Breaking Benjamin – ‘Ember’ (Album Review)
Breaking Benjamin are a classic Marmite band. You either love what they do, or hate their guts. You’re either satisfied by the quality of their songs, or frustrated by Benjamin Burnley’s well-entrenched habit of making more or less the same album over and over again.
“Whether you loved or hated Breaking Benjamin before Ember, you won’t change your mind this time either”
Ember is, as Breaking Benjamin albums always are, home to some decent songs that will naturally be embraced by the devil-horn-raising masses. Although their music has always stayed somewhere between post-grunge and alt-metal, Breaking Benjamin have tightened things up considerably since Burnley returned from his hiatus and hand-picked the rest of the band. Ember continues that upward trend, and even builds on it by incorporating songwriting contributions from Breaking Benjamin’s newest members for the first time.
That final factor is what makes this album an awkward, but still frequently satisfying, listen. There’s very little to distinguish this album from those past releases on which Burnley took care of the songwriting. Any additional ideas seem to have been kept on such a tight leash that any potential for notable sonic expansion has been severely restrained, if not strangled.
That said, again, Ember is a decent alt-metal album. It just adheres tightly to a well-established formula – and that makes it either unremarkable, or just what you’re after, depending on your perspective. Whether you loved or hated Breaking Benjamin before Ember, you won’t change your mind this time either.
LTK RATING: 80%
Buy Ember (out now) on iTunes.
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