Emerald - Crown Of Creation

Year of Release: 2004
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 58:02:00

In the break between the performance of Casual Silence and the main act Kayak, I was browsing through a magazine I found in the venue. It was the Dutch magazine Fret. In it were several short reviews of albums, but one in particular caught my eye, as it said it was an album by a progressive rock band. It was a review of the album Crown Of Creation by Emerald. Since my interest was awoken, I contacted the band and they sent me a copy of the album.

In the review (in the magazine) the style of the band was compared to the Alan Parsons Project and while listening I have to agree at times the band sounded a bit similar. But I also tasted some Camel influences in the music of the band. Some songs are AOR like, others are typical prog songs, but from a very high quality. The band was founded at the Rock Academy of Tilburg (NL), so this explains the fantastic and very mature play of the musicians.

Over the years, I've received a stream of albums and listened to them, but one thing I always missed a bit: the great guitar solos in the songs. And what do you know ? this is one of the strong points of Emerald! Even in the poppy AOR ballad like "Losing You," it is nothing but enjoyable, the strong and melodious guitar play of van den Boogard and de Boer. Great riffs and beautiful solos mark the majority of the songs on the album and that alone is enough reason to buy this album.

The rhythm section plays good, but laid back and supporting the rest of the musicians. Fortunately the warm bass of Zielhorts is mixed well into the sound. The drums by de Bruijn are like a good garnish: they give colour and taste to the whole, especially in the somewhat Beatlesque "Libra Birthday Girl;" definitely one of my favourite songs on the album. The vocals of Tom Vanrijckeghem are good, although mostly in the mid to high range, but it is nice to listen to his voice.

The highlight of the album is the conceptual piece "Insubstantial Liberation," which clocks well over 12 minutes. Fine keys and modest guitars in the opening, the song is nicely built up, with great guitars and keys. This is absolutely one of the better prog songs you can find!! Vanrijckeghem shows he is not only a good singer, but also a swell keyboard player.

The rest of the album is filled with strong tracks, which are mellow and laid back. A top notch album, which will pleasantly surprise many sympho and prog fans. Crown Of Creation by Emerald can without a doubt be called a jewel and I can only advice people to listen to the album and buy it. The album is available through the website of the band, as well as via The ProgStore (www.progstore.com) where you can also hear samples of the album.

The Reverse Side Of Mosquito's Battle / Losing You / Libra Birthday Girl / Insubstantial Liberation: I. Addicted - II. Sagittarius - III. Candles and Perfume - IV. From Bad to Worse / Sara / No Straight Story / Politician: Part I - Part II / After Trial / Emerald

Tom Vanrijckeghem - keyboards, lead & backing vocals
David van den Bogaard - guitars, backing vocals
Ruud de Boer - guitars, backing vocals
Marc Bruijn - drums
Robin Zielhorst - bass

Crown Of Creation (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NL

Added: April 24th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.emerald-band.com
Hits: 2097
Language: english


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