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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”.