Breaking Benjamin got back into the swing of things from their 2015 album Dark Before Dawn. The high anticipation after a long break led that album to be a huge success by being the highest selling rock album of 2015. The album cycle is over and now comes a new album Ember. Ember is their sixth album and will be releasing sometime in the spring. Fans have received the first single to start off 2018 and the promotion for the album. The new song is called Red Cold River. Let’s break down everything and most importantly answer the question, is it good? I will answer right now and say it is a great song, but it is Breaking Benjamin, so there is a lot to expect.
If you have ever heard a Breaking Benjamin song in your life, then you have an idea of how this new song sounds. The band has a Nirvana-style mixed with their own unique talents to create something unique. Benjamin Burnley has cited Nirvana as his most significant influence which comes through in the music. The song starts off soft and beautiful then explodes with Benjamin’s powerful screams. The intro gives the tone of the whole song which is hard-driving with soft, beautiful moments, a staple in the band’s style.
The verses give an atmosphere with the lack of instrumentation and heavy on the soft vocals. While the chorus gives a heavier feel that injects the song full of energy. This flow between these styles come together naturally. The overall sound is familiar but different as the band has evolved over time.
Lyrically, it is the typical Benjamin Burnley style. Just like his influence from Kurt Cobain, the lyrics are full of emotion but vague enough to give the listener their own ideas for the song’s meaning. Some of the lyrics here are, “Fight with folded hands. Pain left below. The lifeless live again.” Different ideas can come from what is being said here, but there is a lot of emotion which Benjamin articulates fascinatingly.
Sticking with Benjamin’s part of the music, his vocal style is distinctive. Most of the band’s catalog he sings with a soft tone and is able to raise it up in a typical rock fashion to give the song power. The mix of the instrumentation and vocals provide the verses with an atmosphere and emphasize the emotion. Usually, Breaking Benjamin standout with excellent choruses. Verses are always great, but this is one of the few times I feel like the verse is better than the chorus.
The instrumentation is crushing when the screams begin then transition in a more subtle way that makes this one of the more exciting songs the band has done. The verses utilize a soft guitar work and faintly in the distance is some possible electronic sound. The combination gives an atmosphere as Benjamin’s voice floats on top of it all. The chorus hit with crushing and unrelenting riffs that add to the heaviness. There is heavy bass from Aaron that is clear and mixes well with everything going on. Guitarists Keith, Jasen or Benjamin are all giving riffs to drive the song and provide that perfect rock sound. I say or Benjamin since he plays guitar and the band usually only has two of the three guitarists playing at the same time. It is uncertain which combination of the three who wrote and played the guitar in the song. Either way, it works wonderfully in such a heavy way. Shaun’s precise and heavy drums lay the groundwork in the best way, so all the pieces of the music fall together perfectly.
The new song is beautiful while managing to be one of the band’s most hard-driving and crushing songs in their catalog. Out of what I hear from this song and all their previous work, it is safe to say that this will be another phenomenal record by Breaking Benjamin. There is no hard release date yet for the album, but we should expect it soon since spring is right around the corner. You can hear the song for yourself below. What do you think of it? Are you excited about the new album?
Preorder the album here:
Image via 27k Photography