Edguy – Space Police: Defenders of the Crown
Release Date: April 29, 2014
In the world of power metal, there are few names larger than Edguy. This achievement is rightfully so, as the band has managed to keep one of the more stable lineups in German power metal history, outside of a drummer change and the addition of a full-time bassist in 1998. The true, signature Edguy sound, with legendary Tobias Sammet leading the way, matured over their career, releasing 10 full length albums, that are still talked about today with high regard. Developing from a very classic power/speed metal vibe (Kingdom of Madness, 1997) to a highly polished, well-produced power metal sound (Rocket Ride, 2006), Edguy really does have an album out there for every kind of heavy metal fan.
Over the past decade particularly, Edguy has really began to push the boundaries of lyrical themes and album concepts. Their albums are full of well-written, amazing music, but the lyrics can leave the listener saying “Did they really just sing about that…” (“Lavatory Love Machine” is a great example). The past couple albums from the band left a lot of the fans scratching their heads, waiting for the more upbeat, straight forward power metal of the earlier days to return. To their relief, Edguy has confidently answered with the release of Space Police: Defenders of the Crown. This album is undeniably the strongest record the band has put out in eight years. With the announcement of singles “Sabre & Torch” and “Love Tyger” fans got a small tease of the promise in this record, but the best is yet to come.
Kicking off the album is the first single released for Space Police, “Sabre & Torch”. The official video was a great look back at the band’s career, complete with epic photos of sold out arenas around the world from various tours. Fittingly so, this track is an homage to Edguy‘s past, and really brings back the sound of their early days with strong layered choruses, chanting, and crunching riffs. The title track, “Space Police” begins abruptly after with prominent, dancing keyboard lines, simple mid-tempo drumming, and moving bass lines. This is a very straight forward rock n’ roll song, with repeating melodies and rich layered vocals. It’s nearly impossible not to sing along, even if you’re not sure what the space police are.
“Love Tyger” was the second single released for the record, and completely changes the tone of the album into the wonderful hair metal days of Tigertailz‘ “Love Bomb Baby”. Quite possibly the catchiest moment on the album, the chorus especially towers over the rest of the song. The vocals are layered perfectly, and the guitar work beneath them are spot on. Listening to this track makes me want to immediately buy tons of hairspray, black pleather, and cheap make-up, but I absolutely love it. Staying true to this decade, Space Police features a cover song of Falco‘s “Rock Me Amadeus” which was made famous in 1986. Edguy does the song more justice than any of the samples or covers previously made, and displays a vocal range not typically heard in the band’s music, though Sammet nails every note to no surprise.
The album is not short of those lyrical “Huh?” moments that fans have come to expect, like in the track “Do Me Like a Caveman” which needs no further explanation. Space Police also features a slower tune, I suppose it could be called the “ballad” though is more of a personal reflection, “Alone in Myself” that shows off more of Sammet’s amazing lyrical gift. In my opinion though, the strongest track on the album is “The Eternal Wayfarer” which closes the album at nearly nine-minutes long. Again, as you’ve probably come to expect at this point, the chorus is just so perfectly arranged and produced. Featuring strong dialogues between all instruments, the bass and keyboard work really stick out, giving a darker atmosphere, for really the first and only time on the record.
Ultimately, Space Police: Defenders of the Crown is the album that all fans have waited nearly a decade for. This is absolutely the sound that makes Edguy shine at their brightest. Though it’s not perfect by any means, it is overflowing with fun, upbeat, and exciting music. I highly recommend getting your hands on the album, and watching for the announcement of more world tour dates in the near future!
The Love Tyger may not save your soul, but Edguy definitely will. Cheers!
Check out our recent interview with Edguy guitarist Jens Ludwig.