Edguy - Mandrake review
|Release date:||September 2001|
01. Tears Of A Mandrake
02. Golden Dawn
04. All The Clowns
05. Nailed To The Wheel
06. The Pharaoh
07. Wash Away The Poison
08. Fallen Angels
09. Painting On The Wall
10. Save Us Now
11. The Devil & The Savant [bonus]
1 - Wings Of A Dream 2001 [bonus]
After the huge success of Edguy's leader with his side-project Avantasia, some Edguy fans feared that Edguy would suffer from the popularity of Avantasia or even that Edguy would just stop existing, at least for a while. But, for God's sake, Tobias Sammet is a very productive writer and with a stable line-up, Edguy released "Mandrake" in 2001. Successor of "Theater Of Salvation" [seeing that "The Savage Poetry" is a new version of early years' songs], this album has been awaited by fans since 1999 and it was carrying a lot of hopes. But with this strange artwork [?!?], well, I was afraid to be unsatisfied by the music. How wrong was I!
From the first track 'Tears Of A Mandrake', you undestand that Edguy is Edguy and Avantasia is Avantasia. No mix between the styles, although they are still in the same "metal universe". But what happened to Tobias Sammet? His voice is so clear, so powerful! Without losing his vocal style [full of vibratos], Tobias has improved his capabilities to become a terrific singer. 'Tears Of A Mandrake' is a long and powerful song with a haunting chorus... What a cool opening track! 'Golden Dawn' is closer to standard power metal but here too the vocals make the difference between Edguy and other bands. 'Jerusalem' starts with a cool bass line and has a nice bagpipe line too! But no worries, guitars are still here. In that second song too, you hear that background vocals have been the subject of particular attention. Background vocalists are Ralf Zdiarstek [as usual], Rob Rock, Markus Schmitt, Daniel Schmitt and the entire band. And by the way, the title of the song 'Jerusalem' might be related to another one of their songs called 'Babylon' [on the album Theater Of Salvation].
Now, already amazed by these three first tracks, 'All The Clowns' and its funny lyrics ["Tell me why all the clowns are gone..."] is a bit surprising but the song is really good, and everybody knows that Tobias Sammet is a little joker, so... 'Nailed To The Wheel' is my favorite song on "Mandrake". It starts like an acoustic ballad until the melody just moves into angry riffs a la Judas Priest. The chorus has the power of a truck and Tobi plays with his voice as he never did before. As a result, 'Nailed To The Wheel' is a real must. Talking about musts, 'The Pharaoh' - unusually long for an Edguy song: 10:36 - is pure art. Erratum: this one is my favorite track! 'Wash Away The Poison' is the usual ballad [present on all Edguy albums] but that's one of the best ever! 'Fallen Angels' is in the same style as 'Golden Dawn' while 'Painting On The Wall' has a huge melody with bells. 'Save Us Now' has the weirdest lyrics ever [about their drummer who is supposed to be an alien bunny...]. Finally, 'The Devil & The Savant' is a wonderful bonus track, in the tone of the whole album. God that's an album!
These five guys from Germany are still excellent in their heavy/power metal and with "Mandrake", they have released their masterpiece so far. Reaching his best level [both in composing and singing], Tobias Sammet is now clearly set up as one of the best singers in metal. Besides, "Mandrake" shows us that Edguy is a serious candidate to be the world's leading band in power metal.
Written on 16.09.2003 by
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