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Power metal’s biggest once solid, now carnival sideshow extraordinaire outfit Edguy have done it yet again, throwing caution to the wind and also spitting into it and expecting a playful giggle from the audience as the phlegm runs off their chins. Speaking for myself, I’m not laughing, and a bored sign might require to much effort for what my ears have just beheld. While I’m not utterly opposed to reliving the exploits of the acclaimed “Prince Of Thieves” any more than I would be that of pirates or Varangian knights, I am when it attempts to dress up 4th rate Iron Maiden worship as some sort of slapstick, pie in the face escapade.
Promotional music video shenanigans aside, what is present here is a rather weak and uninspired melding of the Hammond organ brilliance of “The Piper Never Dies” with the meandering mock-opera sound of latter day Avantasia. Kicking off the whole endeavor is a cliché shuffle riff right out of the “Children Of The Grave” formula and dressed up with a few Maiden inspired turn around tricks. It’s probably among the more contrived sounding riffs Edguy has ever thrown together, and that is saying something about a band that made its career doing a very derivative though pleasing variant on the Helloween template. Dress this sucker up with some Deep Purple elements, over-indulgence backing choirs, and an overly gravely vocal performance attempting to merge Michael Kiske with Jon Bon Jovi, and its ready for consumption by present day commercial metal junkies.
Now as if a principle riff that was already becoming a little cliché circa 1986 when both Queensryche and Fates Warning had exploited it in a few slightly innovative variations wasn’t enough, the whole song can’t help but sound dangerously close to a number of Iron Maiden epics that were already well established by 1988. To the band’s credit, the guitar sound has a bit more of a moderated crunch to it that could be likened to the guitar sound of “Powerslave”, and the guitar solo does get the job done. But the whole thing just sounds like a bad tribute song, and inspires little more than a “Hey, I remember when this was interesting, and it was around the same time that the dearly departed Jani Lane was hoodwinked into writing a song that he would end up hating for the rest of his life”.
One could say that I’m being a bit hard on Tobi and company, but damn it, I expect a good deal more from the same band that brought us “Theater Of Salvation” and “Mandrake”. Whether it’s the butchered radio version that sounds like a White Wizzard song without any of the redeeming entertainment value, or the longer version that sounds like a bastardized merger of “Angel Of Babylon” with “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son”, this doesn’t do much apart from achieving an awkward silence common to a dead response from a bad comedian. Maybe one day Tobias will start writing serious music again, but at this rate, I might get to be the next Dhali Lama before that happens.