Edguy_Space PoliceEdguy and I have an abusive relationship. I loved their early stuff so much that I allowed myself to be taken advantage of and settled for subpar albums like Rocket Ride, though it made me feel dirty and shameful. Making it all the worse, at times it seems Edguy deliberately sets out to troll their fanbase, offering equal doses of quality power metal infused with hard rock alongside mega-cheesy, sleazy cock rock that would make Larry Flynt blush. Age of the Joker certainly did plenty of that; tantalizing with glimpses of greatness while delivering tongue-in-cheek-juvenile shtick masquerading as power metal. When I saw the title to this new platter and that completely asinine cover, I expected it to play like the goddamn troll national anthem. But a funny thing happened on the way to the troll forum. They delivered a consistently rocking album featuring their most successful fusion of power metal and hard rock to date, and all with minimal troll droppings. Go figure, huh?

Opener “Sabre and Torch” harkens back to their Hellfire Club days with the same punchy urgency as classics like “Mysteria.” Aggressive riffing teams with Tobias Sammet’s increasingly shrill siren wails and come chorus time they serve up a big Edguy-esque anthem with plenty of whoa-oh-ohhs for good measure. While I expected utter stupidity on the title track, it’s actually annoyingly addicting with a hooky chorus, fun riffing and spacy keys. Even Sammet’s attempts to undermine it on the back-end with vocals that sound like a blue haired matron having a panic attack in the local hair salon don’t spoil the fun.

Equally surprising is how much I don’t hate “Love Tyger,” though I clearly expected to. Though it’s a return to their loathsome cock rock fascination, it’s a fun, dumb song with a winning attitude and smart chorus and I hatefully like it. Other good moments come with the aggressiveness of “The Realms of Baba Yaga” and the fiery “Shadow Eaters,” both feeling like older Edguy mixed with mere hints of their current hard rock obsession. “The Eternal Wayfarer” is a return to the big, bombastic epics of their youth, with a heavy dose of the dramatic and enough pomp to sink a clam boat. It’s a very good tune and makes me wish they did more of these instead of saving them all for Avantasia.

Edguy_2014Even some of the songs I expected to despise ended up being enjoyable, like the tragically titled “Do Me Like a Caveman.” Despite the teen weenie name, the song goes for a dark goth style like Lacrimas Profundere and features zippy guitars with a simple keyboard line and a rare restrained performance by Sammet.  Likewise, the sap-tastic power ballad “Alone in Myself” is pretty respectable as overblown power-ballads go. The limited edition features two additional ballads: the hysterical ode to Steve Harris that is “England” and “Aychim in Hysteria” which is a straight-up ripoff/homage of Def Leppard‘s Hysteria sound, but nicely done.

Are there serious missteps here? If you consider a cover of Falco‘s “Rock Me Amadeus” a misstep (and you should), then yes, and putting it in the meat of the album was clearly the troll they couldn’t live without. Add in truly braindead lyrics on some songs and the pattern of defying you to like them continues unabated. The trick is to completely ignore the lyrics because they’re as dumb as a special needs pet rock.

Sammet does a good job here, though his upper register continues to fray and sound forced as time goes on and he’s clearly paying for its overuse live. His keyboards are smart and fairly restrained, adding character on songs like the title track. The guitar-work by Jens Ludwig and Dirk Sauer is way more aggressive than on Age of the Joker and the overall energy is much higher. Space Police is also far more consistent in terms of song writing and overall quality.

I expected to hate this thing and bash it into the dirt, but I find myself liking it more with every spin and I hate Edguy for that. If you liked their Hellfire Club period or enjoy rowdy power metal, this will rock your socks. Will the abuse never end?

Rating: 3.5/5.0
Label: Nuclear Blast [EU][NA]
Websites: edguy.net  |  facebook.com/edguy
Release Dates: EU: 2014.18.04  |  NA: 04.29.2014

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  • Emily Potter

    I (sort of) concur. Although I disagree in your opinion of Rocket Ride. Edguy aren’t the band they used to be, but I don’t think that matters. Gone are the power metal days, here to stay are the (mainly) hard rock ones, which is fine, when Tobias decides to write good hard rock songs. However, for me, Rocket Ride was actually the best example of his writing along that vein, and I’ve not been able to get into TS or AOTJ at all, they are weak and full of blunt hooks. This is a bit more of a return to form in my eyes, being a little bit more aggressive at times, and with oh-so-cheesy but oh-so-catchy smatterings over plenty of tracks too, but it’s no RR in terms of the hard rock components.

    I hate that I really like “Do Me Like A Caveman” too. I’m all kinds of broken.

    Also, I kinda wish he’d saved Shadow Eaters for Avantasia, as there is something that is just so Russell Allen about some of the vocal parts that makes me think he could slay it.

    • Mike Eckman

      Well said Emily. I consider Edguy to be a band of two halves. Hellfire Club was the transition album, pretty consistently like their old stuff, but glimpses of their silliness on ‘Lavatory Love Machine’. Rocket Ride hit it out of the park. Although very silly, that album has so many consistently awesome songs that in my mind are some of the best the band has ever written. I dare you to find songs in their catalog more catchy and more filled with power metal greatness than “Sacrifice”, “The Asylum”, or “Superheroes”. I’ll even go on the record to say that “Save Me” is one of the best songs the band has ever written.

      Space Police reminds me a lot of this album, both in tone and sound. I had the pleasure of seeing Edguy live in Chicago a couple of years back and I dont recall ever seeing another band have as much fun on stage as these guys did. It is clear that the members of Edguy like what they do and are having fun. That fun is infectious and it shows in their music.

      I for one, am glad they’re not trying to remake Vain Glory Opera or Theater of Salvation over and over. AMG often talks about “the law of diminishing recordings” and that happens often to bands who stagnate, and Edguy has definitely not stagnated. I understand why some people don’t prefer their newer stuff, but thats just a preference. This band still makes awesome music and I am glad that we have yet another quality record to add to my “cheese” playlist.

      The one thing I do agree with in the original review is that putting the cover of Rock Me Amadeus in the middle of the album was a really poor decision. Edguy actually does a fairly accurate cover of it, but this belongs as a bonus track or b-side somewhere. Not in the meat of a new album.

      • I like these long, thoughtful comments.

      • Agreed on your take on Rocket Ride, it was a really strong record once you sorted the wheat from the chaff, “Save Me” being a pretty good example (and I’ll agree with your take on it being one of their best).

  • Angel of Deaf

    You know what’s the problem? It’s Tobias… he is too good at what he does, it doesn’t matter what he decides to do next, it will always be so consistent and so good that you just can’t ignore him. The lyrics keep getting more and more goofy and the songs are leaning towards comedic hard rock but, the melodies and chorus are almost all the time catchy and fun and hooks you hard. I kind of want to hate this album too but i just can’t… How could i hate this comedy-based rock/metal album?

    Btw, the fucking chorus on all songs, this guy is a chorus machine. Avantasia and Edguy always have the hookiest chorus and he shows no signs of stopping.

    • CarvedInStone

      Are you listening to the same album than me? There are some decent choruses here and there but compared to their earlier body of work they’re weak. And “Saber & Torch” doesn’t even have a chorus for crying out loud!

  • What is it with this quality power metal renaissance? Every band I had nearly sworn off forever after some weak ass releases is returning to form in some way. Brainstorm, Freedom Call, Sonata Arctica, Edguy, and according to AMG, Elvenking too. What a great year to frolick!

  • Ernesto Aimar

    I feel Edguy has been on a downward spiral since “Tinnitus Sanctus”. I really love their early stuff,, specially then tandem “Hellfire Club”/”Rocket Ride”. But since then, they seem to put more emphasis on the funny side of their music than on the quality of it (leaving most of the good stuff to Avantasia).

    “Space Police” it’s better than the last two albums but still falls short compared to the previous material. The focus is still on the choruses, but they are not as explosive as before. As many said, “Rocket Ride” was funny as hell but had massive dramatic anthems like “The Assylum” or “Wasted Time” which I truly miss.

  • Realkman666

    Sounds like a more lively Hellfire Club, with a dash of Avantasia dust, with crap production. Too bad they forgot about this:

  • Oberon

    Overall I think this is one of Edguy’s strongest albums, after Hellfire Club and Mandrake. I enjoy the trolling lyrics and tongue in cheek approach to this album. It just makes it that much more enjoyable, for me to listen to

    This album didn’t disappoint like the recent Ensiferum album

  • Awesome! I’m a huge fan of Hellfire Club so this should be good for me. Wtf is with these song titles.

  • Andres Pintos Nocerino

    before was better

  • I have a similar take on the review I just issued for this album, a fairly strong effort with some real gems. What I’ve started to see that I should’ve seen awhile back is that Tobias Sammet has since 2006 separated the two veins of his songwriting approach into Avantasia and Edguy. The serious stuff goes to Avantasia, while the lighter/comedic stuff goes to Edguy —- there’s some overlap with a touch of serious stuff being included on Edguy records, particularly in the ballad department, but for the most part its an observation that is undeniable. A lot of fans won’t be able to accept that the idea of another Theater of Salvation or Mandrake just isn’t in the cards.

  • CarvedInStone

    Don’t be fooled by all the praise this album is getting. Edguy haven’t returned to form! It’s the same old shit they did starting on Rocket Ride dressed up as Power Metal. Like Sonata Arctica’s lates album were they tried to fool you into thinking they returned to their roots but it turns out to be a really half-arsed attempt to appeal to their old fanbase. Most of the stuff on hear would be nothing more then b-sides Hellfire Club or Mandrake. It is slightly better than their previous two efforts but not by much. Listen to Avantasia instead.