Breaking Benjamin - Ember
Local boys Breaking Benjamin have returned with "Ember" and I took some time with the new release over the weekend. Ember starts with a quick intro called “Lyra” then hits you with a one two punch of “Feed the Wolf” and the first single “Red Cold River”. I liked Red Cold River the first time I heard it and really dig Feed the Wolf as well. The next several tracks sound like typical Breaking Benjamin songs. “Tourniquet” and “Psycho” aren’t bad tunes, just don’t grab my attention like the first 2 tracks do. They definitely start the record out on the heavier side, which the band has stated was due to fans hoping for a heavier record. Track 6 “The Dark of You” is a slower BB tune that features Derek Hough of Dancing With the Stars Fame. Not sure what the connection is there, but the song is the slowest on the record and the least memorable. “Down” is another vintage sounding BB song. I can definitely hear this song on the radio in the future pleasing fans. The record continues with heavy guitars and dueling vocals that Breaking Benjamin is known for. The second half of the record offers the sound the BB fans have come to love, with “Blood” being the standout track for me. “Ember” is definitely heavier than their previous release “Dark Before Dawn”, which was Breaking Benjamin’s first #1 record and featured three #1 Rock tracks.
Pretty cool to read that much of the record was recorded right here in Ocean City, NJ at 301 3rd St. Studios.
Ember starts off fast, then offers the sound, writing, and rhythm that has made Breaking Benjamin a staple on rock radio and arenas. I like Breaking Benjamin, but the one thing that holds me back from being a big fan is the fast, heavy start of songs that I like, tends to slow down during the chorus that falls a little flat for me. I like Ember, but don’t love it like I thought I might after the first 2 tracks. If you’re a Breaking Benjamin fan and like when they go a bit heavier, this record is definitely for you. B+ for a Breaking Benjamin record. B- overall for me.