(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
We have finally arrived at our last segment of the recent ongoing Riff Relevant Presents: Ember ‘271’ Recording In-Studio Visual Series. Ironically, Episode 5 doesn’t take place in Ledbelly Sound Studio where the EP was originally recorded. No, after earlier episodes revealed the recording process, creation of EP cover artwork, etc., we have now arrived at the unboxing of the upcoming Doomsayer Records release…on video, of course.
Not just that but we are also tossing in my own review of Ember‘s ‘271‘ EP so you can get a further idea of what we have here. And what we do have here is three lengthy songs of atmospheric doom laced with haunting female vocals. That’s a routine summary though so let’s delve deeper into each track, shall we?
1. “Eye Of The Dawn” – A bit of an otherworldly intro unfurls at the start, brief and eerie, before a slow-paced crawl of instrumentation welcomes you inward. The music and its overall feel is airy as guitarist Craig Shadix incorporates some amazing effect-laden guitar. Crystal Bigelow’s vocals take the reigns and soar above the hypnotic ebb and flow of the music beneath. That aforementioned guitar lick continues to resonate throughout the song as the music’s energy rises and crests like waves upon the shore. Intriguing lyrics inspire your mind to question their inspiration while the turn to the heavier side of things eventually takes us on out.
2. “Ladoux Snare” – The intro section of this number is pure genius and sets another listless vibe before erupting forth some massive riffs. Erik Bigelow’s drumming is sparse, timed and measured just right to set the tempo that is soon established. Things quickly take on an epic feel to them yet somehow remain subtle, almost subdued despite their grandiosity. Crystal delivers a second powerful vocal presentation and I find myself pondering what her own background training might be. Rarely is vocal control like this developed while just singing in the shower, so to speak.
3. “Moonchild” – This is it. A freakish intro ala a movie dialogue sample (I think?) and then a full, headlong dive into the finest of Southern Doom. This is where it all comes together, rumbling rhythms from bassist Jeremy Allen and Erik’s drums and monolithic guitar riffs. Lumbering over the aural terrain like a sinister sloth bent on somber misery, Shadix’s guitar transmissions and Crystal’s carried-on-the-wind vocals do their thing. The detour into music reminiscent of classic Black Sabbath in the lingering final section of the song is a masterful capstone to this phenomenal EP.
There you have it, friends. I hope I have done my duty in relaying some idea of what a superb item of U.S. doom we have here. The process we have all been participants within, seeing and hearing the early birth and now this, has been informative to say the least. I feel as if we had a role in the making of a historical musical document and now that document, Ember‘s ‘271‘ EP, will be released through Doomsayer Records on November 12th.
Make sure to see previous Episodes, credits and thanks list at the bottom of the page. Now, check out…
Riff Relevant Presents: Ember “271” EP Visual Series Episode 5 – The Unboxing:
I want to take a moment to thank everyone that has been involved with the making of this Riff Relevant Presents visual series including: Ember – Erik Bigelow, Crystal Bigelow, Craig Shadix & Jeremy Allen – Matt Washburn & Ledbelly Sound Studio – Misty Lea & Eric Crowe at Doomsayer Records – Will Bouton & Fugo Films – Sandra Araujo for Art Contributions – Greg Yates for Video Creation.