Edguy – Superheroes
One glimpse at the cover of Superheroes should be an enormous jester-crested warning flag that we’re in for a curious Edguy release. Where comedy was always an integral part of their music and image this time it takes to the foreground in full-on clown makeup and fittingly enormous shoes. The band member’s cartoonish restyling as various superheroes should not come as a surprise when you know what frivolity is contained inside. Although to be honest, Tobias Sammet himself doesn’t really look too different from his stage persona.
The single and title track is about as simplistic as Edguy gets: a fun and light guitar lead, thumping riffs and bass, plus the odd piano note for extra accent. Of course the catchy chorus makes this one, and is simultaneously heroic and sad. When accompanied by the video, where the band hunts a bunch of Playboy bunnies with carrots and toy guns, it naturally takes on a whole new dimension of silliness. “Spooks In The Attic” is more up-tempo, but the complexity of previous albums is once again absent. Light-hearted in melody and lyrics, it puts a smile on your face in a non-Joker fashion. The stripped-down ballad “Blessing In Disguise” is a touching affair, even though half the band must be bored during, and it’s mostly Sammet crooning about feelings over a set of strings.
Yet the real attraction of this disc is the lengthier mini-epic “Judas At The Opera”, where Edguy unleashes all its humoristic demons and creates something in between Helloween’s “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Sammet takes on the press in the lyrics and drags peacocks, aliens, and Judas Iscariot into the mix until it becomes a circus of craziness. Michael Kiske makes an appearance and the chorus is more addictive then the referenced French fries. Truly one of the funniest and most fun tracks they have ever crafted, it alone is worth the price of the EP. The Magnum-cover “The Spirit” is a nice addition, but I would’ve liked at least one more original song before the “epic version” (read: no guitars, only pianos) of “Superheroes” closes off.
Superheroes surely anticipates the surprise that would be Rocket Ride. Although there is nothing really substantial here, it is nonetheless a very pleasant experience and even though the hilarity wouldn’t stop with the full album, it was more toned down there than here. Your mileage may vary if you’re a stone-cold cynic or a misanthropic black metal moper, but jesters and jokers should be able to get more than a few giggles out of this.
Best silly joke: The image of music critics chasing a peacock (I can’t think of a more fitting animal to describe Tobias Sammet) up and down an opera house should be enough, but it’s the background choir’s jolly repetition of “Facing your goggle eyes!” that really pushes the boundaries of normal human behavior.
Arno Callens’ Rating: 3.75 out of 5
Hellfire Club (2004)
Rocket Ride (2006)