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Edguy: Mandrake

Lately, it seems like the genre called progressive power metal has really gotten stale, with many bands vying to see who can stand out from the pack. Germany's Edguy has for a few years been one of those bands that seems ready to take their place in the upper tier of prog-metal bands. Judging by this strong new release I think that time is now.

While Edguy are not the most original band on the planet (they owe a great deal to bands like Helloween, Iron Maiden, and Angra) they consistently churn out well written, expertly played, and sharply produced product. Bandleader, singer-songwriter, keyboard player Tobias Sammet has a voice that just gets better with each release. I find his style somewhere in between Bruce Dickinson and Michael Kiske, with a little Geoff Tate thrown in for good measure. If you are not familiar with Edguy, you can expect a ferocious twin guitar attack, lots of double bass drums, symphonic keyboards, and tons of melodic hooks. It's really these hooks that make this band in my opinion. Checking out songs like "Wash Away the Poison" and "The Devil and the Savant" I was left singing along after only two listens. One of the heaviest tunes I have ever heard from the band, titled "Nailed to the Wheel" is included here, and is a total 80's headbanger featuring crunchy guitars and anthem-like vocals.

With Mandrake, Edguy is poised to be on par with bands such as Symphony X, Stratovarius, Iced Earth, Rhapsody, and Blind Guardian. One could easily call this the bands crowning achievement, and one of the years best prog-metal albums as well.

Added: October 27th 2001
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: AFM Records
Hits: 3923
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Edguy: Mandrake
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-01-29 07:47:15
My Score:

EdGuy's popularity and dominance in the Metal world has led AFM Records to re-issue their stand-out release of Mandrake. This was one of the highlights in EdGuys catalog and even thought it was originally released in 2001 it still sounds very fresh when compared to new material or even songs from their Power Metal peers. Listening to EdGuy music is always something fun and it shows you that this is a must see band in the concert sense. There is always a sense of energy and theatrics that come through your speakers when you play an EdGuy album. Tobias Sammet is a very interesting songwriter and front man as well for the strong melodic hooks and powerful vocal harmonies give the songs a very sing-along sense. If you have seen them perform you will agree that this goes over well in concert and if you have not you will find yourself singing a lot of these songs very quickly. Most of EdGuys material is standard length which is odd for Power Metal but the group handles longer tracks with relative ease as well. These particular songs don't get boring and instead keep your interest level in the band on the high side. Tracks that surpass the 7 minute mark are "Tears Of A Mandrake" and "Pharoah" (which actually passes 10 minutes in length). Instant favorites when you listen will most likely be the "Mandrake" track and songs like "Fallen Angels" & "Save Us Now". They all have among the most infectious choruses and make for some definite repeat listens on your CD Changer. The band makes it easier by including lyrics in the booklet which spans some 16 pages and also offers Discography and photos.

The entire line up of EdGuy shows their proficiency all across the record and makes this a treat for the ears. If you are a fan of thundering double bass drums then Felix Bohnke will make sure you get your fill. The guitar exchange of Jens Ludwig and Dirk Sauer shows a great respect to the double axe teams of the legends in Metal. All of these guys are held in check by Tobias Exxel and one can almost sense that the band has a lot of fun performing their songs. While Power Metal without any question this is also very high spirited music that is good but does not take itself too seriously. If for whatever reason EdGuy is a band that is still escaping you please grab this re-issue or at least the hits package Hall Of Flames, for when you do you will find yourself agreeing with many people about EdGuy's stand of dominance in the genre.

Track Listing:
1) Tears Of A Mandrake
2) Golden Dawn
3) Jerusalem
4) All The Clowns
5) Nailed To The Wheel
6) The Pharoah
7) Wash Away The Poison
8) Fallen Angels
9) Painting On The Wall
10) Save Us Now
11) The Devil And The Savant bonus

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