Rocket ride that fizzles out halfway through the journey
After providing fans with a teaser in the form of the Superhero EP released in September 2005, Edguy (who are vocalist Tobias Sammet, guitarists Dirk Sauer and Jens Ludwig, bassist Tobias "Eggi" Exxel and drummer Felix Bohnke) has finally ended the countdown to the release of their latest studio album, Rocket Ride.
Opening with Sacrifice, Edguy deliver a layered, symphonic mix of guitars, keyboards and Sammet's strong vocals that certainly kick things off to a decent start. Of particular interest is the dynamic and slow mid section which is sure to surprise a few people in a good way. The up tempo hard rocker of a title track contains all the classic elements of good hard rock dynamics right down to the big ending that's chock full of wailing guitars and drum fills. It's definitely one of the albums highlights! The slower and somewhat duller Matrix is the valley between the up tempo highs of Wasted Time and Return To The Tribe before the melancholy opening strains of Asylum slowly build into somewhat of an epic number with early Def Leppard like overtones making it a surprise winner.
Things fall apart a little over the course of the last half of the album. Starting with Save Me, which is a nice ballad and probably would chart well as far as classic rock ballads go, but it's kind of predictable and safe and consequently unexciting in the grand scheme of things. Catch Of The Century also flaunts with some of those aforementioned Def Leppard like overtones to a lesser extent and the result isn't quite as solid as Asylum. The final half a minute features Sammet raving on about why he's the Catch Of The Century which isn't too bad for a bit of a laugh. Returning things to form are the up beat rockers Out Of Vogue and the lead track from the teaser EP, Superheroes, until the terrible Trinidad makes you want to reach for the Skip button on the CD player. The bonus track (which is available on both the limited and unlimited versions of the album ... that's Edguy for you), Fucking With Fire, whilst stronger than the previous, isn't the strongest finish the album could have had.
What started off with promise fell apart at the seams midway through. Perhaps it was the back-to-back pairing of Asylum and Save Me that interrupted things initially. Or maybe it was just that the material from Save Me onwards just isn't of the same calibre as the first half of the album. I suspect it's the later. Rocket Ride is a little hit and miss overall, but I suspect there's enough here to satisfy their existing fans.
(Nuclear Blast Records/Riot! Distribution)