Picture of Edguy

Kingdom Of Madness

Edguy - Kingdom Of Madness ©1997 AFM Records
1. Paradise
2. Wings Of A Dream
3. Heart Of Twilight
4. Dark Symphony
5. Deadmaker
6. Angel Rebellion
7. When A Hero Cries
8. Steel Church
9. The Kingdom

Edguy are a foursome from Germany who are all very young. I believe that at the time of this release, they ranged in age somewhere between sixteen and nineteen years of age. Their youth is one thing very much in their favor because they have a lot of talent and could go on to become really impressive in the future. Their youth is also their biggest downfall because they probably won't be taken seriously if they continue to produce discs like this one.

On the positive front, these guys have a lot of talent. They play a good mixture of melodic power metal and speed metal with some progressive overtones. The eighteen minute track "The Kingdom", shows some strong compositional talents and the music is played with vigor. The singer has a mature, clean voice if a bit heavy on the vibrato. The guitarists are clean and fast with the ability to chop and shred very well. There are hints at influence from Blind Guardian and Gamma Ray. These guys are certainly well versed in music at their age. They do a lot with what they have.

On the negative front, the production is absolutely terrible. The drums are way too far out in front and the snare drum sounds like a cardboard box more than it does the crisp almost gunshot sound it should be producing. The lyrics are another sore point for me. A writer once said that if you write something, you should let it sit for a while. After you've come back to it, if it still speaks to you, fine, publish it. The age of these guys makes some of the songs laughable. At an average of eighteen or nineteen years of age, they have not lived enough to be sermonizing on the hardships and travails of life. From my perspective, these guys are just kids and don't know half what they assume to know. There is too great a reliance on cliche and tired themes in the lyrics. The spoken parts in "The Kingdom" are overblown to the point of being ludicrous. Why do artists insist on making "evil" character sound like evil morons with their "evil" voices and "evil" laughs? Keep the cackles out of it and narrate it in a coldly efficient voice and you'll have achieved your desired effect much more effectively.

This disc does not do much for me. It does show a lot of potential for the future with their talent. Clean production would have helped this disc. Not enough for me to get past the inane songs, but it would have been a large step in the right direction.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 06/2000

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Vain Glory Opera

Edguy - Vain Glory Opera ©1999 AFM Records
1. Overture
2. Until We Rise Again
3. How Many Miles
4. Scarlet Rose
5. Out Of Control
6. Vain Glory Opera
7. Fairytale
8. Walk On Fighting
9. Tomorrow
10. No More Foolin'
11. Hymn

Edguy's first CD Kingdom Of Madness was real disappointment being so poorly produced as to make listening a real chore. I am very happy to say that Vain Glory Opera is a vast, enormous, huge, [insert other words meaning really big] improvement over their Kingdom disc.

This is epic power metal with the full bombastic overblown feel of Blind Guardian or Rhapsody. There are some well known guest musicians appearing on this disc. Timo Tolkki from Stratovarius appears on "Out Of Control". Hansi Kurch from Blind Guardian provides some of the vocal work on "Out Of Control" and "Vain Glory Opera". There is an excellent twin guitar attack interspersed with the keys tied in with some very good vocal arrangements. This disc reminds me a lot of Blind Guardian's Nightfall In Middle Earth without the silly sound bites between tracks. It could also be compared to Rhapsody's Legendary Tales. The singing is clean. At times it is exaggerated and silly, but when you consider the lyrical content and general theme of the disc, it is understandable. The lyrics are not terribly profound. The song fairytale includes the "Choir of the damned smurfs of death." Like I said, not lyrics one is going to take very seriously, but neither do I think the disc is intended to be taken seriously.

Musically, this disc is far ahead of Kingdom Of Madness. The band is playing together much better as a unit. The composition is much tighter and the sound is far more pleasing overall. The keys are much more evident on this disc but it is still the guitars that fuel the music along. The vocal arrangements are well done if you're into choirs of operatic Barbarians marching off to slay the evil dragons of the world. There is a good bit of neo-classical sound behind the music showing the talent these guys have.

Conceptually, well...every so often one needs to have something mindless to listen to. Like a book you read that can be put down and picked up without having to backtrack to regroup on the plot, this CD offers a shallow escapism that can be nice at times. If you're looking for depth or profound philosophical insight, look elsewhere. This is the musical equivalent of a pulp fantasy novel, offering a quickie escapism without requiring much from you. I like the disc, I just don't take it very seriously.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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Theatre Of Salvation

Edguy - Theatre Of Salvation ©1999 AFM Records
1. The Healing Vision
2. Babylon
3. The Headless Game
4. Land Of The Miracle
5. Wake Up The King
6. Falling Down
7. Arrows Fly
8. Holy Shadows
9. Another Time
10. The Unbeliever
11. Theater Of Salvation
12. For The Trace Of Life
13. Walk On Fighting

At last! Edguy hits the nail square with the release of Theater Of Salvation. Epic power metal, speed metal, progressive, symphonic, larger-than-life sound with all of the pomp and hoopla that go with it are to be found on this CD. Influences from Stratovarius, Blind Guardian, Rhapsody, Savatage, Angra and Symphony X abound in the words and music. The song "Wake Up The King" has the same feel as "Tomorrow" on the Episode CD from Stratovarius. All the speed of Stratovarius is here on this disc. The big choruses from Rhapsody or Blind Guardian are here. The vocal layering of Savatage is here. The structure and style of Angra is here. The symphonic feel of Symphony X is here. The potential that was stamped all over the previous two CDs is realized with this release. If Vain Glory Opera was several steps ahead of Kingdom Of Madness, Theater Of Salvation is several hundred steps ahead of Vain Glory Opera. The production is wonderful, the composition is tight and very involved. The music rockets along, changes mood, pace, and direction at the drop of a hat. This is really good stuff. If you have enjoyed the last four Stratovarius discs, you'll feel right at home with this CD in your player. Double bass runs, twin guitars, walls of keys, huge singing, chops, chugs, blazing solos, this disc has it all.

Considering that these guys are still very young, the future looks very bright indeed for Edguy. If they continue to expand and mature on this scale, they will surpass their teachers and become the next template to which up and coming bands look to for inspiration.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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The Savage Poetry

Edguy - The Savage Poetry ©2000 AFM Records
1. Hallowed
2. Misguiding Your Life
3. Key To My Fate
4. Sands Of Time
5. Sacred Hell
6. Eyes Of The Tyrant
7. Frozen Candle
8. Roses To No One
9. Power And Majesty
10. Falling Down
11. Falling Down
12. Fairytale

If you're a young, up and coming band that has a CD full of old material that was rejected by nearly record company in the world, what do you do with it? Well, if you're Edguy, you re-record it and release it as a double CD set. By so doing, Edguy puts their oldest material in the hands of their fans and thumbs their collective nose at the record companies who turned them down in 1995.

This CD is comprised of material written when the members of Edguy were 16 or 17 years old. The inspiration they drew from Stratovarius and other speed / power metal bands is noticeable in the composition of these tracks. What makes this release a sting is that the bonus CD included is a copy of the 1995 production of the first nine songs that were sent out in hopes of landing that big, lucrative recording contract. The difference five years makes is stunning when you listen to one song on the 1995 disc and that same song on the 2000 disc. The play on the 2000 disc is on a wholly different plane. Production quality aside, you'd think the songs were being played by different bands, one uncertain and unconfident, the other adept and very sure of themselves. The power and stylization present on Theater Of Salvation breathes new life into the old songs and propels them to a much higher level than they enjoyed on the 1995 disc. The firsthand look into the growth and maturity of this band is really enjoyable. They've really come a long way and will go far if they stay on their present course.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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Edguy - Mandrake ©2001 AFM/The End
1. Tears Of A Mandrake
2. Golden Dawn
3. Jerusalem
4. All The Clowns
5. Nailed To The Wheel
6. The Pharaoh
7. Wash Away The Poison
8. Fallen Angels
9. Painting On The Wall
10. Save Us Now
11. The Devil And The Savant

In John Boorman’s classic depiction of the Arthurian legend Excalibur, a conversation between Morgana (played by Helen Mirren) and Merlin (overplayed by Nichol Williamson) postulates what was, at least in olden times, the definition of the Mandrake root. According to the film, the Mandrake root was originally used an aphrodisiac that would prove to be fatal if eaten in large doses. Edguy’s newest release, appropriately entitled Mandrake, is shining proof of that particular definition, with the actual Mandrake root taking the form of the bloated pomposity and derivation that pervades throughout this entire album.

As it is with virtually every band of this nature, Edguy faithfully sticks to the power metal aesthetic, never wandering or straying from the path, which is already strewn with the bodies of various other, equally unoriginal bands. In other words, Edguy is a carbon copy of Stratovarious, albeit lacking the tastefulness of Stratovarious’ compositions and melodies. Tobias Sammet, in full Geoff Tate-derivative fashion, feels the need to hit every note within his admittedly large range. However, what Sammet has in range he lacks in personality.

I, personally, do not understand why this style of music is still as prominent as it is and would feel much, much better if all of these insipid bands were locked into a rather small, uncomfortable, and compact room for all eternity.

Review by Alec A. Head

Review date: 11/2001

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