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Edguy – Monuments

Format: CD/DVD
Released: 2017
Label: Nuclear Blast
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 10/10

It surely is a monument for a band such as Edguy who plays a subgenre of traditional Heavy Metal – Euro Power Metal- to have 25 years of music and success. Reason I say so is the Germans started their career in the mid 90s when classic Heavy Metal was considered uncool, commercially unpopular, at least in America. A time when Heavy Metal went underground. Thankfully, the European countries had better taste and supported Edguy, and the like (Helloween, Hammerfall, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, Primal Fear, etc), preserving the music for the future. “Monuments” nicely documents the bands history from their early albums “Savage Poetry” and “Kingdom of Madness” (1995/96), up through the latest album “Space Police: Defenders of the Crown” in 2014, with a 28 song two disc best of. Unfamiliar with what the band are about?...well, Edguy, like their above mentioned peers, offer variety in the arrangements. Not a one trick pony of fast happy happy Euro metal, as is the perception from the uneducated.


Opening disc 1 are five new tracks that sum up the songwriting. ‘Ravenblack’ is a straight ahead headbanger with a big riff and chorus, while the tongue and cheek titled ‘Wrestle The Devil’ shows a sense of humor, not taking their metal too seriously. Also see likeminded hit singles from their past ‘Superheroes’ and ‘Love Tyger’. And a ballad or two is often a given – ‘Save Me’, ‘Land of the Miracle’. So the 80s LA hard rock/metal stylings also part of the formula. ‘Open Sesame’ kicks up the tempo and ‘Landmarks’ shows how much an influence countrymen Helloween are. Mainman/singer Tobias Sammet and co.are as well big Iron Maiden fans - twin guitar leads and harmonies are more often than not the core to songs.
The DVD portion is a show from 2004 when Edguy played Brazil in support of their new album at the time, “Hellfire Club”. But, due to video and audio issues was not released. Now, nothing against what they have recorded, or performances since, but this album and show are one of, if not, their strongest to date, with “Rocket Ride”/ Fucking With Fire - Live 2009 coming in a strong 2nd place. The song selection gold, stage production includes a Dio-ish gargoyle prop spreading its wings, the band looked (Tobi still with long hair) and played spot on. Sammet as a singer and frontman is the illegitimate son of Bruce Dickinson. From epics ‘Navigator’ and The Piper Never Dies’, to catchy hair metal inspired hit ‘Lavatory Love Machine’, to speedy ‘Babylon’, Stratovarius influenced ‘Wake Up The King’, to singalong anthem ‘Tears of the Mandrake’. DVD also includes eight promo videos.
Cheers to two plus decades of Grade A Heavy Metal that unfortunately too many have, and are still, sleeping on.


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