"Age Of The Joker"

By Colonel Angus

I have to say that I almost forgot about Edguy.  I really liked their last album "Tinnitus Sanctus" but when Tobias Sammet put out the latest Avantasia dual releases, it made me forget about Edguy.  It’s a shame because Edguy is really a good band and they are part of that group of melodic hard rockers that always puts out a great disks.  What I really loved about Avantasia was the diversity in the material and "Age Of The Joker" has that feel.  You still get that power metal in tunes like “The Arcane Guild” but you also get the epic sounding “Behind The Gates To Midnight World”.  There is also “Nobody’s Hero” which contains one of the best NWOBHM style riffs I have heard in a long time.  The whole thing also ends with a decent ballad called “Every Night Without You”.  It does walk the line between ballad and cheesy power ballad but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt due to the quality of the performance.

 The band has stayed unchanged for the last decade and let’s face it, why change a winning formula?  Jens Ludwig and Dirk Sauer keep coming up with catchy riffs.  They manage to keep each song interesting without really repeating themselves.  Tobias Exxel (bass) and Felix Bohnke (drums) are a solid rhythm section.  All of these guys give Tobias Sammet some great music to sing over.  His voice is one of the most distinctive in the business and that is what gives them an edge over many of the other faceless melodic metal bands.

According to my calculations, this is the 4th Nuclear Blast release for Edguy.  If I were the record label, I would make sure to hold onto these guys.  They have a growing fan base and based on their last couple of albums, it could only get bigger.  "Age of The Joker" is not a perfect album (opener and first single “Robin Hood” is in my opinion the weakest cut) but it is still one of the better records of 2011.