Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
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0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

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Hellfire Club
Nuclear Blast
3/23/2004 - Review by: Anthony Burke
Edguy Hellfire Club Nuclear Blast Records reviewed by: IcedMojo

Track Listing
1. Mysteria
2. The Piper Never Dies
3. We Don't Need a Hero
4. Down to the Devil
5. King of Fools
6. Forever
7. Under the Moon
8. Lavatory Love Machine
9. Rise of the Morning Glory
10. Lucifer in Love
11. Navigator
12. The Spirit Will Remain
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the freakshow”, also know as (the opening line to) “Hellfire Club”. All true metal bands have 1 album in which a deal with the devil was made. Maybe not a true deal with the devil, but this is my term for the album in a bands discography that makes any other work they have done, or will do in the future, seem childish. With Edguy, I thought that album was “Vain Glory Opera” until I heard “Hellfire Club”. To quote staffer EC “I can't imagine how they could possibly leave off these three great songs (Savage Union, Holy Water, New Age Messiah) from the new album, but there could be a possibility that they believe these songs are the weakest of the fresh material.”--shocker, I agreed. Well, those songs were left off of the album. I do not agree with the weakest, but since I purchased “King of Fools”, I am glad that they were not used on “Hellfire Club”.

Listening to this album, for the millionth time in less than a week, I am continually amazed. If Nuclear Blast allows these guys to write and perform like what is on this album, then I say this, the move was long overdue. Let’s start with the opening track “Mysteria”. This song sets the tone for the entire album. It is fast and melodic, but don’t get confused by melodic, they dont' use any one instrument predominately, like quite a few “melodic” bands have become known for. They didn’t lose the most important aspect of it all, heaviness! Next is my personal favorite, “The Piper Never Dies”, an epic song laced with massive amounts of talent both as a group, and as individual artists. Those artists are Dirk Sauer-rhythm and lead guitar, Jens Ludwig-lead and rhythm guitar, Tobias Sammet-vocals, Tobias "Eggi" Exxel-bass, and Felix Bohnke-drums. It opens methodical, even menacing.

Edguy have mastered the surprise tactic. Leading the listener to believe this is a sappy ballad, then, surprise, they kick your teeth in. This becomes mostly evident in songs like “Down To the Devil” and “Rise of the Morning Glory”. This type of song can also be found on “Lucifer in Love” which bleeds into “Navigator”. There are two ballads on here “Forever” and “The Spirit Will Remain”. “Forever” is a great album break. Any ballad that is that well written and preformed is a godsend. It starts acoustic and works its way into electric, just fantastic. Then there is “The Spirit Will Remain” it is well written and a superb end to the story (What story? This is just a sample; you must listen to the album for the full effect.) However, just as a song, this may be the weakest of the bunch. Great closer, but very soft and light. Listen to the album, you’ll understand why and what I mean.

Rating: 10/10, big shocker there. As a long time fan of Edguy, as well as Tobias Sammet (Edguy/Avantasia vocalist), I can honestly and without a shadow of a doubt say that this truly shows the bands maturity in songwriting as well as in musicianship. After hearing “King of Fools” (EP), I knew “Hellfire Club” would be good, but I had no idea that everything on this album, down to the production and even the artwork, would be pure perfection. If you have never gotten an Edguy album, “Hellfire Club” is the one you must start your Edguy collection with. If you are a true fan of metal music, then there is no excuse why this should be passed up! This is 12 songs of nothing short of pure genius.

Extra: “Hellfire Club” marks the group’s 5th full length album released on a major label (1995-Savage Poetry [the self produced demo], 1996-Kingdom Of Madness, 1998-Vain Glory Opera, 1999-Theater Of Salvation, 2000-The Savage Poetry [2 cds, one mastered in 2000, the other the self produced 1995 Demo], 2001-Mandrake); also 1 EP in 2004 entitled King of Fools and a live 2 disc set in 2003 entitled Burning Down the Opera House, however, this is the first album (2nd if you include King of Fools) on Nuclear Blast. Prior to this point, AFM was the home of Edguy.

--IcedMojo 03.24.04

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