Re-Forged is the appropriate title for long-running Swiss metal band Emerald's fifth album. In the last year Emerald has gone through some significant personnel changes. Longtime vocalist and second guitarist Jvo Julmy left to be replaced by Thomas Winkler (T-Rage) on vocals. His guitar duties have been picked up by Manuel Werro (Shroudshifter, Fatherfuckers). To execute the Re-Forged Emerald the band also enlisted some heavyweight help including Sean Peck (Cage), Mike Sifringer (Destruction), Mike Steel (Steelclad), Oromi and Damir Eskic (Gonoreas).
What has not changed is Emerald's melodic heavy/power metal, which reminds of early NWOBHM merged with later European power metal. If you hear more than a bit of Maiden-esque metal, you're not far off. Mark of the Beast, Secret Agenda, and The Wanderer are dead on in this style. Emerald can also bump up the heaviness, while still bringing the melodic metal groove, as on Where's Your God and The Last Legion. Yet, Emerald is best when the combination of melodic, heavy, and power metal merge with epic as Mutiny, and the aforementioned The Wanderer and Secret Agenda. The only stumble is the melancholy, but quite strange, Pipes Are Calling. Otherwise, Emerald's Re-Forged is a fine work of classic melodic heavy/power metal. Recommended.