Review – Emerged: Letting Go of Certainties

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  • Bio: n/a
  • Label: Vic Records
  • Release Date: April 27th, 2015
  • Genre: Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Emerged came into existence back in 2009 by rhythm guitarist Bastiaan Boekesteijn and lead guitarist Tom Palms, both being members of Phlemotomized. The two met thanks to their studies, sharing an appreciation for bands that ranged from Pink Floyd to Iron Maiden, right down the many Classical composers. In the time that followed, the duo picked up drummer Robin van Dijk, as well as bassist Buks Kemp, the latter participating to this day in a Judas Priest tribute band. Now a four-piece, this Progressive Rock/Metal group from The Netherlands find themselves signed with Vic Records to release their debut venture, Letting Go of Certainties, a just shy of thirty minute romp across five instrumentals. Have time and broad musical tastes played a key factor in making this a successful offering, or is there a dire need for maturity by the next?

While many know Vic Records more for catering to the highly aggressive side of Metal, Emerged is essentially the polar opposite. There’s nothing hostile, sinister, or even high speed about Letting Go of Certainties. There is a subtle trace of analog input to the crisp recording, allowing the music to get a little more personal, and at times hazy, as if taken from early Doom Rock in the vein Black Sabbath, or even like much of the discography to the aforementioned influential Pink Floyd.

Each of the five tracks are also well paced, taking their time to let the catchy hooks create simple, but highly addicting landscapes. “Dark Corner of My Mind”, for example, sets up the tone of a gritty eighties back alley Hard Rock sensation, eventually picking up with slower moving leads that show a little more complexity than you might have expected. Come two minutes in and the track shifts into a cold, almost depressing performance with cleaner leads instead of the mid-range buzzing, really allowing the already clearly audible bass guitar a chance to guide the fluid motion of the music. This happens from time to time here, like a little more than a minute later that breaks away for a moment of innocence. Really, the only time speed plays a factor here is towards the end of the already impressive first guitar solo.

“Emerged” keeps some of the influences from that first song alive in spirit. The tempo is about the same, and the gritty factor is just a little less in comparison. However, there are some moments where the chords tighten up that increase the speed for short amounts of time, as well as spurts of cleaner, even slower segments that allow a chill to come across the recording, as if creating the frozen landscapes on the album’s cover art in musical form. It’s a nice little prelude to the edgier “Who am I to Judge”, which finds a decent amount of Thrash Metal riffs, usually in what seems to be the chorus, as well as some bass heavy passages approaching, and just passing, the two minute mark. On the other hand, there’s “Get a Life”, a song that often explores some Metalcore traits with simple breakdowns amid the largely Rock oriented world. This is one where you should pay closer attention to the drumming, as there are just little fills from the cymbals you might overlook that just help pull the whole thing together nicely.

EmergedBut then there’s “Don’t Speak”, which winds up a mixture of both NWOBHM in the vein of Iron Maiden, as well as that eighties Hard Rock presence similar to what “Dark Corners of My Mind” presented. While the performance doesn’t quite capture the same epic levels of the prior comparison, it smoothly progresses into a more technical cut that revs things up in a way that feels more like genuine tension than it does an impact from the speed itself. This is also one of the few that seems to dive head first into the Classical composition influence, presenting that quicker tempo through technical chords akin to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov‘s legendary “Flight of the Bumblebee”.

Letting Go of Certainties actually stands as a very well constructed debut outing for this Netherlands based four-piece. Emerged skilfully craft each of the five songs in a way that fluidly progresses from start to finish, only throwing enough in to shake things up and keep the listener engaged. It’s also great to see how this instrumental act will often put the focus on more than just the guitars in order to accentuate the necessary atmosphere. Of course, having one genuinely faster entry among the five, or in addition to them, would have been a nice gesture. Aside some quicker sections, or passages tight enough to build some tension, both of which can easily get your head bobbing along immediately when they happen, much of this winds up a laid back presentation. If you like music that takes its time and isn’t riddled with gimmicks, maybe looking for something pure and catchy without it being full of hatred and hostility, Letting Go of Certainties is a great break from the norm, and a good debut effort from Emerged.

EmergedDigital review copy of this release provided by Vic Records.