Embersland - 'Sunrise' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 02, 2014    
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As debuts go, Embersland have acquitted themselves exceedingly well on 'Sunrise'.

At the height of the rock and metal boom in the late 80s, the pages of Kerrang! et al were filled by a myriad of reviews extolling the virtues (or otherwise) of both established names and unknown newcomers alike. Back then it seemed next to impossible to keep up (especially with a modest budget to spend), but looking back it was an absolute breeze compared to what today's prospective audiences are faced with! You only have to trawl through YouTube or the ever expanding review sites to realise that 'keeping up' isn't an option any longer; at best all you can hope to do is scratch the surface and cherry pick a few of the better releases each month.

Obviously, whilst I would champion the right of any band to get their music in the public domain, the deluge of releases that pours forth every single week mean that potential sales figures for the vast majority will be lucky to be counted in hundreds (let alone thousands). Shame really as there are some great bands out there that don't really stand much of a chance of gaining any sort of meaningful traction. That said; the eternal optimist in me still likes to champion the underdog.

Formed in Barcelona as recently as 2009 (although three of the band have a shared history that goes back several years earlier), symphonic Power Metallers Embersland recently threw their hat into the ring with the release of full length debut 'Sunrise'. A surprisingly deft sextet with two male vocalists and a rather cute young lady on keyboards, 'Sunrise' was clearly a labour of love for the band ... and you know what, whilst it isn't going to win them any prizes in the creative originality stakes, it's pleasantly sophisticated blend of styles should win nods of approval from most with an open mind and a half decent musical ear.

Combining elements of everything from Nightwish to Children Of Bodom, Royal Hunt to Symphony X or Amaranthe, they conjure up vibrant images of a constantly changing musical landscape littered with a series of dynamic peaks and troughs. Given that they encompass a broad range of elements (classic rock, symphonic metal, death metal, power metal, etc.), songs such as 'In Vain', 'Memories' and the epic 'Sunrise (Part 1)' hang together in an acceptably cogent way, the persistent ebb and flow heightening rather than hindering the aural experience. I appreciate that death metal growls aren't everyone's cup of Earl Grey, but when used modestly in the right places (as is the case here), to these ears at any rate they're just another tool to enhance the overall sound.

Credit where it's due; as debuts go, Embersland have acquitted themselves exceedingly well on 'Sunrise'.

Dave Cockett

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