Tuesday, September 6, 2011

EMERALD SUN: "Regeneration"

Rating: 6/10

Label: Pitch Black Records 2011

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Greek melodic metal band Emerald Sun have managed to put together a fairly entertaining CD out of recycled power metal clich├ęs. They surely have studied their "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" albums, and maybe a few chapters from the Primal Fear songbook too. There's no denying that "Regeneration" is a well-produced and well played album, but the band's songwriting doesn't lift them to the next level. The album's standout track "Holding Out For A Hero" is pretty special though, but it's a cover of an eighties' Bonnie Tyler song, written by Jim Steinman and Dean Pritchford.

What is kinda appealing in this album is the humour and should I say "playfulness". It doesn't sound like the band is grinding their teeth trying to be the fastest and hardest power metal band of all time, they might have even been - shock, horror - smiling and laughing when recording this album. I'm not so sure about the vocalist though, Stelios "Theo" Tsakirides screeches through the album in his own, imitable style that must be somewhat painful at times. His voice is definitely an aqcuired taste, maybe better enjoyed in smaller portions than a full album at a time. The female vocalist who sings on the aforementioned "Holding Out..." offers some variety to the vocals on the album, and I wouldn't have minded if she would've been given a few more songs to sing.

Out of the band's own material, I'd pick out "We Won't Fall" as the best of the bunch, the somewhat silly "Planet Metal" is pretty fun too. "Speak Of The Devil" has to be mentioned as well, if only for the fact that it sounds a lot like Primal Fear. The other songs aren't that bad either, but you've heard it all before. "Regeneration" is not a bad album but that's about it... apart from the fine Bonnie Tyler cover, I don't think this album will get a lot of airplay on our household.


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