Really back in the saddle with this one
When German act Edguy released Hellfire Club back in 2004, it represented a big shift for the band, with melodic hard rock influences being incorporated into the band's trademark power metal sound. While the album was seen as a positive move, the band's follow up release Rocket Ride from 2006 didn't fare so well, as the overall rockier direction was seen more as an attempt at the mainstream. Now returning with their eighth studio release Tinnitus Sanctus, Edguy (Who comprise of vocalist/keyboardist Tobias Sammet, guitarists Jens Ludwig and Dirk Sauer, bassist Tobias Exxel and drummer Felix Bohnke) have obviously made a determined effort to find a balance between their power metal past and their hard rock present. And in simple terms, they've definitely succeeded.
The opening track Ministry Of Saints (Which is also the first promotional video clip filmed for the album) is a catchy heavy rocker that gets the album off to a memorable start with its anthem-like chorus and big heavy guitar/keyboard riffs. Sex Fire Religion is every bit as impressive and catchy as the opener with its slower and heavier bass driven sound, while the band's fast paced classic power metal sound of old comes out in full force on the huge (And fun) sounding The Pride Of Creation. Edguy superbly blur the lines between power metal and hard rock in songs such as Nine Lives, the powerful Wake Up Dreaming Black and the more groove orientated/operatic influenced Dragonfly, while the album's sole ballad Thorn Without A Rose is surprisingly strong, and stands up well against the more up-tempo hard rocking tracks.
9-2-9 and the lengthy fast paced power metal epic Speedhoven are infectious numbers that maintain the consistency toward the tail end of the album, while the hard rocking Dead Or Rock (Which for some reason reminds me of W.A.S.P.'s Mean Man from their classic The Headless Children album from 1989) closes the album perfectly.
The only real flaw on the album is the final number Aren't You A Little Pervert Too?. Despite its witty lyrical content, the overtly joke-like approach to the (Country based) song just doesn't gel with the remainder of the album. In all honesty, it would have been better left uncredited as a hidden track.
Barring the one blunder, Tinnitus Sanctus is a big returning effort for Edguy, and an album that's sure to keep fans' expectations more than fulfilled.
(Nuclear Blast Records/Riot! Entertainment)