‘Ember’ lights up fan’s reactions

Breaking Benjamin sparks new love and new rage in their sixth album


Photo from Creative Commons

Story by Langley Leverett, editor in chief

Gritty and brutally raw in emotion, Breaking Benjamin has released their sixth studio album dubbed “Ember,” on April 13, and has consecutively tacked itself onto the Billboard top 200 at third place. Fixated on ideas of spirituality, blood and redemption, the tracks prove their earnesty in bleak lyrics and strong melodies that shock and captivate listeners until the last chord. 

Infusing listeners with intrigued curiosity, the album begins with a never-done-before piano intro titled “Lyra.” Intense in anticipation, it reflects the band’s new turn as a morphing band, ultimately illustrating how Breaking Benjamin has evolved through their twenty years of making music. “Lyra” is also the name of a constellation, symbolizing not only the band’s orchestrating movements, but the heavenly inspiration that resonates thoroughly in each song.

Leading into the first heavy piece, “Feed the Wolf” establishes the overall mood of the album, as it is heavy in articulated beats and guitar riffs, while urgent in emotional meaning. Next, “Red Cold River,” desperate and powerful, reflects the outrage of a life that has been full of ruin and lies. While the chorus is a strain of nothing lacking rage and fervor, it flows ready to overthrow anything in its path. On the other hand, “Tourniquet” is a track ardent in the professions of love and protection, all the while juxtaposing romance to a binding tool meant for suffocation.

Strangely poignant in content, front-man Benjamin Burnley croons a message of deliverance, while remaining in an earthly battle between salvation and destruction throughout the tracks. The band’s music genuinely echoes the tribulations of having a patient love, of showing the truth in painful circumstances, as well as the selfless attitudes needed to prosper.

The music is soft, vehement and blazing – encapsulating every fear, every love, every regret. It is everything that true Breaking Benjamin fans love.”

— Langley Leverett

As one of the first songs released, “Psycho,” enters in with a teeming guitar riff, snatching the attention of listeners fairly quickly. Most definitely one of the heaviest songs to be produced by Breaking Benjamin, it continues into the chorus, “In the cold eternal light, I am the ember fading,” signifying fading life and, ironically, a quiet acceptance. Easily the best track on the album, “The Dark of You,” dives deep into melancholy, giving the audience a glimpse of a burned heart, as well as an icy view of what’s to come.

The last few songs, “Down,” “Torn in Two,” “Close your eyes,” and “Save Yourself,” all reflect the inner workings of the band’s journey. The music is soft, vehement and blazing — encapsulating every fear, every love, every regret. It is everything that true Breaking Benjamin fans love. It is not lacking in torment, or the passion of a soul searching for peace. It is a brooding reflection of the past, present and future, ultimately harrowing in on the wild cycles and seasons life has to offer.

With a profound closing, the album leads out with a piece titled “Vega.” Vega is coincidentally the brightest star in the constellation “Lyra,” which clearly illustrates that “Ember” is a solid album, ready to illuminate listeners, and provide a sense of closure and purpose.