Hymns To Steel
Style: Power Metal
Release date: September 21st 2007

The fourth release from the Swiss band Emerald is a fact. After their first three records they have signed a contract with Pure Steel Records. Pure Steel is what they bring, nothing more. The Maiden twin-guitars are there, just listen to the song "Revenge" and you will know what I mean. The lyrics of the band are in Manowar style. Metal - Battle, Real - Steel, etc etc.

The vocals of Jvo Julmy are mostly in the higher regions, to my opinion sometimes too high. You love it, or you hate it. When I compare this band to a lot of others in their genre, I find them rather average, and sometimes below average. The ideas are good, but there are a lot of things that can be much better. For example the production, the guitars should have been mixed in much heavier way and also the vocals are below average for this genre. The lyrics are too simple and there is too little fantasy in the songs. I was not taken by surprise a single time about things that happens in a song - all is to predictable.

The ballad "Will You Ever Return" can't change my opinion of the album. It secures it.  The cover "Azrael" (Crimson Glory) is a step too high. In general the original is always better, in this case that's also the fact. When Emerald plays this song, I don't even find it such a good song. I looked up the original and yes it's much better. The one song that makes me smile is "Bard of the King". This is an epic song in Rhapsody style.

I'm sorry I can't be more enthusiastic about the record. For sure there will certainly be fans for it, but I prefer a higher quality.

01. Preparing For Battle
02. Hymn to Steel
03. Revenge
04. Empire of Lies
05. My Way
06. Blind Mass
07. Will You Ever Return
08. Bastardo
09. We Shall Rise
10. Azreal
11. Bard Of The King
12. After the Battle
Label: Pure Steel Records
Distribution: Pure Steel Records
Artwork rating: 75/100
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: February 1st  2008
Website: www.emerald.ch