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Edguy – Space Police: Defenders of the Crown [Review]

edguy-space-police-defenders-of-the-crown-84322

Edguy – Space Police: Defenders of the Crown
2014, Nuclear Blast Records
Buy the album at Amazon.com

1. “Sabre & Torch”
2. “Space Police”
3. “Defenders of the Crown”
4. “Love Tyger”
5. “The Realms of Baba Yaga”
6. “Rock Me Amadeus”
7. “Do Me Like a Caveman”
8. “Shadow Eaters”
9. “Alone in Myself”
10. “The Eternal Wayfarer”
Digital Bonus Tracks:
11. “England”
12. “Aychim in Hysteria”
13. “Space Police (progressive version)”
14. “Space Police (instrumental version)”
15. “Love Tyger (instrumental version)”
16. “Defenders of the Crown (instrumental version)”
17. “Do Me Like a Caveman (instrumental version)”

Band: Tobias Sammet – Lead/Backing vocals, Keyboards
Jens Ludwig – Guitar
Dirk Sauer – Guitar
Tobias “Eggi” Exxel – Bass
Felix Bohnke- Drums

Additional Musicians:
Michael Rodenberg – Keyboards
Oliver Hartmann – Backing Vocals

Producer: Sascha Paeth & Edguy

Much to the dismay of longtime fans, Edguy continues to be an outlet for Tobia Sammet’s silliness and his love for ’80s rock/metal while Avantasia is his more serious metal project. It’s funny because Avantasia started out as a cheesy & cliched power metal side project for Tobias and there was a time when Edguy used to take themselves more seriously.

One of my favorite songs on the album happens to be a bonus track. “Aychim In Hysteria” is a tribute — musically to Def Leppard and lyrically to the band’s live sound in engineer. Edguy’s lyrics have always been full of little in jokes, awkward phrasing and nonsensical words so while I don’t know what the song is about exactly, at least it sounds good!

With regards to the 10-track album, Edguy has delivered one of their best efforts, in my opinion. I know there are plenty of Edguy fans that still pine for their power metal days and maybe they’ll return to that at some point but for now the band seems happy to write silly catchy hard rock/metal songs. It’s almost like they’re becoming a heavier version of The Darkness. I’m fine with that. That’s how Edguy captured my attention in the first place with Rocket Ride. Songs like “Do Me Like a Caveman”, “Love Tyger” and a cover of Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” won’t win the band any favors with power metal purists but they are fun songs nonetheless.

For my money, the best tracks from the album are the ballad “Alone In Myself” and the headbanging “Shadow Eaters”. With the bonus tracks, “England” is okay but like I said, I think “Alychim In Hysteria” is pretty awesome. As far as the progressive/instrumental versions go–  okay, nice to include but they aren’t essential listening.

Space Police: Defenders of the Crown is a worthy addition to the Edguy catalog. I wouldn’t place it with Rocket Ride but it’s at least on level with Tinnitus Sanctus and I’m enjoying it more than Age of the Joker.

Highlights: “Sabre & Torch”, “Space Police”, “Love Tyger”, “Shadow Eaters”, “Alone In Myself”, “The Eternal Wayfarer”, “Aychim In Hysteria”

Avantasia – The Mystery of Time [Review]

Themysteryoftimecover

Avantasia – The Mystery of Time
2013, Nuclear Blast Records
Buy the album

1. “Spectres”
2. “The Watchmakers’ Dream”
3. “Black Orchid”
4. “Where Clock Hands Freeze”
5. “Sleepwalking”
6. “Savior in the Clockwork”
7. “Invoke the Machine”
8. “What’s Left Of Me”
9. “Dweller in a Dream”
10. “The Great Mystery”

Band:
Tobias Sammet – Lead Vocals, Bass
Sascha Paeth – Guitar
Russell Gilbrook – Drums
Miro – Keyboards

Additional Musicians:
Joe Lynn Turner – Lead Vocals
Michael Kiske – Lead Vocals
Biff Byford – Lead Vocals
Ronnie Atkins – Lead Vocals
Eric Martin – Lead Vocals
Bob Catley – Lead Vocals
Cloudy Yang – Lead Vocals
Bruce Kulick – Guitar
Oliver Hartmann – Guitar
Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Guitar
Ferdy Doernberg – Organ

Produced by: Tobias Sammet & Sascha Paeth

Tobias Sammet just does not quit! Between Edguy and Avantasia, he’s constantly recording or touring. He’s the German equivalent of Dave Grohl. Busy, busy, busy!

It seems to be paying off. The Mystery of Time has done very well across Europe and while it didn’t break the Billboard 200 in the United States, it sold well enough in its first week to make Billboard’s Heatseeker and Hard Rock charts.

Thankfully, The Mystery of Time is only a 10-track collection and not a double album effort like when Sammet released The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon simultaneously back in 2010. But don’t worry, there’s enough power metal epics here — “The Great Mystery” and “Savior in the Clockwork” both clock in (no pun intended) at 10 minutes.

Though I included this album in my Top 10 list for 2013, I didn’t get around to really listening to it until the end of the year even though it was released in March of 2013. Boy, I’m sorry I procrastinated. This may be my favorite Avantasia release yet and the presence of the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg only adds to the majestic metal that Avantasia already brings to the table.

Speaking of that orchestra, Edguy used them for their Hellfire Club album. I admit it’s getting harder to tell the difference between Edguy and Avantasia these days. Sammet is the driving force in both bands and they both play power metal. The only real difference is that Edguy seems to have a cheesy sense of humor and Avantasia uses a lot of guest vocalists.

Yeah, definitely should have rated this one higher for 2013. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. Great vocal performances all around, great melodies and songs that you can’t get out of your head. Best Avantasia album yet.

Highlights: “Spectres”, “The Watchmaker’s Dream”, “Sleepwalking”, “Savior in the Clockwork”, “Invoke the Machine”, “What’s Left of Me”, “The Great Mystery”

http://www.tobiassammet.com/
http://www.facebook.com/avantasia/

The Metal Excess Awards: 2011 Edition

Last year I said 2010 was a better year for music than 2009 was. I went on to wonder how 2011 could even begin to top it. Well, guess what… 2011 did indeed top 2010! I’m looking back at my Top 25 list for 2010 and while those albums are all still good, this year’s Top 25 list is much stronger top to bottom.

2011 was a great year that saw classic rock/metal acts like Whitesnake, Warrant, Riot, Alice Cooper, Journey, Black N’ Blue and King Kobra deliver some of the best albums of their career while younger acts like Steel Panther, Reckless Love, Savage Messiah, Evile (who missed the list by this much) and Black Veil Brides have shown that they are more than capable of carrying rock & metal into the future.

Top 25 Albums of 2011

1. Whitesnake – Forevermore
2. Sixx:A.M. – This Is Gonna Hurt
3. Riot – Immortal Soul
4. Warrant – Rockaholic
5. Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
6. Steel Panther – Balls Out
7. Megadeth – Thirteen
8. Anthrax – Worship Music
9. Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming
10. Reckless Love – Animal Attraction
11. Edguy – Age of the Joker
12. Hurtsmile – s/t
13. Journey – Eclipse
14. Chickenfoot – III
15. Mike Tramp & The Rock ‘N’ Roll Circuz – Stand Your Ground
16. Black Country Communion – 2
17. The Poodles – Performocracy
18. House of Lords – Big Money
19. King Kobra – s/t
20. Saliva – Under Your Skin
21. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
22. Black N’ Blue – Hell Yeah!
22. Savage Messiah – Plague of Conscience
24. George Lynch – Kill All Control
25. Joe Bonamassa – Dust Bowl

Best E.P./Single
In light of a few non-album singles being released this year, I’ve decided to make this a hybrid category.

1. Sixx:A.M. – 7
2. Black Veil Brides – Rebels
3. Who Cares – Out of My Mind / Holy Water
4. Wildstreet – II …Faster …Louder!
5. The Last Vegas – The Other Side E.P.

Best Compilation/Cover/Live/Reissue Albums
Kind of a catch-all category this year. Instead of listing each category individually, I decided to lump them all into one list and rank them that way.

1. Black Sabbath – Born Again [Deluxe Edition]
2. Stryper – The Covering
3. Vains of Jenna – Reverse Tripped
4. Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990
5. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy – Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11
6. Hell – Human Remains
7. Scorpions – Comeblack
8. Def Leppard – Mirrorball: Live & More
9. Eric Carr – Unfinished Business
10. Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer [Deluxe Edition]

Want to read more about the year in music? Check out some of the fine sites & blogs listed below! And be sure to keep checking back for more Year-End posts here at Metal Excess!

All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/

Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/

The Crash Pad of Ray Van Horn, Jr. – http://www.rayvanhornjr2.blogspot.com/

Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/

Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/

Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.com

Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/

Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/

Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/

Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/

Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/

The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/

Edguy – Age of the Joker

Edguy – Age of the Joker (2011, Nuclear Blast Records)

1. Robin Hood … 8:24
2. Nobody’s Hero … 4:31
3. Rock of Cashel … 6:18
4. Pandora’s Box … 6:45
5. Breathe … 5:03
6. Two Out of Seven … 4:27
7. Faces in the Darkness … 5:22
8. The Arcane Guild … 4:58
9. Fire on the Downline … 5:46
10. Behind the Gates to Midnight World … 8:56
11. Every Night Without You … 4:52

Band:
Tobias Sammet – Vocals
Jens Ludwig – Guitar
Dirk Sauer – Guitar
Tobias Exxel – Bass
Felix Bohnke – Drums

Producer: Sascha Paeth

Wow, I had planned on reviewing this one as soon as it came out but I just kept putting it off despite having already given Age of the Joker a few (unfocused) listen. Having given the album a few more attentive spins, Age of the Joker is a really good album that is easily an improvement over Tinnitus Sanctus (which itself was a fine album and one of the best of that year but was missing a certain spark I heard on Rocket Ride …yes, I’m a fan).

For a number of uptight power metal fans, Rocket Ride and Tinnitus Sanctus are considered to be low-points for Edguy. With those albums they took on more of an eighties melodic hard rock flavor though Tinnitus Sanctus was the heavier of the two albums that saw them going back into a metallic direction. I would imagine the same fans that derided the last two albums will have mixed feelings about this new release.

Age of the Joker borrows from both the power metal and the catchy hard rock eras of Edguy while also incorporating elements of Sammet’s Avantasia epics. Other than the goofy humor that Edguy displays with an eight minute song like “Robin Hood” (and if you don’t think these guys are taking the piss just watch the video for it), it’s getting hard to distinguish the two groups these days because they’ve both moved into a more friendly melodic hard rock/metal direction over the last few year. Perhaps it’s time to start using a producer other than Sascha Paeth…

Stylistically, I think the album art is a conscious effort on the band’s part to make the jaded fans take them more seriously after having last seen cartoon aliens riding a rocket ship and an ear-bleeding Jesus Christ being sported on the covers. This cover art reminds me of the cover to Mandrake even if it is still a bi

There’s a little something for everyone here. You want old school Edguy? Check out “Robin Hood” and “The Arcane Guild”. You want something more in line with Rocket Ride? You’ve got “Nobody’s Hero”, the bluegrassy “Pandora’s Box” and the power ballad “Every Night Without You”. Hey, were you a big fan of the recent Avantasia albums? Give “Rock of Cashel” and “Behind the Gates to Midnight World” a listen.

It all adds up to make one heck of a high quality album that is one of 2011’s best releases. In fact, I don’t think there are any filler tracks here (I would peg “Robin Hood” as my least favorite though). The band has quite possibly released one of their most consistent albums yet.

Highlights: “Nobody’s Hero”, “Rock of Cashel”, “Pandora’s Box”, “Two Out of Seven”, “Fire on the Downline”, “Behind the Gates to Midnight World”, “Every Night Without You”

http://www.edguy.net
http://www.facebook.com/edguy
http://www.twitter.com/_edguy

Buy ‘Age of the Joker’ at Amazon.com

The Best Albums of the 2000s

Welcome to 2010!

I’m going to start the year off with yet another list except I won’t be limiting myself to “Top 10” or “Top 20” or whatever. I’ll be going chronologically, year by year (I didn’t put the albums in any specific order though) and if I thought it was a really good album, I’ll list it regardless of whether one year has four albums listed and another year only has two.

Looking back, the whole decade was pretty good for this rock/metal fan. The scene suffered greatly during the ’90s, but by 2000, the genre was turning the corner and I think most people had grown tired of depressed drug addicts and angry no-talent white rappers playing rock music. The legends were laying low during the ’90s and the next decade was made up of many comebacks, but that’s not to discount many newer acts who stepped up and played a vital role in rock ‘n’ roll.

2000
Marvelous 3 – ReadySexGo
Halford – Resurrection
Bon Jovi – Crush
Cold – 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage
The Union Underground – …An Education in Rebellion
Alice Cooper – Brutal Planet

2001
Puddle of Mudd – Come Clean
Megadeth – The World Needs a Hero
Alice Cooper – Dragontown
Lit – Atomic

2002
Dio – Killing the Dragon
Butch Walker – Left of Self-Centered
Bon Jovi – Bounce
Sentenced – The Cold White Light
L.A. Guns – Waking the Dead

2003
Anthrax – We’ve Come For You All
Alice Cooper – The Eyes of Alice Cooper
Dream Evil – Evilized

2004
Scorpions – Unbreakable
Megadeth – The System Has Failed
Tesla – Into the Now
Dream Evil – The Book of Heavy Metal
Brides of Destruction – Here Come the Brides

2005
Judas Priest – Angel of Retribution
Alice Cooper – Dirty Diamonds

2006
Edguy – Rocket Ride
Paul Stanley – Live to Win

2007
Avenged Sevenfold – Avenged Sevenfold
Sebastian Bach – Angel Down
Scorpions – Humanity: Hour I

2008
Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy
Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus
Whitesnake – Good to Be Bad

2009
KISS – Sonic Boom
Steel Panther – Feel the Steel

EDGUY – Hellfire Club

Edguy – Hellfire Club (2004, Nuclear Blast Records)

1. “Mysteria” … 5:44
2. “The Piper Never Dies” … 10:05
3. “We Don’t Need a Hero” … 5:30
4. “Down to the Devil” … 5:27
5. “King of Fools” … 4:21
6. “Forever” … 5:40
7. “Under the Moon” … 5:04
8. “Lavatory Love Machine” … 4:25
9. “Rise of the Morning Glory” … 4:39
10. “Lucifer in Love” … 0:32
11. “Navigator” … 5:22
12. “The Spirit Will Remain” … 4:12

Band:
Tobias Sammet – Vocals, Keyboards
Jens Ludwig – Guitar
Dirk Sauer – Guitar
Tobias Exxel – Bass
Felix Bohnke – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Oliver Hartmann – Backing Vocals
Thomas Rettke – Backing Vocals

Produced by: Edguy

Great release from Edguy, even though it’s not a highly acclaimed album from many of Edguy’s so-called “fans”. It’s heavier than previous Edguy efforts yet includes an orchestra for many of the songs.

The catchy power metal songs are still here though. “Mysteria”, “We Don’t Need a Hero” and “King of Fools”, are particularly infectious and it’s another release to offer proof that Sammet is one of the best voices in rock & metal.

I first got into Edguy with Rocket Ride, which is another album derided by Edguy fans, but I loved it and went back and picked this one up. It’s not over the top with the ode to 80s melodic metal that Rocket Ride had at times, but on Hellfire Club, the signs are showing of a band that’s more concerned with having fun than being credible in the eyes of critics… and that’s a good thing.

Highlights: “Mysteria”, “The Piper Never Dies”, “We Don’t Need a Hero”, “Down to the Devil”, “King of Fools”, “Forever”, “Lavatory Love Machine”

www.edguy.net
www.myspace.com/edguy

EDGUY – Rocket Ride


Edguy – Rocket Ride (2006, Nuclear Blast Records)

1. “Sacrifice” … 8:01
2. “Rocket Ride” … 4:47
3. “Wasted Time” … 5:48
4. “Matrix” … 4:09
5. “Return to the Tribe” … 6:06
6. “The Asylum” … 7:38
7. “Save Me” … 3:47
8. “Catch of the Century” … 4:03
9. “Out of Vogue” … 4:36
10. “Superheroes” … 3:19
11. “Trinidad” … 3:28
12.”Fucking with Fire (Hair Force One)” … 4:22
BONUS TRACK
13. “Land of the Miracle” [live] … 5:49

Band:
Tobias Sammet – Vocals
Jens Ludwig – Guitar
Dirk Sauer – Guitar
Tobias “Eggi” Exxel – Bass
Felix Bohnke – Drums

Produced by: Sascha Paeth

I can enjoy some power metal bands, but it’s not a favorite genre of mine because it all usually seems the same to me, musically and lyrically, but Edguy is definitely a power metal band that I love. Though some would argue that are really just a hard rock band these days and that billing started with this album (my first Edguy purchase).

Here’s proof that advertising works: I picked this one up at FYE shortly after it was released (I think it was only $11.99 or so) because the sticker on the shrink wrap said it was for fans of KISS, Scorpions and I think the third band was Judas Priest. Hey, I love those bands and the CD was fairly cheap, so I gave it a shot and I’m glad I did because this is one of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard.

As I would come to find out by buying their older material later, the album is a departure from their original power metal sound. It’s a bit more silly, slightly less metal and the 80s hard rock vibe is strong… and obvious at times when it comes to songs like “Fucking with Fire (Hair Force Once)”.

The album doesn’t take itself too seriously, but sometimes it treads on being TOO goofy like with “Trinidad”, which is catchy, but almost sounds like a song you might hear in a Disney movie like Lion King, if not for the lyrics.

Tons of older Edguy fans have turned their back on the band starting with this album, but the band has at least gained me as a fan. I love the direction the band took with this album and continued with Tinnitus Sanctus. This is definitely an album I return to over and over again.

“Land of the Miracle”, from their 1999 album Theater of Salvation, is a “bonus” live track from a show in Brazil. It’s a great performance and the crowd energy really adds to it.

Highlights: “Sacrifice”, “Rocket Ride”, “Wasted Time”, “Matrix”, “The Asylum”, “Save Me”, “Superheroes”, “Trinidad”, “Fucking with Fire (Hair Force One)”, “Land of the Miracle” [live]

www.edguy.net
www.myspace.com/edguy

The Top 10 Albums of 2008 (#1-5)

Before we get on with the conclusion of the Top 10 (#6-10 found can be found here), let me first say that outside of the #1 spot, there were no clear cut rankings. I spent the last month listening to each and every 2008 release once a day in order to accurately judge where they should be ranked.

Okay, not really, but it was pretty tough deciding who went where, especially when getting down to the cream of the crop…

1. Guns ‘N Roses – Chinese Democracy

Well, this was a no-brainer for me. Is it bloated? Full of ego? Overproduced? Sure. But through all of that, there’s no filler. Regardless of who the public thinks should be a member of GNR and what GNR should sound like, this is a great hard rock album. The fact that I spent the last 7 years listening to most of these tracks (in some form or another) and still play this almost every day in my car to and from work just goes to show how powerful the whole album is. It’s completely epic, UYI sessions to the extreme and I love it.

2. Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus

Edguy came late in the year and vaulted over everyone to earn the No. 2 spot in my eyes. I’m a big fan of Edguy’s change in style and Tinnitus Sanctus continued the hard rock catchiness and huge choruses found on Rocket Ride.

3. Whitesnake – Good to Be Bad

After hearing the new tracks from Whitesnake’s Live: In the Shadow of the Blues, I knew David was going to give the world a great hard rock album… and he did! This is quite possibly Whitesnake’s best release, it stays true to the Whitesnake sound, and I’m still playing it these days. The band is powerful and so is David’s voice. Just a shame Whitesnake doesn’t carry as much cloat as a band like AC/DC because Good to Be Bad definitely deserved a wider audience.

4. Metallica – Death Magnetic

Funny thing is, this album may have ranked higher had it played in my car, where I tend to do most of my music listening (it’s a 20 minute drive to work at the least, depending on traffic). For some reason, it skips in my car’s CD player, so I was restricted to listening to it in the home, where I’m often distracted. Great album though. I’m still not sure where I’d rank it in the band’s catalog, but easily their best since the Black Album and possibly even better. Metallica just can’t win with fans these days though, because I’ve seen some serious trashing on this album as well.

5. AC/DC – Black Ice

Well, they did it! One of the most successful releases of the year and AC/DC definitely earned it with Black Ice. AC/DC is a great band, but I had grown tired of them quite some time ago. This album pulled me back in.

Now that we’ve talked about the best…

Most Disappointing Releases of 2008

Def Leppard – Nine Lives

I’m okay with Def Leppard abandoning the “Def Leppard sound” for the most part, but I just can’t get behind this album. 1970s glam cover album YEAH! was definitely an influence here, but it didn’t influence them to rock. “Nine Lives” was a great Leppard-esque rocker, but the rest was a huge letdown.

Alice Cooper – Along Came a Spider

Not bad, but definitely one of Alice’s least impressive albums. There’s just nothing special about it. Just to show how little of an impact it made on me, I only remembered it after posting this article! Again, my gripe was that it just didn’t rock out enough.

Don’t forget to check out what these great sites thought of this year’s releases…

All Metal Resource
Bring Back Glam
Hard Rock Hideout
Hair Metal Mansion
Heavy Metal Addiction
Heavy Metal Time Machine
Imagine Echoes
Layla’s Classic Rock
The Metal Minute
The Ripple Effect
Rock And Roll and Meandering Nonsense
Rock Of Ages

The Top Ten Albums of 2008 (#6-10)

2008 has been a phenomenal year in the rock & metal world. Legends returned with a vengeance and were met with  praise and success (AC/DC, Metallica, Motley Crue) and other legends returned to be met with confusion and/or slower than expected sales (Judas Priest, Guns N’ Roses). There were a few surprises, and a few disappointment as well. Today, we take a look at #6-10, tomorrow #1-5.

6. Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles

The Crue really upped their game with this release. After hearing the new songs from Red, White and Crue, I was excited to hear a full new albums from these guys and they delivered. The title track is a killer Crue song and stands with all of the classics in their catalog. It also debuted with respectable sales and was supported by the fun and successful Crue Fest tour.

7. SteelHeart – Good 2B Alive

Out of nowhere, SteelHeart delivers in 2008! I was blown away by how good this album was. SteelHeart’s never been a bad band, so I didn’t expect anything horrible, but who knew modern hard rock and the 80s melodic hard rock sound could be fused together so perfectly? Milijenko Matijevic’s voice is STILL one of the most powerful in rock. Shame not many people seemed to notice this album when it came out. Many tracks were worthy of radio play.

8. Judas Priest – Nostradamus

I’ll admit, I was a bit disappointed by this album (though not as much as others) when it first came out. Concept albums don’t do much for me in general, but after giving the album a few closer listens, it’s really grown on me. It’s still bloated, overproduced and has way too much filler in the form of instrumentals, but underneath all of that, between those two discs, is a very good Priest album.

9. Buckcherry – Black Butterfly

Another album that took me by surprise. I’ve always been a fan of the idea and image of Buckcherry more than the music itself, but Black Butterfly has definitely proven the band’s worthiness to me. From top the bottom, the album is enjoyable and the band has begun to broaden their tastes a bit. This album seems to have failed to replicate the success of their last album, 15, which is a shame because it’s superior in nearly every way.

10. Various Artists – We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year

Seriously. Who woulda thunk an indie release full of heavy metal takes on Christmas songs would be good, let alone great? I absolutely love this album and I know I’ll be playing it for years to come. I almost feel a bit guilty for ranking it above some of the honorable mentions, but when I’m having this much fun listening to an album, I can’t worry about that!

Honorable Mentions. A couple of albums that were very good, but as whole, didn’t receive as many listens and weren’t as consistent. Not bad albums by any means, all are worth picking up, but they just lacked that extra something to warrant a Top 10 spot.

Tesla – Forever More

A solid effort, but just didn’t come close to Into the Now for me.

Journey – Revelation

This was actually another nice surprise, but as good as it was, I’m a hard rock guy at heart, not an AOR guy.

Avantasia – The Scarecrow

Avantasia started off 2008 in a great way, and it almost made the list, but I my interests wanes listening to nothing but an album full of power metal. That’s why Edguy made the list and this album didn’t.

Extreme – Saudades de Rock

Really strong record that featured one of my favorite songs of the year (“King of the Ladies”). A bit too slow at times to get into the Top 10 though.

Stop by tomorrow as I present numbers 1-5 of 2008! And be sure to check out these fine sites for even more best of ’08 lists:

All Metal Resource
Bring Back Glam
Hard Rock Hideout
Hair Metal Mansion
Heavy Metal Addiction
Heavy Metal Time Machine
Imagine Echoes
Layla’s Classic Rock
The Metal Minute
The Ripple Effect
Rock And Roll and Meandering Nonsense
Rock Of Ages

EDGUY – Tinnitus Sanctus

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus [Import] (2008, Nuclear Blast Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Ministry of Saints” … 5:05
2. “Sex Fire Religion” … 5:55
3. “The Pride of Creation” … 5:30
4. “Nine Lives” … 4:26
5. “Wake Up Dreaming Black” … 4:04
6. “Dragonfly” … 4:56
7. “Thorn Without a Rose” … 4:44
8. “9-2-9” … 3:47
9. “Speedhoven” … 7:40
10. “Dead or Rock” … 4:57
11. “Aren’t You a Little Pervert Too?!” … 2:18

Band:
Tobias Sammet – Vocals
Jens Ludwig – Guitar
Dirk Sauer – Guitar
Tobias “Eggi” Exxel – Bass
Felix Bohnke – Drums

Produced by: Sascha Paeth

I got my hands on an import version of this album (released in November) though it won’t see a US release until January 2009. Ah, the wonders of eBay. There’s rumblings of a Edguy backlash, at least over here in the States. They “sold out”, “turned their back on metal”, whatever. Usual gripes when an artist tries to expand their sound. Personally, I don’t think Edguy has ever been better. Yes, I enjoy their power metal very much, but I think their hard rock/80s metal sound is even better.

I got hooked on the band with Rocket Ride, and if you liked that album, you’ll like this one as well. If you didn’t like Rocket Ride, don’t even bother with Tinnitus Sanctus because the power metal element is even more removed (though still there on songs like “Dragonfly” and “Speedhoven”). I might even go as far to say this even better than Rocket Ride, which had one or two filler songs. Tobias Sammet says this is the band’s greatest album and the album he thinks and hopes they’ll be remembered for. While I like to think each future Edguy release will get better and better, he may be right about it being their best at this time.

I especially enjoy “Sex Fire Religion”, which is extremely catchy and my favorite song from the album. “Dead or Rock” is another standout that adds element of sleazy blues rock, but still the typical booming vocals of Tobias.

The only track which I don’t enjoy is “Aren’t You A Little Pervert Too?!”. I know it’s a “joke” song, but I just don’t think it’s funny. I’d rather another track that didn’t make the final track listing had replaced it.

Highlights: “Ministry of Saints”, Sex Fire Religion”, “The Pride of Creation”, “Wake Up Dreaming Black”, “Dragonfly”, “9-2-9”, “Dead or Rock”

www.edguy.net
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