It’s always a little disheartening to only discover a band after they’ve broken up, and even more so when the band’s body of work is as small as Embers‘ is. Consisting of little more than an EP, a split, and a full length LP, this Oakland, California based band wrote some of the best blackened doom/crust this writer has heard in a long time, all topped off by a unique visual identity courtesy of the album art by bass player and vocalist Kelly Nelson that went a long way towards informing a potential listener what might lie in store for them. In fact, the cover art of their full length album is what initially drew me to listen to them in the first place.
Embers’ music is as atmospheric as it is abrasive, with a uniquely melodic edge that reminds of early Scandinavian melodic death. The band deftly intertwined auditory signatures from black metal, doom and crust into a melancholic, cohesive package that stood apart from the crowd and sounded like a veteran act. From their debut EP in 2007. the band played a surprisingly fleshed out, mature style that only improved in personality and character on their single LP, evolving to add further elements of doom, sludge and even thrash metal. Sadly, Embers broke up last year, and while fantastic, the material they recorded is far too little for such a talented act, their debut EP Memoria in Aeterna, their excellent split EP with Book of Belial, and their full length album Shadows make up the entirety of their recorded work. it’s a real shame we won’t get to see what kind of band they could have become given more time, as Shadows in particular showed a maturation of their sound, but hopefully they can gain a larger fanbase posthumously.