Review Summary: The good is really good. The bad is really bad. The mediocre is really mediocre.
Haven't you ever felt the need to call Edguy Edgay? Quips about the homosexuality of their genre aside, they seem to be the kind of band that can appreciate such a perverted pun. Edguy was always known for their sense of humour next to their style of metal (if you're unsure of this, just listen to 2004's single Lavatory Love Machine.
It even comes with a video clip that is an honest homage to the 80s). Tobias Sammet, band head honcho/vocalist, even recently stated in an interview that he thinks we are all actually just a bunch of perverts and that we should all collectively admit this.
He's even gone ahead and give the proper example, too. Album closer "Aren't You A Little Pervert Too?" is a two-minute country ditty parodying the sexual excesses of the world (yes, a country ditty), and it will leave the listener either scrambling for the door in horror (if you are one of the purists) or laughing out loud, unable to take this seriously at all. If you're of the second predisposition, you're gonna enjoy the rest of this album, as Edguy is pretty much fooling around for half of this (though more in hard rock fashion) , but more serious music lovers that enjoyed Edguy's older power metal side are gonna be rolling their eyes for most of this.
It's funny, because when Edguy actually stick to the power metal, the results are pretty admirable. Opener "Ministry of Saints" contains a golden chorus, some nice downtuned riffs, and the familiar power metal meets Bon Jovi vocals that we've always known to expect from Tobi and co. There's a few more of these golden power metally moments scattered across the album, like the chorus of "Dragonfly", or the one in "Sex Fire Religion", that should appeal to any fans of the style. But when they contrast this to dull plodding failures such as "Wake Up Dreaming Black" (did anyone hand you eyeliner during the lyric writing process, Tobi?), or "Nine Lives", it's when mediocrity starts to take hold.
Most of these songs cannot be technically faulted, though. Edguy are a competent bunch of musicians, but most of these choruses don't stick, and as a power metal band, you need the choruses or you've just lost a part of your fanbase. For a second, half of this album consists of really cheesy hard rock moments, that is going to turn another part of the fanbase off. It may be an improvement over 2006's Rocket Ride (which was just a homosexual hard rock fest), but songs like Thorn Without A Rose that hark back to the best Jon Bon Jovi ballads is something that was tasteless in the 80s, and moreover, it's completely incomprehensible in the year 2008. Dead or Rock is basically the band's homage to AC/DC, which is nice, but considering AC/DC have only ever written one song, it's not something Edguy should be interested to rip off. And Speedhoven is supposed to be all epic and overwrought at seven minutes something, but it's less than epic title and completely sterile songwriting make it take a nosedive about, oh, two minutes in.
I'm sure that fans that love their Guns 'n' Roses, AC/DC and Bon Jovi will love this album, as Edguy have pretty much definitively evolved into a more hard rock/heavy metal outfit than the fantasy power metal outfit they represented before. It's a real shame that they are entering an obsolete genre, whereas more experimentation within a power metal framework or even just merging the two would have been a far more productive effort. However, this seems to take the integrity of the band, throw it all out the window, and despite the quality of the musicianship and the tracks, it's come to a point where Edguy are a gigantic self-parodic entity. And that, to put it in perverted and vulgar terms, is really