Review – The Emerald Dawn – In Time – by John Wenlock-Smith

This highly impressive album will land in September and is already hotly anticipated and I’m sure will be well received as, over the past few years, this Cornish symphonic prog outfit have been wowing crowds from Penzance to North of the border. Quite rightly so too as they have a unique sound, excellent musicianship and offer music of class and quality. Everything is self-produced and they even do their own artwork, although they have a formidable and talented artist in Tree Stewart who has the ability to create artworks that really draw you into the musical adventure. 

This album is their fifth and, once again, you are taken on a magical musical journey. This journey is about the passage of time and how it goes past so quickly that we should make the most of the time allotted to each of us. The album has just three tracks of eight, fourteen and twenty three minutes in duration. Within these tracks lie much skill and invention, take the track Out Of Time, which combines a haunting graceful piano motif with wah wah guitar lines and elements of world (Arabian music) and jazz rock into a unique melting pot but a pot that cooks up a hearty meal. I could go on and on about how exciting and captivating the middle section is with its complex rhythmic sections showing the depth of talent, imagination and skill the group have and exhibit on this track but I think you are best hearing this for yourself when the album is released in September. You will enjoy the recurring melody that carries the song along so very gracefully. It is simply exceptional. Around all this are floating layers of sumptuous keyboards, a jarring Sax and the fluid guitar runs of Ally Carter. Add the breathy vocals of Tree Stewart, the subtle and solidly inventive bass work of David Greenaway and the sturdy and effective drums of Tom Jackson and you can see that this ensemble really know how to create an atmosphere for sure.  

I really love this track and the sentiments that it addresses, making memories that matter and that can sustain you. As one who is personally afflicted with dementia, this music is important and crucial and much needed, although I suspect most of the western world will fail to appreciate and catch the beauty contained in this album but, for those that do, you will find a veritable pot of gold here. Truly impressive and staggeringly wonderful a real joy to behold, I suggest you reserve your copy now and await your time to hear this masterpiece. 

Timeless is a slow burner of a song that tells of a day too quickly over and a day that never ends, our state of mind exudes the pulse on which our time depends! Which are pretty sobering and honest words really. This is a shorter track, well if you call fourteen minutes short! The final track The March Of Time is about how time waits for no man, it merely marches on, nothing lasts forever except the memories you have saved. Running for just over eight minutes, this is a fabulous conclusion to the journey you have undertaken and this album truly is a journey into enlightenment. I feel it calls us all to be responsible stewards of our own time, to seize the day and also to make the most of our time whilst we can. These are welcome sentiments in a busy modern world where we are always hurrying against the clock and yet never winning, somehow this album is a message to us all. The song works to a strident marching track and has an epic guitar solo at the where Alan channels his inner Gilmour whilst Tree sings behind his playing reciting the line, “As time goes marching on.” 

This is all delivered in style and alongside some really great music which, when you take the album as a whole experience, offers a very profound and moving musical journey. Tome, it’s totally different to their previous albums but with enough in common to let you know who they are. This is a really, really good album with great songs and performances. It is all beautifully produced with glorious artwork and I’m sure the vinyl version will look exquisite but, for us shiny disc lovers, this will do just fine.  

Released 23rd September, 2023.

Pre-orders provisionally open on 4th August, 2023 here:

Merch | The Emerald Dawn (