Review Summary: Mr Tobias Sammet and his entourage sound funny no more
Throughout the decade of 00's, European power metal did nothing more but struggling to stand on its' feet. The old titans' prowess deteriorated slowly to remnants of over-digested ideas- Helloween and Blind Guardian steadily held on to that plan, Stratovarious were swallowed by excessive egos- , while new bands showcased extensive capabilities of playing rather fast than interesting (yeah, the Dragonforce type of guys). In the midst of this decay, whereas power metal bands were left only with a glimpse of dignity, there was a group of restless jokers, whose sense of dignity was rather humorous than ethical. This strange attribute eventually stood as a powerful weapon. Their ability to take things less seriously, made them sound silly or naive to hundreds of ears of "respected" power metal fans, whose standards of taste were easily measurable to the enormity of the draconic figures at the cover artworks. Edguy always walked on the tightrope of irony, taking the risk to sound naive or silly at many, however knowing that their music will be enjoyable to those who' ll catch up the joke. Unfortunately, music is more than apprehensive quirkiness at lyrical themes and interviews, and it seems that these are the only fields that Tobias can contribute anymore.
The Age of the Joker
can be easily labeled as an typical Edguy album, but with minor amounts of inspiration at any field. The band seems to have left the latest rockstar attitude that characterized Rocket Ride
and Tinnitus Sanctus
, and trying to lead their sound to their older power metal roots, while still confiding their latest productive techniques and approaches. The result is a mellow and kinda "serious"( for the band's standards) record, that betrays the scars of Tobias' songwriting exhaustion. Either it's the over-involvement with Avantasia, or the face of time grinning at his consciousness, Sammet's songs sound uninspired and pushed. The refrains are not that catchy anymore and the guitar work is similarly passionless, while the vocal lines are equally unenthusiastic. The general consensus for the record resumes in that it sounds "safe" and devoid of wit. However, if we are not to judge Age of the Joker
by such standards, we will still find nothing more but an average power metal album. There is nothing groundbreaking or unconventional here- same song structures, same instrumentation, same high pitched vocals.
Yes, as you've probably imagined, Age of the Joker
is nothing sort of a unique or interesting kind of work. It still maintains some consistency
, in the sense that the word means (the aforementioned) dignity
. And that dignity is no more humorous but ethical. More like a product of Tobias' half baked, post-Avantasia mind. Yeap.
Oh, and Robin Hood could have been good if it was smaller...