"Requiem" (Azura Records; 2018)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Emerald's "Requiem" is a metal riff fan's dream. It's chock full of songs that ride the riff all the way through, from the first note to the last. The good news is that they're prettygood, chunky, driving riffs broken up here and there with decent solos, and are very easy to absorb. Lead singer (also guitarist) Jeff Melin has one of those voices that isn't quite Ozzy Osbourne but is thankfully more Alice Cooper than Ace Frehley.

Things stay pretty heavy throughout the CD, with those riffs really taking on some weight on tracks like "Inescapable" and "Without a Stone" and the band is typically more successful with the loud stuff than quiet: "Promised Land" is really the only song on the album that didn't speak to me, although the instrumental "Tir de Masse" was more engaging than most tracks of its type.

Emerald may not be taking home any awards with this CD, but if you're looking for an album that will simply rock you hard, "Requiem" just might be it.

Emerald: Jeff Melin - guitars and vocals; Duane Hollis - bass guitar and backing vocals; Will Jones - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.facebook.com/emeraldmetalusa.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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