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The Emerald Dawn - Searching for the Lost Key CD (album) cover

SEARCHING FOR THE LOST KEY

The Emerald Dawn

 

Neo-Prog

3.48 | 20 ratings

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BrufordFreak
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.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |

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