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Soothing, after-hours jazz metal - 93%

HealthySonicDiet, December 19th, 2003

A friend of mine recommended this band to me when I was expressing interest in technical bands such as Spiral Architect, so I decided to purchase this album via Century Media Records. It's not at all what I was expecting, since it's not blindingly technical, at least not in the vein of Spiral Architect. I was expecting a band that sounded blatantly metal with vocals and strong progressive qualities. What I got instead is 'smooth-jazz' with metal and rock guitars thrown in for good measure. No vocals are present on this album, and though I was bothered by it at first, now I appreciate it more because there's more room to guess the inspiration for the song titles and the absence of vocals is relaxing.

Sean Malone of Cynic fame plays on this album and his riffs seamlessly flow from one section of the song to the other, giving way to tranquil drum and bass interludes. Not much on this record is overtly exciting to where you'd feel terribly inclined to headbang or move around, but it does paint a fantastic atmosphere where the listener can escape from reality for 30-40-50 some-odd minutes.

Metallic elements are arguably too scarce on this album and most likely on Gordian Knot's debut for them to be included on this site, but I suppose their lineup is influential enough in metal for them to be valid. The players on Emergent are all masterful and have a keen eye for music theory and composition, and this album runs the gamut from jazz to rock to metal.
For metal purists-STAY AWAY!
For music lovers-BUY NOW!