Songs For the Living was Embodyment’s first album for XS records and their last album as a band. After the departure of Kris McCaddon, Embodyment left death metal behind. Their two subsequent albums with Corbray on vocals floated in a hard rock hybrid state. The Narrow Scope of Things had some mild screamo influence and played like a metal band trying to be an emo band. Hold Your Breathe was straight forward hard rock but still felt like a band trying to find itself.
Whether it was leaving Tooth and Nail records or just finally clicking but Songs For the Living feels like a cohesive rock record. The song writing is simplified. The songs don’t have a false sense of trying to be heavy. Reaching Out, the albums lead track, kicks off with a simple riff that slams into the chorus progression. The hook is catchy and the song is upbeat. Who’s to Blame isn’t a song you’d called a ballad but it’s the most laid back song Embodyment ever released. Don’t Go, like Reaching Out, has a memorable, simple guitar riff and a hook that’s catchy and easy to sing. White Flag is almost anthemic, and you can see the song being played with a large crowd singing along.
Songs For the Living is Embodyment’s second incarnation finally finding their sound. It’s a great rock record and although Narrow Scope of Things had some great songs on it, it doesn’t match the writing that Songs For the Living had. Corbray’s voice sounds as strong as ever. The sad thing is fans always wanted Embodyment to keep playing metal and those days were behind the guys in the band. Songs For the Living is an under appreciated album from a band at it’s best.