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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