Embr – “1021” EP (New Heavy Sounds)
Battle Helm Rating
Having been impressed by last year’s debut “1823”, this Alabama quartet return with a 3 tracker EP that is no less admirable! Despite the seemingly cryptic title, “1021” alludes to the fact that this release is the second in the New Heavy Sounds 10th Anniversary CD EP series. Tastefully drawing from the grace of Southern bands like Windhand and Crowbar, expect an incredible mix of trippy melancholic serenity amid a maelstrom of crushing doom sludge. As such, opener ‘Vesuvius’ lives up to its name as it erupts with chundering waves of thick, down tuned riffs reverberating your speakers as vocalist Crystal Bigelow captures your heart through her vocal hypnosis of wails, heart breaking soul and ear shattering screams – brilliant! Initially slithering its way in through deep, grinding bass and background feedback, ‘Born’ comes into being when the distortion pedal hits to roll out a heavy, rolling groove as Bigelow lends her wailing charms through her power and undeniable passion as hubby drummer Eric lays into his kit in bringing a spectacular contrast to this gripping song that never lets up in its dark, sorrowful embrace – superb. Ending with ‘A Grave From The Axe’, all the instruments pound and pulverise to create huge cascading waves of doom that also take in touches of post hardcore and alt metal with Bigelow’s soothing soul starkly contrasted by harsh vocals and roars in seeing the band give it their all to bring this captivating EP to a close. More importantly, “1021” proves that Embr haven’t been sitting on their asses during the pandemic but have commendably refined and polished their sound into one that brings a mighty force into the foray.