I actually have some serious respect for these guys. You don’t see too many metal bands coming out of Estonia and Emerald is doing a fine job all things considered. They released their first full-length entitled “Kharon” a few months back. But in reality, they’ve been working hard since 2008 creating modern Melodic Death Metal with some Metalcore elements to boot. I actually discovered them through our champ of a writer MATTIA who first promoted Emerald back in July as a Band To Watch Out For. Not too long after I spoke with the band and now here I am writing a review.
When you first listen to this Emerald, they may strike you as being similar to many modern Metalcore bands… minus the damn near constant breakdown assault. These guys like their heaviness, but they prefer to riff more than they chug. And through this, their Melodeath elements tend to shine. There are also some minor pop sensibilities to bolster their sound. The more you listen to Emerald, the more you’ll notice, especially when it comes to the tonality and overall sound of the songs. There’s definitely some interesting layering and variety to be found throughout but all in all, they’re simple yet effective. And for all these reasons I think a lot of people will really like what they hear while spinning “Kharon”.
The music on this album definitely shares a common bond in the overall sound, but several tracks stand strong in their own right. Aural installments such as the opener “Draw The Line” (following the intro “Acheron Pass”), “Deviant”, “Northern Sea”, and the timeless wind of “Hourglass” are good examples of this. Bits of these songs have a good chance of getting stuck in your head. You’ve been warned.
I do have a few personal peeves with this record. First off, the singing is essentially good but it doesn’t always settle well in the mix. Some segments may move you while others feel forced into the song. Also, they really like their gang chants but they could sound much better. Second, as I mentioned before, this band is simple yet effective. This has it’s drawbacks as there are no face melting musical moments, just ones ranging from passable to good. This brings me to my third and last point… There’s pretty much nothing original happening here. Yes, the music is good and the music is fun but nothing truly sticks out as being creative.
All that aside, Emerald is a band with some decent potential behind them. Mattia wasn’t mistaken in dubbing them a Band To Watch Out For. There’s no doubt they’re musically focused and determined. They simply need to expand their horizons, stick their head a bit further from the box and they may just come upon the greatness they seek.
All in all this a good record that I believe a lot of people out there will thoroughly enjoy. It’s not necessarily my personal cup of tea but “Kharon” still manages to be a passable listen. You can give your ears a sampling through the videos above. If you enjoy the music, be sure to show Emerald some support. It’s not everyday you get to hear Estonian metal \m/