Tobias Sammet may be better known for Avantasia these days, but Edguy is where it all started for the prolific German. 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Edguy, and to celebrate the band is releasing Monuments, a greatest hits package that also has a handful of new songs as well as one old rarity plucked from the vault. Certain versions will also come with a live DVD and a handful of videos.
Let’s take a look at the five new tracks first, as they open Monuments. They are all enthusiastic power metal, featuring top-notch execution and a welcome lack of the adolescent humor that sometimes permeates the band’s work. All five are worth checking out, although “Ravenblack” and “The Mountaineer” stand out a bit.
As well, the band ends Monuments with an unreleased track from 1995’s proper debut, Savage Poetry. The song is called “Reborn in the Waste,” and serves as a great example of how far the band has come. The song and performances pale in comparison to recent efforts. It does make for an interesting inclusion, though.
The remaining 22 tracks are what the band considers their greatest hits: it will be up to you if you agree. Every album except 1997’s Kingdom of Madness is represented by at least one song, with 2004’s Hellfire Club and 2014’s Space Police: Defenders of the Crown leading the way with four entries each. The entries vary from the goofiness of “Lavatory Love Machine” to the epicness of “The Piper Never Dies” and “The Eternal Wayfarer.” All told, it’s an interesting cross-section.
Overall, Monuments is a good summary of Edguy’s career arc, with a wide variety of songs, and the five new songs hold up with any of them. Fans of the band should enjoy this package, and although I haven’t seen the accompanying DVD one can safely assume it’s also worthwhile, featuring 13 Edguy songs and one Avantasia cover.
(released July 14, 2017 on Nuclear Blast Records)