Compilations are hard. There’s a certain arrogance in presenting a collection of one’s own music and saying, “Here! This is our best work of all time!”. Where is a band even supposed to start? How do you know what your fans want? How do you make a curation that balances the old and the new, fan favorites and deep cuts, and do it all in a way that doesn’t come off as a simple money grab?
Edguy’s Monuments does a pretty great job as far as compilations go. Not only does Edguy include an EP’s worth of new material, they also include a DVD of live performances, and a never before released track from their classic days when they weren’t the German hard rock superstars that they are today. Hardcore fans like myself will find many reasons to pick this thing up and new listeners will find this release a great starting place for Edguy. Monuments showcases the power metal/hard rock masters perfectly in currently forms and presents a unique chance to look back at the band’s impressive career.
The first five tracks are newly composed and exactly what you would expect from the outfit. Many of these tracks go back to the band’s more metal-based albums like Hellfire Club. “Landmarks” and “The Mountaineer” could fit perfectly between the band’s full-on Helloween worship albums and their more recent hard rock/pop sound. Tobias’s voice is still in great shape and Exxel and Felix back him up nicely with their classic power metal rhythms and epic galloping. The cheese of more recent releases can still be found here and there especially on the track “Wrestle The Devil”.
After the new tracks, we get 22 old ones and any Edguy fan should feel right at home from this point on. The selections range from all points of the band’s career and follow no particular order. While this sort of band and this sort of product won’t appeal to everyone, there are still some things to take away from Edguy. The band carried the torch of cheeseball pop metal for many years and maintained in metal something it desperately needs: bands that don’t take themselves too seriously.
Frankly, Tobias Sammet is the God of power metal. He is a master at writing choruses, he sings beautifully, and he has maintained TWO of the most successful, long-lasting, and lovable power metal acts ever. The dude is genius. He’s not the same kind of genius as Devin Townsend or Chuck Schuldiner but he deserves the same kind of admiration. He took the model that Helloween created with the Keeper albums and expanded that vision to something bigger and more beautiful. They have always made consistent quality music and stayed true to themselves through decades of passing trends. Monuments is aptly titled. These tracks, some old and some new, pay great homage to one of metal’s greatest legacies.
Monuments is available now via Nuclear Blast and can be purchased here.