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Edguy - Hellfire Club (CD)

Edguy
Hellfire Club
by Makis Kirkos at 25 April 2004, 12:31 PM

Edguy needs no introduction. I am sure you all know this German Melodic Power Metal super group. I've always been a huge fan of this genre, therefore Edguy's releases always stood proud in my disk box.
It's quite admirable, the development that these guys have achieved. Traveling back in time, I remember Vain Glory Opera, as one of the most promised Power Metal tunes for the future and now, five albums after that, my expectations came true. If you ask me What's the best Power Metal band nowadays?, there's only one name which comes in mind, Edguy.
Hellfire Club landed like a thunder from the sky and burned all my mind cells. From the very first moment I pressed the play button on my stereo and heard Sammet's intro and the following guitar riff from Mysteria, I thought, This album must be damn good.
Let me start telling you about the production. Everything sounds so incredibly clear and heavy. The quality of this album is amazing, setting new standards for Melodic Power Metal. Edguy produced Hellfire Club themselves and that proved to be a brilliant choice. There is no one better to record an album than the musicians themselves, cause they already have the final results on their minds and know exactly what to do. How they want the guitar sound to be, the bass, the drums, what effects they should use, how they will share out the different scales of their instruments…including the voice. I am getting too technical here so I'll drop it and just conclude by saying that the production is a killer one.
Musically speaking, these guys have grown up and their compositions sound more mature than ever before. The band sounds extremely tight, as if they've been playing together every day for the last 20 years. The songs are so powerful, turned into magic at some points. You can almost hear everything in this album, standard Heavy Metal melodies, progressive touches, hellish guitar riffs, pounding double drums, thunderous bass and Sammet's unbelievable vocals in top form. Memorable choruses, great keyboard harmonies, dual guitars, groovy beats, amazing vocal lines reaching incredible hights at some points, really…this album has it all.
Mysteria is the opening track of the album, which is just a kick in the face (as Sammet said) opener and prepares you for the hell that follows. The Piper Never Dies comes next, a really epic song of over ten minutes of duration. That's the best song on Hellfire Club; well if I had to pick just one, because it's a real masterpiece. Starts with a slow intro and turns into an up tempo ballad, until the chorus starts…where the tempo rises and Sammet blows your mind away with his vocal capacity. We Don't Need A Hero strikes next, a typical Edguy song having the addition of a full orchestra (Babelsberg Film Orchestra) on the break, right after the solo part. Edguy decided to add some moments of boost using this orchestra in order to enlighten some of their new tracks and thank god they did not overdo it.
Down To The Devil is the fourth song and certainly one of my favorites. What we have here is catchy melodies, great choruses and guitars that deliver a more straightforward Heavy Metal feeling. Same stands for King Of Fools…I totally love the intro lyrics, what do you think when you spit in my face…so much aggression! The first ballad of the album follows next, called  Forever and together with the other one, The Spirit Will Remain, those are the two weak moments of Hellfire Club. As much as I like the fast, bombastic tunes of this release, that much I dislike those two songs. Well the first one is kind of ok, a typical ballad…it reminds me of Scarlet Rose, but the second one… goddamn does that one suck. For a moment I thought that's Celine Dion singing the intro song of Titanic… in my opinion, just skip it.
Under The Moon, Lavatory Love Machine, Rise Of The Morning Glory and Navigator are classic well-played Power Metal tracks, meaning straight through using a lot of double drum bass and several tempo changes. Lucifer In Love is a really funny instrumental song, using only keyboards and it's used as an intro for the next track. There are also two bonus tracks included on the version I own. The first one is  Children Of Steel and according to the lyrics I wonder if it's about the band members themselves. For sure it looks like it. I am also wondering why this song isn't on the album's original tracklist. It belongs there if you ask me. The second bonus track is another version of the opener, Mysteria, having Mille Petrozza of the German Thrash Metal legends, Kreator, as a guest. Together with Sammet they do a nice duet that sounds better than the original version to me, but other than that the song remains the same.
Ok, this review's turned out to be huge…I should stop here. Overall, Hellfire Club is a brilliant, mind-blowing release. Edguy have evolved incredibly since Vain Glory Opera and Tobias Sammet proved to be one of the best Melodic Power Metal singers and composers too. For sure Edguy are part of the leviathans of that genre and nowadays they conquer it as being on the top. They have all the abilities to reach the masters of that type of music such as Judas Priest, Accept, Helloween and many more, using their original creativity and being powerful, aggressive and yet melodic. Hellfire Club is the ultimate mixture of mature metal with new, youthful twists of melody, yet a superb and bombastic Metal feeling. It's certainly one of the best album releases for 2004…or maybe the supreme release for this year? Only time will tell but I strongly believe this album will be voted as the best Power Metal album throughout 2004 from almost every magazine / webzine in the world. For sure a MUST have album; simply buy or die!.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Mysteria
The Piper Never Dies
We Don't Need A Hero
Down To The Devil
King Of Fools
Forever
Under The Moon
Lavatory Love Machine
Rise Of The Morning Glory
Lucifer In Love (Instrumental)
Navigator
The Spirit Will Remain
Lineup:
Tobias Sammet - Vocals
Jens Ludwig - Guitars
Dirk Sauer - Guitars
Tobias Exxel - Bass
Felix Bohnke - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
     


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