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EMERALD

Neo-Prog • Netherlands


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Emerald biography
Emerald was started by Tom Vanrijckeghem, song writer, composer and keyboard player. Because the music was so complex that it was not fit to be played by just any musician, Tom set out to assemble a fitting line up -- thus, Emerald was born. Aside from Tom, Emerald are David van den Bogaard on guitars and backing vocals, Ruud de Boer on guitars and backing vocals, Marc Bruijn on drums and Robin Zielhorst on bass.

At the time Emerald was founded, all members, apart from being talented, were also students of the Dutch Rock Academy in Tilburg - which shows proficiency and skill they play their respective instruments. All recordings and expenses were financed by the group itself and the whole process of recording, producing, mixing, mastering and the album-presentation became a graduation-project at the Rock Academy.

The sound of Emerald is steeped in the 70's--fairly mellow progressive rock. Very heavy in keyboards (Van Rijckeghem's own instrument), nice guitar solos, and 3-part harmonies that teeter on soothing and challenging. The music is described as atmospheric and psychedelic in spots, but then has a knack for writing the AOR pop ballad ("Losing You").

After graduating, the band fell apart and chances of a reunion are close to zero right now. Van Rijckeghem and a Belgian friend now form a rock/comedy duo. When playing theaters, Mark Bruijn joins them on drums. Zielhorst recently showed up in Metal Fusion band Exivious and Van den Boogaard plays guitar in theater tours whilst also teaching guitar at a privately held guitar school. He also still has some copies of the album Crown of Creation for sale.

Eric Walker (USA)
Angelo Hulshout (NL)
Biography based on research and input from David van den Boogaard.

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3.14 | 13 ratings
Crown Of Creation
2004

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EMERALD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Crown Of Creation by EMERALD album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.14 | 13 ratings

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Crown Of Creation
Emerald Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Emerald were conceived in 2002 by a company of Dutch students of the Tilburg Rock Academy, led by keyboardist and singer Tom Vanrijckeghem.After some personel changes they stabilized a line-up during the summer of 2003, featuring two guitarists, David van den Bogaard and Ruud de Boer, Marc de Bruijn on drums and Robin Zielhorst on bass.They made their debut in 2004 with the album ''Crown of creation'', a independent release by the band.

Emerald combined the sensibilities of energetic Neo Prog with the power of electric riffs, producing good arrangements split between melodic, dynamic and more adventurous ideas.They are kind of close to compatriots KNIGHT AREA or Swedish HASSE FROBERG & MUSICAL COMPANION minus the strong vintage references, with clean vocals and well-captured singing lines surrounded by atmospheric keyboards and lots of piano parts.Of course the album's great power comes from the presence of the two guitarists and their tendency towards hard lead runs and edgy solos.But the long tracks are very interesting with a fine balance between poppy voices, Classical-influenced piano interludes with a RICK WAKEMAN touch and in-your-face guitar moves, eventually evolving from symphonic themes to Hard Prog and laid-back textures.There are a couple of ballads, which appear to be closer to IZZ with slight THE BEATLES' undertones, and a pair of rockers with magnificent guitar work, filled with energy and passion.''Insubstantial liberation'' and the 2-part ''Politician'' are the best examples of Emerald's musical depth and varied inspiration sources, these tracks even feature some organ and samples Mellotron and contain music somewhere between URIAH HEEP, RICK WAKEMAN and MARILLION, executed via rich and emphatic arrangements with lots of different segments.

After the members graduated from the academy Emerald ceased to exist.Zielhorst became a member of the legendary Tech Metal band Cynic and even joined Dutch Progressive Metallers Exivious, Ruud de Boer joined the Atmospheric Rock/Metal band Trisomy, while David van den Bogaard became mostly involved in musicals and theater plays.

One-shot Dutch Prog album with a nice combination of accesible and multi-influenced Prog Rock.Enjoyable and energetic material, that comes warmly recommended.

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 Crown Of Creation by EMERALD album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.14 | 13 ratings

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Crown Of Creation
Emerald Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. EMERALD's sole album was released in 2004 and surprisingly this is the first written review for it. It's really interesting (as stated in the bio for them here) that the members of this band all went to the "Dutch Rock Academy" in their home country of The Netherlands. The process of recording, producing, mixing and mastering, and the album- presentation became a graduate-project at the "Dutch Rock Academy". So yeah this is a school project (haha).In my opinion they aced it.

"The Reverse Side Of Mosquito's Battle" opens with drums before a full sound takes over quickly. It settles with piano and vocals a minute in. It kicks back in as contrasts continue. Nice guitar 2 minutes in and he offers up a blistering solo after 4 1/2 minutes. I really like the vocalist who comes off sounding like the singer for VIOLETO DE OUTONO or early Gilmour. "Losin You" opens with piano before fragile vocals join in. A fuller sound after a minute. Tasteful guitar comes in and solos. The tempo picks up 2 minutes in. Great sound here. Incredible ! Passionate vocals follow. Great lyrics on this one as well. "Libra Birthday Girl" is a song i like a lot. It's fairly slow paced with those FLOYD-like vocals.The tempo picks up 1 1/2 minutes in and the keyboards are prominant. It settles again. Such a feel good track. Contrasts continue.

"Insubstantial Liberation" is an over 12 minute tune that's divided into four parts. Piano to open and we get some atmosphere too. The tempo picks up 1 1/2 minutes in as vocals and piano lead the way. It kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes. So moving. Guitar 3 minutes in. It becomes spacey after 4 1/2 minutes then the vocals return. Nice and relaxed here. Here we go before 7 minutes as it kicks in. Piano and bass only after 7 1/2 minutes then it kicks back in. The guitar sounds amazing 10 minutes in and it all sounds incredible when the vocals return a minute later. "Sara" opens with piano as those VIOLETO DE OUTONO-like vocals join in. So good. Acoustic guitar also joins in. "No Straight Story" is melancholic with bass, drums and vocals to start. It kicks in after 2 minutes. Great sound ! It settles 3 minutes in as the guitar cries out. It becomes more powerful as the guitar continues. The tempo picks up and organ then vocals join in. "Politician" opens with vocals and piano, it gets fuller after a minute. Contrasts continue. Organ 4 minutes in as the tempo picks up. The guitar comes in riding the wave. Killer organ and guitar to the end. "After Trial" features those great vocals once again this time with acoustic guitar and bass. It picks up after a minute. Guitar at 2 1/2 minutes is almost metal-like. It settles again as contrasts continue. "Emerald" opens with drums, piano and synths as vocals come in. A great tune to end the album with. Love the guitar late.

A really good album considering how this all came about.

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