Released: 2001, Independent
The second time this great, independent band has crossed my desk and the second time I have been impressed. Emerald is a 5 piece from Switzerland getting better with each release. This is a very professional CD for a band do it all themselves. The experience shows with improvements in all areas, production, singing, songwriting, and overall look of the CD.
Emerald are riding the wave of excellent traditional, true, classic metal and they are doing it well. They have more of a traditional 80’s feel than most of the neo-classical, epic, symphonic (blah, blah, blah) bands coming out of Italy and Spain these days.
One of the comments I read about their debut was that it was too slow. Obviously the band took this into account as the songs are faster and have more punch but are still in the mid-tempo range, never really busting loose. There is a great cover of “Medieval Steel”, (by Medieval Steel of course) an excellent choice and excellent rendition. Overall the songs have a nice sophisticated, Iron Maiden feel and in some parts remind me of Helloween from Chamelon, and maybe Warlord but I can’t quite figure out why. The singer Jvo has a good voice, check out that scream at the end of Medieval Steel!! I don’t think I have heard a singer hit a note that high in a long, long time!
The lyrics are quite straightforward, many epic hymns to the glory of true metal but perhaps some of the lyrics about love and being mad at your parents could use a little more refinement. I shouldn’t complain, as English is not their first language, but sometimes the words do not translate very well, especially in songs like “Hard To Be True” and ‘Victims of Society”.
This is a solid disc for fans of classic metal. With some money, a label deal and a good studio and producer Emerald could be one of the bright lights of the Swiss metal scene.
Check them out at http://www.emerald.ch