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Review: Edguy - Kingdom of Madness
Kingdom of Madness

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 1997
Duration: 59:17
Tracks: 9
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: October 21, 2008
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
Kingdom of Madness

Rated 3.45/5 (69.09%) (11 Votes)

It's hard to remember a time when the word Edguy didn't crop up in the modern Power Metal lexicon, but their cataclysmic shift from complete obscurity to virtual superstardom had to begin somewhere, and while their beginnings are certainly nothing short of meek, their label debut Kingdom of Madness is still an important album in their discography, and one that had enough promise to grant them another go, which resulted in their breakthrough sophomore release, the inescapable Vain Glory Opera.

Following nicely from their original debut, the much underrated The Savage Poetry in 1995 (which the band would later re-record) Kingdom of Madness slaps Edguy's ambitions straight onto the table, with their driving yet melodic blend of Iron Maiden/Helloween styled Power Metal echoing much of their homegrown heroes in tracks like the speedy "Wings of a Dream" and the 18min+ epic "The Kingdom", but retaining enough originality to make songs such as "Heart of Twilight" and the reflective "When A Hero Cries" distinctive and easily recognizable. At this point, band leader and songwriter extraordinaire Tobias Sammet hadn't really explored himself as a vocalist, and as a result, his vocals are extremely volatile and shaky, but retain enough of the Bruce Dickinson-esque wail to get him through some of the higher sections. But what really makes the album of note are the arrangements. The heavy, chugging guitars and straight-forward drumming give the album a dark, feral quality, something Edguy had completely abandoned by the time they came to record the theatrical Vain Glory Opera. During "Deadmaker" and the hostile "Steel Church", we find the band settling into a lyrical and musical enmity that shows a completely different side to the happy-go-lucky German funsters that would end up penning the likes of "Lavatory Love Machine" and "Trinidad". As usual, there is a lot of drama to be found on Kingdom of Madness, and despite the hackneyed production job and inferior performances, the album still remains listenable and actually very enjoyable.

Those who started with Mandrake and have watched them grow with Hellfire Club, Rocket Ride, and the equally as inventive Tinnitus Sanctus will probably instantly dismiss this as their cagey activation, but Kingdom of Madness can be very rewarding, provided "Fucking with Fire" wasn't your choice pick of their career thus far...

Track Listing:
  1. Paradise
  2. Wings of a Dream
  3. Heart of Twilight
  4. Dark Symphony
  5. Deadmaker
  6. Angel Rebellion
  7. When a Hero Cries
  8. Steel Church
  9. The Kingdom
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