Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Album Review: Edguy - Monuments

Time flies by, doesn't it? That's the first thing that comes to mind when it's pointed out that Edguy is celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary as a band. It's a big milestone, and one that makes me feel old, considering how long my relationship with the band is, and how it only constitutes half of their existence. That's remarkable. And to celebrate the occasion, the band is putting out this new package, which is two parts greatest hits, and one part new material. Let's start with the old stuff:

Making a greatest hits for a band that doesn't actually have what you would call hits is difficult. Aside from the live favorites, picking a track listing from all the albums that will satisfy everyone is practically impossible. Older fans are going to feel upset that "Theater Of Salvation" doesn't get more tracks on the album, while newer fans are going to wonder why so much of the more traditional power metal still has a place in Edguy's world. I get it.

That being said, they've done a good job of finding the right balance between the two sides of the coin. The most important early tracks are here, and no album gets put into the spotlight. Myself, I would try to lobby for one or two more from "Tinnitus Sanctus", which is my favorite, but the inclusion of some of their EP only tracks makes up for it. Those deserved to be given a second chance. "Holy Water" and "Judas At The Opera" should have been on an album long ago.

As for the new songs, they try to fuse the old and the new. "Ravenblack" is the one that sound most like Avantasia, but it's an absolutely killer track, so any similarity is more than forgiven. "Wrestle With The Devil" is a more modern, and groovy take on Edguy's usual sound, with a more subdued chorus that is more of a grower than usual, while "Open Sesame" and "Landmarks" are more old-school in their approach. The latter, along with "The Mountaineer" are rock solid Edguy material, but I will say that I'm not as keen on "Open Sesame". As his wings have spread, I've felt that Tobi's writing hasn't worked as well on the speedy numbers in recent years, and that's what happened here. It's not a bad song, but it's just not as engaging to me as the rest.

Overall, though, the new material here is more very good Edguy music that fits right in, quality-wise, with "Space Police". Edguy is comfortably in who they are, and that's what the deliver. If you've liked Edguy all along, the hits are still awesome, and the new songs are a nice present. Sure, I would have preferred waiting a little longer for a whole album, but new Edguy is new Edguy. "Monuments" has plenty of reasons to give it a listen.

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