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Review: Edguy - Vain Glory Opera
Vain Glory Opera

Label: Seoul Records
Year released: 2002
Originally released in: 1998
Duration: 51:09
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: July 28, 2011
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
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Rated 3.9/5 (78.06%) (31 Votes)

It's time again to take a look at some Edguy albums, this time reaching waaaaaay back to their energetic conception with their second album Vain Glory Opera (as Savage Poetry was just an inflated demo at first). This is one of the classic Edguy albums that people still tout to this day. The sound quality is pretty weak and Tobias's vocals are still in their fledgling stages, but there are still some really good songs on here.

The basic sound is sort of a rough demo-version of the European power metal sound that would take off only a few years after this album's release. It's a little heavier, like an 80s metal album, but relies on a ton of epic choirs and mid-paced sections that definitely make it stand out from the more traditional bands that hadn't been extinguished in the mid-90s. Think Helloween if they were a little slower and more somber. And this album is quite somber compared to some of Edguy's later efforts, with some of the melodies being a bit more dark and melancholy and less soaring and happy-sounding. It makes for a very unique sounding album that nobody has ever really tried to imitate since. It's just a shame that there aren't more real corkers on this album.

The inconsistency is really what does Vain Glory Opera in – the awesome songs are some of Edguy's all time classics, but then the rest of the songs just kind of drag. Nothing here is bad, but as a collection of songs and as a whole album, this isn't their best. The title track is a huge majestic epic with one of Tobias's early smash-hit choruses (always a standout feature on any Edguy album), and it's followed up with the awesome speedster "Fairytale." The opening duo "Until We Rise Again" and "How Many Miles" is also good, and "Scarlet Rose" is decent, too. But then you get clunkers like "Out of Control," which is a fan favorite for reasons I will never understand, and the weak "No More Foolin'," which is just plain awkward. They really had not mastered the art of writing more traditional metal-oriented songs on this album yet.

This is worth a listen for the amazing title track alone, but people really overlook how unique this is in comparison to a lot of stuff. You get the expected double-bass and trilling guitars, but the rawer sound of the guitars and the rather smothered-sounding vocals lend to a very interesting feel and atmosphere. The songwriting is a pinch darker than what we'd hear from Edguy in coming years, and overall Vain Glory Opera is a fairly ambitious album. But it only has the budding seeds of what these guys would go on to do, and the sound is one of a band that hasn't quite found itself yet. Definitely worth a listen, and there is some quality material here, but it isn't the band's best.

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