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Emerald Rage – High King

Emerald Rage
High King
by Justin Joseph at 28 October 2021, 10:06 PM

Power Metal to me will always be that genre in Metal that can be compared to a double-edged sword, depending on its wielder, the sword no longer becomes a weapon, instead, it becomes an extension of its master, and the master becomes one with the sword where a union of grace and swiftness is crafted. But the same weapon which defends can also become one’s demise, for if one does not possess the skill to harness such a magnificent creation, it will be the same blade that pierces the warrior’s flesh.

This brings me to “High King” by EMERALD RAGE, for its merit lies within the forging of the sword, that is its instrumental aspect…just like the blade whose slash rings a symphony upon the air, whose edge can shimmer against the sun glistening with a thin stream of blood, so too does the guitars and percussions work in a harmonious way to produce an array of magnificent notes that resonate with a resounding yet triumphant vigor to its playing.

Songs such as “White Stag” and “Wings of Solitude” express the brave and valour spirit that would surge within a noble knight’s core, for the strings and drums carve out a myriad of emotions that is enough to resurrect the strength of a fallen comrade. For where the merit shows itself upon “Emerald Rage” is in the formation of its musical arrangement. Yes, it is common for an album to be guitar driven, but the difference here is the ambience that is exuded from the guitar tones, as it dictates the course for the drum patterns to exist and flow, in other words, it is the dexterity of these two aspects that fosters a battlefield atmosphere.

However, the power to compel one to perform great feats…the power to grasp the sword and turn the tides in your favor… that is only dependent on how well the warrior channels that spirit within…in the vocals case, the heights that are expected to be taken, it is not explored, instead the delivery feels rather subdued. This is not to say the vocals are ‘bad’, quite the contrary, no there is talent imbued within the voice, but it is the shape it contorts to…or rather the shape it does not, for at times where it should meander and ascend to a crescendo, rising with the tides of the musical arrangement, its keeps along its linear direction. “Heart of a Pagan” and “Into The Sky” are just examples of tracks in which delivers astounding instrumental virtuosity, for it is the very colors that adorn the canvas, but where such colors could be accentuated…illuminated, the necessary details aren’t applied, such is the case with the vocals, for it feels as a separate entity to the instruments where both bodies should be inhibiting the same armor.

Power Metal fans who enjoy the depths of this genre may find much to glean in this delivery, they may discern the very treasures that I may not find…to you dear reader, I am happy that you can! Even though I expressed my criticism, it does not mean that the band bares no talent…no, it is because every member radiates in their own manner is why I highlighted such points, for I believe the album could have reached a zenith of perfection. None the less, I would still implore you the reader to go into the album with an open mind and discover the merits for yourself…enjoy!

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Into the Sky
2. Wrathful Eyes
3. High King
4. Heart of a Pagan
5. Dire Wolves
6. White Stag
7. Empress
8. Goddess Freya
9. Wings of Solitude
Lineup:
Jake Wherley - Guitars, Vocals (lead)
Patrick Kern - Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Erik Curry - Bass, Vocals (backing)
Record Label: Stormspell Records
     


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