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Embodyment of suck - 5%

WaywardSon, December 13th, 2012

When bands sell-out, they usually compromise their current sound. A little less complexity here, a catchier chorus there and perhaps add in a slicker production. In Flames, previously an influential melodic death metal band, dropped much of the melo-death and began progressively modernizing their music in a way like I described. Despite the obvious differences between the two eras, but there is still some remnants of the old sound in their music. With this, I haven't found many bands that have utterly abandoned their previous sound to such an extent as Embodyment here. One of the earliest deathcore bands, releasing their debut in 1998, their last two albums were completely in the vein of alternative rock like Alkaline Trio and similar ilk. Line up changes seem to be the cause of that, but all of that aside...is it worthwhile?

I try to avoid judging changing bands based on what they were and try to look at them as a new entity. Even with that in mind, this is simply a poor album. Production wise, it stands up. Everything seems mixed clearly, the individual instruments have breathing space and the vocals aren't turned up in the mix like they usually are on pop records. The songwriting...ugh. The first half of the album is completely interchangeable. The songs all bleed together and sound indistinct to the point of ridiculousness. Heaven is a Letter Bomb initially has the tiniest amount of individuality before it falls into the trappings of modern rock bland choruses. Binge and Purge has something resembling effort with it's more metallic riffs and slightly more involved guitar work, but that's about the extent of it. The album ends with another relatively decent song, but those two aren't nearly worthwhile enough to go out of your way to look for.

One of the main issues that this album has are the awful vocals. The guitar work can be decent, but usually sticks to the Creed school of strumming faceless chords to fill space while the vocals take center stage. Those vocals though...he can sing in the most literal definition of the word, but he's so goddamn soulless. No range, no emotion, just the same bland tone throughout the entire album. He would sound completely at home rocking out in front of a stadium of teenyboppers singing songs meticulously crafted by professional songwriters for optimum radio play. No identity, no passion. He makes the vocalist from Inquisition sound like a fucking party animal in terms of emotion displayed. Except while Dagon's vocals work, this guy sucks even fronting some of the most radio friendly stuff I've heard in a while. If you're wondering about the rest of the instruments, they're just there. That's the best description I can come up with such non-descript playing.

This band never seems to have really been any good. Embrace the Eternal has some decent death metal/deathcore going on, but is again ruined by the vocalist (a different one, but sucky one nonetheless.) Even if you like Creed, Matchbox 20, Staind or other similar “rock” bands, avoid this and actively destroy any copies that might miraculously remain. You'll be doing the world a true service.