1. Time & Time
2. Fear of Falling
3. Made Up My Mind
5. Wrong Turn
6. Beneath Our Dreams
3 piece Hard Rock trio State Of Ember have just released their album 'Broken Horizons' and first impressions hit me in the face with heavy head nodding side effects. The riff tastic 6 track album highlights the pace of the record driving mainly with meteoric old school heavy guitar lines with gruff vocals and a sprinkling of Punk Rock.
'Time & Time' smashes you into the record and sets the tone for the rest of the album. Meaningful lyrics glide along a Punk esk rhythm section. The vocal is sometimes a bit rough around the edges but that is soon overturned by that crushing main riff. Putting a solo in was a wise idea and really does lift the track into a fast and furious 3 minutes.
Picking up from where the first track left off 'Fear Of Falling' puts you straight into a fierce riff that automatically lifts your ears. Amalgamating hate towards the world today and an internal personal battle the chorus invites you to join their cause, 'but you don't feel anything'. Another hard guitar driven track 'Fear Of Falling' is too the point and true but does leave you slightly hollow and craving more from the track.
'Made Up My Mind', if you have had a bad day and the rage is peeking this track might be what you need as your virtual punchbag. Again the pace and structure match the first two songs and the breakdown after the second chorus is a particular highlight. The chugging on that down tuning wouldn't sound out of place on a Slipknot or Chevelle track and that's a very good thing, however the vocal is unfortunately weak at times and cant help but feel that more backing would be a benefit.
'Reasons', I found myself singing along to the chorus on this song making it melodically strong. Again the instruments are tight and angry with the same vigour as the other 3, however there is one glaring factor that cant be adjusted too. The fundamental riff of 'Reasons' has an eerie similarity to 'Time & Time'. The chorus is a hit and live, I imagine it gets people jumping, but cant get over this may be 'Time & Time Volume 2'?
The stand out track of this record, 'Wrong Turn' embraces a slightly different approach to the rest of the album. A simple but approachable riff with a flavour of blues starts you off and captures you, taking you on an easy, but glorious journey. The drums are especially a front runner giving exactly what the track needs to keep that guitar line pounding. The Slash styled solo was an unexpected addition, but is part of the whole character of what State Of Ember are trying to achieve here using emotive and effecting lyrics that keeps your head moving and a wry smile to appear.
A gripping end to the record, 'Beneath Our Dreams', is what you would show to someone to describe this band. Combining the fast and heavy flavourings of the other tracks, the song puts you on a more 2000s Punky Rock feel, think 'Papa Roach', but keeps the essence of what State Of Ember are about merging the gruff vocals with the dark, livid riffs you have come accustomed too.
'Broken Horizons' is a pacey and self explanatory album that has potential all over it. It just unfortunately falls short on scope and variety. The riffs are where this band find their home and there is no doubt seeing them live would give you neck ache from the power, especially would love to see 'Wrong Turn'. A solid effort from State Of Ember, but maybe this is a stepping stone to what comes next and I wouldn't be surprised if it was something special.
Website - www.stateofember.co.uk
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/stateofember/
Review - Olly Dean