Reviewed by Dylan Raine
1. The Darkest Hour
3. Don’t Know What You Need
5. We Got The Tragedy
6. To forget And To Forgive
9. Fairy Gate
10. The Defending Dreams Battle (Aruna’s Gateway)
11. Deep Water
Power metallers Bejelit have just released their fourth full length album ‘Emerge’. Bejelit debuted in 2004 with the critically acclaimed album ‘Hellgate’ and since then they’ve built a solid reputation by releasing two more top-notch efforts and hundreds of shows all over Europe, most notably their 2008 and 2011 appearances at Slovenia’s Metal Camp festival. ‘Emerge’ displays 13 heterogeneous and energetic Power Metal songs enriched by deep lyrical themes and epic scenarios. The music is aggressive but non-destructive, willing to drive the listener to emerge from any adverse situation. Instruments such as accordions, classical guitars and violins have been added to the mix (with a special mention for the guest appearance by Laura Brancorsini of Furor Gallico), giving it an unusual flavor which will no doubt attract even the most demanding audience. ‘Emerge’ was mixed by Nino Laurenne (Sonata Arctica, Amorphis, Wintersun, Elvenking) at Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki, Finland, and mastered by Svante Forsbäck at Chartmakers Studios (Rammstein, Korpiklaani, Amorphis).
From the very onset of playing the album, you are thrown into high speed riffs and colourful breakdowns between the vocals and choruses before the shredding takes over and the music takes a new direction. With the power riffs and vocals like that of Dragonforce you are taken into a blast of pure power metal, pitch harmonics, wonderful effects, high calibre licks and melodies, and fun choruses to get your rockin’ to the music. ‘Don’t know what you need’ has a very anthem feel to it, taking the music into a new era; Then comes the much anticipated neo-classical solos, before the shredding takes over and the addictive choruses kick in once again.
Let’s go a little gentle for a moment with the intro to ‘We Got The Tragedy’ with the beautiful finger picking before the metal starts with a well placed flanger effect and the mix of obscure drum beats to confuse the mix. As we go further through the song the synths come in with the melodies of the guitars bringing the song into its own. Look at this alongside the beautifully placed piano’s of ‘To forget And To Forgive’ and you have two emotionally clever pieces of music, well created, brilliantly written and placed. For me, the solo section of ‘To forget and to Forgive’ with the combo between classic blues and rock joined together to make a brilliant mid section of this song, not too over-the-top, is just perfect.
As you progress through the album it just gets faster and faster, until you come to the intro of ‘Deep Water’ with the ocean effects and gentleness of the pianos taking you into a blissful state of being for a moment. Now, that you’ve had that moment of bliss let’s get those gallops charging. A highly addictive melody takes this track into somewhere totally away from the rest of this album. The verses are cleverly crafted with the intricate lyrics pacing alongside the well engineered music. Introducing the violins to the mix and you have a really good attempt of a ‘viking-esq metal’ track hidden deep within a power metal album. Fantastic! After movement 1, you are given the most beautiful breakdown into pianos and violins taking an ambient stroll along the proverbial beach, before high speed metal riffs come back in and take you back into the song with all the madness. Then, out of nowhere, acoustic finger picking comes in and slows the piece down again. Although this is becoming confusing, I am quite happy to become confused for this piece of music. It has been so well written and thought out! Yet again, we’re thrown back into another mix of heavy metal with very powerful vocals and expressions. Ending with the very beautifully textured pianos and waves effects this song has blown out all expectations for the rest of this album, with 11 minutes 18 seconds worth of shear madness just left you, you are left wondering what could possibly follow this.
Along follows the super-rich effects of ‘DefCon13’ building you up into what you are hoping to be a massive final track and well… it sort of is; but not the way you are expecting. Think Opeth mixed with everything you’ve heard so far from this album and you are nearly there. The acoustic guitars and vocals are so well represented within this song creating layers and textures to gently take you elsewhere until the very rich violins and pianos come in once again and expand this song beyond all limitations.
I had started off this album quite unsure of where it was going and now as I hear the end I understand where it was taking me and I thank it. This is not just “another” album; this is an experience, a journey!