Embraze - The Last Embrace review


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Band: Embraze
Album: The Last Embrace
Release date: August 2006

01. Memory Trace Of Our Time
02. Racing Against Time
03. Liquid Fire
04. Branded
05. Sun Goes Down
06. Sleeping Ground
07. Carvings On The Gallowstree
08. The One
09. No Solace
10. Dead Roses

There are periods in every metalhead's daily life during which they prefer a change of pace from their usually heavy and/or bleak and/or serious music. When I crave something slightly cheesy, but aren't quite ready for power metal; or something mellow but still feel awkward without usual distorted guitars, I often opt for Suomi metal. The problem is, while exploring the genre I've crossed paths with quite a few crappy bands, such as Reflexion and Sinamore. Being a great fan of Charon's Lauri Tuohimaa, I've decided to give this dying (or already dead?) genre another chance by checking out the last effort of his (now defunct) side-band Embraze, and it wasn't bad at all!

The Last Embrace is Suomi metal in a nutshell, leaving out the glam, hard rock, pseudo-goth, whiny vocals and 90% of the poppy tendencies that took the genre over. The result can be a pretty uniform sound, but Embraze aren't a one-trick pony, though the number of their tricks are limited. The band treats us to occasional growling, female vocals, and nice and flowy, predictable keyboard melodies that are yet quite pleasing to the ear (The Man-Eating Tree's own beauty Heidi Määttä was playing in this band) entering their music characterized by deep male vocals, chunky guitar harmonies and upbeat drum beats fit for dancing. Those are all staples of the genre, and no one rocked them better than Charon, so it's inevitable for Embraze to sound like a slightly watered down version of Lauri's main band. But still, solid music often comes from the most unexpected sources, and even if you've heard a huge chunk of Finland's melancholic catalog, there is still some chance you'll enjoy this given the right mood.

Lyrics are made out of adorable stereotypes and Lauri, though not with a completely unique identity as a singer, pulls them off well. For most people, this is far too unoriginal to be rated above 8, but I've truly enjoyed it as a staple of a genre that is now pretty much gone and it made me want to check out the band's back catalog. Sentenced has a lot more authenticity and substance, Poisonblack's got that trademark dripping lust, and Charon are champions in rocking your socks off in a darkly elegant way... but I personally can't listen to my genre favorites all of the time and need a combo-breaker - Embraze are more adept it than To/Die/For and Entwine. And songs like "The One" are just perfect for breaking in those dancing shoes!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 8

Written by Milena | 13.11.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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