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As a big Edguy fan, I was really happy when I found this EP in a record store in New York City three and a half years ago and immediately bought it as I liked the cheesy, but very catchy and positive title track. I hoped that the other four non album tracks would be worth the price and I can confirm that it was worth the buy.
"New age messiah" has an epic orchestration and is a solid traditional power metal track. The lyrics are a little bit childish and the chorus too happy and Sammet sounds like a fret on acid. This is a little bit sad because the beginning of the song was really bombastic and well elaborated but I am not surprised as I already know the band's sense of humour but they exaggerated a little bit on that one. Musically, there is nothing to criticize here.
"The savage union" is a typical but somehow faceless average power metal song that didn't really convince me.
"Holy waters" is a good ballad and not as hard rock orientated and cheesy as the band's more recent ballads. Tobias Sammet is doing an extraordinary job on the vocals without any doubt and this song reminds me a little bit of their song "Forever" that was later included on "Hellfire club".
"Life and times of a bonus track" is a track where Sammet plays piano and sings about the lifestyle of a bonus track. He had a crazy idea and included this song in the very last moment on the EP before it went into production and it a very funny song. If you like the band's humour, you will adore this song, it is easily their best humorous song. Once again, Sammet is doing an amazing job and entertains you in a stunning manner.
The only weaker song is "The savage union", all other songs are very solid and diversified songs even if there is no hidden masterpiece on this EP. If you are a big Edguy fan, you should but this EP and if you generally like power metal, you should purchase this album if you find it at a low price.
European power metal continues to grow at a steady rate, despite obvious similarities between most new bands and a handful of old bands they steadily rip-off (Maiden, Stratovarius, Helloween, Blind Guardian). Enter Edguy, another band with a silly name that has no qualms about playing the same tired songs as their peers, but with a little twist.
In order to show some distinction between Edguy and the leagues of other modern power metallers, singer Tobias Sammett tries to round out his quasi-Dickinson/Kiske vocal approach (the chorus of “King of Fools” is a prime example of both influences peeking through) with what appears to be his best attempt at sounding like a tough guy. He rasps a bit on the lower octaves, distorts his voice, swears profusely; all the things your typical “flower metal” bands are too timid to attempt. However, while those other bands might not be as “tough” as Edguy, they’re at least writing decent songs. Edguy, as far as this EP is concerned, hasn’t the slightest distinctive quality among other new power metal bands. There’s your lead harmonies, high-alto vocals, well-produced instruments; all rightfully taken for granted as necessary for even the genre’s most base participators. And for all the bravado that goes into the band’s tough-guy image, they still have the token ballad, pretty harmonies, and melodramatic keyboard work of their peers. Granted, the ballad neatly sums up the nature of bonus-trackdom, but it’s still awful. The other songs have their moments, but absolutely nothing special occurs over the twenty minutes that King of Fools runs.
I got this for a buck, so I don’t really feel cheated. And I’m sure their full-length albums are better. But after listening to King of Fools, I can’t say I’m in the mood to blow any more money on these shmucks.
There are certain albums in my collection that, at around the time of purchase, I thought were pretty solid but have later proved to be pretty bad after aging a few years. Edguy’s “King of Fools” is such an album. While every album that came out before this one still listens like a solid mix of Maiden and Helloween emulation with some stellar vocal work, this troubled little EP suffers from a confused sense of humor gone horribly wrong.
The lyrical weaknesses of the title track were somewhat apparent to me when I first heard it, but I shrugged it off because it had a pretty catchy keyboard line and was reasonably well sung by Tobias’ standards. But for some reason much of the rest of this album didn’t jump out as being the obvious buffoonery that it is at first, and only now have shown their true colors. Maybe it was the Edguy fan boy in me that kept me blind to how goofy the pseudo-polemics against holier than thou preachers in “New Age Messiah” turned out to be. The same story appears with the shouting of “fuck” spontaneously by Tobias between the pristine harmonies of the back up singers, like an ill-timed fart while making out with a girlfriend, during the chorus of “The Savage Union”.
“Holy Water” is not lyrically as childish as the rest of the material on here, but it sounds about as memorable as a b-side to a bottom tier power metal band that was written over a 30 minute period. “Life and times of a bonus track” is self-explanatory, and underscores the sheer lack of seriousness in anything on here. Just picture Tobias ranting like a 12 year old with Tourette’s syndrome, in an improvisatory manner with a comical pop ballad piano part repeating over and over. It might have been funny the first time in 2004, but even after barely being heard for 4 years, this joke sounds just as old as if I had heard it every day since its purchase.
Somewhere between the finalization of The Metal Opera and this hunk of junk Tobias forgot how to write power metal, and it’s as unexplainable as a man-whore suddenly forgetting how to get it up. Considering all of the notoriety Dragonfoce has gotten since around the same time as the release of this, I doubt that commercial sensibilities alone determined this. More likely Toby wanted to keep raking in the dough and doing almost no work on songwriting the way most rock bands today do. Personally, I’d take being a third rate Dragonforce clone over mixing a good sound with pop/rock rubbish and lame ass joke lyrics, but I guess that’s just me. Avoid this EP, but if you want to hear Edguy mixing rock and metal in a somewhat better way, go ahead and pick up “Hellfire Club” or “Rocket Ride”.
King of Fools is basically a glorified single with a 4 extra "non-album" songs thrown on so us Edguy fans have to buy. Most of the time these extra songs aren't all that great as they tend to be material that was cut from the album, but in this case the songs are decent for the most part.
The EP opens with the title song, which would later appear on the Hellfire Club album. It's actually pretty slow for Edguy standards but it is catchy. I liked the song at first but after a while the repetitive chorus can grade on your nerves.
The second song The New Messiah falls more into the Helloween/Gamma Ray mode and is the power metal we all know and love. The Savage Union also is a powerful song. Though musically these songs are good, they have some real problems with the lyrics. I usually viewed Edguy in the same manner as Iron Maiden as high quality metal. Usually Edguy was mature but they show a lot of immaturity in the lyrics here with a bunch of cussing. Now I'm not against cussing in songs as it is fuckin’ awesome when such groups as Venom and Slayer. Cussing fits their style of music. This is not good for groups such as Edguy as it just cheapens the effect of the song. At the end of the New Messiah vocalist Tobias Sammet spouts out:
Pardon fucking me. Who the fucking fuck is Jesus
I'm the motherfucking new messiah
For the fucking world.
The song was fine up till this point and the cussing rant ruins the flow of the song. Dropping the F bomb in these two songs just cheapens the whole effect. Can you imagine if Dickinson went off like that in the song Hallowed be They Name....it would just fuckin’ ruin it! The fourth song Holy Water is much better in the lyrical department but sadly is slower and more forgettable.
The fifth song is a nice joke track called The Life and Times of a Bonus Track with Tobias ranting and raving silly lyrics about the need of of bonus tracks is humorous and Tobias sounds more like Bruce Dickinson on this track then ever before. But again towards the end of the song comes:
I don't give a fucking shit, no I don't give a shit
Don't give a fucking shit, no, no
Not a single little fucking shit!
Ok, Edguy, GROW UP!!! Great operatic power metal deserves better, more "grown up" lyrics. Sadly I think Edguy is on the downfall as with each new release, they get more immature and silly.
I'd like to preface this by saying in regards to my fellow reviewers... what, are you fucking kidding me?
The problem with this is that it's horribly uneven. Half (actually 2/5) of the time the band is stellar (though hardly fantastic), but the rest of this is unabashedly fourth-tier power metal (performing in your local youth center!) with good production values.
Singer Tobias Sammet has an appealing, personable voice that stands out from the often same-y power metal pack, like a Swedish (?) Bruce Dickinson, but he writes lyrics that are, almost uniformly, poor on this EP. I approve of deviating from traditional power metal cliche, but sadly the lyrics are still childish, like a little boy enamoured with saying the word 'fuck' the moment mommy and daddy go out. Also, the overblown back-up vocals ruin many a chorus, leaving you to wish Sammet had gone Maiden and handled all the vocal duties himself.
Non-album tracks like "The Savage Union" reek of cheese, the lyrics literally sounding like the 'fist-pumping anthem' song for a band called Savage United (think Sacred Steel - "Sacred Warriors of Steel" etc.). And "New Age Messiah"... bleech. Amongst the worst social criticism I've ever heard. Hell, Ozzy has done it more effectively ("Miracle Man"), and Ozzy doesn't even know where he is. Seriously kids, comedy (let alone SATIRE) should be left to those who are, you know, funny. Not to mention how drop-dead generic the music is (albeit in a slightly fetching stripped-down Maiden/Priest direction).
However, the somber, thespian "Holy Water" manages to go 30 seconds without cracking any painfully bad jokes, and kicks one through the uprights with a committed sort of melancholic symphonic power vibe that hints at a heretofore unhinted-at subtlety and class. In addition, the propulsive, cool mecha-stomping title track rocks catchy and appreciable, a tight and taut ride that stretches out beyond the majority of this pap. However, it does sound like something that a hair band might release in the mid-90's in an attempt to stay relevant. Just sayin'.
I'm not even gonna start on the bonus track.
Suffice to say, this blows. I hope Edguy's other stuff is worthy of the effusive praise levelled at it.
Stand-Outs: "King of Fools", "Holy Water"
This is Edguy at its ultimate highest. In between Mandrake and Hellfire with a kick-ass backup choir and orchestra scored by Miro. It starts of with the anthametic title track 'King of Fools'. It is very catchy but beware, once you've listened to it 100 times it does get annoyin. The lyrics are overtly cheesy but they fit perfectly. This is the single version and theres no solo, hell theres no solo on the original, all it is is a few notes.
The next track, New Age Messiah is very strong. With an orchestral intro then a catchy melody to start off with. Silly lyrics that do mean something. The lyrics are intelligent but often come out in a nonesense way. The vocals are done perfect with lost of power. The verses and choruses are very catchy.
The solo is a slower one but very melodic. The end of the solo is very very catchy. Then the chior chants come in. A very Edguy touch. Then the final verse with silly lyrics but its so damn cathcy. Then the "Who the fuck is Jesus part" witch was quite annoyin when cranking it a high volume.
Then The Savage Union. With another great start-off melody and some good riffage. The backing vocals are superbly sung with help from Aina vocalists Thomas Rettke, Amanda Somerville, Avantasia vocalists and long time Edguy choirboys Ralf Zdiarstek and Oliver Hartmann, and also Daniel Schmitt. The chorus is great tlking about Edguy and their supporters. (The Savage Union is the Edguy fanclub.) Another Great solo from Jens Ludwig. Again its catchy as hell.
Holy Water is a phenominal melodic, syphonic, the way power metal should be, song. From the first melody you know this one is gonna kick ass. It starts with a slower, more symphonic, verse into the epic, symphonic, bombast chorus. Its very catchy and i found myself singing it occasionally. Then theres and odd bridge with very heavy sounding guitars. I kinda missed the solo. I couldnt find it. Nonetheless, another solid song.
It ends with a song that will set you rolling around on the floor. "Ok, lets rock, lets ramble, let's roll" starts off this song about a bonus track and how the music industry is always getting screwed. In the middle of the song and Tobi calls it shit, then they carry on. He says theres a chorus but there really isnt. Very funny song.
I would of bought this cd if it were 14$, but it was only 4$. A great deal for 5 amazing Edguy songs.
Edguy is nowadays one of the most popular bands in the Power metal genre and have produced high standard metal since 1995. They have released great albums, such as Vain Glory Opera and Mandrake. The question is: what to do now? Continue exactly as before or try to do something new? They went with the second alternative, which I’m glad for. I’m not sure they would've managed to deliver such clean power metal once again.
The change isn't big for Edguy, but they took the step to a heavier and rawer style. Of Course you can still hear it’s Edguy playing; it's still they're old style when it comes to melodies.
They set their goals for a new record, but they also decided to release an EP. King of Fools is that EP, which was released a month earlier than the actual record - Hellfire Club.
Well, King of Fools is an excellent EP. The title track, King of Fools, is taken from the Hellfire Club album, and shows that the band still got what it takes. The typical Edguy melodies are still there, but with harder riffs and a rawer sound all over. I simply ove it! It’s exactly what Edguy needed.
The four other tracks are darn good too! Especially Holy Waters, where Sammet shows what he’s made of. The chorus is terrific, and Sammets vocals are perfect on that particular song.
This little EP is a masterpiece! I can’t stop wondering if the songs on the EP where made for Hellfire Club, but kicked out. If they were, that is really strange cause it's great music and could easily have been placed on an album.
King of Fools is an extremely well-made record and a very solid release from Edguy.
With a very dissapointing Vintersorg release, and an ultra-strong Deicide release, I really didn't know what to expect from another of my favourite bands. I'd heard some songs off of Hellfire Club on a radio show, Mysteria and Lavatory Love Machine. Both of them ruled, the latter of which was a very pleasing and uplifting cockrock fun song.
When I got this, I was expecting something great and I wasn't dissapointed. Pretty much typical Edguy, but getting tighter and better at what they do with every release (a la Cannibal Corpse). New Age Messiah and Holy Water being my favourite tracks here, with all the laughing and the fun and what-not. I feel obliged to write "soaring melodies" here, but I'll give it a miss and in its place I shall write GOOD FUN!, which is what Edguy is.
The title track sounds radio-friendly to a degree, but it is played shockingly well... you can tell that they fine-tuned and rehearsed it to sound as sharp as possible. That's pretty much the only thing that's any different, when compared to other Edguy releases. I'm not saying they haven't changed anything at all, they have injected something new into the music, it just doesn't apply on every song. I'm sure Hellfire Club will be a wild ride, if this little EP is any indication.
Tobias Sammet also gives us his thoughts on piracy on the quaint closing track.