Edguy, Cynic, Ensiferum @ Capitol, 7/1/10

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  • November 29, 2016
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Paradoxical sayings can be an effective way of conveying a point, as well as reveal something unique about a band. And my intuition seemed to have been correct, as this new offering from Edguy is simply put, their best album ever. He hypes everybody and then… Welcome to the freakshow. When you have eight of them, you start to feel a little sick. Zespół już zupełnie odciął się od power metalu, zainspirował się natomiast nośnym, stadionowym rockiem, wyjąwszy z niego wszakże nadmierny patos. The keyboard touches are still present, just not as pronounced as on previous albums due to the fat guitars and steel-belted rhythm section brought to the fore by producer/mixer Sascha Paeth.Love ’em or hate ’em (and that’s pretty much how people are divided when it comes to this band), most would have to agree that few bands can create pure pop hooks encased in hard-rockin’ anthems like EDGUY can.

As the tempo increased, keyboard player Emmi Silvonnoinen looked to be struggling to keep up but she managed to keep her shirt on, to the disappointment of the male majority. There were some naked breasts bouncing about; unfortunately they were courtesy of guitarist Markus Toivonen. Luckily bassist Sami Hinkka put on enough of a one man show to distract us from Toivonen’s perky man-mammaries, swinging his seven-string slab of a bass around and over his shoulder like a freshly pillaged villager. As spoils from their performance they could take the satisfaction that the crowd had doubled in size and enthusiasm; little did they know this was as big as the crowd would get. But when they contrast this to dull plodding failures such as “Wake Up Dreaming Black” (did anyone hand you eyeliner during the lyric writing process, Tobi?), or “Nine Lives”, it’s when mediocrity starts to take hold. ‘Tinnitus Sanctus’ is inclined to be slightly heavier than ordinary Edguy stuff: ‘Sex Fire Religion’ is proof of this. Those familiar with the band were stricken with a sense of awe at the technicality and depth of the songs.

Those not familiar, or the majority of them, were left wondering where the metal had gone. Although metal of a sort, the synthesised clean vocals of main man Paul Masvidal and the introspective vibe of the band quickly worked to disseminate the metal mood Ensiferum had created. As the set wore on, many unimpressed metal-heads (the headless guitars were particularly un-metal) moved outside for a smoko while those that stayed lost their mosh, for their music certainly didn’t encourage movement. They played tracks from every single one of their two albums, from the stunning opener The Space For This along with Adam’s Murmur and Evolutionary Sleeper all off their latest Traced in Air as well as classic tracks such as the mind bending instrumental Textures from their debut album Focus. It just works. Anche qui, mezzo tempo docet. Left with the task of rejuvenating a near catatonic crowd, Edguy put on their best front of stadium rock frivolity but the dwindling crowd surely must’ve been something of a dampener to their mirth.

Power metal remains strong in certain parts of the world, but not Perth, and the headlining act were embarrassingly performing for only about two thirds of the original audience. Edguy went on tour with DragonForce as well during DF’s ‘inhuman rampage’. Edguy kept firing off round after round of riffs reminiscent of the leather-laden metal of the 1980’s. Catchy choruses from the pre-millennial Vain Glory Opera to the more modern Superheroes lined up to be slathered with Sammut’s tremolo vocals, who assured us he relished the opportunity to play to a small crowd. They certainly made it look like they were enjoying themselves, bass player Tobias Exxel’s John Farnhamesque jolliness was almost aggravating, but if the depleted audience did disappoint them they at least never let up, pandering to the remainders as though they were a 100,000 strong German power-metal festival mob.

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