Adding pop and electronica to metal is always tough, especially in this day and age of genre snobbery. Bands like AMARANTHE started strong but lost their heavy edge with time, and WITHIN TEMPTATION was at their worst in their pop phase. Even HELLOWEEN succumbed to bad pop metal for an album or two. Luckily then, we have bands like EMBER FALLS to teach us how to do it right!
EMBER FALLS, once known as MEKANISM, is made up of vocalist Thomas Grove, guitarist brothers Calu (also the growling vocalist) and Jay V, bassist Oswald, and drummer Ace, though sadly their keyboardist, who went by the moniker One of Haze, announced his departure yesterday to pursue his own music, and that these two last singles they recorded will be his last.
When a band puts out an incredible debut album, it’s always a bit nerve-wracking during the wait for the follow-up, as you wonder if they’ll be able to do it again. “Heart-Shaped Black Scar,” fortunately, indicates that they’re on the right track! The song opens with stylishly done autotune before the classic EMBER FALLS riffing starts up and Grove‘s fantastic vocals come in. There is a nice effort to make use of chiptunes and the progginess of the drums also works well. Jay V gets another fantastic solo near the three quarter mark, and the chorus is so easy to sing along to it’s almost unfair. The electronica parts at the end are a touch reminiscent of TURMION KÄTILÖT and the vocal layers are fantastic. While this runs on the poppier side of their material, this is definitely still catchy AF and heavy enough to satisfy the metal snobs. In essence, if you don’t mind a little pop in your metal, you should hopefully love this!
Written by Bear Wiseman
Thomas Grove – vocals
Calu – vocals, guitars
Jay V – guitars
Oswald – bass
OneOfHaze – keyboards, synths
Ace – drummer
Interview Phantom Elite – “It’s always good to share that feeling that none of us is alone in hard times”