With a legacy of over 20 years, Swiss act EMERALD is now issuing their 7th album “Reckoning Day” via Pure Steel Records, raising the flag high in the name of classic metal, prolonging tradition's reign over everything that is heavy with might.
Since their emergence in the '90s, Emerald have been crafting their brand of melodic metal material with the tenacious verges of both European and US Metal. Converging around British and German elements plus some classic '80s American touches, the band has been getting tighter and robust in every passing release.
With the representation of “Reckoning Day” it became apparent how momentous, infectious and memorable their music really is.
The songwriting may have its basic elements, remaining close to the safer zones without trying to be inventive and create new moves, yet it is drenched with heavy riffs and rhythms that would craze along the line with harmonies and astounding melodies, generated by the guitars, keyboards and of course, the strong vocals.
Despite the recent tribulations in the line up - this new album may be the official announcement of the band’s new vocalist Mace Mitchell (who does a great work) - Emerald remains a classic melodic metal band in the "keep it true" tradition: twin guitar harmonies and leads, a punchy rhythm section, and clean, strong and assertive, metal vocals are the core elements of the Emerald sound.
All these rich in melody, harmony, and groove with a touch of keyboards / synths for orchestration.
Among the highlights, opener “Only The Reaper Wins” is a real anthem, hard to the core European melodic metal with an addictive main riff, a C part to kill for, and an explosive soloing that could had only been bred by an '80s driven guitarist.
“Evolution In Reverse” serves as one of the US metal influenced tracks featuring previous vocalist George Call whom only recorded few songs with the band, but they decided to include here on 3 tracks. It provides a nice variation to the album.
On “Through The Storm”, Call stars as the master of this hook-laden killer track of greatly composed heaviness. His Dickinson-style vocals are simply off the charts overheating the bombastic musical efforts on the midtempo pre-chorus and chorus.
“Ridden By Fear” displays the influence of the classy British twin guitaring screaming within the depth of great riff, right before entering the eye of the metal storm entangling massive soloing as the rhythm guitars are punishing just as the old school directive commanded. New singer Mace Mitchell is really convincing with one of his better vocalic exhibitions.
Also on “Reign Of Steel” Mitchell delivers a great performance, a hard hitting metallic track with an atmospheric, almost dreamy, chorus.
There's an enjoyable power ballad as well - almost bordering melodic hard rock - in "Beyond Forever", another solid song with interesting chord progressions.
"Reckoning Day" feels like composed during the '80s but sounds really modern, keeping the true, classic metal flame alive in 2017.
01 - Only The Reaper Wins
02 - Black Pyramid
03 - Evolution In Reverse
04 - Horns Up
05 - Beyond Forever
06 - Through The Storm
07 - Ridden By Fear
08 - Mist Of The Past
09 - Trees Full Of Tears
10 - Lament Of The Fallen
11 - Reckoning Day
12 - Reign Of Steel
13 - Signum Dei
14 - Fading History
Mace Mitchell - Vocals
George Call - Vocals on 3, 6, 15
Michael Vaucher - Guitars
Julius Menthol - Guitars
Vania Truttmann - Bass
Al Spicher - Drums
Thomas Vaucher - Keyboards
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