Edguy – The Savage Poetry

February 25, 2012 in Artist Rewind, Reviews by Arno Callens

The Savage Poetry

Rerecordings are often scolded for pissing all over their source, because modern things are stupid and the eighties were the best thing ever to happen to anyone. Or less drastically put: metalheads are a nostalgic lot and put a lot of stake in the original material, not some polished up version. But in some cases it has yielded nice results. Gamma Ray did some excellent work with Blast From The Past, replacing Ralf Scheepers with Kai Hansen on some of the older tunes, and early 2012 Blind Guardian updated their classic epic “And Then There Was Silence” to a much more satisfactory end product.

But we are here to talk about Edguy and the second coming of The Savage Poetry. The five from Fulda had no evil commercial intentions at heart, or they would’ve held on to the three remaining copies of the first Savage Poetry and sold them for ridiculously high prices to oil barons at auctions. It was by popular demand that they rearranged and rerecorded the whole debut, because they felt it was just too shit to simply burn onto a new disc. If you want to quote me on that, go ahead, it’s right there in the booklet. In caps lock nonetheless, so it must be serious.

The idea to do a makeover came at the best opportune time. In the wake of Theater Of Salvation Edguy was at the height of their power metal career and I doubt they could’ve achieved the same greatness if they did this after Rocket Ride. It made perfect sense and gives us a nice insight into the musical mind of Tobias Sammet at the turn of the century. Avantasia’s Metal Opera, released one year later, had to be in full composition mode and some of that inspiration has leaked through in The Savage Poetry. There are times where the vocal arrangements of “Sacred Hell” or the soft organs in the intro to “Eyes Of The Tyrant” recall “Reach Out For The Light” and that cannot be a coincidence.

Yet those are only slight echoes. This is unmistakably the same set of songs, only tweaked and produced to perfection with Tobias Exxel on bass and Sammet on vocals instead of the squeaky squirrel they used for the first one. It’s far speedier and upbeat than the more moody Avantasia and while not as grand as either Vain Glory Opera, Theater Of Salvation or the succeeding Mandrake, it is a nice reminder of the promise Edguy showed in their early days and the material itself more than deserved a better treatment. The track order is also an improvement with the mid-tempo “Hallowed” up front instead of the faster “Misguiding Your Life”. Edguy has after all never really opened at full throttle. Finally, that is one mighty fine looking cover. Certainly beats that Smurfish stronghold from the original.

In conclusion The Savage Poetry is a worthy addition to Edguy’s discography and if it weren’t still widely available Kingdom Of Madness could benefit from a similar quality boost. Maybe Edguy nuts worldwide should collectively smash every for sale copy of that album so we can have a better one. Then again it would probably sound nothing alike now that Sammet & co have mostly left their power metal roots. For this entry’s silly joke, I’m sad to announce the chainsaw-bit from “Power & Majesty” is gone, but the band has come up with something even more stupid than that.

Best silly joke: Before the last chorus of “Power & Majesty” Sammet goes into Tiroler mode, spitting out a series of “jodelahiti’s” in a deliriously autotuned voice. If you’re on drugs it probably sounds genius.

Arno Callens’ Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Previous review:

Theater Of Salvation (1999)

Next review:

Mandrake (2001)