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Reviews
[Embodyment] - Hold Your Breath

[Embodyment] started out as a predominantly hardcore band, but with their last release, 2000's "The Narrow Scope Of Things", a definite progression was made into more melodic territory and now, with "Hold Your Breath" it would seem as though the band have completely evolved out of their past incarnations, comfortably settling into the post-hardcore realm. Gone are the screams and grating guitar work and in their place are twisting melodies and emphatic croons, bringing to mind the likes of a tougher version of Far, Jimmy Eat World or recent Cave In with an occasional prog-rock styled excursion.

Somewhat reminiscent of a cross between finger eleven's Scott Anderson and Seal, band frontman Sean Corbray's soaring vocals guide the music on a grippingly restrained course, dipping into refined harmonies and graceful choruses that focus upon structure rather than vibrant range. The guitar work however seems to draw a bit more inspiration from the emocore vein of things, combining resilient and dynamic textures with a light touch of distortion to craft an abundance of hungry, driving riffs, full of edge and urgency. Meanwhile, the bass performance laid down is quite integral to the bands sound overall and its intelligent, scale shifting nature tends to add an air of progression to the songs as a whole, creating an almost Tool-ish feel at times. Taking note of this, the percussion is equally as challenging, using complex timing structures and a rapid array of off timed hits to generate a landslide of momentum, while also fortifying the rhythm section into a multifaceted display of technical ability and skillful teamwork.

With glowingly honest songs, the material present here is perhaps the bands most mature offering to date. The songs are strongly written and at most times captivating, ensnaring the listener in an almost hypnotic trance. They're soothing and emotional, yet retain a gritty firmness that put them a cut above their syrupy cliche emo/pop counterparts. It is true that the bands aggression is a lot less prevalent now and the screams and what not of their past are pretty much non existent, however, in their place is a caliber of musicianship that is so elegant and smoothly flowing, its hard to even compare the bands current sound to their harder edged days. Unfortunately, this may alienate some of the groups more diehard fans who had hoped that they would inject a bit more intensity and heaviness into this release, though admittedly, their decision to shift into more melodic territory will most likely allow them to appeal to a wider audience in the long run. In fact, perhaps the only justifiable qualm against the band with this outing is their fondness of a similar downbeat tempo throughout each song, a factor which when combined with the fairly static vocal performance, can take a serious toll, causing the bulk of tracks to eventually blur into each other. With a broader range and more expansive dynamics in place, [Embodyment] would easily progress to the next plateau, however, when considering that "Hold Your Breath" is only the bands first full fledged step into a new direction, the results are admittedly still quite remarkable, making it a worthy purchase for anyone looking for something a bit different from cookie cutter emocore or the mainstream norm.

(4 / 5)

wookubus

Purchase This Album

[Embodyment]
Hold Your Breath
Tooth & Nail
©2001

1. Yours Truly
2. Belly Up
3. Decade
4. K-9
5. Set The Stage
6. Heaven Is A Letter Bomb
7. A Season's End
8. Binge And Purge
9. Moving On
10. Cruise Control

[Embodyment]'s Official Website

 

 
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