Released: 2012, Bakerteam
Hmmmm.... This is interesting. An Italian Power Metal band that does NOT sound like Rhapsody! Weird. They sound like Sonata Arctica on crack! Cool!
Bejelit has for the most part gone unnoticed or at the very least unappreciated here at http://www.Metal-Rules.com
, until this year. Despite four albums worth of material this is the first review of the band on our site. EMERGE was released earlier this year on the Bakerteam label and Power Metal traditionalists could be forgiven for overlooking this little gem because at first blush the band do not meet the standard archetypes of the genre. They have a non-Power Metal name. They have a non-Power Metal logo and the album cover looks more like it belong in the melodic Death Metal camp on a Soilwork or Darkane album. However the music of the long, 67 minute album is undeniably Power Metal with a strong Northern European influence.
The lineup of this quartet changed slightly as the band added Marco Pastorino (formerly of Timesword and Shining Fury) who is also in Secret Sphere. The rest of the band, in case you are not familiar, feature members of some lesser known, but no less worthy bands from the region such as Crystal Empire, Drakkar and Pandaemonium. Pretty much every review I have read about Bejelit has referenced the uncanny similarity between vocalist Fabio Privitera and Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica. There is no denying it but both men have an excellent voice and Fabio puts in a fine performance behind the microphone, his skill and talent is also undeniable.
The band is fast for the most part, very quick, lots of good double kicks and really fast galloping drum beats. The solos generally rip and accentuate the keyboard as well. There are certainly many orchestral parts but these are understated for the most part but do shine through on some songs. For example, there is even a nice violin solo on the epic 11 minute+ cut called 'Deep Water' and some slower solos with acoustic piano and some cellos perhaps before a sudden stop and a massive return to just punishingly fast speed Metal, sort of like Pathfinder might do, and then an abrupt stop and back to some acoustic guitar and a mellow vocal line, swelling to a big conclusion and then, at last drifting off with sound effects of breaking waves accompanied by acoustic piano bringing the song to a gentle finish. The song is a tour-de-force, and certainly an album highlight for me.
All of EMERGE is fantastic, there are no weak or filler songs. They cuts are well arranged, interesting to listen to superbly performed by all members. The production is full and robust with the keyboards often quite high in the mix along with Fabios voice. There are many different little pieces on the heavier-than-usual tracks and there are even short instrumental with industrial sounds called 'DefCon 13'. Afternoons mountains with huge doses of aggressive speed the album closes with a lush and gorgeous ballad with a bit of an odd title of 'Boogyman' but it is a bit of a haunting piece again with atmospheric, acoustic piano, so the title fits. It's a nice counterpoint to the surprisingly heavy guitar tone on the rest of the album.
Bejelit have really caught my attention and I'm going to enjoy discovering their back catalogue and champion this band to Metal fans everywhere especially those who yearn for the early days of Sonata Arctica. EMERGE has emerged (I can't believe I actually typed that) as one of my discoveries of the year and is assured a place in my Top 20 this year.