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Before I even begin this review, I need to make one thing clear. If you are a metalhead who cannot listen to music that doesn't take itself that seriously, you should NEVER EVER be listening to Edguy, especially their latter albums. Tobias Sammet is a clown in the best way possible, and if you can't really get past that, then you shouldn't be listening to anything by Edguy, let alone this album.
That being said, Edguy's album "Rocket Ride" is certainly not their best, but it is definitely not a bad album by any means. Tobias Sammet's vocals are incredible as usual, often coming off sounding like Bruce Dickinson (who he is popularly compared too). His vocals soar and soar, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't have range, Tobias can often take on a tone that is much more gritty then most other power metal singers. Far too many power metal vocalists are too concerned with the amount of high notes that they can hit and the vibrato that they possess, while Tobias is more concerned with just having fun. This is very obvious throughout the entirety of the CD, his vocals are very loose and laid back and yet, he still never falls into sounding as if he doesn't care. On songs such as "Sacrifice", "The Asylum", and "Superheroes", Tobias sounds incredibly passionate, but never to the point of overdoing it. He strikes a perfect balance throughout the entire CD.
Everyone else in the band is just as passionate. Indeed, it is very obvious that the progression that the band went through from straight up power metal to a more hard rock oriented approach was very much agreed on by all who were present during the recording. One need only look at the incredible emotion and power that opens the album in "Sacrifice", a hard rocking, absolutely destroying power metal song that makes the listener feel as though he is blasting off into space in a rocket- face plastered to the wall. The passion in the guitars, the drums, the vocals, is so evident that it all just comes together in an incredible amalgamation of talent and power. A testament to Edguy's new style at its absolute best. Perhaps the only real complaint would be that sometimes everything comes together so well, that instruments do seem to get drowned into each other. It's a criticism, but its done in such a way that it is hardly noticeable.
Then again, there are some flops on this album. "Save Me" is a particularly bad song that lost this album a large amount of points from me. I have heard people compare Edguy and Avantasia's later albums to pop, and while I usually could argue the other way about how stupid that is, I can't really deny it with this song. It literally sounds like a Taylor Swift song with Tobias on vocals- cringeworthy stuff and definitely the worst Edguy ballad in their entire discography. Additionally, there are also some songs that just don't seem to make much of an impact on me, simply because they sound like many of the other tracks. But I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing, considering that nearly every song on here is equally good, just sometimes too similar sounding.
Luckily, "The Asylum" appears later on this album and grabs your attention right off the bat again (even if it is JUST before "Save Me"). It begins with an acoustic guitar and some soothing vocals from Tobias. Only to have him break in with a Bruce Dickinson worthy yell of power and pure awesome at about 1:50 into the song. Guitars scream and the drums hammer on, slowly leading us into an incredible chorus:
"Through the heart of fire
You're home, found the asylum
In a world with a broken dance, on shards of glass
I see fire, ruins and fire, and fire
In world with a broken dance, and shattered dreams"
If you aren't pumping your fist and singing along to this chorus, there must be something wrong with you. The song is yet another archetypal musical piece of Edguy, one that demonstrates everything that makes them what they are. Songs like "The Asylum" really show the craft of Tobias Sammet, demonstrating just how good he is at throwing power metal and hard rock together in an amazing showcase of instrumentation and passion.
In addition, the album also has some comedic relief towards the end of its duration in the form of "Superheroes" . A song with a music video that gives us a glimpse of just how comedic the band can be and one that needs to be viewed. The album finishes off with "Fucking With Fire (Hair Force One)" a song which ends the album almost as powerfully as it started. Good stuff.
Thus, "Rocket Ride", while certainly not being the best album of Edguy's discography, is still a very good album. Although, songs like "Save Me", do bring the album down and the tendency of other songs to sound a bit too much alike has also cost this album some points. But in the grand scheme of things, these are very minor complaints for an album that showcases everything that makes latter day Edguy great, and well, Edguy.
These German guys have lately moved towards more hard rocking stuff. However, the band is still easily recognized. Okay, Edguy haven't gone as far as Helloween did with their fifth studio album 'Chameleon' (1993), but heck, have the band drifted far or even further from their roots during all these years?! The cover art and the title of the album blurts out, that it's time for wackier stuff than last time on 'Hellfire Club' (2004). This has nothing to do with hell, just partying, minus one bland balladish song (or two, as it's the limited digibook edition which is the one reviewed here).
My first Edguy album was 'Hellfire Club'. Kick me. The problem before that was, generally, joyful power metal stuff I really wasn't into some years ago. Another point was singer Tobias Sammet's extravagant use of vibration. In his voice, that is. Vibration, you know? So 'Hellfire Club' felt a good place to start. On this album, Edguy lifted influences from three previous decades to the front. Hell, there's hard rock, heavy metal, hair rock, calypso plus of course some power metal. I was a teenager in the 1980s and I gotta admit I have some musical traumas from that era, but also a couple of good memories, so I'm not so easily startled. 'Sacrifice' provides a safe start, but how! Being one of the darker pieces here including a truly killer chorus (plus the song's other parts are such too, hehe) and well done synthesized orchestration, this kicks ass so much that it's hard to be topped. The song goes from a piano part to more or less heavy rocking antics.
So how is the rest of the record? After the perfect opener it is time, perhaps to some younger in age fans' horror I guess, for some hard-cum-hair rock (no, not spermy perm you perverts!). The title song is like road trip to deeper space and time, and this will shock many power metal Edguy fans. Killer choruses, these guys handle 'em. There's also a cool oldish "progressive rock" part written in the song, and some Deep Purple-ish "Hammond" work. 'Wasted Time' surely ain't 'Wasted Years' (Iron Maiden), but a good song with a Ritchie Blackmore style main riff and electric-meets-acoustic parts and, again, a killer chorus. Electro-pop infused German heavy metal piece 'Matrix' surely raises different opinions. In my opinion it is a fucking good song, very stylish, indeed. And guess what? Its chorus does slay. There's some heavy guitars in the song, but no "nu-metal" style.
'Return to the Tribe' is more common Edguy with its double kick drum beats plus other certain power metal stuff. And what a guitar solo! No, wait, it's Tobias' voice! Fuck, this is funny, guy's doing a distorted vocal solo!!! Thumbs up, even though it needed a few spins to get into it. 'The Asylum' brings back the opener's darker touch, calm beginning, a bit like Scorpions, and heavy hitting remainder with epic leanings. 'Save Me'... Really, don't. Nothing can save this awful slow song, thanks to its all kinds of cute hair rock symptoms: Too familiar, too cuddly. 'Catch of the Century' heals loads of wounds the last song caused. It's another 1980s style rocker made in 2005, but it ain't a ballad and the song actually rocks! 'Out of Vogue' throws in some too usual 1980s heavy metal stuff, but with a double kick drum chorus it has a good drive in it. The single shot 'Superheroes' is a song where 'King of Fools' meet 'Mission: Impossible' (Lalo Schifrin) and that should say it all: definitely not one of the stronger songs of the album. 'Trinidad' is a good-time song. Its "la-la-la"choruses and calypso stuff will make total metal motherfuckers hate this album. For me, it's no another 'Lavatory Love Machine', sadly. These guys need some medication... Cock-rock spectacle 'Fucking with Fire (Hair Force One)' is a hard rock song with a hair rock chorus, of which Desmond Child would be proud of. Generally speaking, Edguy aren't similar to Helloween, but both bands found more rocking style after power metal. All of the songs were written by Sammet, except 'Out of Vogue', which was written with guitarist Jens Ludwig.
Mr. Sammet's voice has strengthened and he's able to control it better than before, not letting the vibration control it all. It's matured so much, that at a few points I can hear some similarities with Bruce Dickinson actually. Trademark Edguy choirs are still alive, but having a quite small role. The rest of the band does it well, too, as expected. The Sascha Paeth production is good and punchy, just what the music of this style needs. Not surprisingly, as this was recorded with an analog equipment. Varying synthesizer work was professionally created by Michael "Miro" Rodenberg.
Limited edition's bonus song 'Land of he Miracle' does nothing to me, to tell the truth. Another lame power metal ballad... But digibook cover rules, or then not! It includes lyrics and biography (in English and German), but: pocket can scratch the disc, so store the disc separately!
It's impossible for me to say, how many fans of the old Edguy will like this. Maybe the band will get loads of bullshit from 'em, just like Helloween did back in 1993 from their fans. The album has its highs, but also downs and it left me a bit baffled after a couple of first listenings. However, this is a grower, just give it more than 3 spins, oguy?!
(originally reviewed for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2006)
On this album, Edguy goes back from their power metal hymns and almost does a completely hard rock album. Annoying kitsch glam rock like “Rocket ride”, Bon Jovi ballads like “Save me” or disco rock with keyboard experiments like “Matrix” or “wimps and poser” hard rock stuff like “Fucking with fire” dominate this album. This last song is a very cool party rocker and quite catchy while the keyboard dominated “Out of vogue” has a very addicting chorus and “Wasted time” very emotional lyrics and chorals as well as a catchy chorus. These three songs are the best hard rock songs on this album but stuff like “Rocket ride”, “Save me” or “Catch of teh century” are mostly boring and a big deception after the band’s essential masterpiece “Hellfire club”. While all of these songs show all a new side of Edguy and are at least creative, I miss somehow the old power and the emotions.
The band shows us though that they can still write excellent metal hymns like the amazing opener “Sacrifice”. This song is modern rock opera shortened to eight minutes and is very emotional. Tobias Sammet does an extraordinary job on the vocals, the dominating piano fits perfectly to the song, and the solos are filled with passion and energy. Why didn’t they do more songs like that on this album? This song alone is worth buying the album but the rest can’t maintain this high quality.
Of course, you have another funny song on this album. “Trinidad” is a mixture of an exotically seventy’s pop song, Caribbean folk music and eighty’s glam rock. Brain off, party on could be the slogan of this hilarious song and while serious and closed minded metal heads will criticize this song, Edguy fans will probably enjoy this experiment and album closer that is followed by the bonus track and poser rock hymn “Fucking with fire” that goes into the same direction.
To keep it short, this is a hard rock party album with a few hilarious songs and only a few intelligent and profound songs like the amazing opener that is maybe my favourite Edguy songs of all time. This album is not comparable to anything the band has done before, so let me warn you that you are better to like funny hard rock anthems when you really try out this album that has almost nothing to do with power metal anymore.
I don't understand why this album has such a low score. Could it be that its to hard rock? no, tinnitus sanctus is way more hard rock then this and its steady in the high seventies. Could it be that people think Edguy's attempting to sell out? maybe, but it doesnt really explain why the score is this low. The point is, although this album is a little inconsistent, its still a pretty solid piece of hard rock-ish power metal.
As I said, this album is a little inconsistent, which puts the songs into 2 different categories:Outstanding masterpieces worthy of Edguy's prime and decent songs that have their highs and lows.
Starting with the amazing songs:Rocket Ride, Return To The Tribe and The Asylum. Rocket Ride features a galloping guitar and bass rythm thats infectious right form the first listen, and a chorus that is catchy as sin, in true Edguy fashion. Return To The Tribe is probably the one song on the album that reminds me the most of classic Edguy. It's like a blend of Hellfire Club and Mandrake with a ridiculous vocal solo that was meant to imitate a guitar solo. Its also highly symphonic featuring a huge amount of keyboards and another amazing chorus. The Asylum is easily the highlight the album, with a very nice crunchy guitar sound, another catchy chorus that has Toby at his most aggressive and a very emotional acoustic opening, simply awesome.
Now we get into the decent songs: Fucking With Fire (Hair Force One), Trinidad, Superheroes, Catch Of The Century, Save Me and Out Of Vogue. Fucking With Fire is a good song, but its also the most 80's rock driven song (probably intentional, but Lavatory Love Machine proved to us that it could be done tastefully) which brings it down from the high level set by RR,Asylum and RTTT. Trinidad is a typical tongue-in-cheek Edguy song that could've been better if it wasnt for the alalalalala's, but the vocals are decent enough, and it's definetly a party song. Superheroes is a pretty good song that couldve been better if it werent for the lyrical themes and the pretty weak guitars. I mean really, a song with a chorus like "we dont cry for love, we're superheroes" is almost balladesque in composition. Catch Of The Century is another decent song that has one of the funniest endings to any song i've ever heard. Unfortunately, it suffers from a little genericism and repetitiveness that makes it get old pretty fast. Save Me is the decent ballad that appears on nearly every Edguy album. Nothing special, but a decent song if your in the right mood. Out Of Vogue is another irremarkable song, that has a decent synthesized guitar riff and some pretty awesome drumming. The song's only real problem is that its not that memorable and can get old pretty fast. The rest of the songs all follow in pretty much the same veign, being either not to memorable or a bit to "out there" genre wise.
In conclusion, this album is in no way Edguy's best, but it is still pretty half decent, and its worth it to checkout at least the title track, The Asylum and Return To The Tribe.
In 2003 I received my first let down courtesy of Edguy in the lackluster “Hellfire Club”, which suffered from a rather bad overall production and some comic elements gone awry. Where this album sees improvement is primarily in the production, although a lot of the songs in the second half of the album do suffer from some rather bad guitar sounds.
The best song on here a toss up between “Sacrifice” and “The Asylum”, both of which are the longest songs on here with the most varied changes and musical elements. The former has a rather nifty piano intro that almost sounds like it could be taken from an Evanescence song (I don’t consider this a negative, others might), but ends up rocking like classic Edguy. The latter sounds a bit like a compressed version of “The Piper Never Dies” but without the Organ part and a better vocal performance.
Other songs that have a good amount of power to them include the high speed cookers “Return to the Tribe” and the title track, both of which have some great lead guitar work, especially the former which has some insane talk box work that rivals Mick Mars’ innovative soloing on Motley Crue’s “Kick Start my Heart”. “Wasted Time” and “The Matrix” are more standard mid-tempo tracks with some highly catchy choruses and some introspective lyrics. “Out of Vogue” is a rather interesting critique on the way metal bands catch a lot of shit when the become famous, and questions whether or not the people doing this actually have a logical reason aside from hating success (which in itself is highly illogical). This track has probably the best guitar riffing in it, but falls a tiny bit short in the soloing department. The single off this album “Superheroes” is pretty much your standard Edguy single, it puts the emphasis on the chorus, but succeeds in being more musically interesting than “King of Fools”.
We have some tracks on here that are musically decent, but suffer in the lyrical department. “Catch of the Century” seems to take a similar route as “Out of Vogue” lyrically, but takes it way too far with that rambling ending where Tobias gets a little bit too in your face about how much he doesn’t give a shit about what you think of his success. It doesn’t quite get as ridiculous as Limp Bizkit got on their debut album, but it comes close. “Save Me” is pretty much a fluffy ballad, but unlike “Land of the Miracle” it doesn’t have anything amazing going on in the vocal department. It could qualify as a better version of “Forever” off the last album, but with the same boring structure.
The remaining 2 songs on here are pretty much uninspired. There are too many nonsensical lyrics, dry rock riffs and out-of-place sound effects to make these songs great. If there is one positive about these 2 songs is that they are short enough to not really be missed. Furthermore, unless you have the release with the bonus track, you don’t have to utilize the skip button, just hit stop at the end of Superheroes. Alas, if Edguy has simply settled for 10 songs and cut the last 2, I would have scored this album higher.
This album is an improvement from the last one, but it still lacks the prestige of their older material. I can recommend it to fans of Edguy who were able to tolerate the changes on the last album, as well as to fans of traditional 80s rock/metal. This album has more in common with the more glam oriented metal outfits of the 80s than with the Helloween brand of speed metal that you heard on “Savage Poetry” and “Theatre of Salvation”.
I know what Edguy's Rocket Ride was trying to do. I really do. And personally, my attitude is thus: if you can do it right, you can pull of near anything. Even if it's a style of music I absolutely hate, if you do it right, you'll still produce something of musical value. My problem with Rocket Ride isn't what many reviewers have said, which is they hate this playful, super cheezy, hard rock sound, and prefer the majestic epic metal of Mandrake or Vain Glory Opera. Well, I don't mind this humourous and nonchalant style. Not everything has to be serious all the time. It's the same thing I've said about Avantasia's Scarecrow, and it is: The style doesn't suck, TOBIAS DOES.
The new hard-rock/europop rock sound Tobias has been infatuated with isn't the cause of these ills, it's the fact that he cannot, for the life of him, pull it off. Yeah, it's really that bad. I listen to songs like Superheroes, Trinidad, and Matrix, and it makes me wanna bash my keyboard in. Sure, one might say, this is just the case of the boring and the mundane, and to Rocket Ride's credit, there are some good riffs here and there, the production is indeed polished, and the singing is good, as per Edguy's usual affairs, and surely that must be worth something, right? Wrong.
This, as well as the fellow abortion from Avantasia released earlier this year, is a perfect example of what happens when a tried and true metalhead and his bands get infected with the commercial virus. Everything that was original about Edguy, everything that made them stand out, everything that we love them for, everything that gave them BALLS, that gave them POWER, that gave them GENIUS, is gone. It's replaced by this homogenous mush that is there to fill up airwaves, prepackaged and processed to be listened to by millions of vacant teenagers, with no real artistic statement and no real conviction or ideas. It is to Edguy's earlier works as a McDonald's chicken McNugget is to a real chicken breast. It's technically made from the same stock that made Mandrake and Theater of Salvation, but it's been processed into a homogenous goop, with none of the variance, flavor, or substance that the original had, just like a McNugget is technically made from chicken, yet lacks the flavor, nutrition, and variance that makes a real chicken breast infinitely more appetizing.
Likewise, this album is infinitely less appealing than Edguy's earlier works, as well as The Metal Operas. It seems Tobias is dead set to be a mainstream radio fixture, and while it is indeed sad that we will never hear the glorious, majestic sound of old, the sadder part of this whole story is that Sammet isn't even good at writing songs in this new style. They fucking suck, which makes this new direction even more of a joke than it already was. Like I said in the title, it's a failure at failing. It's a shit attempt at a shit genre. C'mon, Tobias, I know you're just being lazy. Where's the creativity and inspiration of the music of old? It's sure not to be found on Rocket Ride, or any of Tobias' new material, Edguy OR Avantasia.
When it comes to modern Euro Power Metal, Edguy is one of my choice favorite bands; just a nostalgia thing I suppose, but nonetheless I enjoy them quite a bit. Almost completely abandoning his majestic fantasy Power Metal roots here, Tobias spins the wheel of his mariner and heads for new horizons, this time going for a very hard rock oriented sound without any real bells or whistles at all, and only a few nuances of the old style left behind; whispers of a nearly forgotten past.
I'd say the seed for this transformation was planted the day Tobias penned his butt-rock anthem "Lavatory Love Machine" for Hellfire Club, as several songs here go in a similar direction, stripped down and bare hard rock with Power Metal leads and cheesy, singalong choruses that make the band sound happier than a group of Care Bears. It makes for a fun album, but aside from a few shimmering moments of glory (parts of the best tracks here - "Sacrifice," "Return to the Tribe" and "The Asylum," namely), this isn't exactly timeless music, losing it's allure under pressure of repeated plays. This isn't exactly complex or involving music, and a lot of the time it isn't even very stirring or passionate, sacrificing musical integrity for "fun." I like this album quite a bit, but this is extremely underwhelming when I consider what it could've been - look at the new Avantasia material for what ol' Tobi is capable of at 100% power and inspiration.
Not to say that it's a loss or anything, no. I was one of the few who loved "Lavatory Love Machine," and this album delivers if I'm just looking for a good time, being catchier than the flu to boot. Edguy have still served up a steaming hot plate of rallying, screaming arena rock silliness, and tracks like the batshit insane "Catch of the Century," the self-pitying yet still infectious "Wasted Time" and the ending duo of the hilarious "Trinidad" and "Fucking With Fire" are sure to capture those who don't mind a bit of shameless humor in their music. Get it if it sounds like your kind of thing; you know who you are.
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com
After much anticipation, I finally purchased the new Edguy CD with sincere enthusiasm. Originally, I had a promo version, which did not initially impress me as I was constantly beleaguered by Toby's overarching comment, "You are listening to the new Edguy album... Vrocket Vride" which tended to detract from my enjoyment of the music, altogether. I so loved the 'Superheroes' EP that I had high expectations for their new release. Now in retrospect, I am so grateful that I purchased this CD. Thankfully, I was able to get the limited edition digipak which provides the devoted listener with the band's informative history and witty, yet provocative personal demographics.
It may take several listens for this CD to really sink in, as it is so layered and textured with suggestive mettle nuances. Every time I listen to this CD I notice something different and unique. The first track "Sacrifice", which fans voted as the number one song on the band's website, is very reminiscient of past efforts similar to their successful 'Mandrake' style. The next track "Rocket ride" picks up the pace more and begins to thrust the listener heavenward. The opening lines, "I sought salvation but I found insanity, lost in a mess I return to profanity" truly epitomize Edguy's attitude and altitude in a melodic and concise manner. This song has a very catchy chorus, replete with thought provoking lyrics. The next track "Wasted time" is classic Edguy with infectious melodies which after several listens allows one to begin to hear the chorus resonating in his head from the power driven guitar harmonies. This tends to remind me of Toby's 'Avantasia' style.
Next up is "Matrix" which has nothing to do with the movie trilogy, but is more concentrated on a recurring theme throughout the CD of relationships gone awry. The cacaphonous keyboards and non-metal guitar riffs clearly make this song a unique Edguy offering. Surprisingly, this is my wife's favorite song. Thankfully, the next track "Return to the tribe" returns us to the pure Edguy style with serious guitar shredding which echoes like a tribal chant and a chorus which reinforces the fellowship of the true mettle bretheren. "The asylum" has a hard rock, Skid Rowish intro which developes into an anthemic and poetic chorus with infectious rhythyms. Although, I do feel that the tautaulogical reference to fire in the chorus suggests to me that Toby's been watching too much 'Beavis and Butthead'. "Save me" is another simple ballad sung in the round which reminds one of "Land of the miracle". The special edition comes with a live version of "The land of the miracle" performed in San Paulo dedicated to all wimps & poseurs and women! The next track "Catch of the century" continues the broken heart syndrome with ribald humor and affectation throughout, ending with an utterly hilarious diatribe and suggestive rant; whereby, Toby expresses his heartfelt frustration for being dumped with poise and personification (or should I say Poison personification), assuming that he is, in fact, the catch of the century (although my wife seems to think so, next to me)..."Helipcoter!".
"Out of vogue" is the only song which Toby did not write both the music and lyrics for on this CD. Jens contibution musically is quite enjoyable, but Toby's lyrics are rather trite. Next up is "Superheroes" the same song from the EP and single, which is just altogether a fun and really enjoyable celebration of style. I highly recommend for everyone to see the video and/or DVD for "Superheroes", even if you don't like this band; because once you do every time you hear this song the ridiculous yet innovative concept will play repeatedly in your mind. Next up is "Trinidad" where once again the heartbreak hotel scenario reoccurs. "Trinidad" (or should I say 'Tree-nee-dad' as Toby bellows), is a rather humorous song enhanced by its Calypso and Caribeanesque overtones. When he refers to his new found love while flying and fleeing from this female aberration, I often wonder if that’s the "Lavatory love machine" parallel. Once again, listen to this song carefully to hear Toby's subtle but silly comments, where he refers to himself as a famous porn star. Finally, the life and times of a bonus track brings us to "Fucking with fire" (hair force one), a song which musically evokes the classic 80s but lyrically loses the listener in context. Since he refers to his favorite pasttime as extreme time wasting, I tend to think that he has been watching "Orgazmo" searching for his lost cock rocket.
Overall, this CD is quite enjoyable, and the CD which Edguy needed to create, in order to advance their position in the world metal hierarchy. So don't let your reservations keep you from purchasing one of the most original and edgy portraits of fate ever released by this epicene entourage.
Right, here's the deal: it'd be so much easier for me if I hated this album. I could rant on about Edguy fucked with their fans and then swiftly forget about it, occasionaly bitching on a forum about how they used to be great. Instead, they've insisted on messing with me in another way by making a frustratingly inconsistent album that teeters between something close to their old sound a some horribly poppish (or just plain moronic) trash.
I'll start by getting the brain-numbing bowel waste out of the way first: "Trinidad" is the worst song Edguy have ever written (worse than that daft bonus track on the King of Fools EP) and one of the most offensively idiotic tracks ever to appear on a Power Metal album. Its just unbelievable that Edguy used this piece of trash as anything other than a bonus track. Ok, I get it, they have a sense of humour and like doing silly things that you wouldn't normally hear on a Metal record, but there is a line. Complete with stupid sound effects, horribly poppish music and la-la-la backing vocals from depths of Hell, this goes way beyond a jokey song (something I can usually deal with).
The thing is, Edguy can sometimes do humour reasonably well. I think I'm one of the few that can listen to "Lavatory Love Machine" (from the Hellfire Club album) with a smile on my face. It's tongue-in-cheek, but the music is still good, and that, my dear audience, is the line. When your wacky humour starts compromising the music instead of just the lyrics, you have gone too far.
But, stupidity like "Trinidad" is not the only problem on this album. Some people cried "Pop bullshit" on the Superheroes EP, and I angrily defended it. On Rocket Ride, however, there are a couple of songs that fall right into this category. "Matrix" has lots of irritating electric noises, and crucially, very little Metal in it at all. The guitars and drums are very bland and unimaginative, and the song is mostly down to Tovby's voice and his irritating effects.
Similarly, the power ballad "Save Me" is something Poison could have written. Now, I love a bit of 80s rock (not Poison), but if I want to listen to it I'll go listen to Skid Row. When I want Power Metal, I should be able to listen to Edguy. Its not that this is a bad song, but its an inappropriate one, and I can't help but feel there's something a tad more cynical than a love of hair Metal behind the writing of this song.
Having said all this, Rocket Ride is not a bad album. The rest of the stuff on here is defintitely more straightforward and less grandiose than the Edguy of old (and a Helluva lot more 'zany') but for the most part is enjoyable straight-up Metal (with a touch of hard rock here and there).
Tracks like "Return To The Tribe" is more or less classic Edguy, big choruses, speedy as Hell and very uplifting. This song also has an example of silly humour that works - the "solo" is actually Sammet imitating a guitar with his voice run through a computer (apparently this is how he usually lets Jens Ludwig know how he wants a solo to sound). Its daft as hell, but it sounds ok and it does raise a smile (for more "humour that works," check out the rant at the nd of "Catch of the Century").
Proving that Edguy can still write like they used to, and that they can check the humour at the door when they want, there are two tracks on here that harken back to something not unlike the Theatre of Salvation album. The opening track, "Sacrifice" and the album's centrepiece, "The Asylum" are the two longest songs on the album, and probably the best. Epic, with more complex arrangements and time changes than the rest of the disc combined, these songs are at once fantastic listening and a kick in the teeth. Listening to "The Asylum," you could almost lose yourself and forget what album you were listening to. Then it finishes and reality is jabbed home when the opening notes of "Save Me" kick in.
"Superheroes" and "Wasted Time" are both mid tempo efforts with big (probably overproduced) choruses. Simple in structure and pretty toned down, but good stuff nonetheless, these two are something like a good example of what most of this album sounds like. Not the sort of thing I'd desperately want from Edguy, but I could accept them going in this direction. It may sound a little watered down, but it's still solid Metal that takes its self just seriously enough.
And that is the problem with this album: Edguy have either got to drop the stupid shit and get on with making serious music (complex or nay), or forget about being a serious band, start dressing up like The Darkness and alternate between "Trinidad" lunacy and "Matrix" style radio songs. Its just plain unfair to hit expectant people with an album that's half serious and half pisstake.
As I said at the top, if I hated this album I could eventually forget about it. As it is it pisses me off like nothing else that if I want to listen to it I have to do so with one finger resting on the skip button.
Top songs: The Asylum, Sacrifice, Return to the Tribe
Rating: 7/10 for the actual material, but 6/10 for integrity and inflicting "Trinidad" on the world.
This is an interesting review to write because the bands previous release Hellfire Club marked a clear departure in style and I was curious what it might lead to. I didn’t really approve of the bands new direction but I couldn’t help but be intrigued since the band is pretty big and did put out some decent albums in the past. ‘Lavatory Love Machine’ from last year’s Hellfire Club, defines this new direction, namely, a happier, more hard rock oriented sound. The tone is humorous and playful, and (annoyingly) over-the-top, which wasn’t the case in the past. Suspicions confirmed, Rocket Ride is what I expected, and yet another nail in the band’s coffin, at least within the metal community; worldwide they’ll probably break some sales record.
At this point in my review, it may not come as a surprise that I’m no fan of the new Edguy. Personal notions aside, this is still well-written, well-played and well-produced music and to their credit, Edguy is as consistent as ever, but make no mistake; pure metal this is not. Or to put it in other words: this music has no balls. If you’re a fan of hard rock or melodic rock you should be pleased with Rocket Ride though, as Edguy has honed their songwriting over the years to near “perfection”. What i mean by this is that it's good music for what it is - I just don't like what it is.
The best songs are probably the first three. Sacrifice is an energetic, memorable song featuring some dynamic song writing. The song is fast, but the band finds room for slow, clear vocal passages and such things. Some of the best lead guitar can be found here as well. Up until 2:17 or so the song is pretty good, but then Sammet & co comes in and ruins everything with one of those super happy and totally gay choruses the band (so tragically!) became famous for with Hellfire Club.
The second song, the title song, is a pretty typical and simple power metal song from the German school of metal. It gives us some much needed relief because it has some of the least gay choruses (but gay they are nonetheless). So, what we have is a solid main-riff, fast pace and flowing song writing - a pretty decent song in other words. Next is ‘Wasted Time’, which is one of the best songs on the album. It’s a typical, “new-Edguy” song with (too?) perfect arrangements, flowing and melodic song writing. The intro is really fantastic and sets the mood for the song. It’s a good song, no complaints here, but fucking hell, enough with the happy vibes already!
It’s all downhill from here as the hard rock elements become clearer and the band gets increasingly over-the-top. At times, the band is unbearable; Superheroes, among other songs, is so annoyingly happy and ridiculously catchy (yes there is such a thing) it makes me want to take a chokehold on Tobias Sammet and scream ‘SHUT THE FUCK UP!’ until my lungs collapse. Not surprisingly, you can also find what has to be worst Edguy song ever in ‘Trinidad’. Yes, that’s a cat meowing in the background. It’s a silly, silly song, which is actually an accurate description of the album overall as well.
It would be a cliché to say that the band has turned commercial, but it’s true that Edguy has become too much of a trivial affair to deserve any respect or attention. With Rocket Ride, the band has finally earned its infamous nickname “Edgay”.