Now & Then / Frontiers FRCD 067
Produced by: Emerald Rain

Released: OUT / Website
Relatives: Harem Scarem, Dokken
GENRE: Hard Rock

  1. You
  2. Open Up Your Eyes
  3. Badlands
  4. Wasted Time
  5. Numb
  6. You Do It To Yourself
  7. Just Like Anyone
  8. Is This Love
  9. Until You're Blind
  10. Live It All Again

Canada's hardest working hard rock band Emerald Rain are back for album number three and this time they have all guns blazing with an album full of full throttle classic melodic hard rock. The guys have up'd the tempo from their previous releases and have a tougher and more purposeful sound and have moved a little towards being classed as a hard rock act, rather than an AOR band.
Further comparisons to Harem Scarem are abound, as the guys grew up together, but they have also moved on to heavier waters and comparisons to heavier, but hook friendly bands like Dokken can now be made.
Immediately with the opening track You, the difference is audible. The album's production is precise and easily beyond the band's first two albums. The rhythm is tighter and the sound just that little bit heavier. The song is darker in it's intro, lifting to a big chorus a la Harem Scarem's Believe.
Open Up Your Eyes is another Scarem friendly hard rocker with a great hook and fast paced chorus and continues the good work of the opening track.
Badlands is where the guys turn it up a notch. This side of the album's personality has more in common with Dokken than it does their traditional Scarem-like sound. A good, dark hard rocker with a very in your face chorus.
Wasted Time slows things down for the first time. Moving on from what the band have done previously, this is one of their best slow tracks, adding the new tougher sound of this album to their familiar AOR mark.
Numb has a killer intro. It's slow, moody and hints at a big epic track until the guitar riff from hell cuts in and sends us into power hard rock over drive. This would be close to the heaviest track the band have recorded. A killer guitar riff and shredding solo and a chorus that comes late, but comes strong. The song mixes up Dokken & Metallica with Harem Scarem.
You Do It To Yourself is another slice of the band's best anthem melodic rock, more in tune with the sound of their first two albums.
It's time for ballad number two with Just Like Anyone. It's another classy slice of dark and moody melodic rock.
Is This Love ups the tempo again, with an easy going pop rock friendly number that fits in perfectly with the album's running order.
Until You're Blind rocks along in mid tempo pace, but with a cool groove and another good hook.
Live It All Again ends the album with a cool fast rocking number that again helps bring the band into their own domain sound wise. The guitar solo and accompanying shredding is awesome and rarely seen in such vigor!
On perplexed, Emerald Rain have come into their own and no longer are a clone of any other artist.
BOTTOM LINE: The sound is far less classic AOR than their first two albums, rather it has a heavier and more modern sound. The guys have clearly taken a step up in songwriting and the reward to the listener is a far more cohesive set of songs, working as a whole record, rather than a few single highlights. The production is tighter, the music more complex and despite a move away from the softer side, this is the band's best record yet and a clear sign that they have made the right decision.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Every Emerald Rain fan, fans of strong guitar driven melodic hard rock, fans of heavier Harem Scarem
DISCOGRAPHY:Broken Saviours . Age Of Innocence . Perplexed In The Extreme

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