Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Emmure - Speaker of the Dead

Emmure has become one of the biggest and most recognizable metal bands of the 21st century. I’ve known about them since 2009, when they released Felony; of which I was minimally impressed by. Even there are a lot of people that absolutely despise Emmure for obvious reasons that I will lay out in detail in this review, their fan base has encircled the globe at an inconceivable level considering that they’ve only been known (by most) for about five years. When I first heard Felony, I was kind of turned away by the creepy voices made by the vocalist (I was 14 at the time). But then it started to grow on me, and it was all I could listen to...for about a day or so, then it got boring.

Why is there such a clash of extreme opposite views on Emmure? Most of this question can be answered by taking a look at the ages of the listeners. The whole “deathcore” and “metalcore-styled breakdown” thing has only been around since the turn of the century, making the younger generation that was born in the 1990s (myself included) the most vulnerable victims. And if you listen to Emmure, it doesn’t take very long to figure out that the songs are pretty much just breakdown after breakdown with some abstract fills placed here and there. This is the exact same problem I have with Meshuggah, except the thing about Meshuggah is that they have amazing musicians, just poor songwriting skills. Emmure has generally mediocre and average-skilled musicians and poor songwriting skills, but better production (i.e. more bass).

The reason why I don’t COMPLETELY hate these bands is because they’re perfect for when I’m just in the mood for breakdowns (I know a lot of you have those odd moments; some more than others). So this album especially is good for those moments because the breakdowns are superb. If quality song structure, musicianship, and creativity is what you’re looking for, this is not what you want.

Unfortunately, the fact that all of the songs sound almost exactly the same (which is good if you just want it as background music) makes it extremely difficult to point out songs that stand out to me…well, because none of them do! There are some songs that have really annoying sounds that drone on for the majority of the length like Demons with Ryu and My Name is Thanos with that high-pitched guitar sound, Solar Flare Homicide with dubstep sounds that unfortunately are underdeveloped and crappy, and the high-pitched tone that keeps popping up in Drug Dealer Friend (not to mention the retarded song name).

The vocalist is pretty average; not much to say about him other than that he does a lot of normal/clean speaking. The drummer does some fancy footwork in some of the songs, but other than that he just hits the symbol and occasionally hits the snare; I honestly rarely hear him play anything other than those three drums (kick drums, symbol, and snare). If you ask me, that’s not something that I would say fully deserves the utter fame they’ve been receiving.

Overall, this album grows old and gets boring after the seventh song. This album has a whopping total of 15 tracks (a.k.a. breakdowns). But I’m not saying that this is a total disaster; in fact, this is Emmure’s best album yet! There’s just not much to it other than breakdowns and huge ear-splitting bass booms. This album totals out at 9/20 on my scale.