Ember - _Chapter III: Concession (& Anthology)_
(Shadow Play, 1999)
by: Paul Schwarz (8.5 out of 10)
Well, Ember have changed, that is for sure. Their cover art and personal appearances (as many of us CoCers witnessed at the Milwaukee Metalfest) have all changed quite considerably, and their musical approach has followed suit, as this EP shows. _Concession_'s opening song, "A Grave Misinterpretation of Life", kicks off with a pummelling double bass run which is then accompanied by vitriolic, thrashy riffing with a distinctly hardcore punk delivery. Any of you who know Ember's previous demo outputs (all of which are included on this MCD) will probably be scratching your head by this point and wondering whether you're reading about the same band who made _The Gate_ and _Within the Realm of the Snowqueen_. Well, you are, so read on. Ember have essentially abandoned the mid-paced, build-up atmospherics of _The Gate_ and have instead chosen to embrace black metal's thrash roots in Destruction and Celtic Frost more closely, adding a big dose of Slayer and a considerable dose of the punk attack The Misfits and their contemporaries specialised in for good measure. One thing Ember have cleverly retained and combined into their drastically sped up new approach is their use of black metal's repetitive, slowly changing melodic guitar passages, which the likes of Immortal and Emperor helped pioneer the use of, and thus keep their credibility and dark feeling, avoiding becoming an entity which merely deals out aggression. With Jeff Islinger's help, the band have capped things off with a great production. The verdict: Ember's third chapter, and first step into the world of CD recordings, has pretty resounding success.

Contact: PO Box 2177, Darien, IL 60561, USA (send stamp/IRC)

(article published 12/10/1999)

6/7/1998 S Hoeltzel Ember: Smoldering Sub Terra
7/14/1997 S Hoeltzel 5 Ember - Chapter II: The Gate...
2/4/1997 S Hoeltzel 5 Ember - Within the Realm of the Snowqueen
9/14/1997 S Hoeltzel Vital Remains / Incantation / Ember Vital Remains - Unplugged
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