Dutch musician Barend Courbois has been crowned the new bass player for epic metal’s highest-ranked ambassadors, BLIND GUARDIAN. “Barend is top,” states BLIND GUARDIAN frontman & lyricist Hansi Kürsch. “He is the ideal bass player for us and has a lot of musical understanding. He is variable and multifaceted, but still able to create all the power we need. And the fact that Krefeld [Germany, the band’s home base] is so close to the Dutch border makes our liaison really easy.” “One day I got an unexpected phone call from [BLIND GUARDIAN] producer Charlie Bauerfeind, whom I had met at a project we both were involved in the early ‘90s,” recalls Courbois. “He asked if I was available during the next six months to tour with a major metal band. He wouldn´t tell me the band´s name at first, though.” Two weeks later, Courbois was part of BLIND GUARDIAN’s touring line-up. “I was a total wreck before my first gig. It’s a real challenge to play BLIND GUARDIAN songs, but I love it!” About his involvement in recording BLIND GUARDIAN’s tenth studio release, Beyond The Red Mirror, Courbois shares: “This was the longest production I have ever been involved in. As we all know, the recordings took a total of two years. The music is so versatile, which is just what makes the style of BLIND GUARDIAN so unique.” Music has always been in Barend’s blood. At the age of four, he began teaching himself to play drums. He first picked up the bass at age eight and even enjoyed playing bagpipes. His father Sir Pierre Courbois (aged 74) - a world-famous jazz drummer still performing on stage - has played alongside French jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and American jazz saxophonists Eric Dolphy and Ben Webster, among other genre greats. Regarding his own style, Barend is quite confident: “I play in a very powerful, but also melodic way. You could compare me to John Deacon, something that QUEEN-fans Hansi Kürsch and guitarist André Olbrich really like.” Courbois has performed over 4,000 shows and recorded over 60 albums. Artists he has worked with include Adrian Vandenberg (WHITESKNAKE), Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and Atma Anur (TONY MACALPINE, JASON BECKER, GREG HOWE). Beyond The Red Mirror will be released in Europe on January 30th, 2015 and on February 3rd, 2015 in North America. The album can be pre-ordered in the following formats from the new album’s landing page: http://smarturl.it/BLIND-GUARDIANMirror • Jewel Case (10 songs) + exclusive keychain • Limited Edition Digi-Pak / Digi-Book (11 songs) • Double LP gatefold vinyl (11 songs) • Import Earbook (12 songs plus illustrations, photos, and liner notes) • Exclusive Limited Edition NB Mail-Order Earbook (12 songs plus illustrations, photos, liner notes + bonus 10”) The track listing for Beyond The Red Mirror is as follows: 01. Ninth Wave 02. Twilight Of The Gods (watch lyric video here: http://youtu.be/Ep1B_aIFPDE) 03. Prophecies 04. At The Edge Of Time 05. Ashes Of Eternity 06. Distant Memories (bonus track on limited editions + vinyl) 07. Holy Grail 08. The Throne 09. Sacred Mind 10. Miracle Machine 11. Grand Parade Four-and-a-half years in the making, Beyond The Red Mirror was recorded at Twilight Hall Studio in Grefrath, Germany and produced by Charlie Bauerfeind (SAXON, HAMMERFALL, HELLOWEEN). The album’s spellbinding tracks showcase BLIND GUARDIAN’s long-awaited collaborative work with three different classical choirs from Prague, Budapest, and Boston, plus two grand orchestras - each featuring 90 musicians. An endeavour demanding that attention be paid to the lyrics as much as to the music, Beyond The Red Mirror is a desperate search for truth, an exploration of the relativities of good and evil, a testimony of the consequences of lost opportunities, a glimpse into a distant universe’s dystopian society, and a story about a prophecy, a promise of revolution, a plot for revenge, and a miracle machine with powers far beyond