Edguy - King Of Fools

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Nuclear Blast
Catalog Number: 1240-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 21:30:00

I don't recall what my initial thoughts were when I first heard the King Of Fools EP, the precursor to their Hellfire Club CD, but I'm sure they are pretty much what they are now. "King Of Fools" is fairly average yet likeable track, with a sometimes ballsy, in your face feel (dual guitars and bass leading the attack); the melodic chorus softens those harsh edges, however. What it has is a bit of a mid-to-late metal feel, heavy on the melodicism. In its averageness, it is also fairly generic, meaning there's nothing about it that sets Edguy apart from the dozens of groups in the same genre that have come before and after.

The second track on this EP, "New Age Messiah," does not appear on the album, has a bit more of an epic metal feel to it (it begins with some nifty, sweeping orchestration), and stands out just a bit more than "King?". Well, only sort of, because it does recall many others in this epic metal genre - Rhapsody, for example. It's musically a bit more interesting than "King Of Fools," which seems more AORish. Nothing wrong with AOR, of course, but? well, not being a long time Edguy fan, I'm guessing this isn't what has made Edguy's bread n' butter. Okay, "New Age Messiah" does get a little childish at the end where we hear a litany of expletives and some giggles - not quite Beavis and Butthead, but it does smack of adolescents getting away with saying "fuck" and "fucking" on record. I'm sure there's a message in this song somewhere; in fact, I know there is, but it's couched in such base imagery, that one has to really ferret it out? and I can't say what you learn is especially profound. But, musically, it sounds good - fairly speedy and chunky, rhythmically cheerful.

Their new favourite four letter word recurs in "The Savage Union," which sounds a bit latter day Iron Maidenish. And while it seems less adolescent than in "New Age Messiah," it still has a tinge of "can we get away with saying 'fuck'?" I don't take issue with the word - it has been used to great effect by Fish and Spock's Beard, to name two that spring instantly to mind. But if you're going to use it, give it weight, give it subtext? I'm not sure I get it lyrically, other than the defiant attitude it has. It falls somewhere between "New Age Messiah" and "King Of Fools," featuring some of the melodicism of the latter and the attitude of the former.

The best track is the Queensryche-like epic power rocker/power ballad "Holy Water." It's fairly mid-tempo overall all, picking things up for the chorus. Nice use of keyboards, but they seem slightly buried in the mix. The most prominent element is the vocals, until we get a high and sweet guitar solo (and it's profanity free? as is "King Of Fools," for the record). It is the most complete and satisfying track; even while it seems typical of the genre, it does it's job very well and is the highlight of this EP.

The novelty track is "Life And Times Of A Bonus Track," which is cute the first time or two through, worth a knowing chuckle or two, but beyond that, a little trying. It is a sparse piano and voice piece that has Sammet crooning in a husky, bluesy manner. And, oh yeh, more profanity for the sake of profanity.

Except for a few shining moments and the band's musicianship, this is an EP that one can take or leave. I'm sure the Edguy diehards will have scooped it up, if only for the non-album tracks (only "Holy Water" becomes totally worth the expenditure).

King Of Fools / The Savage Union / Holy Water / Life And Times Of A Bonus Track

Tobias Sammet ? vocals
Jens Ludwig ? guitars
Dirk Sauer ? guitars
Tobias Exxel ? bass
Felix Bohnke ? drums

Savage Poetry (1995/2000)
Kingdom Of Madness (1997)
Vain Glory Opera (1998)
Theater of Salvation (1999)
Mandrake (2001)
Burning Down The Opera - Live (2003)
King Of Fools (ep) (2004)
Hellfire Club (2004)
Hall Of Flames (2004)
Superheroes (ep) (2005)
Rocket Ride (2006)

Superheroes - Heroic DVD (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: June 23rd 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.edguy.net
Hits: 1774
Language: english


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