Embraced - _Within Me_
(Regain, 2000)
by: Chris Flaaten (8.5 out of 10)
I absolutely loved Embraced's debut, _Amourous Anathema_. Now they are finally back with a follow-up album, which I have eagerly waited for after hearing a few tracks from it at their awesome gig in Oslo in March 1999. Embraced has very a distinct sound. It is like a mix between Gothenburg-style death metal and light black metal with heavy use of both synth/piano and hammering riffs. The album is like its predecessor, full of variations in tempo and structure, but the songs may be a tad more similar to each other this time. There are too many great moments on this album to mention, but at the same time these moments are less frequent on _Within Me_ than on their previous album. In other words, their debut is still their best work yet, but _Within Me_ is a great album, one of my favorites of 2000. Tracks like "Nighttime Drama" and "Sacred Tears" explain why. I suspect that their next record will be their best, though. The band was offered several deals from big labels, but was unable to break loose from their contract with Regain Records, a label which released their new album well over a year after its completion and not with a big budget. Annoying when labels cling to bands and drag them down like this...

(article published 10/1/2001)

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