Edguy - Vain Glory Opera review
|Album:||Vain Glory Opera|
02. Until We Rise Again
03. How Many Miles
04. Scarlet Rose
05. Out Of Control
06. Vain Glory Opera
08. Walk On Fighting
10. No More Foolin'
11. Hymn [Ultravox cover]
12. But Here I Am [Japanese bonus]
After two demos and Kingdom Of Madness in 1996, the German band Edguy is back with their second full-length release Vain Glory Opera. Written as a "metal opera" by rising power metal genius Tobias Sammet, this album should mark the carrier of young band Edguy. As Dominik Storch left the band after 'Kingdom Of Madness', the band welcomes a new drummer, adding Felix Bohnke to the current line-up. However, as written in the booklet of Vain Glory Opera, all drums on this album are played by Frank Lindenthal. On this 1998's record, Sammet is still handling bass guitar and keyboard parts while singing, the other members of Edguy remain Jens Ludwig and Dirk Sauer both playing guitars.
There is no opera without an overture. This one has one too, simply called 'Overture'. It starts with a nice melody and choir vocals supporting Tobias' voice [courtesy of Ralf Zdiarstek and Norman Meiritz]. 'Overture' is an opening track for 'Until We Rise Again' and here, "show them no mercy"! Heavy guitars, loud drums, Jens Ludwig on solos... this song is in pure Edguy style. 'How Many Miles' has a slower tempo but remains heavy and its chorus is one of the best among all Edguy songs. For sure, this track is one of the highlights of the album. Then you're listening to a standard metal ballad 'Scarlet Rose': good lyrics, good ballad, but definitively not so well sung [sorry Tobias!]. In fact, it would be more exact to say that his way of singing in that song could have been improved on the choruses [too many vibratos...]. Nevertheless, 'Scarlet Rose' is still a very good song [including a great guitar solo by Jens Ludwig].
With 'Out Of Control' comes the first real change on Vain Glory Opera: Tobias Sammet is sharing lead vocals with another singer. And not a bad one! Blind Guardian's front man Hansi Kursch himself! Now, this song is the real "metal opera" track on the album. And it's also the best track. The duo Sammet/Kursch is perfect on vocals while guest star Timo Tolkki [Stratovarius of course...] is adding his little personal touch to the song with one of his famous solos. That's also the first song to be composed by all members unlike all previous ones [written by Sammet only]. Then comes the title track 'Vain Glory Opera'. In the same style as 'Out Of Control' [and still featuring Hansi Kursch], this track is good but its beginning on keyboards sounds a little... How to say it? A little too much like 'The Final Countdown' by Europe to be ignored. What were you thinking, Tobi? Anyway, the song is good but has nothing of the genius shown on the previous 'Out Of Control'. And unfortunately, the end of what could be called a "metal opera" ends with this song as the following ones are back to pure power metal style.
That statement is obvious on 'Fairytale', which is very much a speed power song. Its main structure is standard, however, the break played in the middle of the song [with solos performed by Jens, Dirk and... Tobias himself] has to be mentioned for its originality. Still very power metal but in a different rhythm [a slower one], 'Walk On Fighting' is also one of the highlights of the album with its gorgeous melody. Now, while I'm going to talk about the last tracks of Vain Glory opera, I have the strange feeling that the idea of making a "metal opera" has been forgotten! And you can feel it! 'Tomorrow' has no business on an Edguy album: it could be a Demis Roussos song or maybe on the original soundtrack of the Teletubbies... I won't say more about it. Now, on the other hand, 'No More Fooling' has nothing to do with a metal opera [once again], however, it is a very good heavy metal song with its aggressive guitars a la Judas Priest. Finally, 'Hymn' is an Ultravox cover and a good one and, at least, this song is not a bad choice to end an opera.
Originally written to be a "metal opera", this album is finally heavier than you would expect it to be. Despite the enlightening presence of Blind Guardian's front man Hansi Kursch singing on two songs, Vain Glory Opera doesn't deserve to be called an opera. In my opinion, that is due to the lack of other voices on some songs such as 'Walk On Fighting' or 'No More Fooling'. The result is that Edguy failed to make a true metal opera. Nevertheless, Vain Glory Opera remains a good heavy/power metal album. Finally, even if the music is very good, this album has no "common soul": you can feel that Edguy were still searching for their own songwriting style. Keeping in mind his idea to do a metal opera, Tobias Sammet will create his project called Avantasia two years later and Vain Glory Opera will stand as the basis for the project.
Written on 16.09.2003 by
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