Released: 2010, Pure Steel Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Swiss epic Power/Heavy metallers Emerald´s 2nd album, RE-FORGED, for German True Metal label Pure Steel Records, is a true power play of many of those things that we love in Heavy Metal music in general. A slightly reduced line-up of the band (gone is Jvo Julmy and his place has been taken by Thomas Winkler on vocals and Manuel Werro on 2nd guitar) still relies on strong and well thought-out song structures that carry an enormous amount of Heavy Metal´s best sides within the songs – without forgetting the importance of variation of the band´s sharpened metal anthems.
Strongly Maiden-tinged as usual, there´s even more musical references behind this album than one could think of in the first place. Take for example a song called “Where´s Your God”, which brings the Swedish epic (doom) metallers Sorcerer to my mind for turning out to be more pompous than Manowar´s heavy armory. What a fuckin´ fantastic song – catchy and hook-filled from beginning to end, with some Halford-like high-pitched screams in the end of the song. Or take “Secret Agenda”, which is like a combination of PAINKILLER-era Judas Priest, early Agent Steel and Gamma Ray, mixed all together. Awesome, I would say. Also, “Witches Tower” falls into that category of songs that keeps people thrilled and pumped up with pure excitement – being a somewhat sinfully catchy and all-melting Heavy Metal anthem that gets your limbs moving, and giving you a feel of sheer gloriousness and beauty of the music of this type. Those King Diamond-ish laughs/croaks in the end of the song sounded also funny.
Before the album reaches its so-called ´Grande Finale´ track, which is an over 9-minute epic song titled “Mutiny” – with a keyboard prelude and something that could be Maiden´s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” intro in the beginning, there are a couple of other songs earlier on this 12-song record that I consider sort of fillers (“Until My Winter Comes” and “Mark of the Beast”). These two songs simply don´t move anywhere, so I´d say this album would have been even better without their existence. “Mutiny” closes the album in a proper enough way, reminding me of something that could be found from Rhapsody of Fire, or Gamma Ray albums.
Emerald have pretty much outdone themselves on this new record of theirs, compared to their previous album, HYMNS TO STEEL, which was also received reasonably well among the Heavy Metal trusting community. I am sure many of you want to check RE-FORGED out if passionately and ambitiously played, yet beautifully epic Power/Heavy Metal means anything to you. RE-FORGED could be a potentially good choice then.