Metal Review – Edguy: Space Police – Defenders of the Crown

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Metal Review – Edguy: Space Police – Defenders of the Crown
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Edguy: Space Police - Defenders of the Crown
Power Metal
Nuclear Blast Records
April 18th, 2014
Release length: 54:16
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Edguy has really been exploring their musical direction as of late. Tinnitus Sanctus cast more of a Hard Rock veil over the group, while Age of the Joker travelled into the more epic Heavy and Power Metal territories that Tobias Sammet’s solo effort Avantasia clung onto for most of its existence. This was expected given the amount of time that was recently put into the studio for that particular act. For 2014, the band basically picks up where 2006’s Rocket Ride left off with their new effort, Space Police – Defenders of the Crown. But after the experimentation that hit, does Edguy manage to truly recapture their Power Metal glory on this album, or did they travel too deep in their inner explorations?

Space Police – Defenders of the Crown has a very crisp audio quality with matching heaviness that hasn’t really been seen since Rocket Ride, and it works with the large Science Fiction theme of the album. The band also hasn’t dropped the grander approach they have been known to dabble in. “Space Police” comes off your signature mid-tempo Edguy sound with keyboards everywhere but during the simple chugging. As you approach the four minute mark you get the sixties-era outer space effects over slower guitars and softer vocals, all leading to a much more spectacular and beautiful performance of the chorus that ties up what becomes a serial more than a six minute track.

The other longer cuts don’t always match the power that one has sadly. “The Realms of Baba Yaga” starts off rather heavy, but ends up more of a standard Power Metal song with some enthusiastic vocals and generally catchy chorus. In fact there are plenty of times where the music ends up being held down to earth or suddenly finding a some Hard Rock elements that really do hold it back. The chorus has a stronger push from the keyboards that does help, but the overly ambitious vocals there and other spots only makes it painfully obvious that the song was meant to be far more over-the-top than what is presented here. It’s a stark contrast compared to “The Eternal Wayfarer” and its somber sounding environment chock full of rich performances and keyboards that sound similar to Sabaton‘s. It has a decent amount of variety to it, coming off initially like a powerful slab of Metal, then shifting seamlessly to a classic Rock performance suited to a fond childhood memory that may find you reliving those very days in your own head, yearning to go back just one more time.

“Defenders of the Crown” ends up linked to “Space Police” by more than the album’s title. Instead of the keyboard elements, some of the melodic leads create a similar atmosphere, though give it more of a Fantasy approach in some spots thanks to the upbeat performance, drumming, as well as the effect of a sword being drawn at the start. “Do Me Like a Caveman” drops that environment for a more intimate performance with cleaner keyboards and a nice amount of emotion all around. The title may seem like this is one of the bands more off-the-wall moments of silliness such as “Lavatory Love Machine” or “2 Out of 7,” but really it comes off an honest, heartfelt performance that is truly moving all around, especially when leaving the chorus.

But that doesn’t mean Edguy doesn’t have some fun. “Love Tyger” throws the band back into the eighties Rock world once more with cheesy Glam leads, simple bass lines and catchy drum patterns. While rather cheeky lyrically, it’s a solid performance that will put a smile on your face without going too overboard. And then there’s the cover of Falco‘s smash hit “Rock Me Amadeus.” It’s a superb modern day translation of the track, though the vocals seem to tread the line between comical and serious thanks to the silly poppy approach to the softer style. It also doesn’t really fit the album outside of the keyboards keeping slightly to the established Science Fiction sound on other tracks, but it’s just fun as hell to listen to.

Space Police – Defenders of the Crown is a superb slab of crisp, catchy Power Metal with some Hard Rock and Glam Rock touches sprinkled in. Basically it’s everything you’ve come to love and expect from Edguy. If you enjoyed their works around the time of Hellfire Club and Rocket Ride, then you won’t be let down as the band keeps the spirit of those albums alive this time around, as if picking up where they left off, but lumping some of what they dabbled in recently into the mix. The only major issue is that the release seems to come and go with the Science Fiction atmosphere as it pleases, which is a shame as those end up its strongest points and needed to be explored further on this venture. That said, if you’re a Power Metal junky, or just a fan of the band, Space Police – Defenders of the Crown will not disappoint.

01. Sabre & Torch – 5:00
02. Space Police – 6:00
03. Defenders of the Crown – 5:40
04. Love Tyger – 4:26
05. The Realms of Baba Yaga – 6:07
06. Rock Me Amadeus – 3:20
07. Do Me Like a Caveman – 4:09
08. Shadow Eater – 6:09
09. Alone in Myself – 4:36
10. The Eternal Wayfarer – 8:50
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Edguy
Edguy

Digital review copy of this release provided by Nuclear Blast Records.