I imagine there are a fair few people (before this myself included) who have not heard of, or are too familiar with Power Metal act Bejelit, but these Italians it turns out are quite the veteran act. Debuting back in 2004 with the critically acclaimed (according to the band’s Facebook page) full length ‘Hellgate’, the band have undertaking considerable touring across much of Europe and made a real name for themselves, touring with some massive names in the genre. New album ‘Emerge’ is the Italians’ 4th full length album.
Described as ‘Progressive Power Metal’ act in places, for the most part there is precious little here to warrant Bejelit anything more than a standard Power Metal tag; the ever familiar characteristics to even a casual Power Metal fan like myself are abundant: high pitched singing, galloping, pacey riffs and a lyrical focus on the realms of fantasy are all ticked off. Dig a little deeper however and there are some signs of the band trying to progress and forward the sound. Opening track “The Darkest Hour” for example shows several changes of pace and dynamic throughout, complicating the song’s nature. In this case however this purely confuses rather than improves.
Elsewhere there are some instances of unique and experimental keyboard tones, similar to some used by Dragonforce on their ‘Ultra Beatdown’ record such as on “The Defending Dreams Battle” (titled, incase you were doubting whether they actually were a Power Metal band), and even instances of folk like instruments and mellow passages in a similar vein to Eluveitie, notably on “Deep Waters”.
Some signs of progression then, but for the most part this still feels quite standard overall. Where ‘Emerge’ suffers as well is its length. 13 tracks, many of which are around or over 5 minutes, and the aforementioned “Deep Waters” even surpasses the 10 minute mark, and they simply don’t need to be. Only a handful of these songs are genuinely grabbing, such as “Don’t Know What You Need” and the title track, but even these begin to outstay their welcome before their finishes. Otherwise there just isn’t anything really to draw in anyone but the most fanatic of Power Metal lovers; for the casual fan such as myself there just isn’t anything too exciting here.