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Edguy: Hellfire Club

Many progressive/power metal bands take many years to work up to a point where musically and lyrically they really find their niche. Germany's Edguy have been around now for about seven years, and with the release of Hellfire Club the band seems to have moved out of the shadow of Helloween and Iron Maiden to produce one of the most mature recordings of their career. Sure, there's still the strong dual lead guitar lines from Jens Ludwig and Dirk Sauer, certainly paying homage to Maiden & Helloween, and the unmistakable vocals of Tobias Sammet, who more than a bit resembles Michael Kiske or Bruce Dickenson, but the band as a whole has seemed to move away from the stereotypical power metal plug of "speedy metal riffs-meet-double bass drum" scenario of some of their earlier albums to deliver a metal platter of prime significance.

A song like "The Piper Never Dies" is quite frankly the best song that Edguy has ever written. Over ten minutes in length, this epic is much more symphonic prog metal than anything else, with Sammet's emotional vocals leading the charge over some serious progressive music from the rest of the band. And yes, they slow things down a notch here, allowing the guitars, keys, and rhythm section to all intermingle together, twisting, turning, and boiling together to make for one of the best prog-metal tunes I have heard so far this year. "Down to the Devil" is classic Edguy, with chugging guitars and soaring vocals, while the driving "King of Fools" has a classic sing-along chorus and heavy guitar riffs. There's plenty of symphonic keyboards and emotional vocals on the mostly acoustic "Forever", one of the best ballads the band has ever done, while "Under the Moon" simply scorches the earth with its metal intensity. I hear a hint of the Scorpions circa-1982 on both "Lavatory Love Machine" and "Rise of the Morning Glory", where the band hits home with cocky metal anthems that seem to have a commercial hard rock appeal. A similar tone is felt on "Navigator", a crunchy mid-paced rocker with heavy rhythm guitars & tasty leads, which segues into the emotional closer "The Spirit Will Remain", a number than ends the CD in grand classical fashion.

I for one am glad that Edguy has chosen to move away slightly from the standard power metal format with Hellfire Club. Here, the band has embraced its 80's influences and added some contemporary metal styles, while still retaining its progressive roots to create a metal album that will certainly please old and new fans alike.

Track Listing
1) Mysteria (5:45)
2) The Piper Never Dies (10:07)
3) We Don't Need a Hero (5:29)
4) Down to the Devil (5:28)
5) King of Fools (4:17)
6) Forever (5:41)
7) Under the Moon (5:05)
8) Lavatory Love Machine (4:24)
9) Rise of the Morning Glory (4:39)
10) Lucifer in Love (0:32)
11) Navigator (5:20)
12) The Spirit Will Remain (4:12)

Added: March 28th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Edguy Offical Site
Hits: 3607
Language: english

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Edguy: Hellfire Club
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-03-28 14:51:43
My Score:

Leave it to Tobias Sammet and his partners in Edguy to always deliver powerful and yet deftly creative heavy metal. My first exposure to Edguy was for the live masterpiece entitled Burning Down The Opera. The entire thing kicks and makes you wonder why there are not more bands taking power metal to the level that they choose to. This is one bad thing about being Stateside, as musically we sometimes miss some great stuff that is pretty much the standard in the European countries. However, the recent EP King Of Fools and the recently released Hellfire Club are available readily in the United States thanks to Nuclear Blast Records, so fans of this band and also of this genre of metal can easily enjoy them without killing their pocket on expensive imports.

Wasting no time at all, this CD kicks right into high gear at the open with "Mysteria". The thundering double bass drumming of Felix Bohnke and a powerful vocal harmony made this my favorite number instantly. There are similar speedy tracks like "We Don't Need A Hero", "Rise Of The Morning Glory" and "Under The Moon" and what I enjoyed about these is that despite some of the dynamics involved there is not an amount of technical skill lost, and, like most Edguy, there are ups and downs in the speed levels throughout each of these tunes. The members making up the rest of Edguy are Jens Ludwig (guitar), Dirk Sauer (guitar), Tobias "Eggi" Exxel (bass). The group is a stellar lineup and each approaches this recording with a level of energy that I don't often find myself absorbing by simply listening to it.

On tracks like "Lavatory Love Machine" the band adds the air of Motley Crue & Twisted Sister using that type of sarcasm and humor on the disk. It's a catchy piece and you will most likely be singing it after you listen. I know I did, but I am sometimes easily influenced. "King Of Fools" also has a strong sing-along sense when the chorus comes in proving that Tobias knows when he can hit the love of the power metal anthem in every ones heart. If there is one number you can label power ballad then you might want to focus on "Forever" as this is the closest you will find on the CD. You should be aware that if you already own the EP King Of Fools you will only find the title track on this CD as none of the others are present. Instead of being slammed twice in the purchase of this CD, you will simply have more Edguy to enjoy.

The band includes a full color 16 page booklet and it is loaded with band pictures and lyrics to the songs. Some decent amount of liner notes and tour information is in there as well. I totally enjoy when bands give you a little more to look at as opposed to those who do not. This CD comes with a very high recommendation from me as I view Edguy as a band who really takes the time to give you their all. They do need to come to the USA more often, for as I observed I don't think they came for more than a handful of shows that included NYC and the ProgPowerUSA Festival.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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