Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

THE EMERALD DAWN

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Emerald Dawn picture
The Emerald Dawn biography
Founded in Edinburgh, UK in 2010

THE EMERALD DAWN was originally formed in 2010, in the Scottish capital Edinburgh by Katrina "Tree" STEWART (keyboards, piano, flute, acoustic guitar, percussion, and vocals) and Alan "Ally" CARTER (electric and acoustic guitars, guitar synthesizer, tenor and soprano saxophones, keyboards, and vocals), before moving to St Ives, Cornwall in South West England, where they were joined by jazz drummer Thomas JACKSON. The band describes themselves as a multi-instrumentalist, symphonic progressive rock group, who combine elements from classical music, jazz and rock to produce their own original sound. The name is meant to suggest an environmentalist revolution.

The Emerald Dawn its first album entitled "Searching For The Lost Key" was released on October 8th, 2014 and has been widely played on progressive rock radio stations around the world.

For their second album entitled "Visions" (released on August 21st, 2017) the band added bass player JAYJAY QUICK (fretless and fretted bass guitars, electric upright bass, electric violin and cello). The album was pressed in a number of CD copies, while the beautiful artwork was made by Tree Stewart herself. Engaging and very epic music with a certain appeal to fans of PINK FLOYD and STEVE HACKETT, keeping up high the flag of modern bands influenced by Classic British Prog Rock.

On February 1st, 2019 The Emerald Dawn released its third album entitled "Nocturne", with the new bass player David GREENAWAY (who replaced Jayjay in the spring of 2018). The Emerald Dawn sounds as interesting (mainly instrumental) music, with lots of strong musical ideas and exciting moments.

Bio by TenYearsAfter (June 2019)

See also: HERE

THE EMERALD DAWN forum topics / tours, shows & news


THE EMERALD DAWN forum topics Create a topic now
THE EMERALD DAWN tours, shows & news Post an entries now

THE EMERALD DAWN Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to THE EMERALD DAWN

Buy THE EMERALD DAWN Music



More places to buy THE EMERALD DAWN music online

THE EMERALD DAWN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE EMERALD DAWN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.54 | 30 ratings
Searching For The Lost Key
2014
3.57 | 31 ratings
Visions
2017
3.63 | 41 ratings
Nocturne
2019
4.18 | 56 ratings
To Touch the Sky
2021

THE EMERALD DAWN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE EMERALD DAWN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE EMERALD DAWN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE EMERALD DAWN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

THE EMERALD DAWN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 To Touch the Sky by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.18 | 56 ratings

BUY
To Touch the Sky
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by omphaloskepsis

4 stars Ménage à trois tapestry or "three moods for a day"

1. The Awakening (11:15) dramatically emerges from a jazzy mist. Piano riffs and runs. Tom Jackson's percussive bric-a-brac and David Greenway's ascending, burbling bass anchor Ally Carter's cloaked pink camel guitar stylings. Katrina winds up and soars over the composition's landscape. Mesmerizing and contemplative, The Awakening wets the listener's appetite. 8/10

2. And I Stood Transfixed (15:07) That's right, I stood in awe of Katrina Tree Steward's acoustic guitar tones trampled under animals that wish you were here. A Pink sax echoes. Orchestral textured drum fills anchor the drippy trippiness. After a brief flute dirge, the composition rushes into a Crimson gush, last seen through Steven Wilson's eyes, plucked out by blackbirds. The storm retreats before a stunning dusk and a tawny camel colored sunset. 9/10

3. The Ascent (22:17) Passing the cloister as the greenery of the scenery seems to touch the sky. A piano gavottes across a bridge with an emotive guitar lead. If dead can dance, they would to Tree's epicene sing-hums. Synthesizers and guitars knit, whirl, and weave around whiskey candied drums and a gin milled bass. Occasional chaos bubbling, rolling, diving into the honeyed molasses. An emerald dawn composes itself into an epic climax. Another day begins and the diamond dew shone like spangles upon the emerald lawn. 8/10

A minor masterpiece, worthy addition to any prog rock collection.

 Nocturne by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.63 | 41 ratings

BUY
Nocturne
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Let me jump on the wave of enthusiasm that has dawned on 'The Emerald Dawn' in the wake of their recent release 'To Touch The Sky' (2020). I started listening to their albums on bandcamp and found myself listening to three of their records in a row. The Emerald Dawn, I must say, has found a very original take on the neo-progressive genre. Their sound, style and atmosphere reminds me a bit of krautrock groups like Amon Duul II, Can, Dzyan and Gila. Or like Grobschnitt's 'Solar Music'. This is a neo-prog band that records its albums live in a big room (I imagine) and benefits from the flow and liveliness that such a set-up creates. As a listener you feel like your witnessing a performance of an obscure group of musicians that have really created a single mind; creating brooding, atmospheric, gothic, sometimes jazzy, blackened (without the metal) neo-prog. The synths, organs and piano's of Katrina "Tree" Stewart are leading and she provides some psychedelic, amateurish (in a pleasant way) haunting vocals as well (perhaps a bit like Gong's Gilly Smith). The keyboards don't sound at all like a direct digital recording does and benefit from the roomy vibes. Some of the synth sounds remind me of Vangelis. Alan "Ally" Carter plays some fierce psychelic rockguitar - untamed, unrefined, yet very in sync with the music in a gutsy way. Again, the live sound adds a layer of obscure finesse. David Greenaway has a nice pumping chorus (fretless) bass sound and the loose drums Thomas Jackson add to 'in the moment' vibe of the record. The album has four long pieces and there isn't a weak moment to be found. Though there's room for improvisation, the music does sound well structured (with a sense of direction). The recording sounds un-edited and has some small mistakes in it, but 'The Emerald Dawn' is charming that way. I myself find the recording sound very warm and lively, but it does sound more like a live album than a studio recording. For this much appreciated hack of the genre and a very enjoyable listen I will gladly reward a four star rating.
 To Touch the Sky by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.18 | 56 ratings

BUY
To Touch the Sky
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Originally published on theprogmind.com

I'm always impressed when a band can balance old and new, fresh and classic, ambience and rhythm. The Emerald Dawn are very good at this. Their fourth album "To Touch the Sky" released on March 20th, and I think it might be my favorite from them.

Let me just put it this way: The Emerald Dawn do their own thing. They do exactly what they want, and they don't give a [&*!#] what you think about that. The band hails from the UK, and they often come across as eccentric virtuosos, New Age proggers, or artistic originals. Or that is at least how I perceive them. From their hand-painted artwork to their sound design choices, they craft their albums exactly so, even if they buck trends or fight the current of what is considered normal. And that is exactly why I like them. The band consists of Tree Stewart on keyboards, piano, flute, acoustic guitar, and vocals; Ally Carter on electric and acoustic guitars, tenor and soprano saxophones, keyboards, and vocals; David Greenaway on fretless and fretted bass guitars; and Tom Jackson on drums.

On their last couple albums, the band proved to me that they can truly play on a towering level. Their music is typically poetic, mostly instrumental with sparse vocals, imaginative, and atmospheric. I remember being almost overwhelmed with their musicianship on 2017's "Visions", yet affected on a darkly sensory level on 2019's "Nocturne". Between those albums, the band showed that they could compose driving, illustrious progressive rock or they could simply offer a transcendent, haunting experience. They can do it all, throwing in excellent sax, flute, and spine-tingling synth to boot.

For "To Touch the Sky", the band have changed yet again. This time, the music feels fleeting, existential, and floating. I still hear some influence from Mike Oldfield and Hackett, though I'm surprised at how little of the biggest classic "prog" bands I hear. The Emerald Dawn comes from a different ancestry, more akin to Moody Blues and Renaissance than Genesis or Yes. This album displays this with confidence and prowess.

There are a couple things to note here. First, I think Tree's vocals have improved greatly. She sounds evocative and otherworldly, just the way I think she wants to sound. Second, the sound design is distinctly atmospheric and even withdrawn or hazy. The drums sound like they are coming from somewhere off in the distance, and the same goes for the fantastic bass, extraordinary guitarwork, and delightful keys and flute. This sound design makes the entire album feel like music filtering through a misty, sunlit forest, or possibly more like sounds from another realm entirely. It is an interesting choice, one that some may not like, but I think it sounds different and unique.

The album only has three songs, each of them over 10 minutes. Altogether, the runtime is about 48 minutes. Each of the songs has an ethereal quality to it that I love. "The Awakening" opens and is the "short" song at 11 minutes. It has a good amount of sax and overall feelings of light, jazz, and pastoral color; and, as is the case for much of the album, it hovers right at the borders of our imagination. It sets the stage well. Next comes "And I Stood Transfixed", a fifteen-minute track that ranges from foggy musings to spacious vocal harmonies to blistering edges that almost feel sinister. This song reminds me somewhat of the Swedish band Cross (RIP, Hansi).

The final track comes in at 22 minutes in length and is called "The Ascent". This track has more guitar, specifically with an Oldfield bent to it. The song feels truly like climbing and entering thinner air. It feels "epic", but in a subtle way, if that makes any sense. The last few minutes contain most of the vocals, and I absolutely love the melodies and Tree's performance here.

The Emerald Dawn keeps getting better. Their musicianship was never in question for me, but their continued ability to produce interesting, poetic, and ethereal music is obvious on this record. "To Touch the Sky" is perfectly titled, and I find myself listening to it continuously.

 To Touch the Sky by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.18 | 56 ratings

BUY
To Touch the Sky
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars There was a time a few decades ago, when record companies FORCED groups to alter their style and substance in order to fit the commercial requirements instituted by 'the market'. Then you have those fans and critics who insist that they know better what musicians should be playing, moaning, and groaning if they venture into new territories, changing their sound or, even sadder if they maintain their style and stick to their guns. I guess bitching and complaining is the New Religion. But damned if you, and damned if you do not. The Emerald Dawn has been the target of certain enlightened critics who did not care much for the 'amateurish or muffled production', the 'boring formulaic simplicity' and the 'lack of diversity' of their style. To the band's staunch credit, they have stuck to their guns and keep making music they way THEY see fit, which is clearly their prerogative. There is a big difference between haunting and sounding muffled, as Alan Carter's shadowy psychedelic guitar style remains a pillar as well as the menacing keyboard stylistics of Tree Stewart. Their style has not changed at all, with talented jazz drummer Thomas Jackson holding down the fort since day one, the biggest change being on bass guitar where first JJ Quick and now David Greenway introduce some fantastic fretless and fretted bass lines to the musical score.

Showing even more rebellious tendencies, the band continue in creating lengthy pieces that establish mood as well a cinematographic impression that transports the listener far away into the realm of dreams and adventure. This is one band that requires the volume to be as high as possible, in order to eliminate this silly muffled sound notion once and for all. This should not be perceived as background music while ironing your shirt! On this, their 4th album, "To Touch the Sky", they offer 3 epic tracks of wistful prog, best exemplified by the slithering beauty of the opening track "The Awakening", an 11 minute+ soporific glide worthy of the best , combining a delicate piano motif that transcends splendor and permits a drifting into a whole series of musical forays, led by that nasty bass furrow, muscled drums , ornamental keys and Ally's by now remorseless 'muffled' (read: distorted) guitar illuminations. Tree adds a powerful scat vocal to elevate the impression of revival that forms the purpose of this highly melodic piece.

The temperamental "And I Stood Transfixed" offers a slight acoustic deviation to the proceedings, with great electric guitar riffs in the background that are heightened by some glorious sax flurries, rekindling images of Nik Turner of Hawkwind fame (now there is a band that has compiled an encyclopedia's worth of criticism from the 'knowledgeable' media for being 'simple' and yet they have been around for more than half a century!). Tree alters the mood with a lovely flute intervention that sets pastoral images into the arrangement, as the jazzy drum fills propel it all like windswept leaves in the autumn night. Midway through, the explosive Wagnerian mood is pierced by some maniac playing and drumming, creating a ghostly, ominous, and nasty cauldron of sound. This atmosphere then switches back to a languid section fueled by a majestic whistling synth lead and then a sizzling lead guitar eruption full of effect and shadow. The finale is sweepingly bombastic as the heart keeps beating. Delightful piece.

How about a 22-minute finale, to push the tolerance limits of the disbelievers and the ultimate pleasure of us diehard fans? "The Ascent" has a nearly classical feel, what with the ornate piano and flute duo, that precedes a wicked e-guitar blast which is then followed by a more languid keyboard dominated section that sets up the vocals. When the slick drums pop in, the tension rises, as the musical kettle starts boiling, evolving into quite the soaring cosmic ride, worthy of past greats. The arrangement keeps elevating itself to increasingly higher altitudes of expression, like an upward spiraling vortex of sound, heading straight for the stars. The piano and bass dance merrily embraced as the haunting synths converge on some distant point in the night sky. The use of the Roli Seaboard, a slick MIDI keyboard is also of note. The organ finale that revisits the main theme is nothing more than a coup de grace (the last word is not pronounced 'grah' but 'grass' , as coup de grah means a strike of fat, LOL). As far as progression is concerned, I loved their debut and every album thereafter, but this is their crowning achievement. Resolute, rebellious, adventurous, creative, and yes, FOCUSED on creating their own very original style, recognizable within a nano second. The group stick to their mantra, come hell and high water, unconcerned. That needs to be celebrated with gusto and respect.

Quick question: this is "simple' music? Okay then? I guess listening with one ear is the way to lose your balance. For me (and many others) this is touching the sky.

5 Heavenly caresses

 Nocturne by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.63 | 41 ratings

BUY
Nocturne
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by Steve Conrad

4 stars Will you surrender to the experience? Or will you remain aloof?

For me, "Nocturne" is an either/or album.

The Emerald Dawn suggests listening to the entire, five-part work in the darkness, alone. If you refuse or are not able to do so, maintain silence.

Let the music BE, and thus experience what you may find.

Either you surrender to the meditative, soul-wrestling experience, or you keep a safe distance and perhaps become annoyed by the repetitions, the solemn vocals, the slow swelling and subsiding of the keyboards, the guitar keening, sighing, wailing, ever-changing.

If you surrender, sit silently in darkness, entering the night-time reveries and soliloquies, I think you will at the same time begin to dream, to feel, to think, and perhaps in time to begin to heal.

In this extended piece, the capstone is the final epic-length track, "The Child Within".

To these ears, it screams of childhood sexual abuse, the resulting trauma, repressed memories that serve to protect the vulnerable child, and eventually, the suggestion of remembering and healing.

Night-time demons and terrors are evoked by subtle sounds, creakings and groanings, by rapturous organ chords, by drumming that lies in that dimension that doesn't seek to overpower or gain attention, but to support, to add textures and flavors, to flow; and by bass guitar that sometimes stays well below, and other times powerfully enters the fray.

But Tree's and Ally's work develops the heart of "Nocturne".

Their vocals, the keyboards, the guitar, the lyrics, all become the centerpiece, the unifying threads, the direction of this work.

So, do you surrender?

Then I suspect you will be moved.

My rating, 3.75 demons being devoured by the light, rounded up to 4.0.

 Nocturne by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.63 | 41 ratings

BUY
Nocturne
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars 'UPDATE INTERESTING NEW PROG'

The Emerald Dawn was originally formed in 2010, in the Scottish capital Edinburgh by Tree Stewart (keyboards, piano, flute, acoustic guitar, percussion, and vocals) and Ally Carter (electric and acoustic guitars, guitar synthesizer, tenor and soprano saxophones, keyboards, and vocals), before moving to St Ives, Cornwall in South West England, where they were joined by jazz drummer Tom Jackson. The Emerald Dawn its first album entitled Searching For The Lost Key was released in 2014. For their second album entitled Visions (released in 2017) the band added bass player Jayjay Quick (fretless and fretted bass guitars, electric upright bass, electric violin and cello). On February 1st, 2019 The Emerald Dawn released its third album entitled Nocturne, with their new bass player David Greenaway, he replaced Jayjay in the spring of 2018.

1. Prologue (0:30) : This introduction delivers soaring keyboards and spoken words.

2. As Darkness Falls (10:44) : A slow rhythm in a dynamic and bombastic climate with powerful guitar and drums, a sultry sounding orchestral synthesizer sound (Middle-Eastern undertone), strong interplay (Rush comes to my mind). Then a brass synthesizer sound, fiery guitar runs with a distorted sound and flashy synthesizer flights, fuelled by dynamic rhythm-section, this is very pleasant Old School instrumental prog. The music slows down to a hypnotizing atmosphere featuring a fat synthesizer sound, slow drum beats and soaring keyboards. Finally again that distorted guitar sound, fiery and compelling, supported by powerful drum beats, the energetic and powerful vibe reminds me again of Rush.

3. Moonlight (8:33) : First wonderful piano play, from tender to sparkling. Then a slow rhythm with piano, now a wah wah driven electric guitar joins, what an exciting contrast between fiery electric guitar and tender Grand piano, to me it sounds like 'Chopin meets Jimi Hendrix'. The exciting wah wah guitar work continues, now with support from the organ, and slow drum beats, culminating into heavy and biting runs, wow! Then the atmosphere shifts to dreamy with tender Grand piano play, again the wah wah guitar joins, what a captivating duet. Gradually it becomes more dynamic and the tension builds. In the end the music turns into very mellow, with fragile piano runs, what a wonderful piece of music!

4. In the Dead of the Night (10:43) : First the distinctive sound of the Fender electric piano, blended with an orchestral keyboard sound. Then a slow rhythm with fretless bass and gentle drum beats, dreamy vocals and a long and powerful saxophone solo. The atmosphere is hypnotizing but then a bombastic eruption with wonderful orchestral keyboards. Now the focus is on moving guitar work, from sensitive to fiery, simply beautiful. Halfway a break with an ominous climate, orchestral keyboards, turning into a slow rhythm with fretless bass runs, then hypnotizing male and female vocals (low and high), evoking a horror movie-like atmosphere. Suddenly a majestic church organ sound, gradually the atmosphere becomes more bombastic when propulsive guitar riffs join, what a compelling atmosphere, topped with howling guitar runs and sumptuous keyboards. The final part is like the start, featuring a dreamy Fender piano sound.

5. The Child Within (20:45) : It starts dreamy with soaring keyboards and melancholical vocals, reminding me of the song Child Of The Universe by Barclay James Harvest. Then orchestral keyboards, matching with the melancholical atmosphere, now a distorted electric guitar joins, intense, raw, with howling runs, blended with celestial female vocals. This music evokes to me the good old days of Steve Hillage, and German prog legend Grobschnitt during the epic Solar Music. The music turns into a slow rhythm with the focus on a splendid fiery guitar play, with again those high pitched female vocals, like an angel, contrasting with the heavy guitar sound. Halfway a break with the sound of thunder and bells, then an accellaration with tight drums, repetitive organ runs and heavy guitar, blended with spooky female vocals. Now soaring keyboards join, and the mood shifts first to dreamy with moving guitar runs, and then to a slow rhythm with those spooky female vocals and a fiery guitar that rocks. This is topped with a long and flashy synthesizer solo and propulsive guitar riffs, what an exciting sound, I love this sumptuous prog sound! Then again the sound of thunder and bells, followed by tight drum beats, repetitive organ and a raw guitar sound, very compelling. Finally the dreamy atmosphere from the start of this epic composition returns, featuring soaring keyboards and melancholical vocals, and in the end a spacey synthesizer solo with subtle use of the pitchbend, and soaring keyboards, a wonderful goodbye.

My first encounter with The Emerald Dawn turned out to an interesting musical journey with lots of captivating own ideas.

My rating: 3,5 star.

This review was recently published on the Dutch progrock website Background Magazine, in a slightly different version.

 Nocturne by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.63 | 41 ratings

BUY
Nocturne
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Nocturne, released in February of 2019, is the 3rd album released by UK Neo-Prog band 'The Emerald Dawn'. The band consists of Tree Stewart, the founder of the band, on keyboards, flute, acoustic guitar and vocals, Ally Carter on electric guitar, guitar synthesizer, tenor saxophone, keyboards and vocals, David Greenaway on fretless and regular bass, and Tom Jackson on drums. The album runs about 51 minutes and features 5 tracks, one that only lasts 30 seconds and another that lasts over 20 minutes, so 4 of the tracks are quite long.

The 'Prologue' starts with a spoken vocal against a deep drone. This is followed by the 10+ minute instrumental 'As Darkness Falls' starting with the guitar announcing the beginning of the track. This is quickly joined by the band playing a dark and mysterious repetitive melody and making variations around it. After a few minutes of this, synths play alone giving an orchestral effect, staying dark. Eventually, a guitar and a synth trade off the spotlight against a moderate tempo, but still with the dark atmosphere. The guitar seems to be mixed low in the mix, even though it is one of the main instruments, but the synths are mixed to the front when they take their turns, and this makes the entire production seem very uneven. As it continues, this seems even more apparent. At 8 minutes, we get a nice guitar solo to a rhythm that finally settles in. But it is still mixed way too low. Later, this is changed to a more fuzzy guitar that isn't mixed low. All of this uneven production is very distracting.

'Moonlight' starts with a solo piano playing a nice melody. After about 2 minutes, the rest of the band joins. This seems like it could be a decent track with a rousing guitar solo, but the production seems quite stifled. The song goes into a repetitive foundation and the guitars get the most time on this 8 minute instrumental. The solo piano comes back in before the 6 minute mark and before long, the guitar accompanies. The tempo speeds up during the last minute as the music crescendos, but it finally ends sofly with a predictable ending.

'In the Dead of Night' starts of dreamily with vibes and synth orchestration. The band comes in with a heavy bass line and the first vocals. The vocals have an echo effect to give it all a psychedelic feeling and a sax improvises around it all making for a somewhat jazzy effect. The vocals are not very lyrical as they just repeat the title. When the vocals end, there is a sudden burst of orchestral synths and then guitars come in shadowing the synths at first and then improvising off of their melody. Halfway through, we get a heavy organ (synths) that sound like a haunted house theme, then the jazzy bass starts up again with deeper vocals this time repeating the title while female vocals try to make the song turn to a bad gothic imitation. Of course, you still get the stifled production sound. After this section, as things intensify, it actually starts to get interesting, but it's too little, too late.

'The Child Within' is the last track and also the track over 20 minutes. It starts with the dark synths like most of the rest of the album and Ally does the lead vocals this time. The lyrics are a bit corny about a child lost in the darkness with no one to sing her a lullaby. At the 3 minute mark, it is time to cue the guitar for its sad solo. Drums finally come in at 4 minutes, but everything else continues as before. The guitar stays in the spotlight for quite a while, even past the 7 minute mark before synths interrupt and the song pauses while we get thunder and bell effects. Next the track finally speeds up a bit with a churning organ and the vocals start with that gothic feel again. At 11 minutes, the tempo changes again with swirling synths, and then more vocals after which there is a fast synth solo building intensity. Another change around 14 minutes with more spooky sound effects and a new foundation against which there is a nice guitar/keyboard exchange. The last several minutes are devoted to synth and guitars improvising over a basic foundation.

The biggest complaint I have is in the production, which unfortunately makes every thing else sound dated and stilted. The mix is not good on this one. I also find the music good, but too simple in that all of the solos are done against a basic background, thus making the music less than challenging. There are times when the music seems to want to go in a gothic direction, which doesn't work very well in this instance and instead it comes across as a bit tacky. I have a hard time giving this any more than 3 stars, and even then I am rounding it up because some of the musicianship is good, but the production is very uneven and just ruins the overall sound.

 Nocturne by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.63 | 41 ratings

BUY
Nocturne
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ahead of its official release date I was kindly requested by the band to review their third album 'Nocturne', so first of all my thanks to them for the privilege. I have to say that I did not know their first two albums so it was a new band for me. According to the liner notes, 'Nocturne' should be listened to preferably alone and in the dark, since the music is intended to bring about feelings and sensations which one may experience when in darkness. And the general atmosphere of the album is indeed haunting, not dark music as such, but dreamy and ethereal, more oriented to conveying moods and atmospheres than to keeping you busy with different things at once. The nice artwork by Katrina (Tree) Stewart complements this mood well. Besides a short vocal introduction we have 3 tracks with running times between 8 and 11 minutes and one final long track clocking 20m45s.

After the aforementioned short vocal introduction 'Prologue', a distorted guitar gives way to the first proper song the instrumental 'As Darkness Falls', the guitar keeps its motif shifting octaves as the keyboards alternate between moods and soloing, we then get a more jazzy ¾ section and an atmospheric 7/8 section before returning to the main theme.

The second track 'Moonlight' is also instrumental, beginning with slow piano and switching to an almost hypnotic mid- tempo central section. Again the music focusses mostly on soloing over chord progressions rather than using proper melodies ? choruses.

'In the Dead of the Night' (nothing to do with the UK song) is the first track with vocals although these are mostly limited to singing the song title in repetitive fashion, first by Tree and later in the song by Ally with Tree doing the backing parts. The fretless bass and the sax provide a welcome variety in the soundscape, and this track has indeed a more jazzy feel to it.

The final track is the 20 min 'The Child Within' and I find it the strongest. It has more clearly defined melodies and more developed lyrics, taking advantage of Tree's nice voice timbre. It moves through different sections with synth pads, organ and also some fretless bass, some different time signatures and guitar solos which often remind of Pink Floyd.

This is a pleasant album to listen to but I find it a bit too simple for my personal taste. Too much oriented to moods and atmospheres, with plenty of soloing over chord progressions and not containing enough interesting melodies or musical resources. If you fancy such atmospheric Prog you will enjoy the album.

 Nocturne by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.63 | 41 ratings

BUY
Nocturne
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars THE EMERALD DAWN was formed in 2011 as a trio in St. Ives which is located in the Cornwall region of southwest England and began as a trio that consisted of Tree Stewart (keyboards, vocals), Ally Carter (guitars, tenor sax, keyboards) and Tom Jackson (drums.) While there was no bass player on their 2014 debut "Searching For The Lost Key," for their 2017 sophomore release "Visions," Jayjay Quick, became the band's official bassist but also brought along the extra talents of electric violin and cello. Quick would quickly disband after one album and for the band's latest release NOCTURNE, David Greenaway picks up the bass duties.

While generally classified as neo-prog, THE EMERALD DAWN develops a more eclectic sort of prog that not only takes cues from the bigwigs King Crimson and Pink Floyd but also adds some aspects of classic Moody Blues and even McDonald & Giles. Add to that a complex mix of classical music inspired by the great works of third stream artist Jan Garbarek, Dmitri Shostakovich, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Jean Sibelius as well as the jazz world heard especially in Tom Jackson's stellar drumming style and the occasional squawk of the sax.

NOCTURNE is a vague concept album that as the title insinuates deals with all things that come out at night but i'm not talking about barn owls and zombies, i speak more of an emotional manner and the overall gist of the album is how things appear different than what they actually are with the nighttime as the main focal point such as when your imagination plays tricks on you in the darkness of the moonlit nocturnal hours. All of this is expressed in the four lengthy tracks (the opener is just a quick thirty second narrated intro.) While the tracks the first three lengthy tracks range from eight and a half minutes to nearly eleven with the grand finale "The Child Within" clocking in close to the 21 minute mark.

For the most part NOCTURNE is an instrumental ride into the sunless hours that creep into the early morning but occasional vocals find their way into the mix offering a break from the mostly keyboard driven melodic developments that create haunting atmospheres and complex and unusual harmonic structures that depict images about this musical journey taking the listener from nightfall until the first rays of the sun usher in a whole new day. Despite the brilliant mix of free flowing rhythms, David Gilmour inspired guitar wails and classical motifs that offer interesting compositional fortitude, NOCTURNE never flaunts the complexities intertwined within and retains an easily accessible beauty that drifts by chiefly in mid-tempo but occasional bursts into heavier sections.

NOCTURNE is a major step up from the band's previous works as it incorporates more varying time signatures and musical styles that are spotlighted throughout as well as the entire band sharing the songwriting duties this time around which give the album a more democratically inspired infusion of ideas which implement unusual musical scales and even less common juxtapositions of classical, jazz and rock elements. Just like the cover art depicts, NOCTURNE is a sonic journey through the darkened woodlands where while navigating through, stimulates a fertile imagination of all the possibilities of what lurks behind ever corner as the journey progresses.

After the brief "Prologue" narrates in a regal English poetic prose, "As Darkness Falls" begins the mind trip of runaway concepts with heavy rock guitar riffs, sweltering atmospheric keyboard counterpoints and Jackson's percussive drive. Greenaway also dishes out some stellar fretless bass lines, a winning feature of NOCTURNE. "As Darkness Falls" provides an interesting building up of tension that allows "Moonlight" to scale back the intensity and evokes more of a mythological representation of the night. "In The Dead Of The Night" is the first track to contain vocals which includes both Stewart and Carter finding roles in the vocal accoutrements. The addition of a jazzy lounge beat and soulful sax squawks create a completely different sounding track than the previous two.

A significant portion of the album is decided to the near 21 minute closer "The Child Within," which is a psychological exploration of the darkened night of the inner soul and how a brief moment of realization can release the subconscious from a lifetime of fear and pent up trauma. This one features Tree Stewart on vocals and thick atmospheric density that finds bluesy guitar solos erupting from the brume. The track builds up the intensity as the tempo slowly ratchets up and Stewart's ethereal wordless vocals evoke heavier layers of synthesized ambience and guitar heft. This by far is the spookiest track on the album and one that warrants its lengthy playing time as it shape shifts into varying segments that segue effortlessly from one dark keyboard soaked passage to the next.

THE EMERALD DAWN has diversified the stylistic approach quite broadly with a brilliant mix of the aforementioned influences and musical elements. The mythological connotations of the darkened NOCTURNE nights narrated throughout sound utterly brilliant and the compositions are brilliantly unique in the neo-prog world with the infusion of various classical composers influences as well as the jazzy touches which put the band in a world of their own. NOCTURNE is a must for all lovers of keyboard fueled atmospheric prog that exists in the dark and offers stellar rock guitar, bass and drum performances with jazzy extra touches within classically structured motifs that breeze along like a zephyr at the witching hour with satisfying rock orient crescendoes.

 Nocturne by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.63 | 41 ratings

BUY
Nocturne
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by M27Barney

4 stars This band was only introduced to me this week, so I listened to this release with open ears and an open mind. I think that it's a very accomplished effort - some very nice keys work especially. As everybody knows I am not a fan of the Saxophone (The Flower Kings and The Tangent are the only exceptions to this as they seem to have sax solos that appeal to my ears) - so the sax solo leaves me a bit cold - and would be better served by a Hammond organ solo or whatever. What genre is this? Neo Prog? - Never been a fan of that label - I sort of hear influences from many of the classic bands - I even hear a bit of "The Enid" in one track! However - I will be buying this CD and probably the two earlier efforts (If I can source them) - It's solid prog - and I like the Epic in particular (all long songs float my boat usually) - I think "Heavy Symphonic" would be a better label - with a nod to the guitar at the metal end of the style. I like to support English prog - and this definitely reminds me of some of the bands in the early eighties like "As Above, So below" who produced sublime prog - I'm hoping that somebody will pick up the vibe and produce the bombastic prog that was performed (By Pallas (amongst others) - but then was ruined by commercial pressure) - So this is a 4 star release for me - I think that possibly the best is yet to come?
Thanks to apps79 for the artist addition. and to Quinino (w/ TenYearsAfter). NotAProghead for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.