|Review: Edguy - Theater Of Salvation|
|Theater Of Salvation|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 1999
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: August 5, 2011
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
for:Theater Of Salvation
Rated 4.3/5 (86%) (30 Votes)
Edguy's third album Theater of Salvation is pretty much their benchmark classic according to most people, but personally it was never my favorite by them. Although I will contend that this is still quite a good piece of power metal, with a handful of really killer burners that will get stuck in your head so fast that you won't know what happened.
The main reason this is so revered by fans is because, well, it's by far their most traditionally power metal-sounding album. They lost the heavy crunch of Vain Glory Opera and the focus is more on the extremely saccharine and lush feel of the guitar and keyboard melodies, which create a chamber-like sound; as if you are standing in the middle of a giant, golden cathedral. The atmosphere is very well defined, and all the performances are excellent – Tobias Sammet, as per usual, gets the lion's share of the spotlight, but that's because he wrote the lion's share of the music and lyrics...seems fair enough to me. The main reason why this is so good is because it was done by such young guys, and so early in their careers. The attention to detail and confidence on display is very admirable.
That said, this album suffers the same consistency problems that plagued Vain Glory Opera. The opening triptych of "Babylon," "The Headless Game" and the lovely "Land of the Miracle" are some of Edguy's best songs, and the hyper-catchy "Falling Down" is likely their most infectious ever. But then you get some tunes like "Arrows Fly" and "Holy Shadows," which are good but not very memorable, and their worst ballad ever in "Another Time," which just isn't very exciting at all. In fact, the whole second half of the album sinks into a slew of songs that are decent enough, but just not indicative of how good this band can be – they're filler, plain and simple. The band comes back in full force, though, with the title track, which is a gargantuan epic with multiple different parts and tons of epic, memorable vocal hooks and bombastic grandeur. This was perhaps the first of Sammet's really excellent 10+ minute epics, which he's still cranking out today, and "Theater of Salvation" nonetheless stands out as a great, great song.
This is the most conservative and least ambitious Edguy album, as it pretty much just adheres to the power metal template, and that's why it's probably the best liked in general. But for me, that just means the band would go on later to more interesting sounds. Theater of Salvation nonetheless has some killer songs, and is really quite astonishing when you consider the members were all in their early 20s at best when this came out. It sounds about as pro as Helloween ever did. If you want to know why Edguy got big, check this album, as it was what put them on the map. I just think they grew as songwriters and started incorporating more and more creative ideas over each of their following four albums...
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