After a five year absence, Sweden's The Embodied emerge from the studio with their sophomore album, Ravengod, remaining on the Pure Legend Records label. I had to refresh my memory of the band by re-reading the review of their self-titled debut. Having done so and having listened to the new album, little has changed in five years.
The Embodied's heavy metal remains aggressive and powerful. Working from a foundation of traditional heavy metal, they pack layers of speed and thrash metal, and then put them in the context of more nuanced modern metal. This is done mostly by the large and strong twin guitar riffage and the vocals. Yeah, I'm pretty much repeating myself, but I warned you at the start.
I think the thing that puts me off with The Embodied is mostly Marcus Thorell's vocal style. He's definitely a metal singer, but with his persistent screamo delivery I just felt that he was yelling at me for nearly all of the 49 minutes. He can sing more mildly, notable at the start of The Exorcist for example, but then goes full screamo, even to death vocals. It's the same thing as well with Awaiting The End. It's almost as if, in the last five years, the pent up need to do death vocals finally reared it's ugly head and spit up. Alternatively, Land of the Midnight Son is another song where he's more melodic and mellow, his voice over acoustic guitar for a ballad. Generally, his assertive in-your-face presentation fits The Embodied's overall sound, and that only makes him a good fit and versatile.
On the music side, once you get past some of the harsh and death vocals, there's some fine twin guitar harmony. Assertive and persistent, but harmonious nonetheless. After this, the best part of the arrangements are the killer guitar solos. True heavy metal fire and blister. So that's what it came down to for me. Loved the guitar work, but just didn't enjoy the time it took and the obstacles to overcome to get to them. Nevertheless, if you like your heavy metal more assertive and bracing, somewhat modern metal harsh, and with harsh vocals, The Embodied and Ravengod should stir some interest. However, not so much for me.
If you like your heavy metal more assertive and bracing, somewhat modern metal harsh, and with harsh vocals, The Embodied and Ravengod should stir some interest. However, not so much for me.
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