Monday, January 31, 2011

EMERALD SUN: "Regeneration"

Rating: 8/10

Label: Pitch Black 2011

Review by Alan Holloway

Now this could be something to excite all you fans of melodic power metal out there: a full on high speed Greek affair that’s positively bursting with energy and excitement. Seriously, it’s pretty bloody good.

With their second full length release, Thessaloniki’s Emerald Sun go straight for the jugular without pausing for breath. “We Won’t Fall” really pumps out the melody with a mixture of new and classic metal styles that stays throughout the album. As someone who likes bands such as Stratovarius, Dragonforce and Firewind, I was immediately hooked by the pounding bassline and heavy harmonies. The album doesn’t let up, aside from a dull 2 minute instrumental in the middle, with each track throwing everything but the keyboard player’s underpants at you. I particularly enjoyed “Planet Metal”, a track that gave me a warm nostalgic glow and made me think of classic Helloween, “7 Keys” era. Stelios "Theo" Tsakirides has a great voice for this sort of music, and the rest of the band are incredibly tight. As a bonus, there's also a cool version of Bonnie Tyler's old chestnut "Holding Out For A hero" that I so want to hear live.

I absolutely love melodic power metal when it’s done with real passion and talent, not to mention at top speed with great hooks, and Emerald Sun have produced an album that can stand up against some of the best. It’s not perfect, as the mid paced “Chasing The Wind” just doesn’t work at all when set against the rest of the album, and the twelve minute album closer “Fantasmagoria” is perhaps a little too ambitious, but these aren’t deal breakers by any means. If you like power metal with a huge melodic stick up it’s butt, then check these guys out, because they will make you smile.



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