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Edguy is a band that is pretty much important in power metal, not because of their fame or however you may want to call it, but actually because of how influential they are and much more because of how high they have set the bar of how good a power metal album should be with previous releases such as "Mandrake" or their epic "Vain Glory Opera". Of course, with time, a band is bound to change their sound based on which influences they eventually gather or even becoming more mature, speaking about their sound. A good example of this syndrome would be this album, "Hellfire Club"
Edguy is known much more for having a really melodic, catchy sound (at times even cheesy). Before, they used much more gallops on their songs for the riffs and standard rhythms. That is something that has changed in here. There are various interesting progressions here for the guitars, I would say "Mysteria" is a good example of this. The guitars sound much heavier than before, maybe because they have a better production or because of a heavier distortion, but not a noticeable change in the tuning or amount of strings. At times it would be easier to find barre power chords backing for Sammet's singing, as it blends in properly with the rest of the instruments. The harmonics using is not a common element, but it is used. I like those harmonics, though, since they are not too bright and add to that heaviness. We got a Tobias Exxel right here that backs up good in the bass and has it recognizably in a higher volume, making the sound even heavier. Now, don't think this is some type of Nile or something. It's much more like a Helloween but with a darker atmosphere. So, Felix Bonkhe here does a good job, he has some nice, original rhythms in the back and does some good fills and tempo changes, as well as he sets a good base for the songs and mixes in adecquatelly. There are many really good solos in the album. We have Jens Ludwig right here who seems to have been training a lot for this new playing. He sounds faster and adds a lot of emotion to the songs with his solos (see the ending of "The Piper Never Dies").
I must place Tobias Sammet's singing on a whole other category. His singing is incredible right here. Not only he has a versatile voice but he knows how to use it, too. I like the arrangements he did in the choruses, as well, since they got an epic sound that Edguy can be recognized for since before. His voice is incredible, as he can sound violent, just as in "Mysteria", much rocker like in "Lavatory Love Machine" or sentimental, perfect example would be "Forever". He makes the songs be even catchier, as his voice sounds strong and emotional, as said before, and it may be good for the listener since one may feel much more "in the mood" when listening to the songs. Lyrically, it is good, too. At times it may be senseless (when referring to the topic, not senseless ala Dragonforce), but there are various songs that inspire to feel recognized with what is happening, or some of them even express the way one feels. It is good, yeah.
Edguy has changed their sound. It is something that, as a fan, one must accept, but this is a good album if you are not some type of diehard Euro-Power fan. There are still some songs that resemble perfectly the old Edguy, like "Down to the Devil" or "Rise of the Morning Glory", but the whole album won't be like this. I do recommend it to people who are used to listening to Edguy, but it may not be good for first listeners as you may get used to this sound and won't like the other Edguy's sound.
Highlights: "Mysteria", "The Piper Never Dies", "Down to the Devil", "Forever", "Rise of the Morning Glory", "The Spirit Will Remain".