Edguy - Rocket Ride - Nuclear Blast 2006
Running Time: 60:10
When I think of German power metal, forgive me for the first three names coming to mind being Helloween, Gamma Ray, and Accept (Scorpions fit in there somewhere, but rarely these days). Edguy actually, for me, has been pretty much a source for mockery and derision ever since "Lavatory Love Machine" from 2004's Hellfire Club, my inaugural exposure to the band. Not that I have a problem with humour in music, but metal really doesn't need court jesters. And you know, I really wanted to like Edguy too, Tobias Sammet's Avantasia metal opera being a personal favourite, and what hipped me to Edguy in the first place. The Superheroes EP which followed didn't help things much either, and found the band moving further away from metal-friendly realms into darn near hard rock at times. And now, 2006 brings Rocket Ride, and a whole new bag of tricks for us to love or hate.
"Sacrifice" is rife with Kiske-isms, which is no surprise considering his appearance on the Superheroes EP is almost the only metal-oriented work he's done in awhile. Not bad, and listenable for sure, but nothing Helloween didn't do better in the '80s. Also, at just over eight minutes things get a little dusty by the end for many bands, even those packing the wallop
Edguy doesn't. Sure, a snappy rhythm begins the title track, but - as with a lot of Edguy's material, nothing stands out. The song is simply "there", which is worse to me than a tune sucking so horribly that there's the off chance it may teeter over into "so bad it's good" territory. With all the metal fury of Vixen's second album, "Wasted Time" drips with sugary sweetness. It's this kind of ball-less buffoonery that makes me wish Edguy would meet Doro Pesch in a dark alley, the band blatantly copping Mott The Hoople's "Once Bitten,Twice Shy" lyric for good measure. You can't tell me Edguy expects anyone remotely into metal to deal with the 80s AOR keys of "Matrix". This could just as easily have shown up on a Foreigner album with Loverboy flitting about somewhere in the rafters. Not that everything in Edguy's world is polluted, however. "Return To The Tribe" isn't bad at all. The chorus soars when it should, lifting the song above the majority of Rocket Ride, a slight Scorpions vibe showing through (think Virgin Killers). Also, in the interest of fairness, I'm going to treat "The Asylum" not as the unmistakeable Dio rip it is, but as if the dimunitive demigod never existed. If this number was more representative of Rocket Ride as a whole, this review would've read much differently. The song is dramatic, skillfully played, Tobias is on point like he hasn't been since Vain Glory Opera, and the chorus is as infectious as bird flu. I think that's what's so irritating about the whole thing; we know that, at times, Edguy can. So why don't they? Of course, though their head comes above the surface occasionally, it's best not to get your hopes up too high with this band. "Save Me" could be a B-Side to "Wasted Time". If Edguy were Firehouse, they could've done this song in 1989 and made a fucking killing. After a bland "Catch Of The Century" and "Out Of Vogue" passing by with nary a tap on the shoulder to attract my attention, we get "Superheroes", the title track to last year's EP. If you liked the song there, you'll love it here. If you hated it there, you likely haven't made it this far into the review anyway. Picture it; calypso-metal. Well, nevermind, don't. It's painful. Should you ever try, though, "Trinidad" is most likely what you'd hear. And of course, there always has to be one joke song, and this time, the joke comes in the form of "Fucking With Fire". With a chorus that ends with the phrase "Hair Force One", you know what you're getting. If this song could defacate, it would shit corn. If you're an Edguy fan, you're probably fuming by now. If you're not, this album won't make you one. If you aren't either at this point, check out a couple songs before committing. Myself, I'll slap on Tad Morose's Sender Of Thoughts now, and remind myself what good, quality
German metal sounds like.