick up on after I've heard it a few more times. Looking forward to it.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 03:09
by Pilgrim
The mixing and mastering ruined this album for me. Seriously. I can't enjoy the songs while searching for drums and bass and trying to dissect all the ridiculous voices overlays. I can't fathom how Frederik listened to the album's master and thought something like: "Good! The drums are perfect!"

I think Hansi is pushing BG too hard on Queen's direction, chorus and vocal wise, but it's over the top and clearly he doesn't want to spend coin on a good sound engineering team. Freddie and co. and lots of other bands delivered better sound 4 decades ago.

I think my favorites are Holy Grail, Distant Memories and Miracle Machine.
I'm confident that whichever songs they elect to play on tour will sound much better on stage than on record.

I'm sad... and pissed.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 03:15
by ErHaO
Somewhere Far Beyond cover is pretty ugly to be honest (I like the setting it represents though and the art itself is good). The other Marshall ones are really good though. Often when bands have these painting like covers, they are quite bad, but that guy managed to nail them for BG. His art is very sharp and full of detail. I especially love Live.

As for Machado, Another Stranger Me and Fly covers do not do much for me at all. They do the job, but are not especially beautiful. I think most of his earbook efforts are vastly superiour and I like the alternative cover of the album. It is mysterious and compelling in it's simple nature. Also, his best cover for BG (for me) is the one of the alternative Nightfall in the box set (still, original is better).

Crappy quality:

Image

It is well balanced (no distracting light, colours are used tastefully, picture feels "even") and gives the feeling of this gigantic epic setpiece which other BG covers do not really do.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 03:26
by ErHaO
Pilgrim wrote:The mixing and mastering ruined this album for me. Seriously. I can't enjoy the songs while searching for drums and bass and trying to dissect all the ridiculous voices overlays. I can't fathom how Frederik listened to the album's master and thought something like: "Good! The drums are perfect!"

I think Hansi is pushing BG too hard on Queen's direction, chorus and vocal wise, but it's over the top and clearly he doesn't want to spend coin on a good sound engineering team. Freddie and co. and lots of other bands delivered better sound 4 decades ago.

I think my favorites are Holy Grail, Distant Memories and Miracle Machine.
I'm confident that whichever songs they elect to play on tour will sound much better on stage than on record.

I'm sad... and pissed.
Concerning being over the top and being too Queenish, I think this album is less overdone with vocal layering and "choirs" than the previous three albums. Here, Hansi actually sings on his own quite often and the use of real choirs make them sound distinct from his voice, giving a more natural effect.

As for the production, yeah, it is not really good. But bear with it. Once you adjusted to it, you can actually hear a lot of different elements of the music. Also, a tip: this one benefits from a good audio set up with a clear sound a lot (at least, to my ears). On my in ears (with mp3 player for sports) and on my laptop with crappy onboard audio card (so, most PC's) the album sounds really dreadful and way too busy. My headphones and my dads stereo are able to produce a sound in which I can clearly tell Marcus, Andre, Hansi, the choirs and the Orchestra and even Fredricks bassdrums (which are sometimes nearly inaudible on my laptop) from each other. And sometimes even the bassguitar. Playing with equalizers might work as well.

I fully agree with worst drum sound.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 04:25
by Warmoth
ErHaO wrote:As for Machado, Another Stranger Me and Fly covers do not do much for me at all. They do the job, but are not especially beautiful.
Machado didn't do either of those. Those were two separate artists actually. Of his work, I guess Memories of a time to come would be my choice for his Blind guardian work

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 05:06
by Led Guardian
See, in the middle of a third listen and I'm already liking it more. It takes some getting used to. Somehow, despite being in large part a combination of their past sounds, it's also a lot different in composition beyond the broad strokes.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 08:36
by priderock
ErHaO wrote:
Pilgrim wrote:The mixing and mastering ruined this album for me. Seriously. I can't enjoy the songs while searching for drums and bass and trying to dissect all the ridiculous voices overlays. I can't fathom how Frederik listened to the album's master and thought something like: "Good! The drums are perfect!"

I think Hansi is pushing BG too hard on Queen's direction, chorus and vocal wise, but it's over the top and clearly he doesn't want to spend coin on a good sound engineering team. Freddie and co. and lots of other bands delivered better sound 4 decades ago.

I think my favorites are Holy Grail, Distant Memories and Miracle Machine.
I'm confident that whichever songs they elect to play on tour will sound much better on stage than on record.

I'm sad... and pissed.
Concerning being over the top and being too Queenish, I think this album is less overdone with vocal layering and "choirs" than the previous three albums. Here, Hansi actually sings on his own quite often and the use of real choirs make them sound distinct from his voice, giving a more natural effect.

As for the production, yeah, it is not really good. But bear with it. Once you adjusted to it, you can actually hear a lot of different elements of the music. Also, a tip: this one benefits from a good audio set up with a clear sound a lot (at least, to my ears). On my in ears (with mp3 player for sports) and on my laptop with crappy onboard audio card (so, most PC's) the album sounds really dreadful and way too busy. My headphones and my dads stereo are able to produce a sound in which I can clearly tell Marcus, Andre, Hansi, the choirs and the Orchestra and even Fredricks bassdrums (which are sometimes nearly inaudible on my laptop) from each other. And sometimes even the bassguitar. Playing with equalizers might work as well.

I fully agree with worst drum sound.
I absolutely agree with ErHaO!!! This album - just as ATGTSAT - needs a good equipment to be appreciated! I really like all the details in it, and the Queenish vocal and choir style is perfect to me! :)

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 10:36
by Edain
Pilgrim wrote:The mixing and mastering ruined this album for me. Seriously. I can't enjoy the songs while searching for drums and bass and trying to dissect all the ridiculous voices overlays. I can't fathom how Frederik listened to the album's master and thought something like: "Good! The drums are perfect!"

I think Hansi is pushing BG too hard on Queen's direction, chorus and vocal wise, but it's over the top and clearly he doesn't want to spend coin on a good sound engineering team. Freddie and co. and lots of other bands delivered better sound 4 decades ago.

I think my favorites are Holy Grail, Distant Memories and Miracle Machine.
I'm confident that whichever songs they elect to play on tour will sound much better on stage than on record.

I'm sad... and pissed.
I agree that the mastering is far from perfect - but I don't think it's that bad. It's definitely too muddy on cheaper systems like onboard speakers - but it gets a lot better on good audio systems. Apart from the bass (as usual - the bassplayer in me cries why?) every instrument is quite well audible - the main downturn for me is, that it lacks some oomph. Only in some rhythm-only parts (like in Ninth Wave) the riffs actually feel heavy, as soon as the rhythm guitar is in the background (during solos e.g.) all the heaviness seems to be gone - even if it's a nice groovy 16th-riffing with doublebase.

Personally I like the operatic queenish approach very much, thats why I really like the album - although some of the songs seem less memorable than on previous CDs. It doesn't work all the time (At the Edge of Time e.g. seems to try too hard sometimes, it's too "full" - and sometimes they could just leave them out to allow riffs to shine) but when it works ("The Throne" most of all) it's just a wonderful piece of Art.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 13:54
by OmegaSlayer
I think that for many people it will be hard to accept that this album has almost no songs.
I perceive it like a single monolith with many sides and edges, so the album as a whole, especially following the whole concept from the booklet is worth much more than the sum of the single TRACKS.
One of the best BG albums and at the same time one of the albums with less stand-out song.
I would listen to the record thousand times but wouldn't be interested to listen to 70% of the songs live.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 22:08
by Blackened
OmegaSlayer wrote:I think Machado's problem is that he works with bands within the same sub-genre, so he doesn't have the need to push his imagination somewhere else and focus on new ideas and new techniques.

It has a really bad print on the digipak, but I think this is the best cover art BG ever had
Image
It's also one of their best songs ever!

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 23:27
by Freak666
The main reason why Marshall Artworks are so much better: They are directly related to the music and the album's songs.
Thats why I dislike Fly, Another stranger me, ATITM, and ATEOT... Don't know why BG stopped this after ANATO and went generic. (Think it's because those generic covers are better for printing on merch)

With TOTG and BTRM the covers at least represent the content of the songs which is a good first step in the right direction. Now just bring Marschall back again. :)

And yeah, the "Live" Artwork is by far their very best cover. It has a great atmosphere and it has this parody-element in it. I love it!!

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 23:30
by Traveller in Time
Felipe's artwork did grow on me since i have the Earbook, there are really nice details, so i can't complain.

But i agree that the live album was really great. I also do like the ITTLG artwork (was it made by Anry?) with all the Tolkien elements.
Really great :D Suited perfect

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 01:50
by ErHaO
Andre on why they use Machado (reddit):
Artworks are always a matter of taste, that's for sure. The big advantage of Felipe is, that we can have a big influence on every step he does. We can change all the details to make it fit better to our lyrics, which is very important for us. With the earlier artworks this was always a big problem, because little changes could take weeks to be done (and usualy you don't have this time if you don't want to delay the album). I think that we come much closer to reach our initial ideas with the artworks of Felipe. Specialy with a concept album, like we did now, it makes much more sense. And that an artist is doing other bands as well, if he becomes successful, is more than legitimate in my opinion. I'm very satisfied with the artworks of the new album, specialy if i see the earbook/limited version, where i have a different artwork for each song!! This makes the whole story much more intense! -AO

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:30
by OmegaSlayer
André's reply is pretty much what I expected.
Which means, we're proud of our choice, and...we don't give a damn about fans' opinion and we will go our way like we always did.
Which...in the end...I find pretty fair.
Not that I'm excited about it, but I think the guy deserve to do things their way, since in the end they don't disappoint.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 14:39
by ErHaO
OmegaSlayer wrote:André's reply is pretty much what I expected.
Which means, we're proud of our choice, and...we don't give a damn about fans' opinion and we will go our way like we always did.
Which...in the end...I find pretty fair.
Not that I'm excited about it, but I think the guy deserve to do things their way, since in the end they don't disappoint.
It is also this attitude that keeps them releasing fresh new material and pushing certain boundaries (while dailing back on others, I have to add). I always had the idea Twilight of the Gods was meant as a crowd pleaser by the way they talk about it and that is something they do not do best.

The only thing I do think a musician should listen to his/her fans about to a bit larger extent, is for live performances (if something is realistic, offcourse). But I do not think BG has problems with that at all.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 15:38
by blindgfan
Has anyone asked what the orchestral project will be like? Will it have guitars, vocals, etc? Also, will it be all brand new songs?

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 07 Feb 2015 20:27
by JazzJackrabbit
ErHaO wrote:Andre on why they use Machado (reddit):
Artworks are always a matter of taste, that's for sure. The big advantage of Felipe is, that we can have a big influence on every step he does. We can change all the details to make it fit better to our lyrics, which is very important for us. With the earlier artworks this was always a big problem, because little changes could take weeks to be done (and usualy you don't have this time if you don't want to delay the album). I think that we come much closer to reach our initial ideas with the artworks of Felipe. Specialy with a concept album, like we did now, it makes much more sense. And that an artist is doing other bands as well, if he becomes successful, is more than legitimate in my opinion. I'm very satisfied with the artworks of the new album, specialy if i see the earbook/limited version, where i have a different artwork for each song!! This makes the whole story much more intense! -AO
Honestly, this answer has nothing to do with Felipe and entirely about the fact that they're artwork is now done digitally which Andre correctly points out can be changed quickly.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 07 Feb 2015 23:05
by Orodaran
I agree... the point is actually drawing took a lot of time, and working on a computer grants quick and easy edits to the work. Well, if they're happy working with him, so be it, maybe other artists wouldn't be so willing to accept changes and details ("Gaaah, it's just swords and dragons, why do they care if there are two elves instead of one in a corner!??"), but I wonder why they don't see the other covers and realize that, while being good taken by themselves, they're really made with the same old, single trick of the contrast of colors...

It's like hiring a photographer that continues to do a Picasa "Selective black and white" effect over and over on all of the photos and never noticing that the photos made for you are the same photos made for everyone else!

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 08 Feb 2015 03:43
by Led Guardian
He also always uses that same weird sort of clockwork texture blended with all the backgrounds. His un-subtle use of texture blends and filters makes his work seem like someone who's got some basic technical artistic ability, but is new to photoshop and still having fun playing around with new features.

Also, you can do really good digital paintings in photoshop that look more like actual paintings than digital image manipulation, and it's much easier to edit than a physical drawing/painting.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 16:59
by Hylirion
A bit sad but the album sounds quite muddy. Like there is so little instrument separation and the soundstage is so condensed. Didn't like it very much the first listen, only really instantly great thing was the Nine Waves intro which is awesome no matter what. Nearly every song on the album is very busy, which just makes me sad that it's so hard to place the different instruments/voices, it's a huge wall of sound hitting you with too little definition.

Album gets way better with several listens as you get to understand the song structures and get to appreciate the details in each song more. I hated twilight of the gods at first but even starting to like that song as well :). Distant Memories is my favourite so far, kind of strange for a bonus track :P. Also a big fan of Sacred Mind. All in all the songs themselves are great. But I wish the sound was done differently, i think it would be way more accessible that way. Plus when you use so much stuff in a song it should sound very wide not condensed. What's the use of adding layers when you can't discern them from eachother... The drums miss their punch as well.

So... great songs, not so great sound quality.

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 17:09
by blindgfan
Hylirion wrote:A bit sad but the album sounds quite muddy. Like there is so little instrument separation and the soundstage is so condensed. Didn't like it very much the first listen, only really instantly great thing was the Nine Waves intro which is awesome no matter what. Nearly every song on the album is very busy, which just makes me sad that it's so hard to place the different instruments/voices, it's a huge wall of sound hitting you with too little definition.

Album gets way better with several listens as you get to understand the song structures and get to appreciate the details in each song more. I hated twilight of the gods at first but even starting to like that song as well :). Distant Memories is my favourite so far, kind of strange for a bonus track :P. Also a big fan of Sacred Mind. All in all the songs themselves are great. But I wish the sound was done differently, i think it would be way more accessible that way. Plus when you use so much stuff in a song it should sound very wide not condensed. What's the use of adding layers when you can't discern them from eachother... The drums miss their punch as well.

So... great songs, not so great sound quality.
I know the feeling about TOTG. After hearing that annoying slow part in the middle of each verse of Ninth Wave, you get to appreciate TOTG more and more )

Re: 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR'- Your Reviews

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 19:04
by TheMetalPigeon
Hi guys, used to post here a long long time ago under a different name but have been a longtime lurker since. I figured I'd contribute my review to this thread in order to break my lengthy silence. I write a small metal opinion/commentary blog and I'll just throw out the link to my review there, hope that's cool. Thanks!

http://themetalpigeon.com/2015/02/05/bl ... ed-mirror/