Jori : Fulda, 6 May 1992. A bunch of teenagers wearing thick glasses play the first gig with the band they named after their physics teacher. The rest is history, 25 years of Edguy, 25 years of top quality metal, 25 years the by now legendary frontman Tobias Sammet and his companions. Can we cheer on this one?
With the collection box ‘Monuments’, this history is converted to a physical product all Edguy fans can now buy and cherish. With two CDs and a DVD there is definitely enough to enjoy. The CDs start with five brand new songs. ‘Ravenblack’ is a rather dark song and leans towards the sound of ‘Tinnitus Sanctus’, while ‘Open Sesame’ has a light rocking tune and the typical Edguy humour, reminding more of ‘Age Of The Joker’. ‘Landmarks’ sees the band visit their good old power metal sound once more, which is an undeniable piece of the history of this band. This piece is somewhat underrepresented on the best-of piece of the CDs, because only a quarter of the songs originates from the first five albums. ‘Kingdom Of Madness’, which was a crucial album in the development of the group, is even completely absent. On the other hand, it is a nice thing that the less well-known songs, the B-sides of the singles, are on there, like ‘Holy Water’ and ‘Judas At The Opera’ (with Kiske on the guest vocal spot). Furthermore, there is of course the classics like ‘Vain Glory Opera’, ‘King Of Fools’ and ‘Lavatory Love Machine’. At the end there is ‘Reborn In The Waste’, a song recorded as part of the ‘Savage Poetry demo (and this means we’re talking 1995 here!) but never released.
The DVD contains a live registration of a concert of the Hellfire Club tour from 2004, on which among others Andre Matos (ex-Angra) fills in a vocal share. Also the complete collection of video clips of Edguy is put on there. As trends dictate these days, there is a variant for every wallet. There is of course the “ordinary” version with the 2 CDs and the DVD, but the true dedicated fan does not have to settle for ordinary. The earbook edition has two extra CDs with the concert in audio. Of course, the package will be pressed on vinyl as well, and for the people that really don’t know what to do with their money there is a deluxe edition. This tough priced juggernaut contains everything the earbook edition has, with as extra treat a book with 160 pages of previously unreleased photos by band members and their friends. There’s no more Edguy than this that money can buy. Yet, a certain hunger remains, because it is such a shame the songs did not get a polish. Especially the songs from the older albums like ‘Vain Glory Opera’ and ‘Theater Of Salvation’ sound rather dull by modern sound quality standards. How much I hoped to at last hear a version of ‘Out Of Control’ or ‘Babylon’ improving on the tin can sound quality, this was the best opportunity In years to do something like this. Picking a few songs, taking a concert recording that was there already and collecting your video clips, it does raise the question if this was not too easy a buck to catch. If we compare this to Orden Ogan, who made a huge documentary for their best-of, and with Blind Guardian, who remastered or re-recorded every song…
Despite this missed opportunity, this big collector’s item has an appropriate title with ‘Monuments’. Edguy has permanently changed the German metal scene after 25 years and over ten studio albums, and this package of jester joy is the ultimate proof of this. Hopefully we can expect another 25 years of Edguy!