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Ember Sea - How to Tame a Heart

Ember Sea
How to Tame a Heart
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 19 July 2017, 9:36 AM

German metal act EMBER SEA have crafted a rather enjoyable listen with their second album, “How To Tame A Heart.”   Symphonic is a term that is thrown around quite a bit these days but only a handful of the bands truly use an actual symphony or orchestra. EMBER SEA isn’t one of those bands but their keyboards are lush and robust but they don’t try to sound like they have a 48 piece ensemble with them, nor are keys the only focus of the band.  Instead they often times evoke quit the imagery.  Keyboardist Dirk creates a wonderful landscape on the opening track “To Atlantis,” by creating sounds that remind me, fittingly enough, of a sort of water landscape or an undersea city untouched by the modern ways of man.  Musically, the rest of the band is a competent metal band.  There isn’t any acoustic, folk, or gothic influences as far as the rhythm section goes—this is pure heavy metal/hard rock and the band focuses on this wonderfully.  They do have a very modern sound—they definitely bridge the gap between other symphonic bands and the mainstream; a lot of this stuff I could hear being played on the radio alongside more mainstream bands like EVANESCENCE or IN THIS MOMENT but this band has a lot more to offer and are definitely better song writers.

The fifth track, “Dance of Pain,” is one of my favorites of the album.  The song begins with heavy riffs courtesy of Stefan and some epic, sweeping keyboards.  As the song starts, the guitar and keyboards join as one, both playing the same rhythm with the keys also doing light touches of clean piano as Eva’s wonderful and heartfelt voice comes into play.  I absolutely love her voice; it’s so well balanced and strong.  She doesn’t try to sound like an opera singer nor does she go for a more pop tone.  Her voice is her own, full of a nice set of lungs that gives her a wide range.  During the chorus of the song, she becomes ethereal like Liv Kristine.  The mid-section of the song is a nice touch with the guitars playing simple but head-banging riffs and the keys providing a blanket of touches that keep the majestic feel of the song going.“Portrait Enemy,” features some interesting bass from Pablo and he carries the song during the stanzas. The last track, “Dawning,” is a great way to close the album and it’s the longest song.  Once again, the keys create a very nice atmosphere; sparse sounds flung across a light symphonic background create an intro to the song that just begs to be played at night.  Expressive guitar litters the sonic landscape before the full band comes in. The music before and after the catchy chorus changes tempo and gets a bit heavier, thus increasing the urgency presented in the bridge of the song, highlighted by Enrico’s heavy double bass attack.  Pablo’s bass shines on this track as well, especially after bridge.  Unfortunately, this track is so good it highlights a problem with the album and that is the somewhat basic song writing and structure.

Dawning” proves the band could be more than what they are from a song writing perspective should they flesh out their songs a little more. Even still, I really enjoyed this record as it wasn’t the usual symphonic metal flair, a genre that is currently bloated beyond belief and ruled by EPICA and NIGHTWISH, and a thousand other bands that wish they were as good.  Itis nice to see EMBER SEA has their own sound.  If you like female fronted metal bands then I highly suggest this one.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. To Atlantis
2. In Temptation
3. Oasis
4. Your Love
5. Dance of Pain
6. Portrait Enemy
7. Heather
8. Hollow
9. The Ones
10. Dawning
Lineup:
Eva Gerland – Vocals
Stefan Santag – Guitars
Dirk Marquardt – Keyboards
Pablo J. Tammen – Bass
Enrico Mier – Drums
Record Label: 7Hard Records
     


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