Emerald – ‘Requiem’   Leave a comment

Emerald is a 3 piece studio metal band, consisting of Jeff Melin, Duane Hollis and Will Jones. Formed in the 80’s, in Tucson, Arizona, Emerald has recently returned to the scene, following a long break. They regrouped in 2014 and have been busy working on various albums ever since. Their new album, ‘Requiem’, comprises 8 tracks of traditional metal, harking back to the early sounds, paying tribute to bands such as Black Sabbath, in their early days.

Already having amassed a considerable online presence, ‘Requiem’ is their 4th album, since reuniting and has received frequent acclaim and radio exposure, to secure them a strong international fan base.

The biggest strength inherent in Emerald’s music can be attributed to their firm stance on keeping the flame of the old school burning, by retaining the immortal sounds of metal titans, such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Accept and Iron Maiden. The new material reflects this and is a sound with which the entire metal community can identify. Emerald may be said to build a bridge connecting traditional and current metal and ‘Requiem’ should, of course, be played loud.

Endless War – Powerful groove intro’s, with a drum roll, riff and vocal characterising the southern rock sound. Immediately, an ease and laid-back vibe is audible, yet that Sabbath influence is still heard, within the southern blues drawl, coming through in the heavy, clanking tones and natural vocal touch. There’s even a slight Iommi-esque, tri-tone riff, just before the close. Making a good impression instantly, ‘EW’ has a very likeable feel about it, further enhanced by the easy mid pace, making it that much more accessible. Perfect chill-out material here.

Against The Wall – Oh yeah! Get that damn catchy intro riff! Now things are hotting up, with a faster pace and a frantic vocal. You’ll hear the lyrical urgency from the outset and if the buzz of that riff doesn’t get you, you’re already half dead. There’s a great sound to this, as it speeds along, urging you to follow. Who wouldn’t? Only a fool, that’s who. This here is standout track territory, from the off. Again, it combines old school Sab-esque quality with current rock sensibilities, tinged with southern groove and laced with melody throughout. A shining example of how to do metal right!

Eye To Eye – Opening gradually now, moving into a contemplative piano intro, before seguing, steadily, into a guitar section, in perfect sync, embracing you in its warmth. Well timed harmonies and relaxed drum rolls speak volumes about the comfortable familiarity of this band, in each other’s presence and it’s evident that’s the glue that holds the music together, as they spark off each other, in unison. Listen carefully and you’ll even hear very slight echoes of Cooper’s ‘Stolen Prayer’ in those vocals. Just a gorgeous track.

Inescapable – Lively drum roll intro’s. Building up the pace, yet then it comes down to a very classic doom rhythm. This one’ll appeal to fans of stoner/doom rock. It blends quite well with a concoction of genres and sounds, moving fluidly and easily, from one to another. It’s definitely a catchall sound. Building up the tempo and then bringing it crashing back down again, to float on the surface, where rock genres intermingle, there’s a special essence about Emerald, inviting you home.

Tir De Masse – Heavy, involving riff intro, striking and profound. Carrying echoes of everything from ‘Use Your Illusion’ era G’N’R’, to  Fury U.K.’s ‘Remainder’ (Way Of Life), through to Native American world music. A pure and beautiful instrumental, full of soul and definitely a must listen.

Out Of The Light – Wow! Dazzling, Queen-esque riff intro, moving with sheer electricity, into a versatile, enthralling piece, reflecting, in parts, Slayer, UFO, Malmsteen and back to a freely performed combo of all the best and most powerful aspects of modern metal. The surprise in every track so far reveals the range and variation of which Emerald are capable and it’s damned impressive.

Promised Land – A slower number now, opening with a riff, painting pictures of the very promised land to which it alludes. Here, there’s an echo of Jovi-esque style, with a Mid-western image, evoking cowboys and saloon bars, coupled with New Jersey imagery, all carried on a powerful riff, holding the whole song together and fading out, on a dust track of blues. Divine.

Without A Stone – Banging heavy drum intro. This is more typical of Ozzy’s ‘Perry Mason’, from his solo era. Well-placed experimentation with tone, melody and timbre, still sounding so natural and meant to be. Great bit of whammy vibrato, in there, as the drums roll so capably, with the touch of one practically born drumming. Interesting lyrics and held so well by those magnificent riffs, just throbbing with colour. All coming together, so seamlessly, at the end, there’s a sound reverberating through this track and indeed, this whole album, which just seems divinely ordained.

Overall – Some bands are just meant to be together. Emerald is one. Some albums are meant to happen. ‘Requiem’ is one. It’s a delight, from start to finish, never failing to feed your senses, reeling you in, from the word go. Intriguingly titled, far from reminding of requiems, it goes out of its way to reflect life, in all its glory. Deliciously evocative and sumptuously sensuous, ‘Requiem’ reveals all the best bits of metal, mixes them all together and presents them as one. This is what metal heaven would sound like, with all the classiest bands playing together. It’s what you’ve been waiting for. Check it out now and buy it on October 24th.

10/10 **********

For fans of Black Stone Cherry, Alice In Chains, Down, Electric Wizard, Over The Under, Bon Jovi, Corrosion Of Conformity, Black Sabbath, Hitwood, early G’N’R’, Fury UK, Line Of Fire, SOIL, Baleful Creed.

http://www.facebook.com/emeraldmetalusa

Released October 24th, 2018, available from then, via: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/emerald6, in addition to the majority of digital platforms.

Azura Records.

  

Posted September 22, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

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