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The second coming - 75%

LordAquila, March 8th, 2012

Rerecordings are often scolded for pissing all over their source, because modern things are stupid and the eighties were the best thing ever to happen to anyone. Or less drastically put, metalheads are a nostalgic lot and put a lot of stake in the original material, not some polished up version, but in some cases it has yielded nice results. Gamma Ray did some excellent work with Blast From The Past, replacing Ralf Scheepers with Kai Hansen on some of the older tunes, and early 2012 Blind Guardian updated their classic epic “And Then There Was Silence” to a much more satisfactory end product.

But we are here to talk about Edguy and the second coming of The Savage Poetry. The five from Fulda had no evil commercial intentions at heart, or they would’ve held on to the three remaining copies of the first Savage Poetry and sold them for ridiculously high prices to oil barons at auctions. It was by popular demand that they rearranged and rerecorded the whole debut, because they felt it was just too shit to simply burn onto a new disc. If you want to quote me on that, go ahead, it’s right there in the booklet, in CAPS LOCK nonetheless, so it must be serious.

The idea to do a makeover came at the best opportune time. In the wake of Theater Of Salvation, Edguy was at the height of their power metal career and I doubt they could’ve achieved the same greatness if they did this after Rocket Ride. It made perfect sense and gives us a nice insight into the musical mind of Tobias Sammet at the turn of the century. Avantasia’s Metal Opera, released one year later, had to be in full composition mode and some of that inspiration has leaked through in The Savage Poetry. There are times where the vocal arrangements of “Sacred Hell” or the soft organs in the intro to “Eyes Of The Tyrant” recall “Reach Out For The Light”, and that cannot be a coincidence.

Yet those are only slight echoes. This is unmistakably the same set of songs, only tweaked and produced to perfection with Tobias Exxel on bass and Sammet on vocals instead of the squeaky squirrel they used for the first one. It’s far speedier and upbeat than the more moody Avantasia, and while not as grand as either Vain Glory Opera, Theater Of Salvation, or the succeeding Mandrake, it is a nice reminder of the promise Edguy showed in their early days and the material itself more than deserved a better treatment. The track order is also an improvement with the mid-tempo “Hallowed” up front instead of the faster “Misguiding Your Life”. Edguy has after all never really opened at full throttle. Finally, that is one mighty fine looking cove and certainly beats that Smurfish stronghold from the original.

In conclusion, The Savage Poetry is a worthy addition to Edguy’s discography and if it weren’t still widely available, Kingdom Of Madness could benefit from a similar quality boost. Maybe Edguy nuts worldwide should collectively smash every 'for sale' copy of that album so we can have a better one. Then again it would probably sound nothing alike now that Sammet & co have mostly left their power metal roots. For this entry’s silly joke, I’m sad to announce the chainsaw-bit from “Power & Majesty” is gone, but the band has come up with something even more stupid than that.

Best silly joke: before the last chorus of “Power & Majesty”, Sammet goes into Tiroler mode, spitting out a series of “jodelahiti’s” in a deliriously auto-tuned voice. If you’re on drugs, it probably sounds genius.

Originally written for www.blackwindmetal.com.

The red-headed stepchild album of Edguy. - 83%

Empyreal, July 10th, 2011

This is the re-recording of Edguy’s old demo Savage Poetry from 1995 – you know it’s more mature and different because it has a ‘The’ in front of it now…but anyway, it’s pretty original, actually, and it doesn’t sound like any one band so much as a smorgasbord of Iron Maiden and Helloween-isms along with what can only be described as the first flourishes of Sammet’s unique sense of melody. But it’s not enough just to talk about it, so…let’s really talk about it.

Apparently, Edguy hated the sound of the original demo so much, they decided to make this entirely new album and just play those songs over again. So we get this in-between sound somewhere in the middle of Vain Glory Opera and Theater of Salvation; better production than the former but rawer and less epic than the latter. So it’s kind of the red-headed stepchild of the Edguy discography sound-wise, completely out of sync with the natural progression their other full lengths were going through.

But the Sammet-power shines through and we get some kickass tunes on here, too. He has always had this really excellent ear for melody, and it shows on everything he writes/sings on – he can make anything super-catchy. The album starts off good, with the darker epic “Hallowed,” and then goes through some power metal burners like “Key to My Fate” and “Misguiding Your Life,” as well as the savage old school speed metal of “Sacred Hell.” “Sands of Time” is a great, emotive ballad.

After that, though, the album kicks into overdrive, as the last 4 songs on here are pretty much amazing. “Eyes of the Tyrant” is my pick for album standout, as it is a 10 minute barn-burner with some unforgettable melodies, a huge triumphant chorus and a mouth-watering section at 5 minutes where the band just kicks out some excellent, searing melodies and just lets them play. Catchier than AIDS. And then “Frozen Candle,” which pretty much sets up the riffier, more traditional and more idiosyncratic template of modern Edguy with a great chorus, weird lyrics and some more infectious melodies. “Roses to No One” is one of their best ballads, and “Power and Majesty” is a devilish, fun jaunt with some more unforgettable riffs and vocal hooks like you’d expect – top notch.

The Savage Poetry is fun and definitely shows where the band was going, with some excellent songs. I haven’t heard the original versions, but this re-recording is definitely a solid and well-rounded dose of early Edguy for those of you who are in the mood for a smashing good time. Recommended.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com

A great first strike back in the days - 85%

kluseba, April 16th, 2011

This new recording of Edguy's first album offers the chance to discover the band's origins and listen to the songs they have done when they were still at school and about seventeen years old. This happens to be a fact that many people tend to forget. The band didn't change a lot in here in comparison to the original record. They only gave the nine songs a better sound, changed a few instrumental passages and inversed some parts of the track list. They also created an improved cover artwork.

If I didn't know it, I would never think that this record is a debut album, written by a bunch of teenagers. This album is incredibly mature in comparison to the comedy entertainment the same band would later do. I can't find any true filler over a length of almost one hour of intense music. This record is easily way more than a homage to power metal bands such as the band's idols "Helloween" or "Gamma Ray". We also discover affinities to classic hard rock with bands like “Scorpions”. There is even some progressive rock to find that has been forged by bands such as "Deep Purple". In fact, there is even some soft rock in the key of "Bon Jovi" to discover but not as much as on later and modern albums of the band. The operatic rock approaches in the style of "Queen" are rarely used but very appreciated. The guitar solos are therefore clearly inspired by the metal veterans of "Iron Maiden".

But even if I am able to hear all those influences within the songs, the band still sounds unique. Especially Tobias Sammet already has a unique voice and delivers a great job on the whole album. The band creates a solid traditional power metal album that has many enjoyable details without following any trend at the time. This kind of music doesn't reinvent the genre but it had become a rare quality to find in times of hip hop, rhythm and blues, grunge, nu metal and gothic music. Surprisingly, this record is also one of the most creative ones from a musical and technical point of view for the band. "Eyes of the tyrant" is full of changes in style and a true masterpiece that requests a lot of time and attention before you are able to discover its splendid beauty and inspiration. From an objective point of view, this track is maybe the most surprising and engaged epic track the band has ever written. "Frozen candle" also goes into a progressive power metal direction without losing its straight heaviness that many fans miss on the recent albums.

We can observe melodic power metal tracks of a high quality with unforgettable choruses such as the catchy fan favourite "Key to my fate" and the majestic and inspiring "Sacred hell". Acoustic guitars, Hammond organ or keyboard sounds and a few choirs are used from time to time without getting dominant or overwhelming. They never fail to fit into the respective songs and surprise the fans at the same time. Every song has something interesting to offer.

Of course, the technical as well as intellectual skills and possibilities are not yet as elevated on this album as on the records that would follow. A few songs still sound quite similar and to close to the band’s idols from time to time but that’s about all I can criticize. The basis for the future has been built with this record and the band would show us that they could bring something fresh and new to the power metal genre.

Fun, catchy, cheesy, power metal! - 78%

RageW, October 14th, 2008

This is almost a re-recording of Edguy's "true" debut, which was called "Savage Poetry", so they just added a "The" since Tobias was a lazy asshole who wouldn't think of another name. Anyways, this album is nothing short of great! There's no bass-drum eternal like in other 'similar' bands, Sammet is an incredibly over-the-top vocalist, without becoming annoying, and that's what power metal vocals are about; being exaggerate, over the top, but without giving you the urge to rub their faces on a cheese grater. Edguy is pretty much a power metal band with trad metal influences! So it has a pretty solid riff construction, some really shreddy guitar solos, and the drumming actually complements the music instead of being pure wank 'tutututututu' kick drum hits. There ARE some bass-drum heavy parts; but it's not a perpetual hit, and at least they're not mixed so fucking high than you can't listen to the riffs *cough* Sonata Artica *cough*.

This one's a much better record than 'Savage Poetry', since not only the production is better; but Sammet's vocals are much cooler here, and also they included arrangements like some keyboards (not enough to be Stratovarius though, thankfully). So it starts with a bang; 'Hallowed' begins with the music sounding really low, like if it was coming from a walkie talkie or something, and the first time I listened to it I turned the volume up thinking it would be that way...And the bastards made the track blow up in 10x the volume, with that awesome speed metal riff; enough to kick you out of your chair! The verses are pretty catchy; but what makes the track worthwhile (besides the awesome main riff) is that CHORUS! It's absurdly catchy, I'd dare you to take if off your head in less than 2 weeks; and it's repeated just enough times, not enough to become obnoxious, but it doesn't leave you craving for more, just, plain satisfied.

Other highlights include the fun (well most of the album is fun, as most of Edguy is), 'Misguiding Your Life', which begins with Tobias shouting "FUCK PLEASE STOP STANDING OVER MY BALLS", because that would be the only way to shout that high; probably the highest note ever produced by a male. Ever. Then there's a solo resembling some children's nursery song which I can't remember it's name, but it's a fun touch on it! 'Key to My Fate' has that very cool build-up in the verses, that explodes in an awesome chorus; those kind of choruses with lots of vocal layerings are pretty much an Edguy staple; pretty much every single song has them! Then for some reason there's a solo out of nowhere, which are always a host (that's me) favorite. 'Eyes of the Tyrant' is EXACTLY 10:00 long; I don't know if it was intended, but it's one of the few tracks that I know of that have an exact-minute-second run. The chorus, obviously, is very catchy; it's another of the main highlights; since it has pretty much anything you'd like to have in a catchy, cheesy, over-the-top band with a retarded name, like Edguy! Some cool Priest-like riffs, a piano intro, which 'Sands of Time' couldn't nail, since you're just SUPPOSED to have a soft intro and then blow it up to hell with an explosion of riffs and drums! Sadly, 10 minutes of power metal can get a bit on my nerves, and even though there are shreddy solos all over the place, it does get a bit overlong with time. 'Sands of Time' is a piano ballad, but it doesn't really do nothing, since it's not particularly catchy, and let's face it; if I wanted to hear piano ballad's I'd put Elton John or something like that, it sounds really out of place!

Asides from that, everything else here is consistent power metal; 'Sacred Hell' has very weird kick drum patterns, almost like a gallop 8th-16th-16th notes pattern, and it's a nice rest off flower metal's perpetual 16th note patterns; creative drumming is the way to go! Then we close with the best track in here, fuck, it's just pure Maiden worship in every single way possible; epic riffs, gallop in both the riffs AND the kick drums, and it also has Eddie (well it doesn't, but just imagine that the weird part at 4:14 is Eddie violently shaking Tobias from his balls, and it all makes sense; since it's the only explanation for such idiotic part). But asides from that, it's basically Helloween meets Maiden, in all it's fucking glory; gallops, melodic riffs, and the best chorus of the whole album, catchy, over the top, cheesy, pure awesome in Edguy form! Near the middle there's a total speed metal riff, straight out from 'Walls of Jericho', and Tobias' wails and stuff, then a straightforward melodic solo, and that stupid Helloween-esque interlude, full of random noise, and the afford mentioned Eddie-shaking-Sammet-from-his-balls effect. Then it ends with that chorus ringing on your head for the rest of your fucking life.

So this is probably Edguy's most 'traditional' album, it doesn't have so many arrangements like future outputs, save for some keyboards at times and stuff; so it's very enjoyable, and if you can stand the cheese, well, this is pretty cool. It's totally worth it, though you shouldn't listen to it several times in a week, or every chorus from now on will ring "Halloweeedd be my nameee!!", and I mean it!

An early taste of Edguy! - 95%

Dittohead, June 30th, 2005

All nine tracks from Edguy's 2000 release, "The Savage Poetry", were, in fact, originally written when the band members were about sixteen and seventeen years old. In 1995, they recorded these songs and released them together as Edguy's third demo album. However, this demo album was absolutely thrashed by many record-companies after being sent to them. Discouraged, Edguy put this demo behind them and continued their music career. Two years later, they released their first ever LP, "Kingdom Of Madness". Two more studio albums followed "Kingdom Of Madness" in 1998 and 1999 : "Vain Glory Opera" and "Theater Of Salvation". Edguy gained much popularity after the release of their first three LP's and, therefore, many people began to ask questions about the demo album "Savage Poetry". After being offered large sums of money for the forgotten 1995 demo, Edguy decided to give it another chance. The band listened to it and were extremely unimpressed by Tobias Sammet's immature voice and their lack of musical talent. They simply couldn't release these songs under such bad quality. Therefore, Edguy decided that they were going to re-record "Savage Poetry" and release it as an LP, which they did in 2000. Although the nine tracks are, basically, the same, they appear in different orders on both albums.

The five band members, Tobias Sammet, Tobias Exxel, Felix Bohnke, Jens Ludwig and Dirk Sauer, demonstrate wonderfully, throughout the entire album, that they have developed into very talented musicians. "The Savage Poetry" is simply packed with nine great tracks that won't disappoint any German power metal fan. The fourth and eighth songs from Edguy's 2000 LP, "Sands Of Time" and "Roses To No One", are the only two ballads that appear on the album while the rest of "The Savage Poetry"'s tracks are played much faster.

The best part of this album is that it contains no songs that sound alike. Each and every song on "The Savage Poetry" has an aspect that distinguishes it from the others. They all contain completely different guitar riffs and drum beats. Also, Sammet's vocal work, which is often very well backed in many songs' choruses, amazingly, changes levels throughout the entire album. A good example of the distinguishing aspects present in "The Savage Poetry" is the length of the LP's sixth track, "Eyes Of The Tyrant". This song is ten minutes long and contains everything a power metal fan can possibly ask for : great guitar riffs and solos, beautiful lead, and backing, vocals and some wonderful work on the drums by Bohnke.

Edguy's 2000 LP's production quality is not only much better than the 1995 "Savage Poetry" demo, but the cover art for it is, also, much better than the demo's. An album's cover art certainly doesn't change its music. However, a good cover is a nice bonus to an, already, amazing album.

"The Savage Poets", a name that the five band members are referred to as in the album's booklet, made a very wise decision by brining back the 1995 demo from the past. Edguy did an incredible job re-recording the nine tracks that appear on "The Savage Poetry". The band's 2000 LP is recommended to any metal fan who is curious of hearing some lyrics that one of the worlds most renown power metal bands wrote at a fairly young age. However, if you're just looking for an ass-kicking, Edguy's "The Savage Poetry" will, certainly, fulfill your desires.