Radio rock with few highlights
After 2004's EP King Of Fools and the quick to follow full length Hellfire Club, many suspected that long time rock/prog/power metallers Edguy were at the beginning of a change in direction that would please as many fans as it did piss others off. As they did with King Of Fools, their latest EP Superheroes contains a single track that will be on their forthcoming album and it's very much in the same vein as the aforementioned Hellfire Club for vocalist Tobias Sammet, guitarists Dirk Sauer and Jens Ludwig, bassist Tobias "Eggi" Exxel and drummer Felix Bohnke.
With an almost country sounding single plucked riff, the title track of Edguy's latest EP, Superheroes, quickly launches into a solid mix of rock, power metal and progressive metal but it's very much a radio type of track (ie. nothing heavy or “out there” about it at all). Spooks In The Attic is a little more up tempo and closer to the band's melodic metal heritage while Blessing In Disguise sees the quintet tackle the classic power ballad with a somewhat predictable and uninspiring chorus in a song that is flat overall.
The real gem on here is the epic Judas At The Opera which features guest vocals from former Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske. Judas At The Opera combines the best elements of Edguy with the likes of Queen for a truly epic journey that explores power, speed and melody and is easily the highlight of the EP. Magnum's The Spirit (from the 1982 album Chase The Dragon) gets the Edguy cover treatment before the EP is wrapped up with the “Epic Version” of the title track which is simple piano, strings and Sammet's voice. If the lead track on offer here was the “hit single” for a movie soundtrack, then this version is the one that would play over the movie's rolling credits so it's well placed at the end of this 26 minute EP.
As a teaser to the forthcoming Edguy album, Superheroes provides a taste of what to expect. But the sticking point is that for fans who thought Edguy have begun a backward trend with 2004's Hellfire Club, there is little joy on offer here that will change their opinion. Even for those who are moving forward with the Edguy, sure Superheroes is a value-for-money effort but it could quite easily be overlooked whilst you save your money for their next full length album.
(Nuclear Blast Records/Riot! Distribution)