Tinnitus Sanctus (Nuclear Blast)
By Mike Delano
Edguy is known for having a sense of humor in the otherwise stone-faced (on record, at least) power metal genre. That makes them easy to like, but outside of a wink and nod here and there, these Germans are otherwise content to tread familiar ground in terms of their sound. Tinnitus Sanctus is scrubbed way too clean to have any swagger, and the songs lack the focus necessary to reach their Def Leppard aspirations. Occasionally, everything gels into songs worthy of their self-given “melodic power rock” tag. Frontman Tobias Sammet kills it on “Sex Fire Religion” with both his vocal performance and evocative sexual imagery, and “Wake Up Dreaming Black” plows forward with a purpose that’s sorely lacking elsewhere on the album. But more often than not, they’re pushing filler like “9-2-9” or “Nine Lives.” Or, on tracks like the two-fer of “Dragonfly” and “Thorn Without a Rose” (yeesh), Edguy transform into a Z-list Sunset Strip party metal band-gone-serious disaster, complete with overwhelming backing vocals to drive home the sappy choruses.