Edguy deliberately sets out to troll their fanbase, offering equal doses of quality power metal infused with hard rock alongside mega-cheesy, sleazy cock rock that would make Larry Flynt blush. Age of the Joker certainly did plenty of that; tantalizing with glimpses of greatness while delivering tongue-in-cheek-juvenile shtick masquerading as power metal. When I saw the title to this new platter and that completely asinine cover, I expected it to play like the goddamn troll national anthem. But a funny thing happened on the way to the troll forum. They delivered a consistently rocking album featuring their most successful fusion of power metal and hard rock to date, and all with minimal troll droppings. Go figure, huh?
Opener “Sabre and Torch” harkens back to their Hellfire Club days with the same punchy urgency as classics like “Mysteria.” Aggressive riffing teams with Tobias Sammet’s increasingly shrill siren wails and come chorus time they serve up a big Edguy-esque anthem with plenty of whoa-oh-ohhs for good measure. While I expected utter stupidity on the title track, it’s actually annoyingly addicting with a hooky chorus, fun riffing and spacy keys. Even Sammet’s attempts to undermine it on the back-end with vocals that sound like a blue haired matron having a panic attack in the local hair salon don’t spoil the fun.
Equally surprising is how much I don’t hate “Love Tyger,” though I clearly expected to.