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Classic Fun Edguy - 85%

TrooperOfSteel, April 10th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2014, 2CD, Nuclear Blast (Limited edition, Digibook)

Edguy, the self-proclaimed jesters of the metal community, have been doing their own thing and loving it ever since their first release back in 1997. The once straight-backed band of young bright-eyed musicians have been together for such a long time, and I put their laid back, non-serious, take the piss and overall fun attitude towards their music as the main factors of their longevity.

While some fans didn’t like the change of direction the band took, particularly with their 'Rocket Ride' album in 2006, preferring the more traditional European power metal sound of releases like 'Vain Glory Opera' and 'Theater of Salvation', it is really Edguy who is calling the shots, fronted by the young-at-heart Tobias Sammet; their wacky and unique hard rock infused power/traditional metal style is here to stay.

And what’s not to love? Their music is well-written, crafty and, most importantly, delivered with extreme talent and the entertainment value is second to none. Edguy’s songs are memorable and catchy and stay in your head long after the CD has stopped spinning. Continuing the trend that 'Hellfire Club' started to go down and which 'Rocket Ride' cemented, Edguy’s latest release, 'Space Police - Defenders of the Crown' is another wonderful collaboration of songs, mixing up the band’s last 10 years of sounds.

Tobias Sammet is a wonderful entertainer. Having seen them live a few years ago, he has the crowd in the palm of his hand like a comedian delivering the right jokes to the right audience. He is also an extremely dedicated musician and creative song-writer whom I admire greatly. At just 36 years of age (at the time of this review), Sammet through Edguy and also his other band Avantasia, has released a total of 16 albums (not including the demo CD 'Savage Poetry'), beginning when he was just 20 years old with the 'Kingdom of Madness' album back in 1997. I don’t know anyone else in these modern times that can say they have 16 albums under their belt at age 36.

So, onto the latest album, 'Space Police - Defenders of the Crown' is a damn fine release, right up there in terms of quality and better consistency than with 'Age of the Joker' and possibly also 'Tinnitus Sanctus'. Where those two albums lacked in having maybe one or two more killer tracks; 'Space Police' more than makes up for it. Whether fans prefer their 'Hellfire Club' style (with one foot in both the old and new), or the fully entrenched hard rock/metal stylings of 'Rocket Ride', this new Edguy album has something for everyone.

Despite the album lacking a touch of direction, which has never been Sammet’s strong suit, all songs are somewhat diverse having different tempos and identities. And of course it wouldn’t be a complete Edguy album without a few humorous tracks and track-titles, including a cover of Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus”, an ‘80s pop one hit wonder song that went to #1 in numerous countries in Europe and also the USA, New Zealand and South Africa. The song itself has Edguy written all over it and it’s actually a great rendition of the original, despite it being used as a humorous track in the same vein as “Trinidad”.

Of course it wouldn’t be an Edguy album without the mandatory ballad, with “Alone in Myself” not as soppy as normal Edguy ballads, but still in the same vein as “Wash Away the Poison”, “Forever”, “Land of the Miracle”, “Save Me”, and “Thorn Without a Rose” to name a few. The tracks on the new album aren’t all stripped down to the melodic hard rock styles of 'Rocket Ride', with the possible exception of “Love Tyger”, which has 'Rocket Ride' splashed all over it, with its catchy sing-a-long chorus, Tobi’s typical goofy lyrics and ‘80s hair metal vibe (Poison, anyone?).

The final track, “The Eternal Wayfarer”, is a mid-paced melodic rocker that is again Edguy in a nutshell when it comes to their lengthier songs, however would have slotted in nicely on their 'Rocket Ride' album. The most ferocious and hard-hitting track on the disc (and my personal best song) is the powerful and speedy opener “Sabre & Torch”, which ranks right up there in the top Edguy tracks of all time and almost reaches back structure-wise and sound-wise to possibly 'Mandrake'. It also goes to show that Edguy are still the masters at creating some real kick ass songs that are memorable, catchy and perfectly executed.

What it comes down to here is that when you get an Edguy album, you’re going to be entertained to no end and hearing the album will be a great enjoyment to you, no matter how many times you play it. Edguy fans know this, but does being entertained equal a good album? In this case, hell yes it does - 'Space Police' surpasses 'Age of the Joker' convincingly and also comes out on top over 'Tinnitus Sanctus' as well. Why? Well the songs are just that much better in quality aspects, while the whole album has a relaxed feel where the songs flow smoothly and you can hear that the band had fun while making the album. Edguy fans that enjoyed 'Hellfire Club', 'Rocket Ride' and everything since will immensely enjoy 'Space Police', while those more inclined to gravitate to the earlier albums may have to hear it before deciding to part with your hard earned dosh.

Originally written for

Hooray! It's Not Shit! - 79%

Larry6990, November 6th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Nuclear Blast

Many of Tobias Sammet's die-hard fans have been worried in recent years. Not that his song-writing talent had decreased, but more that he'd lost his grip on the blazing symphonic power metal he was capable of producing in the late 90s/early 00s, and turned to a more AOR-esque style of hard rock. This would be fine if the excellent song-writing shined through. But the new style overshadowed and engulfed Sammet's music, bringing with it a hype of negativity from most audiences. Both "Tinnitus Sanctus" and "Age of the Joker" were...mediocre. Not bad. Not good. Just frustratingly average. The same can be said for his Avantasia project.

However, the time has come... The fanbase can begin to pick up their metaphorical pom-poms and cheer with encouragement. Edguy's newest offering, the humorously-titled "Space Police - Defenders of the Crown" isn't exactly brimming with euro-power brilliance, but it's certainly pushing things in the right direction. Whereas "Age of the Joker" only contained a select few tracks which hearkened back to glory days. This new outing sees that classic German power metal atmosphere sprinkled lightly and consistently across all 10 tracks. Let's not forget Tobias Sammet's unmistakable sense of humour, which is also spread out evenly among the contents of this album.

"Sabre & Torch" kicks things off in real style. Bursting in with a headbang-worthy riff straight out of "Hellfire Club" - this opener refuses to relinquish your attention from the memorable hooks and anthemic chorus. The next two tracks follow suit with well-written choruses and excellent keyboard-driven melodies: "Defenders of the Crown" definitely being the track to take the listener right back to the days of "Kingdom of Madness". The glam and hard rock influences are made more apparent on the next two tracks: "Love Tyger" and "The Realms of Baba Yaga". Though the texture is certainly diluted, these songs are bright, vibrant and brimming with a youthful energy that is unmistakably Edguy.

The closing epic "The Eternal Wayfarer", the broody groove of the amusing "Do Me Like A Caveman", and the balladic "Alone In Myself" all have their faults and charms - resulting in a slight dip in quality towards the album's close. But the absolute highlight of this new release has to be the cover of Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus". Could there possibly be a better choice of song for Sammet and co. to cover? The Austrian classic is done satisfiable justice, and then given a metallic edge to really add some gravitas - totally infectious!

The production isn't quite perfect; the guitars could certainly do with being beefed up slightly, preferably with a more audible bass sound - but at least Tobi's incomparable vocals shine through like the sun. The artwork is fantastic - continuing the cartoon-esque theme which started with 2006's "Rocket Ride" and was further established on 2011's "Age of the Joker". The liner notes are also hilarious, and give you a great insight into the work ethic of this unique bunch of Germans: "You should see him [Felix, drummer]. Soooooo cute!"

It's not a perfect package...not yet. But "Space Police" is a massive improvement on the previous two albums - and shows potential to not only relive the power metal days of yore, but to also engrave its own style upon the legacy of Edguy; leaving room for even more diverse music on future releases. Here's to one satisfied customer, and here's to the next Avantasia! Because things are looking up indeed.

We're riding out, pass by the moon.
Bird's eye view on the universe.
We're all about breaking the rules.
"Freeze!" goes the Space Police!

Edguy decides to stop screwing around, sort of. - 73%

hells_unicorn, June 5th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Nuclear Blast

The deeds of Edguy, or antics depending on one's sense of taste, are perhaps a bit too well documented. At the beginning, it was definitely geared more towards the former for those who enjoyed a power metal experience, though it was definitely high derivative of the established paradigm set by Helloween during the late 80s. But somewhere in the mid 2000s these mad Germans decided to get goofy in a way not even explored by their fore-bearers at their most buffoonish on "Pink Bubbles Go Ape" and "Chameleon", starting with a lackluster yet still largely metallic "Hellfire Club". From there on in, largely at the direction of front man Tobias Sammet, the same outfit the delivered a few fits of genius in "Theater Of Salvation" and "Mandrake" took a massive downward plunge on this end of things, to speak nothing for some of the utterly tepid pop/rock fluff put out on his Avantasia project that couldn't be saved by a veritable laundry list of star power.

To be fair, not all of this can be laid on Tobi's head, as producer Sascha Paeth approved of and probably helped shape the final product, particularly the limp guitar sound. A fold lives and dies by the collective efforts of its various moving parts, though Mr. Sammet definitely goes out of his way to be the chief attraction. In keeping with this, it's a foregone conclusion that this outfit never really forgot how to play solid power metal, but elected to experiment a bit and play to the sensibilities of a crowd that was going for a more AOR infused sound. Consequently, things have gotten back on the right track with the recent release of "Space Police - Defenders Of The Crown", a lyrically campy affair with plenty of slapstick lyrics and awkward titles, but at least something that reminisces a bit more closely to a better time in the early 2000s, namely a tighter arrangement, better production, and some better songwriting.

At first glance, this album seems to want to channel a fair amount of the band's early sound while still staying within the confines of the "Hellfire Club" paradigm. It's better produced than the aforementioned hit of miss affair, and it showcases a vocal performance that's a bit leaner, meaner, and mercifully much cleaner. The riff work ranges from simplified rock anthem chugs as on the fun yet goofy single "Love Tyger" and the longer yet still mid-paced "Space Police", the latter of which sounds like a better version of "King Of Fools", to some fancier work on "Defenders Of The Crown" and "Shadow Eaters", each one seeming to channel the speeding battery of "Mandrake" while not quite getting dark enough and falling somewhere between said 2001 masterpiece and their 2004 shift "Hellfire Club". All the while, the songwriting proves to be simple verse/chorus with the occasional solo fair, barring the closing epic "The Eternal Wayfarer" which channels the slower rocking character of "The Piper Never Dies" minus the Hammond organ and plus a smattering of Mid-east influences, a keyboard theme mildly in the mold of Avantasia's "Sign Of The Cross" and a slightly heavier guitar stomp.

Though a much needed and welcome return to form, this album does come up a bit short in a few key areas, namely the ongoing insistence on playing to popular culture a bit too much and avoiding an outright metallic character as heard on their pre-2003 material. Likewise, the balladry of "Alone In Myself" and the frolicking mid-tempo buffoonery of "Love Me Like A Caveman" doesn't quite hit the intended mark and come off as contrived. The mold of power metal at work here is supposed to have a feel good quality to it, but the execution is still a little too close to the annoying "Lavatory Love Machine" and "Fucking With Fire" nonsense to really resurrect the old magic. It's clear that Tobi and company were looking at mending some old bridges with older fans, but it doesn't quite go that extra needed mile. It's a fun album, no doubt about it, but these space cops need to push a little harder to get out of the solar system.

Space Police - Defenders of the Crown - 80%

Nifldreki, May 25th, 2014

The undisputed fact is that power metal, or any of its subordinate genres, isn’t even close to my favorite style of music. Actually, I’d state that it’s generally speaking one of those genres that tend to nauseate me when making its way to my consciousness through my ears’ auditory canals. But still there are some exceptions that confirm this rule, and Edguy is one of those special cases. Seriously, this goofy German group of five has always had a certain place in my heart.

After the magnificent and almost heavenly Hellfire Club (which is now a decade-old record, time flies…) Edguy greeted their fans with Rocket Ride; an album sounding just fair and decent at best, being mostly an irrelevant junk pile of hard rock-ish B-class heavy metal songs. “Is this the point where the road starts just leaning downwards?” was the question on my mind when trying to get a grip from the throat of their tour de force ’06. Well, after the two horrible pieces of cat crap in the form of sleazy music that followed, I was ready to bury these jokers so deep that even grave robbers couldn’t find them.

Almost three years passed by, and a news thread was read, telling about Edguy releasing a new full-length. At first, not a single fuck was given, but thankfully a friend of mine with very similar concerns about the band sent me a message with a single phrase: “This new album is surprisingly good!” – and now, here I am, writing about the best Edguy work in ten years. Everything I’ve ever loved about them is back in the forefront; the energy, the attitude and, most importantly, great music. I don’t really know what drugs these guys have been using during the past three years, but they surely were needed!

Space Police gets a fiery start with “Sabre & Torch,” containing some riffs borrowed from classic thrash metal albums, and at the same time being the heaviest song in the band’s catalogue in a long time. After this, the album delivers us four songs balancing between power metal and hard rock, bringing some old and traditional Edguy vibes to the table as well as some fresh and unconventional solutions that really keep the game interesting. For example, the third song “Defenders of the Crown,” a perfect triplet-strike ass kicker, sounds just like the material released before the new millennium, but still manages to be more than a rip-off of their own production. It’s also nice to notice that Tobias Sammet is still able to write five songs in a row with laughably good choruses and melodies that make the listener push the repeat button again and again.

After the first half of the ten tracks has passed us by, Space Police sadly makes a little plunge, as the honor of the sixth song is given to a Falco cover, “Rock Me Amadeus.” Its choruses are quite catchy and at least entertaining, but Sammet’s singing on the verses is just horrible. Actually, I’m not even certain if anybody should call it singing, because it sounds more like he’s having some kind of sudden illness, or trying to make rap rhymes without teeth. After more than ten listens, it still remains a mystery to me what the heck the guy had been trying to achieve with his weird and disturbing gagging. Yeah, I know very well that Edguy is a band that values humor, but come on… there has to be a line to draw at some point.

Between the discordant cover track and the grand finale, there are three songs giving flashbacks of Rocket Ride and its numbing dullness. They really don’t have anything that would make me feel any emotions, nor is there anything of value to say about them. When listening to the album for the first time, I got a little bit scared that Space Police would have an ending that wouldn’t do any justice to its great start. But lo and behold! The finishing song “The Eternal Wayfarer” is without any doubt the best one of the bunch, and if the power to choose the songs for an Edguy compilation would be given to me, this piece of art would definitely be there. The composition is every bit as epic and glorious as anybody should expect from the closing track of a power metal album. Again, the choruses are the best parts, and the theme melody is just as impressive in all its simplicity and potential. In the middle, we’re served guitar solos played with such talent and delicacy that they just demand you to revel in their excellence. This is how you create diamonds, people!

It must be admitted that the album has its flaws, but when measuring the pros and cons, this release is far above mediocrity. It’s not on the same line with Hellfire Club, Mandrake, or any 90’s full-length by the group (whether to count Savage Poetry in this list is up to you), but it sure is hundreds of times better than the previous three albums. Ladies and gentlemen, Edguy is back!

Originally written for Enslain webzine:

A return to form - 83%

kluseba, May 10th, 2014

Edguy was one of those bands that introduced me to metal music one decade ago and I consider myself a big fan of the band who has purchased not only all their regular studio albums but also all live records and numerous EPs. I must though admit that I didn’t like the last two studio records that sounded more like a mixture of old fashioned radio hard rock tracks and exchangeable Avantasia leftovers. Avantasia seemed to become Tobias Sammet’s main concern and Edguy really suffered from this. I was hoping that he would take a creative break and put the Avantasia project aside but Tobias Sammet simply can’t stop writing, recording and releasing music. To my surprise, both Avantasia and Edguy are back from the edge and released two convincing records with “The Mystery Of Time” for the former and “Space Police – Defenders Of The Crown” for the latter. Edguy’s new record goes back to the style of “Rocket Ride” and is pretty much as good as that album or even slightly better.

The band did a wise decision to open the record with “Sabre & Torch” and to present this song as first track from the record instead of a half-hearted ballad, a seventies’ hard rock track or a weird song with even weirder humour. “Sabre & Torch” conquered me by storm and it’s my favourite song from the new album. It’s Edguy’s best song since the epic “Sacrifice” eight years earlier. The song features sharp and speedy riffs, a few cool keyboard passages and aggressive high pitched vocals crowned by a simplistic but effective chorus that will conquer the masses by storm. If Edguy come back to North America anytime soon, I already know that I will go absolutely insane to this song in concert. This track reunites everything that represents a great European power metal song for me. Okay, the vocals sound a little bit forced at some point but that’s the only negative thing to say about this killer anthem. This is a precious candidate for my favourite song of the year. Why couldn’t they release an entire record with songs like this one?

The rest of the record is obviously not as great as the opener but it’s still quite good. “Space Police” is a lot slower and more melodic, the lyrics, the humorous bridge and the funny sound effects are a little bit goofy but the chorus is incredibly catchy and the diversified track can be called a true fun anthem. “Defenders Of The Crown” goes back to the power metal style of the past. Tobias Sammet does a diversified vocal performance on here and the simplistic but epic chorus will surely find its place in the set lists for the future live concerts. It’s a true pleasure to hear Edguy go back to its roots even though this song sounds a little bit too much like HammerFall. The following single “Love Tyger” is a funny glam rock track. I’m not a big fan of that genre but as a little change, this track works very well and sounds quite fresh. “The Realms Of Baba Yaga” is a cool mixture of hard rock and power metal and takes the better elements from both genres to fusion them to a powerful epic of six minutes.

Then comes a song that is quite hard to judge for me. It kicks off the second half of the record that isn’t as good as the first one in my opinion but still okay. Edguy offer us a cover version. The original song is extremely well known and was originally performed by legendary Austrian singer Falco who mixed pop and rock elements with his unique rap passages. How would Sammet manage to perform the original rap flow with strong Austrian accent and German lyrics? It’s in fact the first time Edguy performs a song in German since the very cool demo song “Das Reh”. I must admit that I didn’t quite like this cover song at first because it is too close to the original to stand out and the vocal parts are not very well mixed and hard to understand. The more I listen to the song, I realize that Edguy simply had tons of fun while recording this track and even though this song is far from perfection, the band’s good humour is somehow contagious. In the end, I don’t adore this song but I don’t hate it either. It’s in fact better than what I expected which is a good sign.

“Do Me Like A Caveman” took me a little bit by surprise. I was expecting a humorous hard rock track with nasty lyrics but the final result sounds a little bit like a HIM track with higher vocals. Once again, it’s not as bad as I expected when I first saw the title. It’s not a strong track but it works well as a cheesy and more commercial track in the album context. “Shadow Eaters” is another vivid power metal driven track with great melancholic vocals. It’s not a standout song but the most promising grower on the album. “Alone In Myself” is the predictable ballad that Edguy needs to include on each record. To my surprise, the ballad has a certain atmosphere with a strong eighties rock feeling, decent organ sounds and enchanting vocals and is much better than the last few songs of that kind offered by the band. It’s still one of the weaker tracks on this album and reminds me of Bon Jovi but once again, it sounds much better than I expected. The closing nine-minute epic “The Eternal Wayfarer” sounds like a mixture of Avantasia’s “Sign Of The Cross” and Edguy’s “The Piper Never Dies” with a few oriental sound samples. No, this is not original at all. As I enjoy both songs I also enjoy this track even though it’s maybe a few minutes too long for its own good. It’s a good closer of an overall very good album.

Let me tell you that the limited version is really not worth your attention or money. “England” is a boring piano ballad with pseudo-funny lyrics. “Aychim In Hysteria” sounds like The Police meets Wham!. This is definitely not my cup of tea. The alternative versions and instrumental tracks are completely useless as well. It’s even hard to convince a collector like me to purchase this edition. At least, the cover artwork is not that much of an abomination as the original one and we get to see a few more photos. I know these are rather weak reasons but I’m trying to convince myself right now.

In the end, “Space Police – Defenders Of The Crown” is a welcome return to form for Edguy. The new record doesn’t really surprise us or introduces us to something new but it goes back to the strengths that made Edguy so popular with records such as “Hellfire Club” and “Rocket Ride”. Edguy neither sounds like an Avantasia side project nor like an old-fashioned hard rock band anymore. This is a power metal record with a couple of truly amazing songs. Above all, “Sabre & Torch” is the best Edguy track in eight years and the album offers more amazing tracks like “Defenders Of The Crown” or “Shadow Eaters”. Even the weaker tracks on here like “Do Me Like A Caveman” or “Alone In Myself” still sound rather good to me. I’m really glad Edguy are back.

On the finer side of hard rock/power - 75%

imcominforyou, April 26th, 2014

Reports of this album’s power metal roots have been greatly exaggerated. I’m not one of those purists (read: elitists) who decries a band when their sound changes or someone who clings onto the early Edguy albums as gospel. Aside from a fair amount of singles and isolated album listens, Edguy’s new album, Space Police - Defenders of the Crown, is my first real exposure to the band. I’ve heard the horror with which people detest the newer hard rock efforts of the band, and I’ve heard the general distaste with which people regard Tobias’ new lyrical motifs. Frankly, I don’t understand those opinions.

Just to get this out of the way, “Defenders of the Crown” and “Shadow Eaters” are the standout power metal tracks, complete with speed, catchiness, and soaring choruses. They wouldn’t be amiss on an Avantasia album, and the latter is my favorite of the album where it just seems that the band lets free on all fronts. Both tracks are undeniably going to wriggle their way to earworm status for all listeners, but it’s the hard rock in between that really seems to polarize this release.

Everything seems promising enough until you have a double take on “Space Police” when you hear Tobias doing his hilarious and unintentional mimicry of Focus. Fortunately for everyone, this is only a momentary hiccup, because despite the cringing that you bear witness to when listening to that portion of the song, the rest of the song remains focused and catchy, with an almost-anthemic chorus. The real pitfall of the album first arrives with “Love Tyger”, one of the blandest and most generic hard rock songs anyone could possibly come up. Tobias pulls off his best Brian Johnson voice, along with the trademark AC/DC riffing, to pull off an absolute borefest. Quite conversely, “The Realms of Baba Yaga” and “Do Me Like A Caveman” prove to be the best hard rock styled tracks on the album, with their memorable hooks, furious solos, and engaging structure. Tobias’ raspy delivery actually isn’t out of place on these tracks, and the songwriting doesn’t seem as phoned in as earlier.

The insanely catchy cover of Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” provides some well-placed comic relief, or at least I hope it’s intended to, but the ballad rock song of the album, “Alone In Myself” and the subsequent “epic” of the album, “The Eternal Wayfarer” are rather monotonous and tedious to stick out all the way through. The latter overstays its welcome tremendously, and the former never creates an identity for itself. I can say without any hesitation that were it not for the current production and mixing standards, a lot of the portions of the album would not be amiss on an AC/DC or Journey B-side. That level of erratic genre-shifting just isn’t going to work to your favor, and dividing the fanbase within an album isn’t wise musicianship.

There’s more than enough excellent material on this album for me to recommend it to an Edguy fan. There’s also more than enough excellent material on this album for me to recommend it to a power metal fan. However, that recommendation would be brimming with disclaimers and warnings as to what to avoid and what to listen to. This isn’t the return to form that many probably hoped form, but, nonetheless, it’s a fine release in the ever-divisive discography of Edguy.

Written for The Metal Observer...See More

Just Plain Fun...With Amazing Songwriting - 90%

mjollnir, April 25th, 2014

I've been a fan of this band since 1998 after hearing Kingdom of Madness and loving it. I have followed this band's career closely and have seen them a few times...even going as far as seeing them twice in a matter of days back in 2004. I have followed the career of their frontman, band comedian, and all around main figure of the band, Tobias Sammet and his Avantasia metal opera series. I've not been too impressed with their most recent outputs. I don't hate them, I'm actually indifferent to these albums because there just wasn't enough to keep me interested. So now we have their brand new album, strangely titled Space Police - Defenders of the Crown and it seems they have found a working formula.

I'm sure that there is an underlying humorous meaning to the title given the fact that Tobias is a major jokester. This album did have some teasers released and these songs were quite good with a mixture of classic Edguy and some elements of their past three. The opener, "Sabre & Torch" is one of those teasers and is the perfect Edguy album opener. This song is a classic power metal song that's full of energy and melody with some kick ass riffing to get the ball rolling. Tobias' voice is in top form and he seems to be singing in a higher range on this one. The chorus with the backing vocals and melodies are catchy as fuck. This is already one of my all time favorite Edguy's that catchy. These guys really know how to write good power metal songs and there's no shortage on this album. "Defenders of the Crown" is another fast paced power metal song that's classic Edguy. Catchy, melodic and full of hooks this song is a heavy metal anthem for the millennium. "The Realms of Baba Yaga" is another of those rocking riff laden power metal songs that has a godly solo in there making this song that much better. "Shadow Eaters" is another one of those songs that just kicks your ass with speed, melody and riffs-o-plenty. The slower mid section of the song leads to the solo and the solos on this album really shine.

There's also songs on here that touch more on the hard rock side that the band has been flirting with for the past few albums. "Space Police" is a perfect example of how the band mixes in that sound with even some heavy chug sounding riffs. The keyboards are used more in this song in an almost cheesy way. The chorus is really good on this song and you will find yourself singing along without even knowing it. This song could have come out any time in the 80s. "Love Tyger" is a fucking hair metal song but for some reason Edguy pull it off. Some of the riffs remind me of something Lillian Axe put out back in the day and the chorus has more cheese than Wisconsin but it works because the song is just plain fun. And with keeping with Edguy humor, the same band that gave you "Lavatory Love Machine" brings you "Do Me Like a Caveman!" That Tobais, always the joker. This is actually a good song, though. It's actually the most non metal song on the album but it's written well and is catchy. Of course, there is the obligatory ballad, "Alone in Myself." It's not that it's that bad but it just seems that metal ballads are just not what they use to be. This is one of the better ones and it almost sounds like a modern Bon Jovi song. The keyboards actually make this song.

For the grand finale we have "The Eternal Wayfarer," which is a massive eight minute epic number. This song reminds me of a cross between "The Pharaoh" and "The Piper Never Dies" as it has the epic riffing and melodies. There's even some eastern sounding parts before the huge chorus that's just epic. The keyboards on this one are in the proto metal style that could have been done by Jon Lord and the solo is a crusher and they also have a counterpoint vocal part that screams Savatage. This is power metal meets arena rock and it's done with style and finesse. There's cheese here but only enough to be nostalgic. This is a fun album with great songwriting and musicianship that borders on perfect. The only downside is the cover of Falco cover "Rock Me Amadeus" which is a song I've hated since it came out so I can't hold that against the band. If you are an Edguy fan then you must have this album. If you are a fan of just plain fun heavy metal than this is a must have. Actually, if you have a pulse than you must have this album!

Space police took my weed and did it themselves - 78%

Empyreal, April 25th, 2014

Tobias Sammet is kind of the 800 pound gorilla in the room so far as metal goes these days. As much as some people hate his recent work, he’s just got too much talent and style to really just ignore and shoo away like an annoying fly (not like, say, Geoff Tate or something) – he keeps coming out with new, bigger and better stuff all the time, more grandiose, more ridiculous.

Even when he puts out a song like “Love Tyger,” with its self-indulgent lyrics and goofy 80s cock rock posturing, or mixes up an album half-full of heavy as fuck, galloping power metal with a cover of “Rock me Amadeus” – you can’t just sweep him under the rug. Because it’s just too fucking good. Even those who don’t like it, well, they’re participating anyway just by paying attention! It’s just such a piss take because Tobi writes such consistently energized, fun, good music, but on new album Space Police – Defenders of the Crown particularly, he’s almost trolling his audience.

Not that I’m complaining. This is a hilarious album, starting with the amazingly corny cover art and going down from there. They’ve really amped up the comedy on this and honed their ability to make funny metal that isn’t just a weak-ass parody of the genre. The music is as good as ever – chugging guitars, soaring leads, double bass drums and 80s style keys – but the attitude is pure kitsch hilarity. Listen to the end of double-bass speedster “Defenders of the Crown” – goofy maniacal laughter followed by Tobi intoning “WE WILL EAT YOU!” Then the song is over. Or the other title track “Space Police” – with its bouncy 80s synths and staccato riffing over lyrics telling us we’re making a fool of ourselves and crossing the intergalactic Space Police of the title. The song ends with a shout of “Freeze! Space police!” followed by laser gun sounds.

It’s hysterical. They’ve mastered the art of doing comedy-infused metal where neither side is done poorly. I mean, if you’re going to write about fantasy and sci fi themes, what the fuck’s wrong with taking a goofy slant on it? Not like you’re going to hurt anybody. Nobody's gonna be offended if you take the piss on fantasy and sci fi shit. It’s kitsch by nature. Edguy knows that and takes advantage of it like a lawyer on the 18th hole with your local congressman.

The claims of a return to Mandrake and Hellfire Club style are actually pretty accurate. They’ve lost a lot of the hard rock influence from Tinnitus Sanctus and this is a more immediate, digestible album than Age of the Joker. Songs like “Shadow Eaters” and “Do Me Like a Caveman” are packed with old school power metal melody and Tobi trades in his Bon Joviesque croon for a power metal wail, and pounding opener “Sabre & Torch” is right off of Hellfire Club with its gritty guitars and high pitched vocal performance. “The Realms of Baba Yaga” listens like something off of their most recent albums with a more aggressive and present guitar performance – plus Tobi cackling like a witch and then howling like Bruce Dickinson at the end. Fucking awesome. Maybe the best song on here.

Overall I don’t find this as engaging as their previous two albums – in particular it lacks the epic sweep of Age of the Joker, an album I thought was a “once in a lifetime” thing they may never top. However it is a more agreeable and digestible album, shorter in length and more conventional, and there are benefits to that too. It’s a fun album, and the band sounds comfortable in their own skin – a virtue many people don’t seem to recognize as a huge plus. While there are no songs as good as "Pandora's Box" or "Breathe," and although the ballad here can't touch "Every Night Without You," every song is solid, and I can listen to this and enjoy it all the way through. Sometimes a solid, consistent experience like that is just what you need.

Fans of the old stuff will like Space Police better than recent albums, as it is heavier, more melodic in a power metal way and more traditional. Me, I don’t think it’s quite as good. However I’m still playing it like it’s aural crack, so I can’t complain. Go get it if you’ll like it; you know who you are.