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The Emerald Dawn


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The Emerald Dawn Searching For The Lost Key album cover
3.53 | 42 ratings | 2 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beyond the Wall (12.03)
2. Buridan's Lament (10.48)
3. Shadow in Light (10.12)
4. In Search of the Lost Key (11.08)

Total time 44:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan "Ally" Carter / guitar, tenor saxophone, keyboards, vocals
- Katrina "Tree" Stewart / keyboards, piano, flute, vocals
- Thomas Jackson / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Katrina "Tree" Stewart

CD self-released (2014, UK)

Digital album

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THE EMERALD DAWN Searching For The Lost Key ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE EMERALD DAWN Searching For The Lost Key reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Four long 10 minute + epics make up the Emerald Dawn's sublime debut, entitled 'In Search of the Lost Key' , another prog-rock take on HP Lovecraft's symbolic book, 'The Silver Key' and what better gift can any progfan hope for than that! The Emerald Dawn are a trio from West Cornwall UK that features the amazing Ally Carter on green guitar and saxophones, Tree Stewart on green keyboards and not so green vocals as well as Tom Jackson on green drums. The album artwork is green as well, but joking aside, there is nothing green about these endowed musicians. While their style is difficult to pigeon hole, the sound is definitely neo-prog or symphonic, or eclectic or crossover or space or'well you get it! They cannot seem to find a specific home within PA which I must declare to be a winning proposition, as they do not seem to clone anyone. That makes them original, something the band now has proof of in terms of patience in finding a nest.

On 'Beyond the Wall', there is a fabulous echo in the production, as if seaborne mists have muffled the sound with salty desperation, cloaked in a spectral sheen that can evoke gothic tendencies, almost medieval in imagery. Dense carpets of lush keyboards, propelled by a classic one-two punch beat, adorned by some psychedelic guitar frills that instantly seek to charm the gruff listener into submission. 'Take a walk into the forest of your mind' provokes such liberation and immediately pervades the space between, the prog mechanism alive and kicking. Tree possesses a lovely hushed voice, inspired by some of the 80s synth bands such as Bel Canto, Opus 3, The Eurythmics, Yazoo, Propaganda and its ilk. The mood quickly acquires a hypnotic feel, closely drawing in the unsuspecting sailors, like some bewitching siren off St-Ives Bay.

Things get even spookier on the amazing 'Buridan's Lament', a lush symphonic evocation of Jean Buridan, a French priest and medieval scientist in 1300 who ushered in the concept of 'impetus' and the Copernican revolution. The atmosphere is again lathered in an almost monastery-like echo, a feature I find utterly fascinating. The vocals are deeply urgent, almost manic, as subsequently expressed by a saxophone solo that would make a repentant Nik Turner swallow his pride. Ally Carter then picks up his green guitar and flicks another series of simple but repetitive licks that blossom into a whopping solo that howls into the blustery winds.

But the killer track here is the scintillating 'Shadow in Light', a masterpiece of symphonic splendor that buries very deep into the soul, coached by a puerile drum beat and lathered by washes of celestial synths and a beseeching electric guitar rant that oozes emotion, sufferance and pain. Brooding, vaporous and mystifying like some fog-drenched moor, the meandering axe pleads, begs and cries with abject rage. Suddenly when least expected, a pool of delicate electric piano surfaces to better highlight the gloom, traversed by sizzling synthesizer slashes that verge on the histrionic. The moaning electric guitar sobs mightily, a strong emotional undercurrent rips through the speakers. Bloody fabulous!

The final piece is the title track and it hardly disappoints, giving the impression of witnessing a continuous work, even though there are some evident differences between tracks, such as the furry organ that rules over the arrangement, with Tree's haunting vocal firmly in command. There is a more ambient groove feel here, as if beckoning a new chapter to come, some new adventure or quest, now that the key has been found. Carter peels off a series of low-end blasts, very electric like old school Jeff Beck, and the sizzle fizzles into the warm Penzance night.

Similar to the unheralded Polish band Beam-Light, the music of the Emerald Dawn is a hybrid original , nothing overtly polished or over-produced, just fine music played with obvious passion and creativity. In some strange way, had this work been taken over by some high fallutin' wiz producer like Steve Wilson, the result may have been devoid of its natural charm. This kind of dedicated and honest artist is the paragon of our genre, why we need to encourage them further and beyond 'the lost key'. Love it!

4.5 Jade Mornings

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Nice psychedelic jam-style prog music from Devon. Kind of 1970s STEVE HILLAGE-like. A bit unpolished and under-engineered but left raw is kind of good. Vocals and lyrics are nice but sometimes feel out of place. The dated keyboard and guitar sounds used are sometimes grating for the fact that you know that there are better sounds available--and better recording engineering possible--but the overall framework for the free-for-all guitar jams is good. I find myself tuned in by the foundational keyboard parts and then enjoying the play of the talented and energetic guitarist. It is, unfortunately, the rather rudimentary keyboard sounds and recording techniques detract from the overall effect of the songs.

1. "Beyond the Wall" (12:05) feels quite a bit like listening to early CURE (with EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL's Tracey Thorn singing) drawn out in HAWKWIND/ELOY fashion. (8/10)

2. "Buridan's Lament" (10:50) has trouble getting started and throws one off a bit once the Goth-sounding vocals of the male lead come in. By the third minute guitar, backbeat, and chord sequence have finally established themselves--but are barely interesting or engaging enough to draw the listener in. The Hackett/Hillage-like lead guitar play is the most interesting part of the music--before the piano arpeggio establishes a new key and the sax enters and takes over. Nice Dick Parry sound. Then simple 'church organ' takes over--with nice effect. Previous sections are repeated. It feels a bit overdrawn. (8/10)

3. "Shadow in Light" (10:14) an instrumental guitar jam, is my favorite song on the album despite (or, perhaps, because of) the fact that the entire song sounds so much like COLLAGE's 1995 classic, "Living in the Moonlight." (9/10)

4. "In Search of the Lost Key" (11:06) is just testing my tolerance for the same guitar lead played over slightly varied rhythms and chord progressions. The presence of murky female vocalist and organ does little to bring this song up to higher status. (7/10)

A band with A LOT of potential and a lot of growing/maturing, practicing, experimenting to do. I hope they stick with it cuz I do like their sound.

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