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Emerald Sun: Regeneration

If after one listen you had asked me what nationality Emerald Sun were, I would have confidently guessed at German. Why? Well the band's second album and first for Pitch Black Records (a good clue that the band are actually Greek) has the precision and speed of Gamma Ray, the steam hammer riffs of Accept, the questionable humour of Helloween and singer Theo has the merest hint of Klaus Meine of the Scorpions in his delivery. My hunch may have been wrong, but from the list of influences, you'll have guessed that "Regeneration" is a most convincing slab of quality metal.

There's no doubt that Emerald Sun are a classy and talented bunch and considering that they have existed for nine years before they released their debut album "Escape From Twilight" in 2007, it is no surprise that they are tight and accomplished musicians. Kicking off in fine style with a riff that fair gallops along and that is met for pace by the Children Of Bodom style bursts of keyboards "We Won't Fall" is a fine manner in which to set out the band's stall. The song also has a strident chorus that reminds of what the Scorpions did with their excellent stab at updating their sound on "Humanity - Hour One". From there the album goes through the more predictable power metal (albeit with a contemporary edge) of "Theater Of Pain" and the slightly darker verse of "Where Angels Fly" and while neither song will set the world alight, both are above average efforts that keep things moving along nicely. The title track itself is actually a long keyboard intro that is more Jean Michel Jarre than power metal which builds into the top speed riffage of "Starchild". No it is not a homage to Kiss's Paul Stanley, instead it is a breathlessly quick tale of life beyond the stars, with the quickening in pace banishing any chance of taking a breath, before the Accept like riff and chorus shouts of "Speak Of The Devil" stamps its authority on proceedings.

"Planet Metal" is more pedal to the metal, fiery bursts of speed and it is here that the "humour" rears its head, with some silly high pitched vocals (I think they are meant to sound alien) rather pointlessly blunting the attack of an otherwise excellent song. Bringing a more restrained air to the album is "Chasing The Wind", which is a decent if unspectacular slower number, but fear not as this is merely the calm before the storm. Only once "Fantasmagoria" kicks into life do you realise that the whole of "Regeneration" has been building to this point, with the twelve minute epic raising the bar considerably. Suddenly the sound is deeper, more aggressive and a few notches up in standard to what has come before. Don't get me wrong, as you'll gather from the rest of this review, this is an album I enjoyed from start to finish, but this one song really shows the true potential of Emerald Sun. Across its twelve minutes, the mood and approach alters and shifts with an impressive ease and the addition of guest vocalist Vagelis Maranis brings another focal point to an already wide and varied track. So how do you follow up and epic of this stature? Well you go off in another direction completely and blurt out a power metal cover of Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For A Hero", which whilst completely disposable is in truth mighty good fun.

On the whole "Regeneration" is a solid and enjoyable power metal romp that has a couple of missed steps and one track that is worth the price of this CD alone. Keep your eyes on Emerald Sun, as this album may not quite fulfil their potential, but what comes next could be very impressive indeed.

Track Listing
1. We Won't Fall
2. Theater of Pain
3. Where Angels Fly
4. Regeneration
5. Starchild
6. Speak of the Devil
7. Planet Metal
8. Chasing the Wind
9. Fantasmagoria
10. Holding Out for a Hero

Added: December 26th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Emerald Sun online
Hits: 743
Language: english

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