Jori : It might be hard to imagine for some that once Edguy was a band that was on the verge of releasing a debut album. To relive that moment we should go over twenty years back in time, to 1997. An age in which downloading music on Kazaa cost you a day per song, and a time in which Lords of Metal did not discover the internet yet. A bunch of snot noses from Fulda, Germany recorded an album entitled ‘Kingdom Of Madness’, a title inspired by the same titled anthem by Magnum.
‘Kingdom Of Madness’ has been polished and is now being re-released. That does not make it a top notch album by any objective standard. These are the first splurges by a band that was completely at the bottom of a very high ladder at that time. These old songs do however, give an accurate indication of the directions the band would take later on, and that makes this album an important milestone in the story of success that is Edguy. On ‘Wings Of A Dream’ you can clearly hear the ideas that made the follow-up ‘Vain Glory Opera’ more successful, and ‘Deadmaker’ features some early elements of ‘Mandrake’. And of course there is bulwark ‘The Kingdom’ that ticks almost to twenty minutes, has a guest role for Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger, and features a topic that gives something away for the grand ‘Theater Of Salvation’ and the legendary Metal Opera of Avantasia! There are also two bonus songs on this CD, a live version of ‘Wings Of A Dream’ from the first live album of Edguy, and a 2001 re-recording of the same song.
The whole album including bonus tracks was re-mastered, and that definitely resulted in some improvements. Especially the drums are to be heard far better and some noise around the guitars has vanished. But a remaster is not a remix (read about the difference here) so the improvements are modest. This retains the clumsy atmosphere of the original, and that is as good a reason as any to not tweak too much. Regarding the limited improvements I would not pay twenty euro for this, because let’s be honest, you still don’t get top notch music. Don’t have the original yet? Then this is a good opportunity to complete your Edguy collection.