Album Review: Emerge by Bejelit
Posted by RiffRaff
I really need to start paying much more attention to the power metal scene in Italy right now. Until a few days ago I have never heard of Bejelit, and I regret that a bit, as their fourth full length record, Emerge, is quite killer. Clocking in at about an hour it delivers some fine power metal that separates itself from the pack by utilizing a more aggressive sound than their contemporaries but never becomes overly destructive. They find themselves at a middle ground between bands like Symphony X /Iced Earth and Rhapsody /Sonata Arctica. This balance of grace and attack really helps the band carve a unique sound not too unlike the German Angel Dust, but Bejelit find a more orchestral style than their counterpart.
It becomes apparent from the chiming of the first notes of the album opener “The Darkest Hour” that these guys can and will get down and dirty and when the chorus hit they show that they can fluently flow between graceful melodies and hard-hitting riffs and rhythms. They also have some great progressive elements in the song which carries on throughout many on the album where they fluently change tempo keeping the listener at attention the whole time instead of just going at a balls-out Dragonforce speed.
Songs like “C4” show that these guys have a great power metal groove as the bass and drums really hammer the blistering riffs home giving music that you can head bang to as well as get your body into the mix. And no great power metal album is great without the anthemic and huge chorus’ and those can be found a dime a dozen on Emerge. Most notably on “Don’t Know What You Need” and the albums leading single and title track “Emerge”. Delving into power ballad territory, Bejelit tear it up on “We Got the Tragedy”. I particularly this song as while sticking with the slow tempo of the usual ballad they find great key moments to come in full force and give the tune a good punch to really drive the emotional parts home at a faster beat. They also take the typical power ballad to a nice level with the song “Deep Water” by combining the ballad with progressive elements a-la Dream Theater. Adding memorable melodies played out on a mandolin, violins, and keyboards really helps this 10 min plus epic a breeze to listen to as well as a pleasure.
“Dancerous” and “Triskelion” caught me out of nowhere with a nice folk metal feel to them. The folk melodies and positive lyrics really put a huge smile on my face and kept my attention to the record hooked. The great soloing by guitarists Sandro Capone and Marco Pastorino and keyboardist/drummer Giulio Capone helped a bit too ;) All this diversity found on Emerge really make it an album to remember and an easy record to return to often.
Maybe because I teach English to Italians I was able to hone in on this so quickly, but while a very strong vocalist in both power and range, Fabio Privitera has an Italian accent which sticks out like a sore thumb at times while he sings. And no, the Italian accent isn’t what you may think it is, it’s not Super Mario or the guy with the best deli in NYC, so it doesn’t come off as goofy at all, just odd here and there. More often it added a lot of nice flavor to the songs, but I did find it a bit distracting at certain points. When all is said and done,it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the record in the slightest.
After hearing this record consider me a fan of Bejelit, I’ll be sure to be snooping around there back catalog very soon. The more aggressive nature and the albums wide diversity of music made this a very enjoyable listen. I have confidence that any power metal or traditional metal fan will be pleased with Emerge. It’s hard-hitting, bombastic, introspective, innovative, and most importantly, Fun. Check it out! Peace Love and Metal!!!