Nima : Back in 2007 I was pleasantly surprised with the debut, ‘Escape From Twilight’, from this Greek sextet. The melodic heavy/power metal that Emerald Sun delivered on that album was far from original, but the band made a strong impression with good songs, and their great instrumental and vocal abilities. The successor ‘Regeneration’ (2011), continued on the same path, but also showed a sturdier side of the band. However, despite its qualities, ‘Regeneration’ had less impact than its predecessor and could not convince me as much.
Four years later the third LP, ‘Metal Dome’, is spinning in my player, and let me say immediately that this absolutely the band’s strongest effort to date. Fortunately the gentlemen have again deviated little from the sound and style they revealed on the previous records, and again come with sturdy, melodic heavy/power metal. The opening track, ‘Screamers In The Night’, immediately sets the right mood and the influences from the likes of Helloween, Gamma Ray, Freedom Call, Edguy, Hammerfall are immediately audible. Another instant striker is how much vocalist Stelion “Theo” Tsakirides – who debuted on ‘Regeneration’ – has progressed and comes across a lot stronger and more convincing. All following tracks are strong compositions and have a high sing-along- and headbang-value, and make a lasting impression already with the first listen. The only track that applies to me less is the ballad, ‘Mere Reflection’. I’m not saying that this is a poor song or anything, but it does take the flow out of the record, and more than that it doesn’t manage to hit the right note emotionally. This on the contrary to the fantastic acoustic, and somewhat folky closer, ‘Call Of Nature’.
Of course you should not expect any forms of originality or innovation here. Every track has a strong reference to one of the aforementioned bands and other colleagues in the genre, and ‘Racing With Destiny’ (which is one of the best tracks on the record, by the way), sounds quite similar to Dragonforce. But is that disturbing? Not at all! Despite the lack of originality the songs sound quite spontaneous and, as said, highly catchy and are performed with much conviction and audible enthusiasm. Thanks to the fantastic production (Vagelis Maranis – Nocte Obducta, Suicidal Angels) the whole comes into its own well, and the album blasts delightfully. All in all ‘Metal Dome’ is a strong record in its kind, and one that will definitely apply to the fans of the genre.