Review Summary: It's ridiculous, rude, crazy, and probably some of the best power metal out there.
It’s been a long year for music. I've turned my back on several of my favorite bands as they drifted off down the suicidal road called the mainstream. I watched in horror as thousands of kids like me screamed and cheered for the mediocre filth that those bands produced. I wasn't expecting anything to compensate me for my heavy losses. Edguy took me by surprise. I've been a fan of Edguy ever since I stumbled on "Out of Control." The godlike duality of Blind Guardian and Edguy totally reshaped my views on music and was one of the songs that inspired me to pick up a guitar. I dug around a little, but I wasn't enthused by any of Edguy's newer performances (including Superheroes), and decided to stick with the oldies. Naturally I wasn't overly excited about Edguy's new release. That all changed when I heard “Ministry of Saints” and “Pride of Creation.” It seemed like Edguy had outgrown is power metal roots and altered their style to include some nasty hard rock riffing and gang chants. The only problem I had now was getting the album since it doesn't show up in the states for another two months. The solution of course was a weekend trip to Germany over Thanksgiving. And so I returned from Germany with Tinnitus Sanctus clutched in my cold white fingers. It was worth every penny er... euro cent.
The vocal/lyrical composition of this album is probably one of Edguy's most controversial features. Tobias Sammet definitely has an... interesting voice. In many cases, my friends just couldn't get past his obnoxious whiney vocal tones. Not to mention the lyrics are awful. Besides not making sense at all, they don't rhyme or flow well with the music. If you can get passed Tobias's voice you might actually begin to appreciate his humorous writing style and the wailing vibrato laden tones he can produce with his vocal chords. The chanted choruses throughout the album are incredibly powerful and add an awesome, epic feel to many songs such as "Sex Fire Religion" and "Dragonfly."
Instrumentally Edguy has a pretty decent lineup. Neither of the guitarists are anything close to being shredders but they are definitely above average. Almost every second of Tinnitus Sanctus is layered is groovy hard-rock riffs and the occasional melodic tune. Guitar solos are not infrequent throughout the album and some of them are quite stunning such as the ones on "Wake up Dreaming Black" and "Speedhoven. Felix isn't what I would call a talented drummer nor are his beats anything original but he meshes nicely with the hard rock feel of the album. Unfortunately though, with the addition of a good bass player Felix is the band's weakest link. Occasionally Felix unleashes a powerful roll or a creative blast but it’s too infrequent to be considered talent. The other Tobias (the one that's a bassist) is actually quite good. Several times throughout the album both guitars cut out leaving the two Tobii* and the drummer the only ones playing. His bass fills through out "Dragonfly" and "Speedhoven" are pretty decent and definitely welcome in a world devoid of bass.
At first glance it appeared as if Edguy had abandoned its power metal roots, but as the album continues I realize that I was gravely mistaken. Many of the songs (specifically during the choruses) have a very obvious power metal influences that facade behind introductions coated in the unmistakable sound of hard rock. The blending of genres creates a nice easy feel that can be enjoyed by both mainstream rockers and the crowd of faithful Edguy fans that were sucked in by the whacky power metal performances.
Unfortunately not all the side affects of being a hard rock band are positive. As usual with hard rock, there is a bit of filler in this album namely 9-2-9 which is pretty boring. Also, Edguy actually attempted to make one of those songs that are supposed to be slow, soft and moving. Bands like Black Stone Cherry are able to pull this off. Edguy cannot. As a result, Thorn without a Rose is a complete and utter failure. Lastly, the final track “Aren’t you a little pervert too!"” is one of the worst Edguy songs of all time, being nothing more than a nasty, sexual little excuse for a song. Thankfully, these are the only blunders on this album; the rest is pretty solid. Unless you’re one of those people that is dead set on considering Edguy to be lame, or gay, or whatever, check this out. That is, when it comes to America.
On a final note, if you consider Edguy to be gay:
a. Go to Google
b. Look up and read the lyrics to “Sex Fire Religion”
c. Proceed to slap yourself
*Tobii- the plural form of Tobias; a word that I made up.
-Manages to be mainstream without being awful
-Worst lyrics ever
-Thorn Without a rose (no seriously)
Ministry of Saints