Review: “An Acoustic Endeavor” by Emetropia

“We wanted the EP versions to be something new and original, and not simply the same song with acoustic guitars. While the original song is fast and energetic, the lyrics tell a despairing story of never ending suffering, and thus, we felt that a ballad was the perfect fit for The Old Gods. The result is a solemn and mournful, yet beautiful, retelling“ ~ Lisa Wallenberg, vocals

“We saw this as a chance to push our musical and production skills to the limit by recording symphonic metal songs in musical styles we had never played before! It became something of an acoustic endeavor for all of us; scary yet intriguing.” ~ Liam Strand, keyboards

Accompanied by a couple of interesting quotes from the band, the arrival of “An Acoustic Endeavor“, a freshly recorded EP that comprises four acoustic re-imaginings of songs of the most beloved songs from their debut album “Equinox” is a curious one especially as the quintet are known for creating epic Symphonic Metal with a focus on dynamics in Metal driven by big orchestras and choirs. How do Emetropia go about stripping back the bold nature of their offering while maintaining the power and sentiment of those original pieces? The answer to that is with a lot of forethought and a clear vision…

Opening cut “A Gentle Breeze” is a retitled rendition of “A Summer Breeze“, the dynamic of the song changing as it undergoes a metamorphosis from a Symphonic Metal beast to a Folk Metal inspired cut with Jazzy nuances. It’s as if the dark clouds have been swept away and what we’re left with is a bright, fresh and vibrant sounding piece that is day to the originals night. If we’re going to be super picky some of the earlier verse vocals don’t mesh together as well as they could, sounding a little over crowded in the space, however the chorus is so bright and bold that it doesn’t matter. “The First Flower Blooms” has hints of 1970’s Progressive Rock woven into its fabric while showcasing Wallenberg’s sumptuous clean vocals against a backdrop of rich melody, again a long way from the original piece while still somehow against the odds, holding onto the essences of it by the skin of its teeth. The most magnificent piece here is the epic rendition of “The Old Gods” which is cinematic with its orchestration and entertains like Fantasia in this short and oh so sweet re-imagining. Captivating and endearing it would be interesting to hear other works created in this template and if the band fancied it, there is no question that Disney would be on the phone asking for them to score the soundtrack to Frozen 4. What sounds like a Hammond Organ comes into play on “Shifting Seasons” as the Emetropia once again push the envelope of experimentation and the reward is something rich and fulfilling. As a record “An Acoustic Endeavor” fits the bands vision perfectly with less of the mournful sorrows and more of the upbeat warmth about it [7.5/10]

1. A Gentle Breeze
2. The First Flower Blooms
3. The Old Gods – Requiem
4. Shifting Seasons

An Acoustic Endeavor” by Emetropia is out 24th March 2023 and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp.

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