Ember (album)

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Ember
Ember (album).png
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 13, 2018
Recorded2017
Studio
Genre
Length38:45
LabelHollywood
Producer
Breaking Benjamin chronology
Dark Before Dawn
(2015)
Ember
(2018)
Singles from Ember
  1. "Red Cold River"
    Released: January 5, 2018
  2. "Torn in Two"
    Released: May 29, 2018
  3. "Tourniquet"
    Released: December 18, 2018

Ember is the sixth studio album by American rock band Breaking Benjamin, produced by lead singer and guitarist Benjamin Burnley. It was released by Hollywood Records on April 13, 2018. The first single, "Red Cold River", was released on January 5, 2018. Four additional songs were released prior to the album's release, including "Feed the Wolf", "Blood", "Psycho", and "Save Yourself". A music video for "Torn in Two" was released on the same day as the album, and was released as the second single on May 29, 2018.

Background and recording[edit]

After a string of successful platinum-selling albums in the US throughout the 2000s, the band went into a hiatus shortly after their 2009 album Dear Agony while frontman Benjamin Burnley dealt with a recurring, long-term illness.[2][3] The break ended up being an extended one, with Burnley later taking former band members guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark Klepaski to court over making unauthorized decisions without his consent on the band's 2011 greatest hits album Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin.[4] Burnley won the case, retained the rights to the band and its namesake, and later reformed the band in 2014.[4][3] Material for the band's next album, which was 2015's Dark Before Dawn, was written almost entirely by Burnley, who, towards the end, reformed an entirely new lineup for the band – Jasen Rauch (guitar), Keith Wallen (guitar), Aaron Bruch (bass), and Shaun Foist (drums).[5] Towards the end of the sessions, the band decided to collaborate on a song, which ended up becoming the track "Never Again".[5] The collaboration ended up being such a positive experience that Burnley decided to involve the entire band in the writing process for the their next studio album, Ember.[5]

Writing for the album began in 2016, with recording primarily happening in 2017[5] and with Burnley producing.[6] In August 2017, Burnley and Foist announced that the album had been recorded and submitted to their record label, with its release date pending the label's feedback.[7] Dancer and actor Derek Hough (who had previously covered "Ashes of Eden" in a choreographed music video)[8] has an appearance on the album, saying that the opportunity was "a dream come true".[9] Burnley later explained that he reached out to Hough after seeing his cover of "Ashes of Eden", and that the song he features on is titled "The Dark of You".[10]

Burnley jokingly stated that the album was originally supposed to be titled Ass-End, a purposeful play-on-words of the word "ascend", but the record label expressed displeasure with his idea.[11]

Composition and themes[edit]

Rauch has commented that the album pushes the boundaries with heavier material than the band's past albums, and that "playing-wise, it's the most difficult album".[7] He also noted that the album takes advantage of the three-guitar player dynamic, but still doesn't depart from the band's established sound.[7] Burnley stated that the album's sound moved into a heavier direction, something that was inspired from fan demand for a heavier album, a direction the band was happy to move into anyways.[7] He later described it as an album of extremes, stating that "the heavy side is really heavy" but that "the softer side on this album is really soft" as well.[12]

Release and promotion[edit]

Burnley first mentioned Ember as the album's name in October 2017,[13] with a more formal and widespread announcement, along with a tentative release date of the second quarter of 2018 occurring in December 2017,[14] later confirmed to be on April 13, 2018.[12] The album's first single, "Red Cold River" was released on January 5, 2018,[15] with a music video later released two weeks later on January 18.[16] After two weeks, the song had peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart,[17] and number 21 the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart.[18] The band released a string of promotional songs prior to the album's release, including "Feed the Wolf" on January 25, 2018,[12] "Blood" on February 22,[19] "Psycho" on March 23,[20] and "Save Yourself" on April 5.[21] "Torn in Two" was released alongside a music video on the album's release date, April 13,[22] and was sent to radio as the album's second official single on May 29.[23] On December 13, the band released their music video for the song "Tourniquet".

To promote the album's release, they embarked on a North American tour with Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for My Valentine in early 2018.[24] They followed up this tour by embarking on a co-headlining tour with Five Finger Death Punch, supported by Nothing More and Bad Wolves.[25]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
LoudwirePositive[26]
Metal Injection7.5/10[27]

Ember has been well received. AllMusic was generally positive about the album, comparing it favorably to the work of Chevelle, Disturbed, and Shinedown and concluding that "As far as variety goes, this is a fairly standard collection of tunes from a band that is mainly concerned with giving fans what they want and expect."[1] Loudwire was also positive in regards to the album, referring to it as part of "an impressive second act" for the band, alongside Dark Before Dawn, after the band's legal troubles in the early 2010s, and concluded it showed that "they're better (and yes, heavier) than ever with plenty still left to say."[26] They later named it the sixth best hard rock album of 2018.[28] Metal Injection also favored the album positively, calling it "one of their most mature works yet" and a "refreshing change of pace."[27]

Commercial performance[edit]

As of June 15, 2018, the album has sold 117,500 copies in the United States.[29]

On September 17, 2018, "Torn in Two" peaked at number one on the Billboard rock charts, giving the band their ninth number one hit to date.[30]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Lyra" (intro)Benjamin Burnley0:29
2."Feed the Wolf"
3:18
3."Red Cold River"
  • Burnley
  • Wallen
  • Bruch
  • Rauch
3:20
4."Tourniquet"
  • Burnley
  • Wallen
  • Bruch
  • Rauch
  • Foist
4:09
5."Psycho"
  • Burnley
  • Wallen
  • Bruch
  • Rauch
  • Foist
3:20
6."The Dark of You" (featuring Derek Hough)
  • Burnley
  • Rauch
4:12
7."Down"
  • Burnley
4:02
8."Torn in Two"Burnley4:17
9."Blood"
  • Burnley
  • Wallen
  • Bruch
  • Rauch
  • Foist
3:09
10."Save Yourself"Burnley3:06
11."Close Your Eyes"
  • Burnley
  • Wallen
  • Bruch
  • Rauch
  • Foist
4:01
12."Vega" (outro)Rauch1:22
Total length:38:45

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the CD liner notes.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[31] 9
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[32] 10
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[33] 102
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[34] 4
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[35] 59
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[36] 6
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[37] 24
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[38] 28
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[39] 37
Scottish Albums (OCC)[40] 18
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[41] 16
UK Albums (OCC)[42] 35
US Billboard 200[43] 3
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[44] 1
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[45] 1
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[46] 1
US Digital Albums (Billboard)[47] 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Ember - Breaking Benjamin - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  2. ^ "Gold & Platinum". Riaa.com. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Listen to new Breaking Benjamin single Red Cold River". Teamrock.com. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Breaking Benjamin- Interview with Benjamin Burnley, Aaron Bruch, Jasen Rauch, and Keith Wallen". Shockwavemagazine.com. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  5. ^ Davis, Heather (January 2018). "Breaking Benjamin Bio — 2018". Hollywood Records. Archived from the original on January 25, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d Anderson, Rockwell (April 25, 2017). Rockwell Unscene Interview: Breaking Benjamin - Las Rageous (interview video). Las Vegas: YouTube. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  7. ^ Ganz, Jami (March 28, 2017). "Derek Hough debuts new music video, talks World of Dance $1 million prize". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  8. ^ Stubblebine, Allison (November 1, 2017). "Derek Hough Talks Mental Health, Shares Emotional 'Hold On' Video: Exclusive Interview". Billboard. Lynne Segall. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Childers, Chad (January 18, 2018). "Breaking Benjamin Welcome "Dancing With the Stars" Derek Hough For New Song "The Dark of You"". Loudwire. Diffuser Network. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  10. ^ "Breaking Benjamin Announce New Studio Album Title | 97.7 QLZ - Anything That Rocks". 97.7 QLZ. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  11. ^ a b c "BREAKING BENJAMIN's 'Ember' Gets Official Release Date; Listen To New Song 'Feed The Wolf'". Blabbermouth.net. January 25, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  12. ^ Breaking Benjamin Title Release at FallBall 2017 (interview video). Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, Tucson, Arizona: YouTube. October 21, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  13. ^ "Breaking Benjamin To Release 'Red Cold River' Single In January". Blabbermouth. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  14. ^ "Breaking Benjamin announces new single, "Red Cold River" - Music News - ABC News Radio". ABC News Radio.
  15. ^ "Breaking Benjamin Reveal Chilling Tale in 'Red Cold River' Video". Loudwire.
  16. ^ "Breaking Benjamin Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "Breaking Benjamin Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  18. ^ "Breaking Benjamin's 'Blood' Is a Storm of Heaviness + Atmosphere". Loudwire.
  19. ^ Ulrich, Kaitlyn (24 March 2018). "Breaking Benjamin flaunt their heaviness with "Psycho"". Alternative Press. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  20. ^ "New Song Premiere: BREAKING BENJAMIN's 'Save Yourself'". 6 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-04-14. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  22. ^ "Rock Future Releases - Rock Music Radio Songs' Release Dates - AllAccess.com". 20 May 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-05-20.
  23. ^ Chad Childers, "Avenged Sevenfold Announce Winter 2018 North American Tour Dates With Breaking Benjamin + Bullet for My Valentine," Loudwire, October 2, 2017.
  24. ^ "FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, BREAKING BENJAMIN, NOTHING MORE, BAD WOLVES Announce U.S. Tour Dates". 6 March 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Breaking Benjamin Gets Dark on 'Ember' - Album Review". Loudwire.
  26. ^ a b "Breaking Benjamin release Ember: Sixth Studio LP". 27 April 2018.
  27. ^ http://loudwire.com/30-best-hard-rock-albums-2018/
  28. ^ "The best-selling rock and metal of 2018 so far is…Metal Insider". 15 June 2018.
  29. ^ "Breaking Benjamin's "Torn In Two" Reaches #1 At Active Rock Radio". 16 September 2018.
  30. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. April 23, 2018. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  31. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Breaking Benjamin – Ember" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  32. ^ "Ultratop.be – Breaking Benjamin – Ember" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  33. ^ "Breaking Benjamin Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  34. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Breaking Benjamin – Ember" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  35. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Breaking Benjamin – Ember" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  36. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. April 23, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  37. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 16, 2018". VG-lista. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  38. ^ "Sverigetopplistan – Sveriges Officiella Topplista". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved April 20, 2018. Click on "Veckans albumlista".
  39. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  40. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Breaking Benjamin – Ember". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  41. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  42. ^ Caulfield, Keith (April 22, 2018). "Jason Aldean Scores Fourth No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart With 'Rearview Town'". Billboard. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  43. ^ "Breaking Benjamin Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  44. ^ "Breaking Benjamin Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  45. ^ "Breaking Benjamin Chart History (Top Hard Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  46. ^ "Breaking Benjamin Chart History (Digital Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2018.