Bejelit - Emerge
BakerTeam Records
Melodic Power Metal
13 songs (67'04")
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Alex

Italians Bejelit have been plowing their trade apparently undeterred by relative lack of recognition. Their fourth full-length Emerge sees them partnering with the home-country label BakerTeam Records to seek that elusive breakthrough album which would make their name better known. The promosheet even resorts to a trick mentioning Bejelit making a “notable” appearance at Slovenian Metal Camp festival. Just like an athlete seeking respect, it does not really pay to mention your awards at the smaller level competition no one heard about. As I tell my kids, winning games in your immediate neighborhood does not constitute a big fucking achievement. Going to the state, or better yet, country-wide meet is what will take you there. But then you have to have the goods, and, honestly, Emerge did win me over in the end.

For the first five or so tracks, Bejelit made a valiant effort to not have them lumped into a group of “sweet”, Splenda-powdered Italian power metal bands. The opener The Darkest Hour can’t quite make up its mind whether to be fast and more romantic or slower with a darker edge. C4 offers a dose of modern slamming chords with somewhat processed vocals, but then, I guess, C4 is a modern plastic explosive, so showing some jagged edges is appropriate with that subject matter. The title track opens up with a thrashy Gothenburg-like beat, brings out the keyboards to the forefront, and delivers a supercatchy gang shouted chorus. We Got the Tragedy is a final attempt at merging the dark acoustics, strong galloping riffs and yet another catchy chorus.

And then, as if having thrown caution to the wind, Bejelit finally begin playing what they really like, but they are now unencumbered, unafraid of having the tag attached to them. To Forget and To Forgive and Fairy Gate just scream pop-metal about them. Dancerous has the folky and cinematic feel of early Rhapsody (when of Fire wasn’t heard of). That track bears a stamp, if not of influence, then certainly of approval by Turilli/Staropoli creative duo, and the use of accordion only emphasizes my reference. Triskelion is another track where Italian folk and cinematic metal mix well, with Garibaldi soldiers marching through fantasy forest with some string section in background. It does help that the frontman Fabio Privitera can stretch a note, and the band did not skimp on production and mastering to sound big and epic.

Where the eyebrows will be raised is the decision to follow an 11 minute symphonic epic Deep Water with an unexplainable electronic distorted short instrumental and an anticlimactic MTV Unplugged strummed ballad afterwards. Sure, Boogeyman grows a bit with violins and keys making the song more complete, but anything after Deep Water would have been fat better left off the tray.

Unless you are a hard edged hater of melodic power metal, you can’t help but find many redeeming moments on Emerge. Bejelit has a bit of Janus syndrome, going from something more progressive and dark to something I would expect from an Italian symphonic metal band, but in the end, the two personalities are delineated enough in the album, and the song sequence works. Getting on the bill with Rhapsody of Fire, as the promosheet also states, could be exactly what the doctor ordered for Bejelit, as those coming out to enjoy Rhapsody of Fire shows is exactly the crowd Bejelit need to present their wares to. As long as they dip in the right pool of tracks, they should be fine.

Killing Songs :
Emerge, Dancerous, Triskelion, Deep Water
Alex quoted 80 / 100
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