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Streamlining their trademark power metal might with a healthy dose of melodic hard rock, German quintet Edguy return ready to rock with their eighth release, the 11-track TINNITUS SANCTUS. Cramming crunchy guitars with an enormous drum sound ("Sex Fire Religion"), this veteran unit's typically over the top delivery has been dialed down considerably here, long enough for fans of hair metal to be able to find solace within cuts like "Nine Lives", "Dragonfly" and especially the power ballad "Thorn Without a Rose". But don't fret fans of Edguy's early fantasy metal phase, they haven't lost it all completely, as the instrumental breaks on "Speedhoven" and the Queensryche-esque "Wake Up Dreaming Black" gallantly mark a reprise to the speed-driven pomp roots you've come to expect from this crew.
- Mike SOS