Edguy - Vain Glory Opera


Year of Release: 1998
Label: AFM
Catalog Number: AFM CD 024
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:31:00

I've had Edguy's previous disc called Kingdom of Madness ever since it was released last year, and I have to admit that while I wasn't blown away by the entire disc, for musicians who were averaging ages 18-20, this was pretty good melodic power metal. In addition, I was more than pleased to find about a 75 minute disc in my platter and I knew that someday these kids would be right up there with the best of bands that play this type of metal.

With the release of Vain Glory Opera, my prediction comes true, and these guys elevate themselves to new heights in a musical sense. I would imagine that these guys are only a year older now, but years wiser, and this is evident with the release of their new disc.

THE STYLE:

Overall, I would have to say that the basis for their sound lies in the melodic / power / speed metal category not unlike a Gamma Ray meets Stratovarius style. The band shoots for a speedy base, while adding in some nice melodies along the way, again like Stratovarius. I will be mentioning several of these established bands along the way because there is no denying the influence. Also, considering that some of the "guests" on this disc include Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian) on backing vocals, and Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius) doing some guest solos and also having a hand in the mixing of this disc, this should give you an idea of what the music of Edguy is all about. The likable traits of this band IMO certainly lie within the band's ability to slow it down and kick out some serious melodic / power ballads just the way Stratovarius does ... While the band clearly wants to play at warp speed most of the time, they are not afraid to break it up and throw in some warm, memorable ballads along the way, acoustic guitars, keys and the like. The band has really found their sound and style on this disc.

THE BAND:

The lineup has changed a bit this time out. The band has replaced the drummer with Felix Bohnke, who has certainly been well schooled in the double bass run / attack of the most prominent speed metal bands out there. The rest of the lineup remains intact, with a noticably huge improvement in the style and sound of the guitarists, Jens Ludwig and Dirk Sauer, who have cranked it up several notches since the last time out. They are competent, diverse guitarists for ones so young, and now they have certainly come into their own on this disc. Adapting the sounds and styles of the great Timo Tolkki, in addition to their own melodic / power style, they have taken this bands sound to a new level. The bass is pounding heavily once again, as it did on the previous Edguy disc, with Tobias Sammet doing some extra duties as not only keyboards, but handles all of the vocals as well. The difference between the two discs are astounding musically, sonically, and it's a treat to hear bands mature so well, and there is no doubt that if they keep up this pace, they will take their place near the top of the heap of the speed metal genre...

THE VOCALS:

This is another area that the band shines in. Tobias Sammet not only handles bass and keyboards, but does all of the vocals as well. He has quite a unique tone, and so different, that it may turn some off, but to my ears he has one of those typical German, melodic / power metal voices with an attitude. I certainly can't describe his voice as he has a distinct sound, but I would have to say that he is a less growly version of Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian) and possibly some of the tones of the Scanner vocalist, all competent singers, but certainly possessing unique tones that might not appeal to everyone. Tobias can wail, although he stays within his range most of the time except when harmonizing, and his voice belies his true age. His voice may make or break this disc for some, but there is no denying his talent.

THE PRODUCTION:

If you heard their previous disc, Kingdom of Madness, you would know that the disc suffered a bit in the sound department, particularly in the drum dept. This time out, the production is stellar. Considering that the band produced the disc themselves, and Timo Tolkki mixed it, you can imagine what this disc sounds like. Imagine a Stratovarius disc or a Gamma Ray sound in your mind, and you pretty much have an idea of what this disc sounds like ... It's epic most of the way, especially with the harmonizing of the vocals, which Tobias seems to have taken a liking to this time out... with the additional keyboards, choirs, overdubbed vocals, this disc is a tour-de-force in the sound dept. Every single instrument can be heard loud, clearly, and the amazing thing is that the vocals are very clear for a disc that contains this much music surrounding him. The drums are pounding, the bass is heavy, the guitars are crystal clear, and this disc just screams out sound. One of the best sounds I've heard in quite awhile.

THE COMMENTS:

While the band won't break any new ground with this release, any fan who isn't tired of the Gamma Ray / Stratovarius / Blind Guardian thing should put their money where this disc is. It's right out the school of melodic speed metal, and if music played at warp speed is where your taste lies, then this disc will be right up your alley ... Frankly, I don't have a problem with any band who has influences elsewhere in the same genre, and I am not committed to the "originality club" where the slightest hint of resemblance of another band would turn me off. The fact that this band is so young, and the fact that they have matured musically and put out a disc as well done as this one is, is enough to make me put my money down in support. If you are tired of the speed metal thing, stay clear of this disc, but if you want to hear what Edguy can really do, then check this disc out.


Tracklisting:
I. Overture (1:32) / II. Until We Rise Again (4:27) / III. How Many Miles (5:39) / IV. Scarlet Rose (5:10) / V.Out of Control (5:03) / VI. Vain Glory Opera (6:08) / VII. Fairytale (5:09) / VIII. Walk on Fighting (4:44) / IX. Tommorrow (3:52) / X. No More Foolin' (4:54) / XI. Hymn (4:53)

Musicians:
Dirk Sauer - guitars
Tobias Sammet - vocals, bass, piano and keyboards
Jens Ludwig - guitars
Frank Lindenthal - drums

Guests:

Ralf Zdiarsted - additional choir vocals (1, 2, 5, 6, 8, and 10)BR> Norman Meiritz - additional choir vocals (1, 2, 5, 6, and 10)
Hansi Kursch - additional lead vocals (5, 6)
Timo Tolkki - additional lead guitar (5)
Andy Allendorfer - shouting choir (10)

Discography:
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: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.edguy.net
Hits: 1477
Language: english

  

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