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With their last three albums, acknowledged German power metallers Edguy have been drifting further from their old style. They've been moving towards rock, and not always very hard one. To me, that didn't matter, because 2004 album 'Hellfire Club' was my first proper contact with the band. That album is pretty awesome, as is the 2006 one, 'Rocket Ride'.
Come year 2008 and 'Tinnitus Sanctus' was unleashed. Just like two previous albums, it also received more flak than praise. I got it only in April 2010, because I was not impressed with its video clip of rocker 'Ministry of Saints'. Anyways, now I think that this opener is easily one of the few highlights of the album. It is continuation to the band's style from previous two albums, even though at first it sounds like lighter version of Black Label Society, but soon it enters highly catchy territory similar to 'Rocket Ride's 'Catch of the Century' or something. But... Boring, overlong (but some bass patterns are still lovely, gotta admit that) 'Sex Fire Religion' sounds even more American. However,both of the songs feature familiar Edguy choruses. Have Edguy mutated into a rock band?!
Not totally, but would that be too bad when thinking what's up on their sleeves next? 'The Pride of Creation' is like happy-shabby Van Halen crap with a HIM moment in the middle before the only good part of the song where they decide to go heavy metal. A very, very annoying song, as it simply features too many different styles in one, period. And thus far, so seems the album, too. 'Nine Lives' is like ABBA gone to rock, with modern chugga-chugga riffing. 'Wake up Dreaming Black' is closer to two previous albums' stuff again, being a catchier song, but again, also much more American with its slide guitar stuff. At least no modern riffage...
'Dragonfly'; rock with big chorus, which is one of the few shining moments on the album. How close do Edguy and Avantasia get, hehe. 'Thorn without Rose'; another typical ballad-esque song with 80's pantyhose rock chorus which is just too sugary for me. '9-2-9' is an okay rocker. Then comes 'Speedhoven' and... Heck, it's power metal, Edguy style! At least the beginning and the solo part at the end, but boring slow part in the middle. Its chorus shows what they really can do, if they want to. That was the metal stuff then, as 'Dead or Rock' is a bluesy, partly AC/DC-esque rock song and 'Aren't You a Little Pervert too?' is a "humorous" country song!
There you have it: 'Tinnitus Sanctus' is a hard rock album with some metal parts and bits. Here we have another case of "change your style, then change your name too". I have to admit, that songs are mostly very catchy, but that's because they are so simple. There are no many of those "oh yes!" moments that I usually get when listening to Edguy's previous releases.
Instrumentation is, albeit competent, mainly basic and typical. Double kick drumming is getting rarer and rarer in Edguy's repertoire... Vocalist Tobias Sammet, who wrote all the music (Edguy and Avantasia are getting really badly tangled up in his head, if you ask me), does his job as expected: He is a fantastic and characteristic vocalist, with a vibrating, loud voice. He's also a good lyricist, apart from his horny lyrics which are just naïve. The production is punchy, and of course varies a bit depending on style of current song. There's much more happening than on average rock album. It is a lot more organic than some works by Sascha Paeth.
Easy listening stuff, this. Hard rock album from guys this time around, maybe a metal album next? Why? Because it would be much more interesting than this for sure.
(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2010)