Originally written by Chris Chellis.
Tobias Sammet’s instantly recognizable voice electrifies “Sacrifice” and we’re indeed already on Edguy’s Rocket Ride. There’s no questioning Sammet’s decision to focus all his efforts on singing beginning in the late 90s. Say what you want about Edguy, but Sammet is one hell of a frontman and he’s in fine form on the group’s eighth full-length.
If you’re expecting the tongue-in-cheek lyrical playfulness, fun hooks, and rockin’ vibe to somehow disappear from Edguy’s proven formula, you’re sorely mistaken. Rocket Ride is no different from Hellfire Club in that it stresses variety more than anything and aims to please an audience looking to raise hell to an inspiring soundtrack never lacking in sugary, fist-pump inducing choruses. This is fun music, first and foremost. There won’t be a shortage of German kids rocking out to this, striking their greatest air guitar poses or mimicking Sammet’s commanding presence. The album’s 11 songs run smooth and fast, with each contributing its own charm. Some songs I imagine fading fairly quickly, such as the all-too-light and formulaic “Return to the Tribe,” while others, like “Sacrifice”, “Rocket Ride,” and “The Asylum,” will demand multiple spins and return visits in years to come. The latter is a ballad with a few interesting tempo changes, not unlike what one generally hears in one’s head as one imagines a vitriolic, vocally commanding and properly developed song that group’s normally save for an encore. In other words, it hits all the areas Edguy perfects; delectable riffs, high vocal notes and pitches, and excellent song craft.
What makes Edguy so enjoyable is their knack for crafting some of the year’s most hook-laden and sing-a-long songs. Tracks like “Save Me,” which some will accuse of being too light and poppy, will ultimately resonate with a larger audience looking for stadium-worthy ballads. What happened to wanting to rock out and laugh with friends as you make a total ass of yourself, headbanging with reckless abandon in a crowd of thousands doing the same damn thing? Throw on your dirtiest wifebeater, put your best shades on, slip into your tightest leather pants, and hit play.