I like Emmure. Probably a surprise to some, but 'Goodbye to the Gallows', despite thinking it a waste of a CD upon my first listen, really grew on me. The binary riffing, fitted cap wearing screamy group have always managed to make an impression on me. Somehow.
Don't get me wrong, they're not the best. Their second album 'The Respect Issue' had a couple of gems but was kinda meh out of ten when compared with the first. 'Felony' took things in a slightly more mainstream approach, an approach I really liked. However it seemed the rest of the fan base were horrified and one album later they had returned to their old selves with 'Speaker of the Dead,' an album which again, had a few gems but sounded more like a mixtape or a demo more than an actual album. Finally 'Slave to the Game' milked the shit out of one topic (Vidya Gamze), but I found it really enjoyable none the less.
Eternal Enemies, the name of their newest effort is just simply moar Emmure. Good stuff if you're a fan, it's a solid album with some solid tunes. And that is one thing I wish to make clear before I start dissing the album. For Emmure fans, it is good. But just that.
My main issue is that, for me, Emmure are beginning to get stale. Their first and third albums are still by far the best and with group members changing every album, I find it surprising that Emmure hasn't really changed that much. In Goodbye to the Gallows, there was more than just violent noise and binary 0110 guitar riffs. There was a lot of experimentation and variety. But the last few albums off them has relied on uninspired on/off riffing more and more. And its kinda getting dull.
I have my theories why this could have happened. It could be a case that the talent of the original band (fuck it, I'm just going to say it, the Lionetti brothers who were kicked out by lead vocalist Frankie Parmesan or whatever he calls himself) leaving or it could be Emmure finding it difficult to move on from the genre they've become so well known for doing. I understand that Felony did produce a backlash, an unfair backlash as far as I'm concerned since it is the only Emmure album that actually tried something radically different.
Frankie's vocals are pretty much the same deal as before. Three voices, rapping voice, screamy voice, growly voice. Angry lyrics writhe within the songs in the usual neck-snapping way. I always admired how his lyrics get straight to the point in a real brutal way that really sticks with you beyond listening to the album.
To be honest, there is little point continuing with this review. The issue is, is that this album is nothing new, and puts the band at the point of stagnation. The song 'E' is the clearest example of this; binary riffs, lyrics designed with the sole purpose of getting the crowd bouncing and aggressive, but now lacking in the subtly since they always have to find a way of bettering what they did before. This creates a problem because the band is beginning to look kinda corny because of it. If Emmure don't find something new for their music, they're going to end up like AC/DC and Iron Maiden who spent their entire careers producing the same old shit album after album. Not to say its bad shit, I think we can all agree that AC/DC and Iron Maiden are both great bands. But if you've heard one of their albums, as far as I'm concerned, you've heard them all.
Can I recommend Eternal Enemies? For the Emmure fan, I can. For the non-Emmure fan, obviously not. Frankie may be 'sick of the scene' but I'm sick of binary riffs and the same old shit being recycled. If you're looking to get into Emmure, I recommend Goodbye to the Gallows and Felony more. And Emmure need to try some new things in their music or risk becoming stale.
On an unrelated note, it appears quite a lot of albums have been released and I want to review them. Slipknot, Foo Fighters and Pink Floyd have released new CDs and on top of that I've still yet to play Alien Isolation and beat my fists on my keyboard about that. It irritates me that the first half of 2014 was filled with nothing but a vast void of nothing being released, and now that Christmas is around the corner EVERYTHING must be pushed to us at once.
Not that I can talk. My new book, A Momentary Lapse of Reality, was released on Halloween and is available for purchase now!