Emerald Mind is a Russian symphonic metal band founded in 2003 as Diadema, and then changed their name to Emerald Mind in 2008. As a fan of symphonic metal, although now I’m not as much as I used to into this subgenre, I thought it’d be interesting to listen to their last album, Civilazation, released in 2015.
Through the first tracks of this work, I wasn’t sure about wether I liked what I was listening or not, despite the quality of the production. For me, it didn’t start to work out until the middle part, with songs like Civilization, which has a progressive touch, Save me for the Moon or When Storm Clouds Talk, both of them with nice melodies, and the original, chill-out-like Early Morning. Despites, all songs are consistent and well made, and fans of symphonic metal can surely love this album. Now I’m gonna analyze the positive points and the drawbacks that I found.
In first place, I was really surprised about how well produced this album was, to the point that it seems you’re listening to a release by a big and stablished metal band instead of an underground, independent one. The next thing that I find necessary to highlight is the vocals (thumbs up for classical style singing!). Regarding music, the album covers all the standards that one would expect in symphonic/power metal with mastery. And that’d be a good point, if it wasn’t because the band just do that: stick to the standards, without adding anything more. And that lead us to the main drawback of the album: it lacks a personality of its own. While at was listening to it, during minutes and minutes I wasn’t sure if I was listening to a Tarja Turunen solo album (is it my own impression or the vocalist sounds exactly like her?) or to a revision of Nightwish early LPs. And that’s because Emerald Mind, at least in this album, sounded like Tarja solo style mixed with a bit of Nightwish and a bit of Epica, and it’s not good for a band to be defined that way, purely in terms of other groups, unless they’re a tribute band. I understand Emerald Mind has only released two albums and it’s normal they don’t feel confident enough yet to develope more and experiment with their own style, but some of the more original sounding tracks of Civilazation (like Civilization or Early Morning) were quite good, so that adding to this their production ability, they have the potential to outstrip their inspirational bands and find their very own style in coming releases. For now, Emerald Mind can be enjoyed by any symphonic/power metal fan, specially fans of early Nightwish or Tarja, and for those who are not into this genre, they can find in this work a good approach to it.