The Breaking Benjamin that captured me has returned. Not only is Ember an enjoyable album, but it is a leap forward for the band as they explore the heavier side their sound. I feel the record is on par with Dear Agony, which I consider their best album. Ember follows the trend set by previous Breaking Ben discs, featuring many tunes that could one day be singles.
I didn’t dislike Dark Before Dawn; however, I didn’t find it totally enthralling. The album wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I wanted from Breaking Benjamin. Naturally, I was met with both skeptical and happy feelings when I heard Breaking Benjamin was releasing a new album. However, my skepticism faded pretty quickly after the band began posting songs on YouTube.
Musically, Ember is a pleasing return to the sound that made them famous. Breaking Ben decided to once again embrace the gritty heaviness they employed on Dear Agony. As with their other records, this tone meshes well with the lyrical content. However, the entire album is not drenched into heartache and pain. At times Benjamin Burnley’s vocals soar beyond the gloomy nature of the record, seemingly offering hope. The final track, “Save Yourself” is not only a good song, but an example of this theme.
So far, the only single released has been “Red Cold River”. If you were disappointed with Breaking Benjamin after listening to Dark Before Dawn, give this song a chance, and allow the band to atone. “Red Cold River” is an excellent song that will surely become a Breaking Benjamin classic along side “The Diary of Jane”.
When I opened my copy of Ember two songs were listed on a sticker on the case: “Red Cold River” and “Torn in Two”. The former is a single, as I mentioned. The later will become a single in time, I am sure. Upon my first listen through, I found it immensely enjoyable. The music video from “Torn in Two” even continues the story started with the music for “Red Cold River”, suggesting the songs are connected.
“Psycho”, another great track, seems to be influenced by guitarist Jasen Rauch’s time with Red. As a fan of Red, this is wonderful. Perhaps the biggest drawback of Ember is there is only one slower song. “The Dark of You” is a good tune and worth investigating, especially if you have liked any of the other slower songs released by the band.
Breaking Benjamin is definitely back. Ember is encased in the aggressive brooding attitude that made them a success. I was very happy with the record and look forward to hearing how the band continues to mature.