Close your eyes whilst listening to Emissary‘s debut EP and their music evokes the airbrushed landscapes of 70s fantasy artist Roger Dean. And, with their complex and accomplished songs which conjure up the spirits of Rush and Wolfmother, the band’s sweeping and epic sound is well-placed to inhabit them.
A four-piece post-metal band formed from the ashes of Visperas, Aos Si and other groups on the Edinburgh rock scene, Emissary emerge newly-forged with guitars slung over their shoulders like weapons, chiselled jaws jutting towards the horizon and their eyes fixed on the setting twin moons of Asengard (or something).
Standing Stone opens things in suitably gargantuan fashion, with explosive guitar riffs which shake the earth from its orbit. ‘You struck the fear of god into me,” sings vocalist Luke, as the music crashes and swirls around him like a vortex.
Indeed, Emissary understand the power of an almighty riff, and all four tracks on offer here bristle with hooks and refrains like they’re preparing for some full-on guitar-based assault.
It Was Always You is perhaps the best example of the Emissary sound. The first half is a delicate, baroque composition; which then lets its hair down and hurtles towards a tumultuous and fiery conclusion. The song has a metal-melting ferocity of the kind that the Gods of Rock intended when they first bestowed electric guitars upon the world.
If you’re a fan of sweeping and epic rock but are struggling to find anyone on the local scene to satisfy your urges, Emissary have arrived after an epic journey at the gates of Edinburgh with an impressively writ-large missive of hope.
And the Gods of Rock are pleased.