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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.