Edguy was formed by Tobias Sammet, Jens Ludwig, Dirk Sauer, and Dominik Storch while they were in high school in Fulda, Germany, in 1992. The group released a total of three demos prior to signing on with AFM Records in 1995. In 1997, Edguy's first official album, Kingdom of Madness, was released with less than spectacular sales. It was not until the 1998 release of their second album, Vain Glory Opera, that Edguy received the recognition they deserved. A fine example of the metal opera, Vain Glory Opera mixes classic metal riffs with harmonic vocals, choir, and symphonic arrangements. While no actual orchestra or choir were used in the production, the sound is there through the use of synthesizers. Vain Glory Opera is also a significant album due to some extra talent that worked with Edguy. Lead and backup vocals on the tracks Out of Control and Vain Glory Opera were provided by Hansi Kursch, better known as the lead singer and writer for German power metal legend Blind Guardian. In addition, Timo Tolkki of Stratovarius provided lead guitars on the track Out of Control and produced the entire album.
The band's third official release was Theater of Salvation, released in early 1999. In many fans eyes, Theater of Salvation is perhaps Edguy's finest achievement. The album contains everything from a classical piano intro to classic heavy metal to the epic masterpiece that is the title and final track of the album, the 14+ minute Theater of Salvation. There is something for nearly all fans of progressive metal, heavy metal, and symphonic metal on this album.
Following Theater of Salvation, the band released The Savage Poetry in 2000, a remake of the band's first album. Originally released in 1995 as a demo prior to signing with AFM Records, The Savage Poetry is pretty much a direct re-recording of the 1995 release. As such, this album is more geared toward classic progressive metal, with less of the symphonic and classical influences that can be heard in Theater of Salvation. Even though it is more or less the same as their first "unofficial" album, this one is often considered the better album simply because it's recorded with better equipment. Also, the entire band had refined it's own unique sound, especially with regard to Sammet's vocal style.
In 2001, Edguy released Mandrake, the first Edguy album since Tobias Sammet's side project, Avantasia, hit the scene. Many Edguy fans feared that the success of Avantasia spelled the end of Edguy, but Sammet did not let them down with Mandrake. This album shows an even more refined sound than that on Theater of Salvation, and shows a clear delineation between the more symphonic metal sound of Avantasia and the more traditional progressive sound of Edguy. The great harmonics of the entire band singing in the chorus lines of Mandrake are still here, only a little better. Mandrake also marked the last album released under AFM Records.
After a short spell with no releases, Edguy returned in 2004 with Hellfire Club, released under newly signed label Nuclear Blast. As with Mandrake, Hellfire Club's sound moves just a little closer to mainstream progressive metal. A trend that is more evident in their latest two releases, Rocket Ride in 2006 and Tinnitus Sanctus in 2008. This should by no means be considered a bad move in Edguy's sound, as with this move to more traditional metal sound, Edguy has developed it's own unmistakable sound. If they had continued on the path they were on with Theater of Salvation, Edguy and Avantasia would be nearly indistinguishable now, and it likely would have hurt both bands' popularity. As far as progressive power metal goes, Edguy is easily one of the best in the world, and will likely remain that way for years to come.
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