By Jason Wellwood
I’ve always been on the fence when it comes to Edguy. Tobias Sammet has an incredible voice, and when he puts his mind to it, can write great songs. However, the last few albums from Edguy have not been fantastic, while Sammet’s other project, Avantasia, has been amazing. I hoped, coming in to this album that the songs would be a bit heavier, or at least a little more serious. My biggest problem with Edguy has always been their lyrics, Sammet’s sense of humour always made me feel like he didn’t care what he was singing as long as it was catchy. Lead off track ‘Robin Hood’ and the lines about Robin Hood finding someone to stroke his little John, pretty much shot down those hopes and ‘2 of 7′ is a great song lyrically until the last chorus where Sammet breaks into unnecessary profanity and talks about going to the sperm bank. Both songs, however, are musically really good and damn catchy. I think that fans of Edguy will always just need to deal with Tobias’ sense of humour because he’s not about to change.
Musically, ‘Robin Hood’ features a very catchy chorus and a weird middle section that actually sounds lifted straight from Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son record. ‘Rock of Cashel’ is another stand out track on the album, some Irish flavoured music is added in and you can’t help yourself but to tap your feet along. ‘Pandora’s Box’ sees the band move into a bit more of a blues infused sound that wouldn’t have been out of place on an album around the 1989-1990 mark. Admittedly, the title of the song combined with Sammet’s little ‘g-g-g-g-gow’ scream later on, makes it too much of an Aerosmith nod to ignore. ‘The Arcane Guild’ is another fantastic track, with a Hammond organ sound that really harkens back to early traditional metal and hard rock.
The fact that Edguy sound more hard rock than power metal these days shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has listened to the band over the last few years. They all have the chops to pull of the experimenting and damn Tobias has a great voice. This is head and shoulders above the last couple of Edguy albums. It’s a grower, but the immediate standout tracks make it worth getting to know Age of the Joker.