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THE EMERALD DAWN

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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The Emerald Dawn biography
The Emerald Dawn is a British band, located in West Cornwall, UK. The band was originally formed in Edinburgh by the multi-instrumentalist duo of Tree Stewart (keyboards, piano, flute, acoustic guitar, percussion, vocals) and Ally Carter (electric and acoustic guitars, guitar synthesizer, tenor and soprano saxophones, keyboards, vocals). Upon moving south to England, they added drummer Tom Jackson to the line-up and the trio recorded the debut ''Searching for the Lost Key''. The album was pressed in a number of CD copies and was released in October 2014, while the beautiful artwork was made by Tree Stewart herself. Engaging and very epic music with a certain appeal to fans of PINK FLOYD and STEVE HACKETT, keeping up high the flag of modern bands influenced by Classic British Prog Rock.

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Imports 2017
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THE EMERALD DAWN discography


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3.48 | 12 ratings
Searching for the Lost Key
2014
5.00 | 1 ratings
Visions
2017

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THE EMERALD DAWN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Visions by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2017
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Visions
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
5 stars I was thoroughly enchanted with The Emerald Dawn's debut offering, a fabulous under-produced, yet enigmatic and stark slice of music, peppered with long tracks that seep deep into the mind. Sizzling and moaning guitar leads, sweeping orchestral keyboards, occasional sax blasts and a driving beat are the highlights as well as Tree Stewart's aching voice, a truly original sound that is laden with mystery and echo.

Their sophomore album is both a continuation and a progression of their sound, a lush and suave carpet of mellotron and organ that hearkens back at Floydian realms (sax not withstanding) on which a deliberate melancholia is layered in heavenly coats, fusing into a whole that enchants and exhilarates. The add-on of bassist Jayjay Quick only further mollifies any resistance to the infusion of mood and direction, as Alan Carter's saxophone and wild guitar rants like there is no tomorrow , while Tree orchestrates with her ivories and emotes with her lungs. Drummer Jackson keeps the beat on the road and propels thoughtfully. The opening salvo is a mammoth epic a 20 minute eruption, aptly titled 'Musique Noire', a confident statement right from the get go and aimed at the melodic jugular, sublimely cinematographic, sensual and evocative. Carter's effect-drenched guitar tone is deliciously muffled, which only adds to his stylistic charm, the seduction complete with heartfelt echoed vocals and a light percussive movement. The 'waiting' section is outright celestial, pining for some unreasonable sense of longing and desire, the main melody simple yet still mesmerizing. Romantic shades of palpable emotion, everything clicks here as the perfectly placed wailing sax straight out of the classic Dick Parry mould, creates an enveloping sense of musical torpor that carves deep into the soul with intense beatitude. Insistent and relentless, truly grandiose.

A suddenly unexpected piano leads the delicate 'A Vision Left Unseen', which also has the audacity to provide a vocal duet of interesting proportions, with Carter showing off his low male voice. The 7 minute piece dashes off into the sunset, escorted by slippery guitar leads and a deliberate pulse. There is a definite Gothic gloom that only enhances the mysterious haze, as Tree Stewart peels off a wild synth solo that dazes and dares. This combination of dark and murky with romantic effervescence is quite startling, once you get it under your skin. Bassist Quick has lots of fun bending his bass into a variety of contortions. The ebb and flow keeps things percolating. Lovely is the finale, with its sad melodic outro.

Gushing along in 'Waves', another window opens up into the Emerald Dawn sound craft, one that is surely influenced by the band's geographic location, somewhere in West Cornwall. A progressive 'berceuse', gently lulled by the delicate melodies and the intense instrumental play. Tree's voice soars above the slashing crests and sails forward into the blue- green horizon. Utterly beautiful song, with a superb effect on the mind, as Tree wails like a siren on the sea. Drummer Jackson has a delicate touch that really impresses.

A foreboding thrill sweeps into 'Stranger in a Strange Land', languorous licks and tingling tremors evoke travel and exploration, sprinkled with a touch of anxiety. Yummy! The mood blooms into a grating guitar riff that highlights the trepidation, then tumbles deeply into some more experimental throes, a flute fluttering in the wind, only heightening the panic. The main melody kicks in with a cello-synth foundation on which Ally rips his guitar to shreds with a sizzling effect of passionate adventure. Wow!

As with their debut , Emerald Dawn has carved quite a niche within the prog world, a tight and evocative group of musicians who have a knack for stunning melodies within a clearly psychedelic/melancholic setting. Taking influences from stalwarts like Floyd but never cloning their sound in any way, they also possess a rare charm that is very hard to describe, a sense of originality that highlights their love for music and all done their way.

5 panoramas

 Searching for the Lost Key by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.48 | 12 ratings

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Searching for the Lost Key
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

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.

 Searching for the Lost Key by EMERALD DAWN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.48 | 12 ratings

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Searching for the Lost Key
The Emerald Dawn Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Four long 10 minute + epics make up the Emerald Dawn's sublime debut, entitled 'In Search of the Lost Key' , another prog-rock take on HP Lovecraft's symbolic book, 'The Silver Key' and what better gift can any progfan hope for than that! The Emerald Dawn are a trio from West Cornwall UK that features the amazing Ally Carter on green guitar and saxophones, Tree Stewart on green keyboards and not so green vocals as well as Tom Jackson on green drums. The album artwork is green as well, but joking aside, there is nothing green about these endowed musicians. While their style is difficult to pigeon hole, the sound is definitely neo-prog or symphonic, or eclectic or crossover or space or'well you get it! They cannot seem to find a specific home within PA which I must declare to be a winning proposition, as they do not seem to clone anyone. That makes them original, something the band now has proof of in terms of patience in finding a nest.

On 'Beyond the Wall', there is a fabulous echo in the production, as if seaborne mists have muffled the sound with salty desperation, cloaked in a spectral sheen that can evoke gothic tendencies, almost medieval in imagery. Dense carpets of lush keyboards, propelled by a classic one-two punch beat, adorned by some psychedelic guitar frills that instantly seek to charm the gruff listener into submission. 'Take a walk into the forest of your mind' provokes such liberation and immediately pervades the space between, the prog mechanism alive and kicking. Tree possesses a lovely hushed voice, inspired by some of the 80s synth bands such as Bel Canto, Opus 3, The Eurythmics, Yazoo, Propaganda and its ilk. The mood quickly acquires a hypnotic feel, closely drawing in the unsuspecting sailors, like some bewitching siren off St-Ives Bay.

Things get even spookier on the amazing 'Buridan's Lament', a lush symphonic evocation of Jean Buridan, a French priest and medieval scientist in 1300 who ushered in the concept of 'impetus' and the Copernican revolution. The atmosphere is again lathered in an almost monastery-like echo, a feature I find utterly fascinating. The vocals are deeply urgent, almost manic, as subsequently expressed by a saxophone solo that would make a repentant Nik Turner swallow his pride. Ally Carter then picks up his green guitar and flicks another series of simple but repetitive licks that blossom into a whopping solo that howls into the blustery winds.

But the killer track here is the scintillating 'Shadow in Light', a masterpiece of symphonic splendor that buries very deep into the soul, coached by a puerile drum beat and lathered by washes of celestial synths and a beseeching electric guitar rant that oozes emotion, sufferance and pain. Brooding, vaporous and mystifying like some fog-drenched moor, the meandering axe pleads, begs and cries with abject rage. Suddenly when least expected, a pool of delicate electric piano surfaces to better highlight the gloom, traversed by sizzling synthesizer slashes that verge on the histrionic. The moaning electric guitar sobs mightily, a strong emotional undercurrent rips through the speakers. Bloody fabulous!

The final piece is the title track and it hardly disappoints, giving the impression of witnessing a continuous work, even though there are some evident differences between tracks, such as the furry organ that rules over the arrangement, with Tree's haunting vocal firmly in command. There is a more ambient groove feel here, as if beckoning a new chapter to come, some new adventure or quest, now that the key has been found. Carter peels off a series of low-end blasts, very electric like old school Jeff Beck, and the sizzle fizzles into the warm Penzance night.

Similar to the unheralded Polish band Beam-Light, the music of the Emerald Dawn is a hybrid original , nothing overtly polished or over-produced, just fine music played with obvious passion and creativity. In some strange way, had this work been taken over by some high fallutin' wiz producer like Steve Wilson, the result may have been devoid of its natural charm. This kind of dedicated and honest artist is the paragon of our genre, why we need to encourage them further and beyond 'the lost key'. Love it!

4.5 Jade Mornings

Thanks to apps79 for the artist addition.

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