German Power Metal!

Theatre of Salvation Edguy - Theatre of Salvation (AFM) 1999

1. "The Healing Vision" [instrumental] (1:11)
2. "Babylon" (6:40)
3. "The Headless Game" (5:34)
4. "Land of the Miracle" (6:32)
5. "Wake Up the King" (5:43)
6. "Falling Down" (4:36)
7. "Arrows Fly" (5:03)
8. "Holy Shadows" (4:30)
9. "Another Time" (4:07)
10. "The Unbeliever" (5:47)
11. "Theatre of Salvation" (12:25)
12. "Walk On Fighting" (Live in Milan) (4:14)

I knew nothing about this band other than that they are from Germany. Initially I was given a CDR by someone from Germany. After this I was on the search for more. Edguy have the German speed metal sound down. It's quite obvious that Edguy come from the same school of metal as Blind Guardian and Gamma Ray. Their music has some touches of progressive metal as well. There is not a bad, or even mediocre track to be found on this album. "Land of the Miracle" and the epic, 12-minute "Theater of Salvation" are truly awe inspiring tracks. This album is destined to be remembered as nothing less than a classic in the genre of neo-classical speed metal. Finally replaced the CDR with a real copy. (Thanks Kmorg)

Savage Poetry Edguy - The Savage Poetry (AFM Records) 2000

DISC ONE: 2000 version
1. "Hallowed" (6:14)
2. "Misguiding Your Life" (4:04)
3. "Key To My Fate" (4:34)
4. "Sands Of Time" (4:39)
5. "Sacred Hell" (5:37)
6. "Eyes Of The Tyrant" (10:00)
7. "Frozen Candle" (7:15)
8. "Roses To No One" (5:42)
9. "Power And Majesty" (4:53)
DISC TWO: original 1995 version
1. "Hallowed" (6:31)
2. "Misguiding Your Life" (4:13)
3. "Key To My Fate" (4:38)
4. "Sands Of Time" (5:08)
5. "Sacred Hell" (6:10)
6. "Eyes Of The Tyrant" (8:34)
7. "Frozen Candle" (7:59)
8. "Roses To No One" (5:49)
9. "Power And Majesty" (5:10)

This is Edguy's 5th and 1st recording in one double CD collection. Instead of just remastering and re-releasing their long, out-of-print debut album, they completely re-recorded it, and is some cases, even re-wrote it. Apparently, the band felt that they were so young when they first recorded 'Savage Poetry' in '95, they felt they could do a much better job on it today. I have been listening to both these discs over the past few weeks and can't decided which version I like better. The original 1995 version has a much thinner, simpler, yet rawer production. This version really has an old school metal feel as it's not over produced and filled with mountains of layered vocals and effects. The songs have an almost early Iron Maiden feel to them, especially as the bass really stands on songs like "Hallowed." I personally prefer the bass lead opening of the '95 version to the newer version which completely cuts out the bass opening. However, the very next track reveals how much better the new version is. "Midguiding Your Life" is a fast and furious speed metal song that just sounds so much better on the new version. The faster tempo alone improves this song, as does the cleaner production. For the most part, this is true of the entire album right down to the ballads. The 2000 recordings are far superior in both the production and in the playing. The thick layers of vocals really add something to the songs, as do the slight changes that the band made to each and every song and the overall fatter production. The production alone makes this album stand alongside bands like Blind Guardian and Helloween for sheer quality. Tobias' vocals actually remind me of Geoff Tate during his finer moments. His vocals certainly have improved over the five years since their first recording. Tobias has gained more control and he even seems to have gained a bit more range. "Savage Poetry " is heavy metal at it's finest and quite possibly my favorite Edguy CD thus far.

Mandrake Edguy - Mandrake (AFM) 2001

1. "Tears Of A Mandrake" (7:12)
2. "Golden Dawn" (6:07)
3. "Jerusalem" (5:26)
4. "All the clowns" (4:50)
5. "Nailed to the wheel" (5:39)
6. "Pharaoh" (10:36)
7. "Wash Away The Poison" (4:41)
8. "Fallen Angels" (5:12)
9. "Painting On The Wall" (4:39)
10. "Save Us Now" (4:46)
11. "The Devil And The Savant" (5:26)

Holy cow batman, Helloween just released a CD under a different name. Oh wait, this isn't Helloween it just sounds a whole heck of a lot like them. OK, so "Mandrake" isn't the most original sounding CD in the world. It's German speed/power metal. I can't fault them for playing the style they enjoy. The thing is, they do this style well and their songwriting is certainly captivating. Unlike some of the Edguy stuff I have heard in the past, and even Avantasia, this CD doesn't incorporate as much classical elements and it's as technical. In other words, the songwriting leans less towards the overtly technical Blind Guardian side of Euro-power metal and more towards Keepers-era Helloween or even modern Gamma Ray. To me, this is actually an improvement because the songs are just much more enjoyable. This is the way European Power Metal should be played; fast, furious and unapologetic yet incorporating enough melody and hook to keep me coming back for more. The epic tracks "Tears of A Mandrak" and "The Pharaoh" are probably the highlights of the album. However, I also quite liked the shorter, speed metal fury of "Save Us Now". "The Devil and the Savant" is a decent mid-paced number to close out the disc. Supposedly this song a "bonus track", but from what I have read, there are no copies of this CD that exist without this track. Got this disc as a gift from a friend from Norway. (thanks Kurt)

Burning Down the Opera: Live Edguy - Burning Down the Opera: Live (AFM) 2003

1. Welcome to the Opera (2:08)
2. Fallen Angels (5:33)
3. Tears of a Mandrake (7:24)
4. Babylon (7:01)
5. Land of the Miracle (5:44)
6. Painting on the Wall (4:37)
7. Wings of a Dream (6:04)
8. The Headless Game (7:20)
9. The Pharaoh (15:09)

1. Vain Glory Opera (6:27)

2. Solitary Bunny / Drumsolo (3:13)
3. Save Us Now (4:53)
4. How Many Miles (10:58)
5. Inside (3:21)
6. Avantasia (5:23)
7. Out of Control (8:13)

Recorded live during Edguy's Mandrake World Tour. "Burning Down the Opera: Live" captures the band in front of a loud and zealous European crowd. Edguy deliver a solid double live album here showcasing songs from most of their releases, including some rare stuff from "Wings of a Dream". They also performed a couple from Avantasia. At the time Avantasia was only a studio project so I suppose it made sense for Edguy to play a few songs from this progressive power metal project. The performance is near perfect and the production is flawless. I couldn't say how much studio wizardry was used on this live album, but Burning Down the Opera: Live" does capture a ton of raw energy and is a nice portrait of where Edguy was at musically a that time. 

King of Fools Edguy - King of Fools (Nuclear Blast) 2004

1. King Of Fools" (3:35)
2. New Age Messiah" (6:01)
3. The Savage Union" (4:15)
4. Holy Water" (4:18)
5. Life And Times Of A Bonus Track" (3:23)

"King of Fools" was the pre-release EP for "Hellfire Club" and it got quite a buzz going about the band. Fact is this is an excellent EP. The first four tracks are heavy and memorable. The last track is more of a joke song. The title track is probably one the band's best songs ever and is the only song on this EP that is not exclusive to this EP. It, of course, showed up on "Hellfire Club." Tracks two through four are all excellent Edguy styled speed/power metal. Unfortunately the lyrics are a bit silly and the overuse of a certain four letter expletive was also a bit disappointing.

Hellfire Club Edguy - Hellfire Club (Nuclear Blast Records) 2004

1. "Mysteria" (5:45)
2. "The Piper Never Dies" (10:07)
3. "We Don`t Need A Hero" (5:31)
4. "Down To The Devil" (5:28)
5. "King Of Fools" (4:22)
6. "Forever" (5:41)
7. "Under The Moon" (5:05)
8. "Lavatory Love Machine" (4:26)
9. "Rise Of The Morning Glory" (4:40)
10. "Lucifer In Love" (:32)
11. "Navigator" (5:23)
12. "The Spirit Will Remain" (4:13)
13. "Children of Steel" (4:04)
14. "Mysteria " [w/ Mille Petrozza on vocals] (5:33)

This album rules! Yes, yes, I have read the reviews stating that this is nothing more than a Helloween copy. That's just a bunch of crap! As a matter of fact, this album blows away the last Helloween CD. (Blasphemy?) In my opinion, this is Edguy's finest effort yet. More melody. More aggression. More hooks. More variety in tempo. Better riffs. Biting guitar tone. It's all there. Tobias is at the top of his game as well. His vocals are smooth and display as much range as any of the finest power metal vocalists. At times I can hear the influences of Deris, Kiske, Dickinson and even the mighty Rob Halford. Every song on here is A side material. From the explosie album opener "Mysteria" to the epic "The Piper Never Dies" to the double bass explosion in "We Don't Need A Hero" to the memorable and slightly popish "King of Fools to the Maiden-esqe "Navigator." Even the ballads "Forever" and the emotional album closer "The Spirit Will Remain" are packed with emotion and power. The later is quite amazing and really allows Tobias to show exactly how strong a vocalist he is. Several times in the song it is Tobias by himself with little less than a violin behind him. My Russian copy also contains two bonus tracks. The first is a heavy Painkiller-era Priest-like metal romp called "Children of Steel." "Raise our fist, then attack. We are back! We are back! Children of Steel!" A metal anthem indeed! The final track is another version of album opener "Myseria" that features Mille Petrozza of Kreator fame doing some lead vocals. Personally I like this version better than the original. Mille's thrash voice slams home those verses. Overall, this is one excellent metal CD and one of the finest power metal albums to come out this year.

Superheros Edguy - Superheroes (Nuclear Blast) 2005

1. "Superheroes" (3:20)
2. "Spooks In The Attic" (4:04)
3. "Blessing In Disguise" (4:19)
4. "Judas At The Opera" (7:21)
5. "The Spirit" (3:52)
6. "Superheroes" [epic version] (3:09)

I enjoy EPs. They always seem to offer things you might not hear on a regular album. This EP is no different. "Superheroes" is a pre-release to the full length that would soon follow. Of the six tracks offered here, five are full throttle metal numbers with that distinct German-metal sound. One thing about the songs on this EP is they seem a bit more accessible, with poppier choruses and slightly simpler songs. I personally don't think this is a bad thing. I actually prefer the straight forward metal approach to the more symphonic and progressive sounds. For this EP, somehow vocalist extraordinaire Tobias Sammet got his hero Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween) to sing a killer heavy metal number titled "Judas At The Opera". The EP finishes off with a "epic" version of the title track. I always thought epic meant "long", however in this case it means, mellower. That's what is so cool about EPs though. There is room for stuff like this that you might not hear on the full length. Cool cartoon cover to boot. Overall, this is a strong EP for Edguy and has me anxious to get "Rocket Ride".

Rocket Ride Edguy - Rocket Ride (Nuclear Blast) 2006

1. "Sacrifice" (8:03)
2. "Rocket Ride (4:49)
3. "Wasted Time (5:48)
4. "Matrix (4:10)
5. "Return to the Tribe (6:07)
6. "The Asylum (7:39)
7. "Save Me (3:47)
8. "Catch of the Century (4:03)
9. "Out of Vogue (4:36)
10. "Superheroes (3:20)
11. "Trinidad (3:29)
12. "Fucking With Fire (Hair Force One) (5:49)

Much has changed since Edguy's masterful "Hellfire Club" of 2004, or even from those early majestic epic metal works of "Mandrake" or "Vain Glory Opera". The Superheroes EP turned out to be a preview of Edguy's new, melodic, hard rock/metal sound. Most power metal bands take themselves, their music and their lyrics so seriously. With "Rocket Ride", Tobias and Co. have tried to change that view of power metal. OK, obviously the band were headed in this direction with songs like "Lavatory Love Machine". However, with "Rocket Ride" the majority of the material here purposely silly, and even juvenile. Even the music is stripped down and bare-bones, melodic hard rock with fun, cheesy, sing-along choruses. There is even a silly, mouthed "solo" in the middle of "Return to the Tribe". However, despite the silliness and cheesiness of the whole thing, I still find "Rocket Ride" to be fun. From the epic "Sacrifice" and "The Asylum" , to the catchy, sing-along of "Superheroes" to the Euro-pop of "Matrix", to the speedy "Return to Tribe", the entire album is an enjoyable listen. "Rocket Ride" may not top Edguy's catalog, but it's certainly not a dog either, despite what most reviewers are saying.

Tinnitus Santus Edguy - Tinnitus Sanctus (Nuclear Blast) 2008

1.      Ministry Of Saints (5:02)
2.      Sex Fire Religion (5:57)
3.      The Pride Of Creationv5:29)
4.      Nine Lives (4:27)
5.      Wake Up Dreaming Black (4:06)
6.      Dragonfly (4:57)
7.      Thorn Without A Rose (4:47)
8.      9-2-9 (3:48)
9.      Speedhoven       (7:43)
10.     Dead Or Rock (5:00)
11.     Aren't You A Little Pervert Too? (2:23)

Tobias has his hands in a lot of pots right now. It seems his creative, progressive, power metal outlet is Avantasia. As such, Edguy have pretty much moved away from the power metal sound all together. As such, some fans are screaming "sell-out" with some comparing the band to Bon Jovi. That's hardly the case. If they were truly "selling out" I think Edguy would have moved to a more current style of music. Rather what I think the band is doing is just what they want to do, playing a style of music they enjoy.

What we have here is melodic hard rock. For the most part the dual guitar solos and the overall heaviness is absent. However, that's not to say everything is terrible. What the band lacks in intensity they attempt to make-up for with simple, catchy songs. My favorites songs are the heavy "Ministry of Saints" and the melodic ballad "Thorn Without a Rose". The song title for the later striking me as a stab at Poison, though I am not sure that was really the point. For the most part the songs are mid-paced. "The Pride Of Creation", for example, is a mixed tempo rocker with a memorable chorus, and "Nine Lives", is a double bass driven, mid paced rocker with a great chorus and keyboards that keep the track from being as heavy as it might have been otherwise. As usual for Edguy are the joke songs such as "Sex, Fire Religion", "Speedhoven" and "Aren't You A Little Pervert Too?" Frankly, I haven't delved too deep into the lyrics on this album, so I won't comment on what is being said. However, it's pretty clear that the band's sense of humor is still apparent. "Tinnitus Sanctus" is a good melodic metal release. I'm not sure I like it quite as much as "Hellfire Club" or "Rocket Ride", but it's a good listen nonetheless.

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