Age of the Joker

1. Robin Hood  
2. Nobody's Hero  
3. Rock of Cashel  
4. Pandora's Box  
5. Breathe  
6. Two Out of Seven  
7. Faces in the Darkness  
8. The Arcane Guild  
9. Fire on the Downline  
10. Behind the Gates to Midnight World  
11. Every Night Without You  

Tobias Sammet (Vocals)
Jens Ludwig (Guitar)
Dirk Sauer (Guitar)
Tobias "Eggi" Exxel (Bass)
Felix Bohnke (Drums)

Savage Poetry (self-financed, 1995)
Kingdom of Madness (1997)
Vain Glory Opera (1998)
Theater of Salvation (1999)
The Savage Poetry (re-recording of Savage Poetry, 2000)
Mandrake (2001)
Burning Down the Opera (Live, 2003)
Hellfire Club (2004)
Rocket Ride (2006)
Tinnitus Sanctus (2008)
Fucking With F*** (Live, 2009)

Eddy Wrapiprou – Synth

Sascha Paeth (Producer)

Released 26/8-2011
Reviewed 3/8-2011

nuclear blast

Actually No, Mr Sammet. You're wrong! You're not a two out of seven, you're a fiver!

What I'm talking about is of course the sixth song on the album, called Two Out of Seven, which isn't a song about their Hallowed score but some kind of grade Sammet has got from a girl of some sort (even though I think Sammet throws a dead bird back to reviewers all over the world with the song). Two Out of Seven is the best song on this album, the natural choice for a single and the highlight of the album, clearly. On this song they've managed to get everything right and beside this Mr Sammet also gives ut the unforgettable comment "What the fuck! Suck my cock!" which I can't see as anything but genius. On an album called "Age of the Joker" perhaps it's not too unpredictable that the joker Sammet would joke about such a surrealistic thing where he wants us to suck on a cock but it's still very funny! How the hell do you suck on a male grown up chicken without getting your head scratched beyond recognition?

Anyhow, as a guy with Edguy stuff beyond the limits I can safely say I know what I'm talking about when it comes to this band. If you could, I would have a season ticket for their live shows in my region and considering the many things I own with their name, one could say it would justified to give me some sort of quantity discount - I own every album, lots of shirts, posters and other kind of stuff. In my world, Edguy is the best that came from the new wave of power metal in the late 90's - much better than bands like Sonata Arctica, Rhapsody of Fire, Hammerfall, Freedom Call and whatever (no point listing bands because then you'll read 'til your eyes bleed coma vaccine. This is the ninth full length album by the Germans and beside these they have also released the DVD 'Superheroes' (which also came on an EP), the live albums 'Burning Down the Opera' and 'Fucking With Fire' (which also was released on DVD) and two best-of albums, and of course five albums, two EPs and a DVD with Avantasia. Now they're back with the first album in three years. it's been a long wait and the real question is - was it worth it?

Well… I don't know how to answer that question in the beginning of times. Nothing wrong as far as I can tell but also nothing that really rock you like a hurricane. It sounds a bit like Edguy on valium - not in the sense that the album is slow or anything but it never light up the way let's say 'Sounds of a Playground fading' from In Flames did about a few months ago did. Nor does it sound like the predecessor. When you've had the time to hammer the songs enough hard in to your head they steadily grow and starts to feel better and better. It's like Sammet has become cunning in his humour - like he makes jokes that isn't straight to the point but funny first after you've thought about it for a while. Well… maybe?

After playing the album ten times or so more and more songs are taking the trip over to Plus-station. The concluding ballad Every Night Without You is very nice, the introducing Robin Hood has this really good video that makes you love it and overall the pieces starts to fall in the places where they should be. It feels more and more like a really typical Edguy album the more you hear it. The tempo might be somewhat slower and all in all there might be a few less of those real super songs we're used to get but the standard is still high and if you like Edguy then I wouldn't be afraid to say that this album will be just as perfect for you as an elephant would be… for a person that likes elephants.

Vocally Sammet does most of the album on the limit of what his voice can handle. He scream and shout a lot and high pitched, but his voice can't handle it the way it did a couple of years ago so it sounds a bit tense and stretched. However, when Sammet lower his pitch it sounds really good and his voice is like a piece from a puzzle that is laid… at the place where it should lied. the guitars and bass feels pretty anonymous but something that really can be heard is the keyboards which has got more space than ever and this gives an almost sacral tone on the album - like if they were playing organ and adding Ludwig and Sauers guitars on top of this beside a drum rabbit that goes on like the Duracell bunny he is. We can also recognise the melodies hammering from the speakers, which are typical Edguy melodies that comes with that increasing feeling of climax the further the songs go and only gets better and better. I do miss that epic long song that always use to be there with a final chorus that could make mankind come in some sort of collective orgasm - like a weapon for wiping out the human race - play some long Edguy songs and as soon as it comes to the last chorus everyone gets all cross-eyed and weak and shivery. But there are no such songs here - almost all songs are between four and six minutes except two that are just under eight and a half minute (Robin Hood) and nine minutes (Behind the Midnight World), but none of these gets to that point. They are more like the rest of the album - good, typical Edguy and without obvious shortcomings but more like long short songs.

In the end everything comes down to the whole and the whole of this album is over an hour long (just above 65 minutes to be precise), have eleven really good songs but not many that feels complete or fantastic and there's not really any song that is something completely new and something we've never heard from Edguy before. The whole of this album leaves everyone happy to get new material from Edguy because it has been worth the wait but the whole also leaves me with a feeling that no matter how I twist, turn and fold this album I can't make it feel like the best album they've ever done. Good, absolutely! And worth our money? You bet! But we have heard it before and loved it then - just as we will love this album - but the when we've played the whole album I feel that the risk is you'll put on one of the older albums the next time you play Edguy instead of playing this. And that is not because this album is worse than any of the older, but simply because it isn't better.


Label - Nuclear Blast
Three similar bands- Sonata Arctica/Freedom Call/Helloween
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm
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