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It is not always easy to be an Edguy fan. After the incredible masterpiece "Hellfire club", they deliver us a cheesy but addicting pop song and this EP with a really horrible cover artwork. Many metal heads laughed about it and pointed at the fans and I can understand that. But after the first shock, I must admit that there are still some positive things to say about this release.
First of all, you get value for money and some new songs a few months before the album release date. There are some brilliant songs on this record that should have found their places on the regular album. "Judas at the opera" with Michael Kiske on the vocals is a fast and bombastic power metal tracks that reminds us of the early "Helloween" or "Gamma Ray" albums. But the song doesn't sound old fashioned or like a copy of it, this song is straight and also includes the typical Edguy humour. The chorus is extremely addicting and the whole song is just a masterpiece that grows more and more on me.
The other songs don't reach this level. The dark and bombastic gothic ballad "Blessing in disguise" is an interesting experiment and could have found its place on the last records from "Sirenia" or "Evanescence", only with strong and emotional male vocals. "Spooks in the attic" is a catchy and solid power metal song that won't disappoint any fan of this genre.
The other two songs are a boring cover version and two versions of the silly but catchy title track that I wouldn't recommend.
But half of this EP is really well done and interesting. Especially "Judas at the opera" and "Blessing in disguise" sound very fresh and interesting and should have been included on the later album. That's why I am very happy that I have bought this EP and any true Edguy fan must listen to these two songs.
I have found that often when an EP becomes a subject of ridicule amongst many in the critical field, there is usually a reason for it. However, more often than not, the reason is not very reasonable, and can even borderline on being completely ridiculous. Not to be overly combative but there actually is something much worse than a group of pretentious musicians, and that is a mob of self-important critics. If anyone wants further perspective on just how low this brand of critic is, read some of Voltaire's writings on the subject.
I've been one who has actually been a bit disappointed with the newer sound that Edguy started on the "Hellfire Club" album, but this change has provided some rather intriguing songs, some of which are found on this release. These Germans love their satire and their comedy, that much is certain, but behind the lyrics is a bit of raw emotion that most of the dim-wits whom have reviewed this album have missed.
The title track of this EP has been ridiculed to no end as some sort of self-promotional work. Now it is true that the lyrics are a reference to the nature of the work that these particular musicians, along with others in the power metal genre, perform while on tour. Now what is the nature of the Superhero one may ask? Heroism has always merely been a matter of facing up to the truth, of standing up for what one believes in, and the word "Super" is intended to further exaggerate the nature of the heroism. For the power metal band, heroism is about writing songs with melody that are, for the most part, thought-provoking and larger than life. This song accomplishes this, though not as well as previous works due to the rather dry guitar sound. Suffice to say, the music on this particular track is rather intricate, but definitely a departure from the more straight-forward approach found on "Theater of Salvation" and "Mandrake".
"Spooks in the Attic" is an up tempo rocker with some rather comical lyrics. The guitar riff is a tiny bit cliche, but the overall driving nature of the song makes up for it. "Blessing in Disguise", in my opinion, is the true source of the objections to this EP. When listening to the opening and 1st verse of this song, the first band that popped into my head was Evanescence. Let it be known that I like this band, and not only because Amy Lee is the dark Gothic princess type that I usually fall for, but also because they've taken the best influences from bands like Lacuna Coil and Nightwish. Now obviously Tobias Sammet does not have a voice appropriate to the Gothic Metal style, but this song is an interesting experiment and seeing as this is an EP the band is entitled to a bit of dabbling.
"Judas at the Opera" is our fast paced epic, and it has all the trappings of the Opera Metal style that was present on the Avantasia and the later Edguy releases. At times I almost thinking I'm listening to Queen, particularly during the down tempo middle section with the backup singers. Michael Kiske makes another guest appearance, making some of us wonder whether he is really happy making non-metal music, as he keeps coming back to the genre again and again.
"The Spirit" is a mostly acoustic ballad, and my pick for the weak link on here. It just sounds like a less catchy version of "Forever" off the previous full length album, which was itself a weak version of "Roses to No One" off the "Savage Poetry" remake. The epic version of the title track is a more personal version, containing a lone piano, some strings, and Tobias to fill the silence. It reminds me of the recent acoustic remakes of NR's "In a Time of Blood and Fire" remakes, and is a good closer to a rather controversial EP.
This EP is what it makes itself out to be, a bucket load of fun. It doesn't take itself overly serious, but it does have it's more serious moments. There may be a bit of self-promotion on here, but what the hell band doesn't promote themselves? Isn't that how you're supposed to get your music heard? If you like a more rock oriented of Power Metal, and you like good spirited lyrics, give this CD a spin. The critics may be ripping it, but there is something to be said for being an individual and drawing your own conclusions. Before you judge this EP too harshly, think critically and remember that Edguy is not trying to emulate the "kill yourself" music of more darker metal genres.
After a masterful album, 2004’s “Hellfire Club”, Edguy released an EP titled “Superheroes” to provide a taste of their future output. Unfortunately, this EP is the harbinger of the doom of what Edguy worked so hard to develop.
The title track is not power metal at all, more so a slower, heavy metal with pop-tinted lyrics of self-promotion (“We are superheroes”). Not much can be said here, other than the fact that similar ground has already been covered by many other groups. The epic version, the last track, doesn’t change anything for the better. Looking back on this song, Edguy comes close to sounding like a cheesier version of pop-heavy metal group Lordi.
In “Spooks in the Attic” Edguy simply takes “Superheroes”, increases the tempo, and lists it as a different song. Regrettably, the increased speed is its only improvement over the title track.
“Blessing in Disguise” sounds like it came from a Sonata Arctica album, although it is strictly worse than the teary-eyed “Replica” (1999’s “Ecliptica”). The chorus of the song absolutely ruins it. This one merits the skip button every time (at the very best).
Despite all the inferior material on this EP, “Judas at the Opera” finally provides some catchy operatic (heh) power-metal. Although not as structurally sound as Edguy’s earlier epics, “Judas” is well-thought out, at times being comparable to “Theater of Salvation”. Minor offense may be found within its lyrics with its explicit homosexuality comment: “The baton is pink and it's clear: He is a queer / He likes it into his rear”. But those who find offense ought not to discount this great track.
“The Spirit” is a decent song which Edguy failed to convert into a power metal song (it is a Magnum cover) as they did for Ultravox’s “Hymn” in 1998’s Vain Glory Opera. Although I cannot compare this song to the original, “The Spirit” is at least mediocre thanks to the fellows of Magnum.
Overall, this EP is just not good. Only fanatical Edguy fans should make sure to get this EP since it greatly differs from the classic Edguy sound. For everyone else, “Judas at the Opera” is the only track not worth missing. But one song cannot carry an entire album, even an EP. This seems to be the ending point of a good power metal career. What is to follow will not be an improvement.
Top songs: “Judas at the Opera”
I can remember back when Edguy became one of my all time favorite bands with the stellar operatic power metal releases of Vain Glory Opera and Theater of Salvation. I knew I was in trouble when I picked up this EP (Another glorified single in the vein of King of Fools) with its moronic cover art. What the fuck? Is the band trying to be Van Halen? Hell the band looked like a bunch of mallcore brats on the insert photo.
Ok, ok maybe the packaging just threw me for a loop. Perhaps the music is still great. Well the opener Superheroes is a slow epic. It's ok and it grew on me the more I listened to it. Ok, so the title song wasn't so bad...but what about the rest? Well tracks 2 and 3 are just blah. Where's the symphonic power metal Edguy was so good at? This is power metal without power.
I read on the inlay that Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween) does guest vocals on the song Judas at the Opera so hope may not be all lost. Well, the song is faster and more power metalish but still nothing to get excited about. The song The Spirit is also a bore and the epic version of Superheroes is a joke.
I'm not sure what got into Edguy. Is this a marketing scheme to be more commercial? To cut the "power" out of "power metal"? I'm not sure but I don't like it. There just is NO power on this EP making it a dust collector on my CD shelf. I can't imagine if a band like Blind Guardian released an EP like this....the shit would hit the fan. Unless you’re a collector like me, then my advice is SKIP IT. This EP made me worried about Edguy's upcoming album Rocket Ride....and for good reason!
There are three songs on here (Superheroes, Spooks in the Attic, Judas at the Opera) that can definitely be classified as my favourite material by this band - and indeed as the best they've ever put out. In my opinion, there's should be no more experimentation to do by this band, their sound is now set in stone.
I don't like doing song by song reviews, but since this is an EP, and EPs are generally pick-and choose collections or B-sides/singles, there's really no idealogical or lyrical flow present in the transition from song to song; so there's no blanks for the reviewer to fill in as to the mood or point of the album.
1. "Superheroes" is definitely the "radio song", much like "King of Fools" was on the last album, only this one is better. Both are simple songs and both were played with absolute professionalism, but "Superheroes" is just a better song, nothing really to do with the quality of the musicianship. It really suits the band better, as picturing Tobi in spandex with a jet pack on, (not unlike Turboman in Arnold Schwarzenegger's all time smash-hit blockbuster holiday classic "Jingle All the Way") fits the band's silly, generally fun lyrical content.
2. "Spooks in the Attic" is a classic catchy Edguy song. The only real difference I notice is a more mechanical keyboard part in the song that is remniscient of some truly classic pompous AOR albums, "Corridor of Windows" by Storyteller comes to mind, as does Millenium (with Lande).
3. "Blessing in Disguise" What can I say? Crappy generic ballad, boring lyrics, boring music. They need to cut this shit out.
4. "Judas at the Opera" Not only the best song on this little EP, but the best song they've ever done. Yes. If they keep up with songs like this, they will soon be the best power metal band to currrently exist, period. They intravenously injected hints of Queen and Meat Loaf into their music here and it's a really beautiful thing, mostly because I like Queen and Meat Loaf.
5. Decent cover of a mediocre Magnum song, but what else can I say? I'm glad this sort of stuff was retained to an EP and not a full-length. It's sort of interesting that they covered a song by Magnum, but aside from that there's really nothing else worth mentioning.
6. A very sensual (yes, sensual) reprise of the title-track. Reminds me of a little Dragonheart diddy called "Heart of a Hero" that was on their recent forgettable effort. Tobi's accent is not nearly as amusing, though. This is mostly a piano song, exactly the same as similar things they've done in the past.
The reason I gave this such a high score and didn't take off points for the three boring songs is because I disregarded them when I wrote the score. I believe that's an acceptable thing to do when we're reviewing an EP.
Yes, that's right folks, the unthinkable has happened. Edguy have started making unoriginal music with poppy choruses.
Oh wait, that started on their demos. Silly me.
Contrary to what other reviewers will have you believe, this is no more "pop bullshit" than any previous Edguy release (whether or not you think that to be the case is immaterial - the change here is minimal).
Edguy have always made Helloween/Iron Maiden worshipping (read: plagiarising) Metal with hook-laden choruses and a healthy dosage of keyboards. That is still the case on this EP, and, while the music on show here is generally more straightforward and more commercial than in the past, it is not a 'sell out', for two reasons.
First - this simplification of the sound down from the more bombastic operatic sound of their first few releases to a more straightforward, almost hard rock, one began not on Superheroes, but the preceding full-length, Hellfire Club. Indeed, the title track is in the same mould as the lead single from that album, King of Fools. If you want to (incorrectly) cry sellout, you've missed the boat by starting on this release.
Second - IT'S A FUCKING EP!!! Normal rules don't apply here, as what we have is essentially a single with additional b-sides.
It is unfortunately quite true that the title track is a tad light on the guitars, much in the same way as King of Fools, but bands are entitled to the Obvious Single on each album I suppose. Spooks in the Attic maintains the Hellfire Club feeling you should get from the first track. Both have ludicrously catchy choruses and more straightforward guitar parts, relying more on Tobias Sammet's vocals to carry the song.
The 'Epic' reprise of Superheroes that closes the EP is just Sammet singing over a piano and some strings. Will he ever again feature on a release where there isn't a song like this? Wouldn't hold your breath. Massive ego aside, its a fairly interesting take on the song that shows that when all's said and done, the little guy really does have an impressive range.
Judas at the Opera features Michael "I hate Metal, but God I really ought to eat this month" Kiske. Comparisons to Avantasia are more than superficial - this song is a throwback to Sammet's wonderful side project and the Vainglory/Theatre years of Edguy. Big, BIG choirs and operatic vocal melodies are order of the day here, and the only drawback (depending on my mood, anyway) is the 'comedy' lyrics. But that's no problem, because this is only a b-side.
The final track worth listening to is The Spirit, a cover of the Magnum song (note to previous reviewer: that's right, a cover. You can't very well rip off a solo if you didn't write the song that it features in now, can you?). This is one of the AOR veterans' better songs, and the cover is adequately, if unimaginatively, executed. The problem is that for this sort of song, Toby's vocals just don't compare to the warm, mature tones of Bob Catley.
The only serious problem with Superheroes is the power ballad Blessing in Disguise. I'm not one of these Metalheads that says all ballads are for pussies, but this is the sort of song that gives people of that mindset ammunition. It's just so devoid of imagination and colour, and the 'emotion' feels awfully forced. A real by-the-numbers effort, and the letdown factor is doubled when you consider Edguy are normally quite good at this sort of thing.
So, conclusions drawn - a decent single that I hope will be bettered by the rest of album it will soon feature on, with a couple of excellent b-sides, a couple of interesting ones, and a stinker.
Top songs: Judas at the Opera, Spooks In The Attic
For fans of: Helloween, HammerFall
7 out of 10.
Yep, this sure as hell is one piece of crap EP. Imagine everything that can possibly be done wrong in modern Power Metal, and then some more. Guitars occuring only occasionally with some decent riffing/shredding (the beginnings of "Spooks in the Attic" with its cool riff and "Judas at the Opera" with some kinda fun shredding come to my mind), while normally, the vocals are WAY overhighlighted, ultra-cheerful and flowery and fluffy and happy and what have you. If that weren't enough to kill the guitars off, lo and behold, for keyboards, kept somewhat low on the last album, are back with a ten-layer-flower-power vengeance! Man, this crap makes Sonata Arctica seem like fucking Dark Angel (and a hell of a lot more musically competent, too).
What's worst are those precious few moments when you think this album is going somewhere, ANYWHERE, metal. I mentioned a promising intro: "Spooks in the Attic" is total Gamma Ray worship - for like ten seconds, then keyboars start their first guitar-slaughtering assault. The verses are actually decent and and feature some kinda cool leads (again, pure Gamma Ray worship) - but then, the chorus is hideous five-vocal-lines-with-twenty-keyboard-layers poppy crap. And this is even one of the better songs on here!
A few comments on the other tracks, then. The opening title track is a bullshit poppy anthem. Blessing in Disguise is a bullshit poppy ballad. Judas in the Opera starts with some fun shredding that reminds me immensely of some other band (probably Gamma Ray again) - then the guitars are dropped entirely in the verses! The chorus is yet more poppy shit. We've got dull middle bits and pieces thrown together trying to make this an epic track - a lame slow piece frrom about 2:23 on, a lame fifty-second-ambient bit right in the middle of the song, then some slight return to the song (there's even a guitar to be heard, HURRAY!), a pointless noodling solo, more keyboards, more poppy vocals. Nope, the Piper Never Dies, this is not, nor even really epic at all.
The Spirit is quite possibly the least bad track, in that it is low on keyboards, the chorus isn't near as horrifyingly overdone as on the other tracks, and it's actually the most guitar-oriented song - then again, if an acoustic half-ballad is your most metal and guitar-driven song, that doesn't speak well for your release.
The "Epic Version" of "Superheroes" is actually more of an ultra-ballad version. And the worst thing, it's in fact less bad than the normal title track - I guess it's simply because it's not near as uber-cheerful or uber-dubbed, and there's just some simple piano and ambient keys rather than all that ten-layer-crap, and no five-line-pop-chorus either - Tobi actually tries to sing here, placed on his own. That said, it's still pretty fucking lame, just not godawfully terrible.
Oh yeah, appearantly Michael Kiske is somewhere on this album. You might find him in one of the 5+ simultaneous vocal lines. I didn't.
There are a few decent moments on this EP and one kinda okay song, but the bulk of it is pretty much trapped within piles of overproduced poppy crap. Overall, this is barely Metal at all, more like Pop Rock with a lot of keyboards, and after Hellfire Club, the band's heaviest and best album so far, it isn't just a disappointment, it's absolutely fucking horrible. Whether you like Edguy or not, stay away from it, and pretend it never existed. And be wary about the band's next album, too.