Released: 1998, AFM
Editors Note. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards our 10,000th review and the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
After a respectable but somewhat uneven first two albums, Edguy returned in 1998 with the much beloved VAIN GLORY OPERA, a fan favorite to this day. Having studiously absorbed elements of Helloween, Stratovarius, and Blind Guardian the band took their first serious steps into molding those elements into their own unique sound. Announcing their coming of age, Edguy brought in guests Timo Tolkki and Hansi Kursch to lend their skills to the album, which rightly reflected the band’s growing stature in Europe. Filling in for departed drummer, Dominik Storch, session man Frank Lindenhall elevated the drumming on the new album, particularly in the consistent kick, while the sheer ambition of front-man Tobias Sammet was breathtaking, the man’s vocal delivery evolving immensely from the first to the third album.
The first half of this album features numerous strong tracks with orchestral elements mixed with driving rhythms and melodic passages. Highlights include the high quality ballad “Scarlet Rose”, the Kursch guest song “Out of Control” and the epic title track. While the second half of the album is not perhaps as strong song for song -“Tommorrow” being fairly anemic -, deep album tracks like “Walk on Fighting” reveal the band’s love for traditional Hammerfall styled metal while “No More Fooling” offers a more ferocious approach.
The production is a beauty to behold, perfectly capturing the ambition and drive of the band. With the benefit of hindsight, VAIN GLORY OPERA was the album that kicked the band into an incredibly successful with songs that are still live favorites. No question, the album has stood the test of time. Sammet would prove to be a prolific and legendary workaholic, engaging in numerous side projects like Avantasia, while still releasing Edguy albums consistently. Now considered a pillar of the more orchestral style of Power Metal, VAIN GLORY OPERA is an obligatory exploration for any serious power metal fan.