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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.