Released: 2006, Nuclear Blast
With ROCKET RIDE, Edguy’s conversion from power metal to melodic metal / hard rock act is nearly complete. No one should be surprised, since around the time of their MANDRAKE album the band has relied less on speedy anthems and have incorporated more of an 80’s metal (at times even glam metal) feel to some songs. Surprisingly, as a big fan of speedy power metal, I’ve been much more into Edguy’s recent albums and direction than their earlier material...go figure! I guess it’s better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven (as Helloween clone 999) after all.
Let’s get the unpleasantness out of the way and the reason why this CD didn’t get a 4.5 or even a 5 star rating. There are 12 song on here, and there are 2 which are vile! Vile as in they have no business being anywhere near a metal or hard rock CD. The 2 in question are the ballad “Save Me” and the ultra-GAY “Trinidad” (na-na-naa-naa...vomit!). I’m getting sick just thinking about the! So let’s just say I’ve heard each song once through and the other 99 times has been the first 2 seconds before I hit the skip button. Those songs aside, this is a brilliant album. ROCKET RIDE opens with the mid-tempo and epic sounding “Sacrifice” which has some minor-orchestration sections and crunchy heavy riffing. The title track “Rocket Ride” starts like some kind of Van Halen riff and when the drums cut in I swear I’m listening to HammerFall. Quite an awesome mixture of bands in my books. The chorus however is moreso into familiar Edguy territory with faster double kicks and the big-ass-chorus. “Wasted Time” begins with another of the album’s more HammerFall sounding moments...not that the band is following HammerFall, but they tread similar waters with the mid-tempo metal. “Matrix” is in the same stylistic ballpark as “Superheroes” except is begins with an intro that sounds like something off of a Pain album. By track 5 we are finally treated to a speedy track with “Return To The Tribe”...wait for the vocal guitar solo in this one...totally hilarious! An Edguy album would not be complete without a good dose of humor and yes, the maintenance of some speed! I would of preferred the 2 aforementioned wated tracks be replaced with 2 speed metal anthems or something else...but I digress. Oddly enough, another prominent melodic power metal band recently released an album full of slower and mid-paced metal, totally dropping the speed. In so doing they disappointed some fans but Edguy manages the transition more smoothly and still throws in some speed. More humor rears it’s head on “Catch of the Century”...especially on the outro. I’ll leave it for you to discover...funny stuff! The album close, “Fucking With Fire” is 100% 80's metal...great stuff, so much so that this done better than many of the bands who played this style all the time.
Edguy continues to keep us laughing but at the same time offer great metal music. If you liked MANDRAKE, HELLFIRE CLUB, and the recent SUPERHEROES EP, you will not be at all disappointed with ROCKET RIDE. So climb on board the rocket for a ride not to the stars, but into a land of catchy songs and great humor..or at least to the CD store by March 21st to pick up the CD.