Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus (2009, Nuclear Blast)
- Ministry Of Saints
- Sex Fire Religion
- The Pride Of Creation
- Nine Lives
- Wake Up Dreaming Black
- Thorn Without A Rose
- Dead Or rock
- Aren’t You A Little Pervert Too!?
Tobias Sammet – Vocals
Jens Ludwig – Guitars
Dirk Sauer – Guitars
Tobias Exxel – Bass
Felix Bohnke – Drums
Producer: Sascha Paeth
Total Time = 53:37
In January 2008, Tobias Sammet released the latest Avantasia opus THE SCARECROW and it was my Album of the Year. The all-star lineup and specific attention to songwriting really made THE SCARECROW shine but Avantasia is Sammet’s side project and his focus has turned to his primary band…..Edguy.
I got into Edguy back in the late ’90s when I started scooping up albums like VAIN GLORY OPERA (1998) and THEATER OF SALVATION (1999) at the local record shop. Power Metal was having a huge resurgence with Hammerfall, Rhapsody and Blind Guardian leading the way and I was hooked right away so getting into Edguy was easy. Fast forward to 2006 and Sammet and company released the Hard Rock styled ROCKET RIDE and I just couldn’t get into it. It was still Edguy, it was still Power Metal, but with more of a ’80s Hard Rock commercial sound. From then on I put my faith in other Power Metal bands and Edguy became secondary to Avantasia. Less than a year later (TINNITUS SANCTUS was released in December in Europe and Japan), the new Edguy album arrived and I was hoping that a little of the inspiration Tobias had for THE SCARECROW would be heard in Edguy.
Opening song ‘Ministry Of Saints’ gets the Traditional/Power Metal feast started with it’s Judas Priest and Saxon styled songcraft and guitar solos with a touch of melodic harmonies that give it a bit more of a commercial sound. Euro-flavoured Hard Rock is the best way to describe ‘Sex Fire Religion’ with it’s thumping bass and cock rock styled lyrics. It’s definitely a catchy “hair band” styled song complete with sexually retarded lyrics and hooky chorus but made awkward by the band’s Euro-Metal background. It seems like Edguy is trying too hard to be sexually clever. Back to pure Power Metal and speed with ‘The Pride Of Creation’, my favorite track on the album. The guitars duel in almost a Dragonforce style frenzy and the chorus is the catchiest I’ve heard on the whole album. This is what Edguy does best, or should I say Avantasia? This could easily be a track from THE METAL OPERA or THE SCARECROW and this is what I was hoping the entire TINNITUS album would sound like. ‘The Pride Of Creation’ is the perfect blend of the two styles Sammet is trying to combine.
‘Nine Lives’ continues the perfect blend of new and old Edguy songwriting and it kind of reminds me of the direction Primal Fear started to go with on NEW RELIGION. ‘Nine Lives’ retains the Metal, slows down a little toward sthe middle and finds it’s melodic groove. Same thing could be said of ‘Wake Up Dreaming Black’ but it’s a heavier track with more straightforward bass and guitar. ‘Dragonfly’ conjures up the mid-tempo Hard Rock rhythms and ’80s style riffs that the band has been incorporating into their sound, it sounds forced and the chorus has too much of a choral effect. I like the solo though it sounds very George Lynch and, now that I think of it, ‘Dragonfly’ could easily be a lost Dokken tune! Ballad time comes with ‘Thorn Without A Rose’…..is it a play on Poison’s ‘Every Rose Has It’s Thorn’? Maybe only in the title because the song is more bombastic than any ballad Poison ever released. It’s a very catchy song with a Pop Metal commercial vibe.
’9-2-9′ is another commercial sounding song but its a little heavier/faster, it kind of reminds me of the first Westworld album and the late ’90′s Melodic Metal movement. ‘Speedhoven’ has a classic rock element to it with the appearance of a Hammond organ in the mix but the song is Power Metal through and through while ‘Dead Or Rock’ (a title straight from the Saxon lyric book!) is classic ’80s styled Hard Rock with touches of Motley Crue, commercial Judas Priest and Saxon…..great guitar work on this song. Last tune on the album is ‘Aren’t You A Little Pervert Too?!’, Edguy’s stab at a Country & Western joke song. It’s songs like this that piss me off because they just ruin good albums…..the lyrics are just plain bad, worse than anything Gene Simmons could think up and I don’t like the C&W music. I know it’s a joke song (featuring the band as Granato Rambocco & The Killers) but that’s what bothers me…..you waste space on an album and then they will drop another EP on us in a couple of months with a few non-album tracks. I’d rather the album stop after ‘Dead Or Rock’ or get another solid original.
TINNITUS SANCTUS has been a hard listen for me since it received a proper U.S. release at the end of January. I’ve spent a good six weeks listening to this record and some days I love it and some I have a hard time getting into it. There is enough Power Metal to satisfy the old school Edguy fan in me and there is a lot of melodic Hard Rock songs that are pretty good but seem a little out of place when compared to the band’s previous albums. What I did on this album was stop comparing current Edguy to old Edguy and I liked it a lot more. Bands are allowed to change their sound and Edguy has done a good job with their new direction but another of my problems is getting by some of the bad lyrics…..you can go to a simpler sound, a Hard Rock sound, but you don’t have to dumb things down. Overall I liked the album a lot despite some of my complaints.
‘Ministry Of Saints’, ‘The Pride Of Creation’, ‘Nine Lives’, ‘Wake Up Dreaming Black’, ’9-2-9′, ‘Dead Or Rock’
NOTE: This album was also released as a 2 disc set with a live set on the bonus CD.