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Emerald Sun - 'Regeneration' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/56/a3/e0/1292_EmeraldSunRegeneration_1306354471.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 25, 2011    
 
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I think it is a quite magnificent – and surprising - masterpiece.

For a sextet that originally coalesced in Thessaloniki, Greece as long ago as 1998 to only now be releasing their second album, when five of the six original members are still in the present line-up, has to be considered unusual. Indeed, the one casualty (the band's vocalist) only left after the present album had been started. So, unusual or not, what can be guaranteed, and is indeed self evident as soon as the music begins to unfold, is that Emerald Sun not only play their particular brand of melodic power metal with class and panache, but have also penned seven hugely enjoyable and succinct songs (plus one instrumental) each clocking in at under five minutes, plus one quite remarkable twelve minute magnum opus also featuring guest vocalists Mariangela Arapoglidou and Vagelis Maranis (Sanvoisen – remember them? – also responsible for co-producing the album with the band).

Emerald Sun's "particular brand of power metal" sees them performing in what, generically, I am going to term "the German method", so that I really have no need to trot out the stylistic similarities that may be encountered here. And for some of you, I suppose songs such as 'Where Angels Fly', 'Starchild', 'Speak Of The Devil' and 'Planet Metal' will consequently hit the "heard it all before" button. Indeed, I can almost envisage a new type of band appearing on the horizon – not cover bands but ones that are very finely honed (or even cloned) to only produce original music that is redolent of the bands providing their inspiration.

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Consequently, for all the quality that is evident here, Emerald Sun are really walking that very fine line and it is therefore just as well that we discover that the first eight tracks are merely the hors d'oeuvre for the 12:25 of 'Phantasmagoria' that concludes the album (save for a cover of 'Holding Out For A Hero' that is a bonus on the physical release). Stylistically, a mini opera, this really does suggest that Emerald Sun are on the way to producing a classic and original album within their chosen genre. There are six characters in 'Phantasmagoria' and the first voice we hear is the female one in the role of 'Holy Spirit', quite a contrast with all that has gone before. Another role is 'Wicked Soul' and I have to warn those of you of a sensitive nature that these interjections are delivered as a (restrained) roar – but please do not let these put you off; this epic is not an example of extreme music. Indeed, I think it is a quite magnificent – and surprising - masterpiece.

So, 'Regeneration' is definitely worthy of investigation by the melodic power metal cognoscenti, and I wouldn't be surprised if many of you decide to make a purchase. Off you go….!!

Paul Jerome Smith

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