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Emerald Sun - 'Metal Dome' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/02/28/10/Emerald-Sun-Metal-Dome-48-1442947970.jpg Hot

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If a mix of Dragonforce, Stratovarius and Firewind sounds like it could be your thing, then 'Metal Dome' should hit the spot.

With Greece (or more precisely the tanked Greek economy) being offered the kind of understanding and sympathy one might expect from a feudal warlord towards a Medieval leper colony in Europe right now, maybe now is the opportune time to shine a more positive light on the land that gave us democracy.

For those of you who haven't crossed paths with them before, let me introduce Power Metaller's Emerald Sun; a twin guitar/keyboard sextet hailing from Greece's second city (that's Thessaloniki to you an' me). The band have been together in one form or another since the late 1990s, so in many respects they should, by rights, be considered "elder statesmen" of the European Power Metal scene. After a couple of demo's and a self-financed debut that was never properly distributed, the band finally debuted proper in 2007 with the commendable 'Escape From Twilight', following it up some four years later with 'Regeneration'. Now however, it's time to move things forward with their third long player (oops, an old vinyl term slipped in there for some reason) 'Metal Dome'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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As with most Power Metal bands, Emerald Sun can certainly riff it up with the best of 'em – the twin guitar attack of Johnnie Athanasiadi and Pavlos Georgiadis is chock full of lightning fast runs and fluid licks – but there's an underlying melodic memorability that elevates them above the herd and puts them perhaps second only to the mighty Firewind in their homeland. Throw in plenty of reflective interludes (check out 'Mere Reflection' and 'Freedom Call' and you'll see exactly what I mean) and an underlying theatrical atmosphere bordering, at times, on the Symphonic – credit to keyboard player Sefis Gioldasis for that feeling of epic grandeur – and you have a rather intriguing (to say the least) elixir of sounds and moods.

Vocalist Stelios "Theo" Tsakirides has the kind of commanding Metal roar that this particular discipline demands (powerful, yet melodic and resonant), and the intelligent use of multi-layered harmonies also helps to enhance the sonic dynamics on offer. From galloping opener 'Screamers In The Storm', through the bombastic 'Black Pearl' and the Stratovarius-like 'Legacy Of Night' to brooding closer 'Call Of Nature' (which features a duet with Liv Kristine from Leaves Eyes), Tsakirides proves his worth time and again.

If a mix of Dragonforce, Stratovarius and Firewind (with the odd nod towards the opulence of Rhapsody and the swagger of Manowar) sounds like it could be your thing, then 'Metal Dome' should hit the spot.

Dave Cockett

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