The history of EMERALD starts in the year 1995, when the two local bands DARK CRYSTAL and OPPRESS broke up. This as all founding members of EMERALD, named Michael Vaucher (guitars), Jvo Julmy (guitars) and VÃ©ronique Remy (vocals) (all ex DARK CRYSTAL) plus Stefan Neuhaus (drums) and Roger Winkler (bass) (both ex OPPRESS), played in those two bands before. Under the new flag "EMERALD", they wanted to start a new band dedicated to Heavy Metal.
The first songs though were composed out of old DARK CRYSTAL songs. But soon, the band started writing their own material. EMERALD describe their style simply as melodic Heavy Metal. For influences they would name especially eighties bands such as Virgin Steele, Iron Maiden, Medieval Steel, Jag Panzer, Warlord, Crimson Glory, Savatage oder Running Wild.
Then, the usual line-up problems followed. At first, VÃ©ronique Remy left EMERALD because of musical differences. Jvo Julmy, still on 2nd guitar, filled her space on vocals. A couple of months later Roger Winkler also left the band. In May 1997, EMERALD found in Adriano Troiano the right guy for the bass guitar. Freshly motivated the band revised the existing songs and got ready for upcoming live gigs. Their first on-stage appearance was at the annual concert of "David's Music World" in November 1997. Although only one song, named "Forever Free", was played, the band got positive reactions. EMERALD played then their first gig at the "Bad Bonn" Pub in DÃ¼dingen. Again people showed their enthusiasm for EMERALD. After that, the band played some support shows for the Swiss Hard Rock band "M-Force". In spring 1998, Thomas Vaucher joined the band as the fifth band member on keyboards. After working on arrangements for keyboards, the band played at some open air gigs and festivals, which were very helpful to earn experience in performing live.
In March 1999, the band started the recording sessions for their first album. They recorded a full lenght CD entitled "Rebels of our time". The CD contained powerful and melodic metal songs as well as two ballads. The aim was to present the band EMERALD to the metal crowd and to get as many gigs as possible. Very good reviews in international magazines like Rock Hard, Heavy oder was, Metal Heart or Break Out confirmed that EMERALD were on the right track. But also in many Fanzines and Online Zines around the world like Steel Conjuring (Greece), Snakepit (Austria), Secrets of Steel (Poland), From the Underground (Germany), Jester's News (Ger), Bright Eyes (Ger), That's Metal (Ger), United Forces (Ger), Earshot (Austria), Vampster (Ger), Metal District (Ger), Satan stole my Teddybear (USA), EMERALD received very good reactions and congratulations. Then the band played some gigs in Switzerland which were another success for EMERALD. With mailorders and private distributors, they also found some success with the sale of the CD's. And with DRAGONIGHT Agency (PAUL DIANNO, GRAVE DIGGER, METALUCIFER, ANGUS, VORTEX and many others), EMERALD found a good partner for the promotion of the band.
EMERALD appeared also on different sampler compilations. Songs from "Rebels of our Time" were placed on TELL HITS Vol. 1 (Switzerland), NO EXIT Vol. IV (Austria), WARZONE XXI (Greece), METAL DISTRICT Promo Sampler (Germany) and on POUNDING METAL Vol. II (Germany). Motivated by all these good reactions from the metal press and the fans, the band began with the songwriting for their second album. Just before their 5th anniversary, Adriano Troiano left EMERALD. Stephan Kaufmann replaced him during the recordings of the new album.
In Spring 2001, EMERALD were chosen out of 200 bands to play at the Swiss Metal Attack Festival in Pratteln. The gig was very successful and confirmed EMERALD that their new material was ready to be recorded. In March 2001, they started the recordings in TSO Records Tonstudio Oberland in Tentlingen Switzerland. Under the conduction of Eric Cotting, drums, bass, rhythm guitars and keyboards were recorded. After that, the recordings were finished in Steinfels Studio in Duedingen, Switzerland where they recorded vocals and lead guitars under the conduction of Manfred Udry (M-Force, Andy Portmann). For the mixing and mastering, EMERALD went back to TSO Records Tonstudio Oberland in Tentlingen where Eric Cotting did a very good job again.
The result of all the hard work was released in June 2001 entitled "Calling The Knights". The CD contained 10 tracks, including a cover tune of the classic 80ies track "Medieval Steel" by the same titled band. EMERALD offered on their new album again powerful and melodic Heavy Metal, this time with a much better production and a professional design. The reactions to their second effort were better than ever !! The band received excellent reviews from all over the world. Magazines like Rock Hard (where the band was "Demo of the month"), Heavy Oder Was (Germany), Metal Heart (Germany), Break Out (Germany), Metal Hammer (Poland), Metal Invader (Greece), Metal Hammer (Hungary) and many fanzines and webzines gave highest marks for "Calling The Knights". EMERALD could give even interviews to zines from countries like Colombia, Indonesia and the Ukraine. Songs from "Calling The Knights" were played in several radioshows in Canada, USA, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Greece, Belgium and of course Switzerland. EMERALD again appeared on different sampler compilations. Songs from "Calling The Knights" were placed on POUNDING METAL Vol. IV (Germany), METALCOVEN Compilation (Germany), POWER BATTLE Vol. 2 Compilation (Germany) and HOLY SWORD CD-ROM (Greece).
Then, another line-up change was unfortunatly announced: founding member and drummer Stefan Neuhaus left the band. Because of his family and his job, he had not enough time and interest in EMERALD anymore. A replacement was found after a long search in Andy BÃ¤chler from Rechthalten, Switzerland. In December 2001, the big dream came true. EMERALD signed a contract with SHARK RECORDS / CRAZY LIFE MUSIC. This Germany based record company released in the past some legendary works from bands like TITAN FORCE, VIRGIN STEELE, SEPULTURA, STRATOVARIUS or HOLY MOTHER. Their first EMERALD release was the official release of "Calling The Knights". The new issue of the CD contained 2 tracks from the first EMERALD CD "Rebels of our Time" as bonustracks and included a complete new booklet. The coverartwork was done by the famous painter Ken Kelly (f.e. Manowar, Kiss) and the whole material was remixed and remastered at Mohrmann Studios, Bochum/Germany. The CD was released also officially in Brazil through Rock Brigade Records.
The next highlight in the career of EMERALD was the concert at Headbanger's Open Air 2003 in Hamburg, Germany. Emerald played their first gig outside of Switzerland together with old heroes as Trespass, Blitzkrieg, Nightshade and many other bands from all over the world. The concert was a huge success and big motivation for the band. In September 2003, Emerald started at the Mohrmann Studios, Bochum/Germany, the recordings for their 3rd full length album. Produced by Detlef Mohrmann and Oliver ZÃ¼lch, the new EMERALD album "Forces Of Doom" showed a big progress. The album included 11 songs, among them a covertune of the VIRGIN STEELE classic "On The Wings Of The Night". Shark Records / Crazy Life Music released "Forces Of Doom" in February 2004. The press reactions overwhelmed the band. Stunning reviews from all the big magazines and webzines showed that EMERALD released a fantastic new work. After two very successful concerts in Switzerland and Germany, EMERALD played also for the first time a concert in Austria at the "Festival For Free". More successful concerts in Switzerland followed. At the end of 2004, the official EMERALD Fan Club "EMERALD KNIGHTS" starts and many fans and friends turned into real Emerald Knights.
In 2005 Emerald played more concerts than ever !! Many successful concerts took place in Switzerland and Germany, for example the Swordbrothers Festival, the Stonehill Festival the Schmittner open air and the Castle Well Festival, prove great interest in Emerald. Besides that the Band performed as Opener for Legends and Great such as : NAZARATH (UK), ANVIL (CAN), RUFFIANS (USA) and VORTEX (NL). Also, Emerald released the self-produced Vinyl - Version of the "Forces of Doom" Album. The LP sold out in less than 3 Months. The first two CD's "Rebels of our Time" and "Calling the Knights" were, after many concerts also sold out. In September 2005 the band enters the Fapoint Studio in Kirchberg to record "Heaven help us" for the CIRITH UNGOL Tribute Album "one Foot in Fire" released through Solemnity Records on CD and Picture Disc. Shark Records re-pressed the last two Emerald records "Calling the Knights" and "Forces of Doom", as the demand for these albums remained unbroken.
In the meantime the band wrote many new songs. The songwriting for the 4th Emerald record is concluded and the band is sending a 5 track demo to several record companies. But first there was a line up change, as the band and Stephan Kaufmann (bass) split up beacuse of personal differences. In May 2006 the last concert of this line up took place in St. Silvester. His replacement is none other than the former Emerald - bassist Adriano Troiano. He left Emerald before the release of "Calling the Knights", to concentrate on his solo-project Distant Past, with whom he released two self-produced albums. He always remained in close contact with the band as friend, lyrics-writer, roadie and general aide. With the new line-up the band goes immediately to the Farpoint Studio in Kirchberg, Switzerland, to record the song "Divine Victim" for the MANILLA ROAD tribute album "The Riddle Masters". The publication of the album (on Double CD) is in March 2007 (through Solemnity Records). With PURE STEEL RECORDS from Germany, EMERALD find in summer 2006 then at last a competent record company matching perfect with the band's style and attitude. In October 2006, Emerald celebrate their 10 years anniversary. With a special anniversary concert in the Bad Bonn Club in DÃ¼dingen (where Emerald played in 1997 also their first gig), this event was celebrated worthily.
With new strength and motivation EMERALD started to work on their new album entitled "Hymns To Steel". The recordings began in February 2007 in Aue, Germany, in the Erzschlag Studio under the guidance of Jan Bauer. Unfortunately singer Jvo Julmy catched a bad flu and the vocals could not be recorded within these sessions. So the band returned to their well-known Farpoint Studio in Switzerland and recorded the vocals in April/May 2007 under the direction of Alain Stucki (who is also responsible for the Live-Sound of Emerald and plays some guest-solos on the album). Unfortunately, after the recordings, again a line-up change occurs: surprisingly Andy BÃ¤chler (drums) announces his departure from the band. His leaving is a shock for the band, but there is no bad blood among the band and Andy. Fortunately, Emerald finds a substitute very quickly in Alex Spicher, a long time friend and supporter of the band (Al painted the Artwork to the debut album "Rebels of our Time" and designed the Emerald logo). Playing two concerts soon after his arrival into the band, he withstands his live debuts with bravura, one of the gigs sees Emerald as support for SABATON. In this new line-up the band went to the Farpoint Studio, to record the song "Dr. Phibes/Dreamworld" for an upcoming ANGEL WITCH tribute album. On September 21, 2007 the new Emerald Album "Hymns To Steel" will be released through Pure Steel Records (Distribution by Twilight). Watch Out - this was just the beginning...