Record Company: Nuclear Blast/Scarecrow
Release Date: January 27, 2009 (U.S.)
Producer: Sascha Paeth
Web Site: http://edguy.net
Tobias Sammet ~ Vocals
Jens Ludwig ~ Guitars
Dirk Sauer ~ Guitars
Tobias "Eggi" Exxel ~ Bass
Felix Bohnke ~ Drums
Granato Rambocco & The Killers appear on the bonus track Aren't You A Little Pervert Too?!
1.) Ministry Of Saints [5:05] (Sammet): It's a bird! it's a plane! No, it's Deep Purple. You'll have to hear the opening guitar synth to know what I mean. Suffice to say that Jon Lord would be proud. This tune is pretty heavy... but has an exceptional groove that makes it accessible to all rockers. Tobias really belts it out here. This is an awesome way to start things off. I'm psyched already! Rating: 10/10
2.) Sex Fire Religion [5:55] (Sammet): This one starts off with another heavy-duty riff, which makes it pretty clear that the band is bringing a bit of a chip on their shoulder this time. Maybe their critics are finally getting to them, or maybe they just wanted to rock out. Whatever the cause, this song hits pretty hard... but still displays Edguy's sense of melody... and their sense of humor. For the record, the title may be Sex Fire Religion, but the lyrics are mostly "sex." Not a damn thing wrong with that. Rating: 10/10
3.) The Pride Of Creation [5:30] (Sammet): This tune is definitely a bit of a departure for the band. For starters, the band sounds like a cross between Helloween and Queen here (with lyrics by Stryper)... which isn't necessarily a bad thing at all. However, it's written with a very "bright" chord structure to go with it's surprisingly spiritual lyrics (especially after the last song ). The song moves at a pretty heavy pace... and Tobias REALLY belts on this one... but the "happy, praise God" metal song was never my bag (Yes, Stryper blows! ). It still gets a pretty decent rating from me... but I'll bet cash that 75% of you will think this is one of the best tunes they've ever done. Rating: 6/10
4.) Nine Lives [4:26] (Sammet): Now, here's another song with a bit of spiritual vibe... but it rocks the way I like it. It features a keyboard playing along with the riff, but it actually seems to help the song flow quite a bit, without turning the song into a mush-fest. The solo really soars on this one... and the song has a big finish. This one does a great job of being beefy and melodic at the same time. Rating: 8/10
5.) Wake Up Dreaming Black [4:04] (Sammet): Like Nine Lives, this one walks the wire between hammering riffs and soaring melodies... and does it well. The drums hit like a ton of bricks... and the guitars really let fly in the breaks. These guys harmonize so well together on the choruses... it's no wonder they can throw down rapid-fire riffs and still drive the melody over the top. Rating: 8/10
6.) Dragonfly [4:56] (Sammet): We start off with a little EVH-sounding riff accompanying Tobias, while he wrings every drop of soul out his vocals. The rhythm section really drives this mid-tempo rocker... and the song swells into a friggin' HUGE chorus. The sparse guitar arrangements of the verses make the choruses sound even bigger... like they need help in that department. Throw in a ripping solo, and you've got an absolutely killer tune on your hands! A+++ Rating: 12/10
7.) Thorn Without A Rose [4:44] (Sammet): This tune is a power ballad, done Edguy style. It features some of Tobias' best vocal work... and the song hits all the marks you'd expect... big choruses, stirring guitar and piano work and soaring melodies. Check... check... and check, mate. Rating: 8/10
8.) 9-2-9 [3:47] (Sammet): A very melodic tune with a a strange little off-kilter riff. It's still pretty catchy, though... with a great groove. This is one of those tunes that doesn't really stand out to me, but it's good enough that I don't think anyone will be reaching for the "next" button. I'm still not quite sure what "9-2-9" is... but I do know what "7-2-7" is. Rating: 7.27/10
9.) Speedhoven [7:40] (Sammet): Whoa! Think big and you've got the gist of this one. The song starts off with a group-sung intro and a blazing pace set by the double-kicks, very much like a DragonForce tune. The verses are kicked down a notch, which makes the choruses all that much more grandiose. The interlude is a nice contrast from the rest of the song, giving the song another dimension to build on as the song slowly picks up steam again. I particularly liked the two guitars soloing separately... eventually syncing up for a minute, only to drift apart again. Tobias' vocals are aces here... and everything else is done to perfection as well. Winner!!! Rating: 10/10
10.) Dead Or Rock [4:57] (Sammet): A great intro groove drives right into the riff as the song takes off like a whirlwind. There is a loose vibe to this one that really sets it apart from the rest of the songs on this album. This is definitely a salute to classic 80s metal. I'm digging it in a big way! Rating: 12/10
11.) Aren't You A Little Pervert Too?! (feat. Granato Rambucco & The Killers [Bonus Track] [2:18] (Sammet): A silly little country rock ditty... no other way to describe it. The squeaks, squeals and noises Sammet lets out during this song are just hilarious... on top of the comical lyrics. If you don't think this one is funny... you might want to trade in your funny bone for one that works.
P.S. ~ Listen to the vocals at the end of this track... and tell me he doesn't sound just like Marq Torien from the BulletBoys. Rating: 8/10
The Bonus Disc: "Live In Los Angeles"
1.) Catch Of The Century: This is a great tune anyway... and they did an excellent version of it here. The "Rocket Ride" album seems to get a bad rap, but songs like this have made it one of my favorites. The crowd loved it... and so did I. Rating: 9/10
2.) Sacrifice: Another track off the "Rocket Ride" album, this track keeps the crowd singing and chanting throughout... and me right along with it. Big swells, dramatic piano passages and galloping choruses. Very cool... Rating: 9/10
3.) Babylon: Here we have a hard-rocking tune taken from the "Theater Of Salvation" disc. The band was clearly in a groove the night this was recorded... and you can hear it in every note. Another winner... Rating: 8/10
4.) Lavatory Love Machine: Tobias whips the crowd into a frenzy with this classic direct from the "Hellfire Club." The intro to this song always reminds me of There's Only One Way To Rock... and of course, if you're gonna borrow a riff, classic Sammy ain't a bad way to go. Gotta love a band that can rock this hard... and still not take themselves too seriously. Dream Theater they ain't. Rating: 8/10
5.) Tears Of A Mandrake: What would an Edguy concert be without the title track from the "Mandrake" disc? I don't know, actually... I've never seen them live. Of course, a song like this belongs in any Edguy show... and they deliver a huge performance on this one. Nice. Very nice. Rating: 10/10
6.) Vain Glory Opera: Another classic tune here... the title song from one of the few Edguy discs I don't own (yet ). The song is tailor-made for the sing-along treatment... and Tobias takes full advantage of that fact. These guys certainly pack a big punch on this one. Rating: 9/10
7.) Superheroes: Here we have another tune from the "Rocket Ride" disc... and the band rips through this one. It's not my favorite tune... but they did a very good version of it here. Rating: 7/10
8.) Fucking With Fire: Looks like we're staying with "Rocket Ride" for one more song... and it just happens to be the beefiest riff on the disc. The band hits like a hammer... and Tobias hits all the right notes. Rating: 9/10
9.) Avantasia: I was a little surprised (and happy) to see an Avantasia tune in the set. I was under the impression that Sammet kept the two bands pretty separate, but I guess you just gotta let it rip sometimes. Well-done version here. Rating: 8/10
10.) King Of Fools: This is the perfect song for the finalé. A classic tune from the "Hellfire Club"... performed by a band in their prime. I loved this one! Rating: 10/10
The Last Word:
Edguy might just be the best import to come out of Germany since the Scorpions and Becks beer.
I hear people knocking these guys occasionally for being too melodic to be "true" power metal... the assumption being that that is a bad thing. They aren't quite as heavy as HammerFall or Primal Fear, but that doesn't mean that this is the second coming of Bon Jovi. In fact, despite the criticisms I've heard of this band (and Bon Jovi, for that matter)... they are very, very popular... the assumption being that that is a bad thing.
Well, needless to say... I disagree. These guys "RockHard"... and that's always a good thing.
One listen to this album and you'll see what I mean. These guys hit like Maiden... flow like Helloween... soar like Dream Theater... and clown around like Zappa every now and then. The band is equally at home locked in on a big progressive riff, jamming like metal gods or ripping out a blues rock jam. Sammet's vocals are fiery and inspired... and he sounds equally convincing whether he's belting out tongue-in-cheek tunes like Lavatory Love Machine or soaring melodies like Sacrifice. Tobias truly has the gift of gab... meaning his lyrics sound good and fit the song well, no matter what the subject. He tends to write music that is big and ambitious, but the songs flow incredibly well. He's a master of delivering heavy-sounding tunes that still manage to be very easy on the ears.
Anyway, I know we've got a few Edguy fans here already (some of you probably know more about this band than I do, all told), so I won't keep raving about a band you already know rocks. I'll just say that this is another impressive disc... and recommend it to anyone with ears who likes to rock.
The Bottom Line (AKA - The Six-Pack Scale):