In a brand new interview with Antihero Magazine, BLIND GUARDIAN frontman Hansi Kürsch was asked if the band's new live album, "Live Beyond The Spheres", is a turning point for the band in the sense that the next album could be slightly different from the group's previous releases. "I believe that this has been the case with all three live outputs we've had so far," Hansi responded. "After [1993's] 'Tokyo Tales', there was a significant change with 'Imaginations From The Other Side'. When we did [2003's] 'Live', there certainly was a big change when we did 'A Twist In The Myth', and we have the first lineup change. Unfortunately, Thomen [Stauch], our drummer back then, left the band. So, there was recognizable change in the mentality of the band, the way we presented ourselves on stage and the way we performed. Everything was a little different and we announced the classical period of BLIND GUARDIAN, which is still going on. Yet, with this live album, we've finished an era and something new is to come that will be very significant and obvious when the next output is going to be released, which is going to be the orchestral album. I'm sure you've heard about it. Even though that stretches the last twenty years of our careers, it's so significantly different from whatever we have done before that the change is very obvious at that point."
He continued: "We haven't done too much songwriting for the next regular BLIND GUARDIAN album, but still, we've made some steps at least, and I can sense a strong change in comparison to what we did on the last album. There's one song called 'Architect Of Doom', which is a real heavy song. Very powerful. Very thrashy at points. And there's another song called 'American Goth', which is kind of what you would expect from BLIND GUARDIAN, but yet the way we maintained the drums, for example, the way we maintained the orchestra, and that is a song with orchestra, again, it's so different. I'm pretty sure that there will be a significant change when you listen to these two albums and from that point of view, yes, 'Live Beyond The Spheres' is the end of an era."
Asked what BLIND GUARDIAN will be focusing on after the release of "Live Beyond The Spheres", Hansi said: "We are keeping our main focus on the orchestral album, but since the songwriting for this album has been done quite a few months ago, this is more a question of accomplishing it. I've started singing my stuff a few weeks ago and I'm continuing until the end of the year. But, there's also some time, which we already spent on songwriting for BLIND GUARDIAN, as mentioned, and whenever there is a gap with regard to my production, vocal production, we will put some production of the first songs we have accomplished. I would say there's a good chance that the orchestral album will be musically accomplished completely at the end of this year, and throughout the whole next year we will continue with mixing and everything, so this album can be released in the beginning of 2019. And the heavy album, basically, is supposed to follow later. Let's say in 2020. We are having a very good run and if things continue like they are maintaining at the moment, I'm pretty sure that we can stick to this schedule."
"Live Beyond The Spheres" was released on July 7 as a 3-CD and 4-LP box via Nuclear Blast. The set includes material recorded at various shows during the band's European tour in 2015. It contains old classics, new tracks as well as songs that were very rarely performed during BLIND GUARDIAN's live shows.