Emerald - Voice For The Silent

Emerald - Voice For The Silent

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(CD, Metal On Metal Records, 2017)

Let’s back up a few decades... Dutch EMERALD released “Down Town” which is one of the most high-octane releases of its time. Truly underrated but I get it if everyone doesn’t appreciate Bert Kivits’ very high-pitched and sometimes hysterical vocal style. I love it though.

And “Voice For The Silent” really takes on where “Down Town” left off. In a way, it is hard to understand it's more than 30 years between the releases. The up-tempo “Mechanical Wars” sets the expectations very high right away. It is catchy and raw at the same time. Bert has lost a little of the absolutely highest pitched register but it is still much more than in most bands and it sounds fantastic. It works in mid-tempo as well; “Behind My Wall” holds some mighty fine vocal lines and cool riffs. It sounds as it did back in the day. EMERALD have really succeeded in getting hooks and witty arrangements in these new songs to make them stick! The third one out, “The Passion Remained” is my absolute favorite from “Voice For The Silent”. The variation in speed and intensity is fantastic. The very squeaky tone on Bert's voice in the chorus makes every hair on my body stand straight up. It sounds fantastic!

“Train Of Unbelief” sounds very much like “Suicide” from “Down Town”. And again, it works with a power ballad. MANOWAR-grooving “Sword Brothers” sticks like glue; both the beat and melody are fantastic on their own, but together they become even better. And Bert's vocal capabilities sets EMERALD in a class of their own. Songs like these make me wonder why I lost interest in the genre in the first place, but then, I remember it got boring and safe. EMERALD is neither of that.

“Sting Of Death” is another great one; a classic riff topped with another great vocal line. And the change to the bridge and chorus snaps the pace upward. It's all great! Another favorite is the epic finale “Rhymes Of Robin Hood”. The ballad-y intro works great in contrast to the fast riffs that follow. It feels like speed have been injected in a '70s epos. These are a lot of parts and passages here but they all fit well together. Perhaps not the most direct song on the album but that's why I like it.

One thing though; “Voice For The Silent” sounds old school and this means that the production is primitive. And I do like the honest and raw sound. I don't think a more modern production would have done any difference for me but I do think the record could have been bigger, accepted by a much bigger crowd had it sounded more modern. It deserves all recognition it can get because this is one of the best and coolest releases in the genre in eons.

9/10 


Links:

www.MySpace.Com/EmeraldNl
www.FaceBook.Com/Emerald.Nl


Tracklist:

01. Mechanical Wars
02. Behind My Wall
03. The Passion Remained
04. Train Of Unbelief
05. New Gods
06. Sword Brothers
07. To The Bone
08. Paper Snakes
09. Sting Of Death
10. Defeated By Guilt
11. Rhymes Of Robin Hood


Lineup:

Bert Kivits - Vocals
Allard Ekkel - Guitar
Paul van Rijswijk - Guitar
Essie Zagers - Bass
Rudy Marissen - Drums