‘Nocturne’, the third album from Emerald Dawn,is a symphonic rock delight which is awash with atmosphere and intrigue. Interestingly enough if you take a sideways glance over towards the genera of ‘Death Metal, a musical style where such rock fans are more used to stratums of explicit malevolence being delivered to their doors. However, it is certainly both exhilarating and innovative to come across a modern symphonic progressive rock band who’s exceedingly haunting, music chills you to the core.
With classical piano arrangements utilised in abundance and in turn drenched within in a backdrop of haunting and quite scary organ / synthesiser sequences, provision is thus made to cleverly integrate a whole host of wonderfully executed guitar passages. Such passages being both delightfully melodic and yet somehow menacingly somber. The mood of the entire score it is on one hand, a musical journey saturated with evil spirits and on the other hand a luscious encounter with some beautifully crafted classically styed progressive rock music.
Discounting the short intro ‘Prologue’ the album comprises of four lengthy interlocking tracks filled to the brim with exceedingly well crafted symphonic passages each of which ebb and flow through various soundscapes of utter fascination. The whole affair is an exquisitely layered symphonic rock epic with bountiful helpings of tunefully stunning guitar passages bursting from amongst solid platforms of majestic keyboards fluid bass lines and powerful drumming. In a sense the guitar might appear to be the overall lead instrument but there is such a solid depth of coordinated input from the various keyboard and electric bass infusions that they actually, in turn, emphasize and hold aloft the delicate, beautifully toned and tricky note combinations from the lead guitar (Ally Carter).
It has to be said too, that throughout there a plethora of epic contributions from the bass (David Greenaway) and drum departments (Tm Jackson). Track four especially where the fretless bass comes right out to the fore and is also joined by some great tenor saxophone (Ally Carter), and oodles of amazing deeply resonant church styled organ.
The majority of the music is instrumental in nature with some captivating nicely arranged and beautifully executed interludes of passionate female vocals with other soulful harmony accompaniments. (Tree Stewart).
The music is enjoyably embedded within a conceptual story line of sadness, unease and utter fear of the night but not as far as I know based on any classic literature or theatrical drama.
Summary: A wonderful must have album, full of passion drama, and majestic instrumentation throughout with massive contributions from all band members, a real team effort.
Artwork; Complex and beautifully detailed covers and inserts.
Tree Stewart: keyboards and vocals
Ally Carter: electric guitar, tenor saxophone, guitar synthesiser and vocals
David Greenaway: 4-string fretless and 6-string fretted bass guitars
Tom Jackson: drums
2. As Darkness Falls.
i. The Dancer, including The Entrance of The Demon ii. The Dance of The Demon iii. The Dancer and The Demon
4. In The Dead of the Night.
5. The Child Within