The Swiss Power Metal band Emerald is back with the follow up to their outstanding 2010 release Re-Forged. Unleashed is the band’s sixth full length album, and the second with the remarkable vocalist Thomas Winkler. Simply put, Unleashed is a persuasive powerhouse from start to finish. Their six man formula that consists of very strong and highly effective use of tandem guitars. They use a well-rooted source of ‘80s Classic Metal and blend a modern twist that is filled with energy and charisma.
The great thing about Unleashed is there isn't an one influential force that dominates the sound. This is a full collaborative band effort, and each component contributes to vibrancy of the final product. It begins with vocalist Thomas Winkler, who provides an energetic Bruce Dickinson-esque bellow that cements the core classic sound and drives each track. Additionally, the guitar team of Michael Vaucher and Manuel Werro play amazingly bright and resonant guitar riffs. Their sound never gets stale anywhere on the album and each track is exceptionally lively.
Compared to their previous album, there is one element that is very commendable and a definitive contribution; the high-flying drumming achievements of Alex Spicher. It's actually reminiscent of the defining drum sounds on the Judas Priest – Painkiller album. Spicher’s playing style is quite eccentric, and almost pompous. Single-handedly he is able to make the drums a distinctive and crucial element to this album’s success.
Regarding the individual tracks, there are a couple that deserve high merit. The biggest stand out is “Eye Of The Serpent”, and features former Omen vocalist George Call. This not only certifies the classic authenticity of the band’s sound, but Call’s vocals are extremely fervent and passionate ... they make this track such a huge standout. Another track of note is the very Blind Guardian-ish “Harleking.” This track features a more introspective Progressive sound from Emerald. It’s filled with some inspiring keyboard melodies, but the real catch is the middle section segue, which is a building crescendo chant that evolves into an amazing, fiery guitar solo.
Emerald truly proves on Unleashed they are a strong physical presence to be reckoned. The compositions are flawless. The tracks are full of diverse themes. The vocals are highly appealing, and the musicianship as a whole is monumental. There are bits and pieces of various genres as well; including Classic, Power, Progressive, Melodic, and hints of Thrash. Without question it is Emerald’s finest work to date, and this one should definitely put them on the map for good.
Official Band Website
Pure Steel Records