Tuesday 16 January 2024

EMBR - EMBR (Album Review)

Release Date: 02nd February 2023. Record Label: Black Doomba Records. Formats: CD/DD

EMBR - Self Titled - Tracklisting


Leave Us


The Conflict




End Cycle




Eric - Drums

Crystal - Vocals

Justin - Bass

Mark - Guitar


Doom/Sludge Metallers EMBR return with their new self-titled album which showcases a heavier and more potent sound compared to their previous releases. The record is quite politically charged with the band not holding back in providing an unflinching style of gloomy heaviness which touches upon moments of seedy classic GRUNGE along the way. With a throwback style of metallic grooves which is moved along at threatening pace courtesy of the electrifying vocals from Crystal which move through many different styles and aggressive patterns. There's some harsh growls which come from Eric who also provides the intense drums for EMBR to build the DOOMED OUT LEVELS from the ground up.

The album has hidden moments of vivid psychedelic energy which appears within the closing moments of the excellent opening track Black though there's a wicked Post-Sludge flavour before those moments with EMBR laying down the creative groundwork for the album's gloomy sounds for the rest of the album to follow. EMBR inject political soundbytes to the record throughout the album which perhaps starts becoming more effective on the second track Leave Us. The song is on the short side but allows EMBR to venture further into the Doom/Sludge Metal abyss if slightly more mellow compared to the other tracks on the album.

Third song Owed is another gloomy Sludge Metal driven track with Crystal providing some epic BANSHEE based vocals with a Gothic tinged performance.The instrumental work has a ferocious primal energy at its main core. The grooves are delivered with violent relish that EMBR give a slightly distorted manic feel. Any band that uses a soundclip from children's classic movie Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and makes a political statement deserves full credit for doing something different. This song has a lot to say with EMBR focusing upon playing some of the heaviest and frenzied sounds they've delivered to date.

The album then delivers more devilish based twists with the DOOM METAL aspect adding moments of Trippy Psychedelic passages on tracks such as The Conflict, Yellow, Nomega, End Cycle and Corrupt. The songs always have something interesting to say and the multitude of different sounding vocals allows EMBR to have a more threatening quality and presence to their music.

The music can be quite hard to describe overall with EMBR moving between different shades of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal with elements of Thrash, Grunge, and Post-Whatever moments. EMBR always seem willing to push themselves even further with the hidden messages spliced throughout the album. Though the music is always intense and full of catchy grooves with a vicious Sludge Metal attitude even when the music becomes slightly experimental, the quality of the album never waivers with EMBR playing to their creative strengths. 

EMBR have delivered the goods with this album and perhaps be considered a much stronger effort compared to their acclaimed debut release. This is an album that delivers on all fronts with EMBR blending pure MAYHEM with a foreboding sense of DOOM that demands your full undivided attention.

Words by Steve Howe 


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