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This early record of "Edguy" was the beginning of their future rise to fame and I think that those youngsters really worked hard for it and merited the success after this outstanding album. "Vain glory opera" unites anything a strong power metal album needs and the only thing one could criticize in here is that the band is not yet unique enough and is clearly influenced by the metal and hard rock universe of the late eighties with bands such as "Helloween", "Europe" and "Scorpions". Maybe that's the reason why the genre giants Timo Tolkki from "Stratovarius" and Hansi Kürsch from "Blind Guardian" made amongst others a guest apparition on this strong album to support and lead the young musicians into the right lane. But one can already hear the high technical and creative potential of singer Tobias Sammet and in my opinion it's better to get some great inspirations from other bands instead of starting creatings its own style in a hurry.
One of the strongest points of this record is the catchiness of the songs. Once you have heard the charismatic "Out of control" where Sammet and Kürsch sing brilliantly together or the hard rock opera orientated title track "Vain Glory Opera" with its unique keyboard introduction, those songs will never let you go and be saved on your mind eternally. Until today one couldn't imagine a concert from those guys without those amazing hits. Compared to those two masterpieces, the other songs can't keep up with them but that doesn't mean that they are still very good. The catchy "How many miles" that almost reaches the high quality of the mentioned two songs, the epic and somewhat melancholic "Fairytale" and the cheesy but effective ballad "Scarlet Rose" are all well done and give a good hint concerning the future direction of the band. With the surprisingly hard, thrashing and quite diversified "No more fooling" we have got at least one surprise on the record. That's what I call a special song and a hidden gem for insiders.
If you like cheesy power metal and hard rock from the eighties adapted in a fresh and diversified way, this album is made for you. It is not yet as outstanding and unique as later releases by Edguy but anybody that likes the band will appreciate this record and it's interesting to take a look at their roots and first steps. Some lyrics are still cheesy and some songs are rather predictable and mediocre, especially the three ballads, but the very strong killers "Vain glory opera", "Out of control" as well as "How many miles" and the surprising "No more fooling" are worth purchasing this record and pardon for some mediocrity in the rest of the record. The clear thing is that those guys learned on this album how to write catchy songs and be more precise in their song structures.