Though slightly less likely to leave your ears bleeding than Turn It Over, this is still nevertheless loud enough to leave them ringing between tracks. Led by Williams on thundrous drums, John McLaughlin and Larry Young, respectively on guitar and organ, spend much of the album apparently trying to outrace the leader and each other, with the volume turned up loud. The musicianship is truly awesome on the part of all three.
Only Williams's attempts to sing detract from the overall effect: on Beyond Games getting up in the pulpit to preach about something in doggerel verse; on Via The Spectrum Road sounding, with the multi-tracking, like a bunch of drunks who've crashed the session with a banal barroom chant.
Fortunately the good drives out the bad, with the singing giving way to some of the finest guitar you'll hear anywhere, making it worth the ride.
The sessions for this record took place the same year Williams and McLaughlin were employed by Miles for the recording of In A Silent Way. The two records make an interesting contrast: though both can be labelled "fusion", between them they manage to bestride an enormous spectrum of musical sensibilities. Listening to the opening of Emergency and that of In A Silent Way, it's amazing to think that it's the same drummer. Similarly, McLaughlin's gentle tickling during the Miles sessions bear almost no resemblance to the incendiary attacks on Emergency, though the incipient Mahavishnu sound is well in evidence.