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Edguy set a high standard when they released Mandrake. The band were on the uprigt way, but the peak has been reached and is time to go down. Any way, the album is an allright Edguy album, which means good music.
The album is more rock oriented and less straight power metal than the previous albums, but with the use of a very out-of-place orchestra.
The albums open with Mysteria with a catchy chorus, ok song, nothing special. The piper never dies is the long song, which can't even reach the ankles of The Pharaoh, but has its good moments, although the chorus is somewhat boring. Again the best part of the song is the middle section. The next song, We don't need a hero has a better chorus, the same with Down to the Devil.
King of Fools is the hit, a pretty standard one, but good anyway. Forever is a nice ballad with over used lyrics ("Sitting by the window Staring out into the night" come on this are the less original lines ever). Under the moon is another nice catchy song. Lavatory Love Machine is the typical edguy joke song, but is real good.
Rise of the morning glory is by far the best song on the album, the chorus is not catchy, is just beautiful. My only complaint is the small part were Tobias talks, it sort of ruins the song by trying to put it with the joke-songs, which this is not, even though it talks about, guess what, sex! as most of Edguy songs. Lucifer in love is useless, as it is almost nothing, you can't even consider it a short interlude. Navigator is the worst, most boring song probably in all Edguy albums.
The album closes with the worst ballad by Edguy. Im usually a fan of good ballads, and I often like ballads that are hated by most, but this just sucks. I even think they included it to justify the orchestra, which leads me to my next point.
Whats the point in having a full orchestra if you are going to hide it behind the standard Edguy sound? The orchestra is almost non-existant throughout the album except in the ballads, specially the last shitty one. The score is credited to Miro Rodenberg, althought he is a recognized musician and producer, his work here sucks. The orchestration does not add anything more than what the keyboards usually did. Totally pointless.
The albums also lack the typical edguy choirs, which used to be something that differentiated Edguy before. In matters of riffage and instrumentals, it all sounds repeated. I don't consider any musician in Edguy to have any qualities beyond any power metal bands, they are OK musicians, except Tobias who is a exceptional singer.
This is probably Edguy´s most different album, especially in sound, it has some nice moments, but this is no Mandrake.