Album Review: Breaking Benjamin – “Ember”

Breaking Benjamin has one of the best track records out of any band in the rock and metal music scene. Each album has their own style to it with some advances to make the album feel fresh with the mix of the feeling of Breaking Benjamin. It is a bit of a formula, but it never gets old. Last week we got their latest album Ember.

Ember has to be one of the darkest and heaviest albums that Breaking Benjamin has ever made. The intro song Lyra is a beautiful instrumental song that sets a different tone from the rest of the album. Songs such as Red Cold RiverFeed the Wolf, and Psycho all prominently have a focus on singer Benjamin Burnley’s screams. While staying in the rock genre, they definitely dip their tows in something heavier that is closer to metal.

Instrumentally, the newest members of the band continue to grow as they put their spin on the Breaking Benjamin sound. Bass is clear, heavy, and at times has a groove to it that changes it up to some songs. Guitar work is that traditional Breaking Ben style that has a phenomenal melody while being hard driving with their heavier songs. Drumming being at beat in a beautifully well-done manner, while being crushing when the music picks up to be heavier.

The most notable difference for this album is how experiment Ben can be with his singing. His clean vocals on songs such as Feed the Wolf can change from beautiful and shave having an aggressive edge to his sound. Similar to previous albums such as Dear Agony, the beginning of Ember is leaning heavier while following songs start to slow down such as The Dark of You.

The overall tone is a lot darker and angrier than other albums. The Nirvana inspiration always lends lyrics to be more open to interpretation to the listener. The emotion is still there for more aggressive songs or more somber tracks.  Powerful lines from songs like Torn in Two, “I am torn in two. Hold on, hold on, we’re barely alive.” The lyric is from the song’s chorus which is always a staple to the band to me. The group still manages to make some of the best choruses that will stick in your head all day by the easy to follow lyrics and the excellent melody.

The band has their sound that resonates with each album, but they always manage to grow. The addition of new members from the last album Dark Before Dawn has worked in a way to give Breaking Benjamin a new life while maintaining their style at the same time. My personal favorite will always be Dear Agony, but Ember is now my second favorite album by the band. An excellent record that manages to mix beautiful melodies and hard-driving rock to deliver another nearly perfect album. Each song is excellent and stands out on its own. If you love Breaking Benjamin, then you will love this album. Haters of the group will not be happy since this is more of the same with some slight differences that show the band has grown as musicians.

Score: 10/10

Image via Breaking Benjamin/Hollywood Records

Buy the album here:

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