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Released: 2014, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
You shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover. Upon receiving my promo copy of Emerald’s full length debut, METAL REDEMPTION, my first thought was “oh jeez, not another retro thrash band”. Man, I couldn’t have been more wrong. A love letter to Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and other classic hard rock/metal standards, METAL REDEMPTION is one of the best surprises I’ve come across all year.
METAL REDEMPTION’s nine tracks owe much of their inspiration and conception to the Sabs, but less the doomy first four albums and more the upbeat experimentalism of SABOTAGE through NEVER SAY DIE, and even some of the more metallic thunder of the RJD era. Hell, even one of the bridge riffs in “Edge of Tomorrow” sounds like it was lifted from DEHUMANIZER. But the care and reverence that the trio puts into each tune is impressive, balancing powerful riffage with equal doses of melody and introspection make the album an easy and enjoyable listen.
“Watcher at the Gates of the Mind” is a blood pumping, fist in the air rocker, fit for a Harley ride on an open highway, while the aforementioned “Edge of Tomorrow” is a melodic and mellow Sabbathian homage with a gorgeous coda that would make Iommi and Butler proud. The title track is a dark mid-tempo headbanger that recalls moments of Rush (yeah, really), where “Over the Cliff” is, despite its title, an upbeat and bluesy rocker. And the instrumental “A Final Word” is a full on anthemic metal at its finest, sure to inspire visions of dual guitar choreography and a concert hall filled with horns in the air.
Some albums you can listen to and you just “know” that the band is having a good time jamming on the tunes; Emerald is one of those bands and METAL REDEMPTION is one of those albums. The whole thing has nary an air of pretentiousness to it; it’s just three dudes who play their instruments really well having some fun together with the music they love. Reading the band’s bio, Emerald formed 30 years ago, with METAL REDEMPTION being their first official release. Hopefully it doesn’t take another 30 years for a follow up, because this is great stuff. METAL REDEMPTION should resonate with traditional metal enthusiasts, and especially with the doom/stoner crowd (you guys will eat this up, trust me). Check out Emerald’s Facebook page for more band details, METAL REDEMPTION is available through outlets like CD Baby, Amazon.com , and Spotify.
1. Tardigrade Raid
2. Watcher at the Gates of the Mind
3. Edges of Tomorrow
4. Lost in a Crowd
6. Metal Redemption
7. Over the Cliff
8. Price of Pain
9. A Final Word
Jeff Melin - Guitars, Vocals
Duane Hollis - Bass Guitars
Will Jones - Drums
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