Breaking Benjamin were once the champions of alternative metal in their heyday; every teenager from the mid-2000s will remember classics like 'Fade Away' and 'The Diary Of Jane.' After a few uncertain years, they returned without much of a connection with 2015's Dark Before Dawn, but this spring's Ember seems to have more promise. Breaking Benjamin return to form with 'Red Cold River,' with just enough melody and chaos to put the band back in their prime sound.
'Red Cold River' begins creepily with an eerie set of lyrics and reverberating guitar. After quickly exploding into the an upfront riff and powerful screams, it's clear that 'Red Cold River' has a sense of vengeance to it. The hook cries "I can't feel anything at all, this life has left me cold and damned," being pretty typical of the band's lyrics. As far as content goes, it really is playing it safe in terms of the band.
That being said, there are a few little things in it that do show a growth. Lowkey synths can be during the verses to add a bit more of an electronic edge, adding a bit to its modern setting. The harmonies are fantastic - as the song comes to an end, several vocals sing all at once to make one schizophrenic ending to the song. It's anthemic and chaotic while maintaining its dark melodies: the formula for success for Breaking Benjamin.
Breaking Benjamin return to form with 'Red Cold River,' promising that Ember will be a step back into he right direction for them. It doesn't feel like an overused formula and instead feels like a fresh take on what made them so popular in the first place. Fingers crossed from here, but it's sounding like Ember won't be disappointing.
Rating: 80 / 100
Stream or buy 'Red Cold River' on Apple Music: