Review 1509 : Beneath the Embers – Condemned – English

It’s time for Beneath the Embers to unveil their debut album.

Formed in 2016 in England, the band consisting of Lewis Roland (vocals) and Clint Bredin (guitar) recruits Quentin « Q » Radburn (guitar), Liam Gloster (bass) and Spencer Churchill (drums) before releasing their first EP. In late 2022, the band announced the release of Condemned, on Metal Massacre Records.

The album opens with Contact, a worrying radio sample which leads into a catchy beat, followed by Set Me Free, an energetic first track which gives way to clean vocals and screams, as well as to heady leads. The Metalcore/Thrash mix is very effective, taking advantage of a rather natural groove to welcome piercing guitars, then Battleborn takes over with an unconcealed aggressiveness. Screams are more present than on the previous track, but we will still find a heady chorus from time to time to contrast with the violence we will find on Drag You To The Grave, a catchy composition based on vocal alternation as well as on efficient riffs. Heaven And Hell Can Wait brings Heavy Metal influences to a solid and catchy rhythmic which will be broken by a jerky break before guiding us to Undead, a more joyful composition than the previous ones which still offers some mysterious tones. The sound gets darker with the break and the final moshpart, then Condemned, the eponymous track, goes back to Metalcore roots with catchy and jerky riffs before letting the chorus place softer tones, just like on Breaking Down The Walls, a rather accessible track that only gets fiercer on the break. Lesson Learned follows with piercing leads, perfectly combining with the singer’s clean vocals, then the band places epic tones on What You’ve Become, a track focuses much more on the Heavy Metal roots, combined with raw rage. We will find fierce sounds on Demonised and its warlike leads accompanied by a simple but effective rhythmic sometimes strengthened by aggressive elements, then the end of the album is revealed with Fade Away and its airy leads which sometimes borrow from Hard Rock to recreate one last time this accessible and catchy atmosphere.

Between Metalcore and Heavy Metal, Beneath the Embers builds its tracks by focusing on efficient sounds. Condemned is sometimes aggressive, sometimes epic, but always very solid, wonderfully alternating heavy and catchy elements.


Version Française ?

Few questions to Lewis Roland, vocalist of Beneath the Embers.

Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself and the band Beneath the Embers without using the usual “Metal” labels?
Lewis Roland (vocals): Hi I’m Lewis and I’m the vocalist and my band Beneath The Embers is like nothing like you’ve heard before!….. na I’m kidding; If you like groovy riffs, catchy choruses and a mix of singing and screaming then you’ll love us (hopefully).

What is the link between the band’s name and the music you play?
Lewis: Great question and I’d say the link between our name and the music we play is fitting for the genre of music we play obviously but the deeper meaning would be that we’ve all got a story to tell in the band where we’ve hit our lowest points in life but we’re still here to tell the tale to all the beautiful people across the world who are so eager to listen to our music. Like a fire that’s ready to emerge from beneath the embers!

Condemned, your debut album, has been out for some weeks now. How do you feel about it? Did you have some feedback?
Lewis: It’s felt incredible to finally release some new music to the world and show everyone what we’ve had stored away for quite a long time. We are incredibly happy with the production of the album and the way it sounds thanks to the amazing producer Chris Clancy and the great Luke Bredin who mixed and mastered the entire album. Can’t thank them enough for their hard work to really bring the album to life the way we wanted. The overall feedback so far has been really positive and people really seem to be enjoying it.

How did you deal with the composition process for this album? Was there an evolution compared to the first EP?
Lewis: Since the EP we have had a few line up changes and the addition of Q (rhythm guitarist) and Liam (bassist) both arriving in 2018. These two really gave the band exactly what it needed back then. Most of the songs had been written for that long but they had gone through a few changes since then as you can imagine. Going from playing guitar and singing to just being the singer had really opened a whole lane of what I could create and also perform to a better standard live.

What inspires you to create your music? Same question for the lyrics
Lewis: Lyrically I am inspired mainly by my own experiences in life and I’m also inspired by people who are close to me and their own experiences. If I’m feeling really strongly about something or if a lyric randomly pops up in my head then I will write it down on my phone and create a song from there. Simple as that. I have thought of so many lyrical lines in the most random places lol. As for the music itself, we are inspired by the bands we idolize and we all enjoy bringing massive energy and excitement to the stage and doing what we love.

I noticed that three songs are “2022 versions” of the EP songs, how did you re-work the songs?
Lewis: All the songs just naturally changed as we developed or improved as a band and then when Chris came in we tweaked bits ever so slightly and they are old songs but we believed they deserved a place on the album because the fit perfectly to the theme of Condemned.

How do you keep the balance between clean and harsh vocals?
Lewis: The boring answer and unfortunately the truth is a lot of hard work. I couldn’t sing at all when I was 16 and an opportunity came about for me to sing in a band while I was in school and I sounded terrible! But from there I developed a love for singing and then as my music taste grew I wanted to try and scream…… Again I sounded terrible! So I basically recorded myself loads until I felt happy and if it started to hurt then I would stop. I am still constantly trying to improve my voice everyday and improve my stamina when it comes to putting on a show!

Do you have plans for the band’s future? Whether it is about live shows, new material, or even anything else.
Lewis: In the immediate future we touring with Tarja next year in 2023 and we are super stoked for that but yeah after that we’ll put together a UK tour and maybe some new music after that….. if you’re lucky lol

Are there any musicians or bands you would like to collaborate with? Whether it is for one song, an album…
Lewis: This list could be endless but personally for me I would love to do a song with Chris Motionless or Oli Sykes one day. The boys I’m sure would say Metallica. But yeah the list could go on and on and on and on and on….

What can we expect of the short run you will play alongside Tarja in February 2023?
Lewis: The best performance we could possibly give! blood, sweat, tears and more sweat

Last question: with which bands would you love to tour with? I let you create a tour (or just a single show) with Beneath the Embers as opener and three other bands!
Lewis: Metallica, Architects, Bring Me The Horizon, Beneath The Embers. Looks alright that!

That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
Lewis: Just thank you so much for giving us your time and asking some amazing questions! And everyone listen to our latest album Condemned of course and come see us on tour with Tarja in February!

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