Review: Edguy – Monuments

edguymonumentscd.jpgWritten by Mauricio Adan

German hard rock heroes, Edguy are commemorating 25 years of rocking the globe with the release of Monuments, a momentous, career spanning collection of greatest hits, previously unreleased material, and five brand new tracks. Tobias Sammet, founder of Edguy and Avantasia, has been on a creative roll the last few years and he’s keeping the trend alive with this new collection of songs, which will be released on Nuclear Blast Records. Edguy’s last studio record, Space Police, was their best in nearly 15 years, in my humble opinion, and last year’s Avantasia record, Ghostlights, was arguably Sammet’s greatest accomplishment ever. Musical tastes aside, it was undoubtedly his definitive masterpiece when factoring album sales, awards, world tour dates and official numbers. With much to live up to, Edguy is unleashing a treasure trove of goodies for loyal fans to devour in celebration of a quarter century of rock. The extensive package will include five bran new tracks, a collection of over twenty greatest hits, a previously unreleased track from the Savage Poetry recordings, plus a DVD with a full concert from the band’s legendary Hellfire Club Tour, recorded in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and the band’s entire collection of videos. But wait, it doesn’t end there. Monuments will also include a 160 page, full color coffee table book containing roughly 500 carefully selected photos, all hand-picked by the band, chronicling their 25 year history.

 

The selection of songs on Monuments is fantastic. It’s just about everything an Edguy fan could ask for in a hits collection. All the major singles appear on the album as well as many gems, epics, and fan favorites. Fittingly, Hellfire Club and Space Police hold the tie for contributions, with four songs each, including ‘Defenders of the Crown,’ which has become the unofficial glory anthem for Edguy fans worldwide. ‘9-2-9’ and ‘Ministry of Saints,’ the two big guns from 2008’s Tinnitus Sanctus, and two of Edguy’s most successful hits from the last decade, are surely not absent. Edguy has been known to throw fans an extra little treat, every now and then. Instead of simply putting out a single, either on its own or accompanied by a B-side track, they’ll take a single from a new album, throw in a few new songs, some live stuff, or previously unreleased material and surprise fans with an EP in between full length albums. Some of Edguy’s most memorable fan favorites have appeared on these releases, like ‘Judas at the Opera’ and ‘Spooks in the Attic’ from the Superheroes EP and the awesome ‘Holy Water’ from the King of Fools EP. All three of these deservedly earned their spots on Monuments. Tobi is well known for his awesome ballads and at least two of these make the cut, ‘Save Me’ and ‘Land of the Miracle’, one of the band’s first big splashes from the early days.  Of course, a collection of Edguy songs would not be complete without a few of those joke-y, tongue-in-cheek jams that fans get such a kick out of. The hilarious classic, ‘Lavatory Love Machine’, about banging flight attendants on airplanes, along with ‘Love Tyger’, the anthem about a rock n’ roll super hero saving the world from shitty music, take good care of that. Even 2011’s Age of the Joker, one of the band’s lesser acclaimed albums (even by serious fans) over the last few years gets a solid mention with ‘Rock of Cashel’, a favorite of mine and one sure to please our Irish friends. My only disappointment is that so little from the incredible Rocket Ride album shows up. Only the single, ‘Superheroes’ appears on Monuments. In my opinion, the importance of Rocket Ride is unfairly underrepresented. I would like to have seen at least one or two more cuts from this album, but I digress. Overall, the selection of hits is an awesome collection, exemplifying what makes Edguy such an amazing and beloved rock group, a testament to why they have been around for 25 years and seem to be at the height of their career in 2017.

 

Now, the most important section of this album is undoubtedly the five new tracks. Wow! Just Wow! After the massive whirlwind that was Avantasia’s Ghostlights album and massive world tour last year, this is exactly what Edguy fans have been hoping for.  ‘Ravenblack,’ the album opener, was released as the first single a couple of weeks ago and has instantly claimed its place among classic Edguy material. Tobi says he feels it is one of the best songs he’s ever written and the fans have loudly proclaimed this to be the consensus. I was instantly captivated by the song and by the end, all I could say was “Whoa! What a way to kick off this record!”

 

Seconds into track two, ‘Wrestle the Devil,’ I was grinning ear to ear and remained that way for 25 minutes until the familiar sounds of 9-2-9 rang in at track six. ‘Open Sesame,’ the super speed metal, very personal and emotive ‘Landmarks,’ and ‘The Mountaineer,’ along with the aforementioned first two tracks are some of the best Edguy songs I’ve ever heard! Back in the ‘90’s, when it came time for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers to release their contractually obligated greatest hits record, the label asked for a new song to be written and released as a promotional single. Petty adamantly fought the idea, claiming, “How can it be a greatest hit if no one’s ever heard it before”? He eventually gave in and wrote a brand new track to be placed on the greatest hits album. That song was ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance.’ Petty later recanted; “Well, that shows what I know.” The parable is fitting here. The five new tracks on Monuments will definitely and without a doubt prove to be some of Edguy’s all-time greatest hits.

 

The 25 year commemorative package is the definitive collection of Edguy material. Diehard fans who have either been following the band since the first releases, when the guys were only teenagers, or ones who have joined the savage union over the many years will be absolutely delighted with Monuments.  The album art, the full page ear book, and the 28 tracks provide a feast for the eyes and ears to devour. This also makes a perfect introduction to anyone not already a fan as the cream of the crop has already been perfectly selected for you. In short, The Napoleon of Rock has done it again. 10/10

 

Monuments Tracklist.

  1. Ravenblack
  2. Wrestle the Devil
  3. Open Sesame
  4. Landmarks
  5. The Mountaineer
  6. 9-2-9
  7. Defenders of the Crown
  8. Save Me
  9. The Piper Never Dies
  10. Lavatory Love Machine
  11. King of Fools
  12. Superheroes
  13. Love Tyger
  14. Ministry of Saints
  15. Tears of a Mandrake
  16. Mysteria
  17. Vain Glory Opera
  18. Rock of Cashel
  19. Judas at the Opera
  20. Holy Water
  21. Spooks in the Attic
  22. Babylon
  23. The Eternal Wayfarer
  24. Out of Control
  25. Land of the Miracle
  26. Key to my Fate
  27. Space police
  28. Reborn in Waste
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