2020 album. Metal. Also available on CD.
Four musically kindred spirits from Birmingham, Alabama, USA, collectively known as EMBR have released their debut album ‘1823’. Within the genre of heavy metal there can be an abundance of variation, color, texture and tone. There are many different shades and many different categories within that catch-all phrase. It’s not all about throat ripping vocals or Neanderthal riffage.
EMBR spent most of 2019 writing 7 new songs for ‘1823’. The title has special significance. It’s not just a numerical title, it has substance. Eric Bigelow (drummer) had been on the list for a kidney for around 4 years received a transplant in May 2019. The organ was from a deceased donor and all Eric and Crystal Bigelow (singer and Eric’s wife) know about the donor is that it was a young woman between the ages of 18-23. The album is dedicated to the donor and the surgeons at Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville TN.
Musically ‘1823’ could be categorized as ‘Doom’. However, on this debut it’s obvious that EMBR have range, drive and a desire to add to the genre, to broaden it whilst staying true to its core fundamentals. Mark Buchanan (guitar), Alan Light (bass) and Eric keep everything tight and weighty. Massive drop-tuned guitars, chest rattling low end, pounding drums, fuzzy distortion, it’s all there. But they also add in synths, a bit of grunge and alt rock flavors. The vocal talents of Crystal absolutely soar and strengthen the music with her range, patterns and harmonies which transport the band’s music skyward. Crystal adds soul and an air of melancholia to the musical creations.
As many who are not drawn metal’s immediate charms may perceive, heavy music can encompass a whole panoply of sounds, moods and ambition. It can surround you with emotional elegance and distressing chaos. There can be subtleness, thoughtfulness and deep introspection even when things get exceptionally heavy which is what EMBR provide on ‘1823’.
Tracklisting: Prurient / Where I’ve Been / Stranger / Powder. / Eyes Like Knives / Your Burden / Vines