Yes, we all know Emmure; one of the worst and most overrated extreme metal bands of all-time. For those of you lucky ducks that have only heard the name and not the music, Emmure is a deathcore band from New York City that is known for playing generic breakdown after generic breakdown…in every song. I’m not one that likes to get into the whole Acacia Strain vs. Emmure argument because let’s face it, they both suck anyway, but both of those bands have minds smart enough to know that a huge portion of the deathcore/metalcore crowd listens to that kind of music for the breakdowns. So they put one and two together and decided to basically just play breakdowns. But of course, this has proved to be very hard to achieve, so the bands that do that (Emmure, The Acacia Strain, Dr. Acula, etc.) always have at least SOME fill and extra stuff in their songs. But they all have one thing in common, and that is that they all rely 97% on BREAKDOWNS. The basic blueprint to literally every Emmure song is your average deathcore breakdown.
Anyway, because Emmure realized that people wanted breakdowns, they had enough logic to do so. And they fucking REEK the benefits. When you look at the tours that Emmure has been on, they’ve had numerous HUGE bands OPEN for them such as Winds of Plague, Despised Icon, Veil of Maya, Attack Attack!, Alesana, blessthefall, Born of Osiris, Iwrestledabearonce, All Shall Perish, We Came as Romans, and God Forbid. But in order to do my best to avoid making this a repeat of my Speaker of the Dead review, I’m just going to jump right into this.
In my review of Speaker of the Dead, I noted that it was Emmure’s best album to date (which isn’t saying much because it still got a below-average 9/20 score). Well guess what everyone; it still is their best album to date. One thing that you may have noticed that proves truly how thoughtless and half-assed their music is are the short amounts of time it takes Emmure to come out with a new album. And the one time where they decide to take an extra year to write/record an album ended up resulting in Emmure’s best album, Speaker of the Dead. So less than a year later, Emmure releases Slave to the Game.
With the predilection that this album isn’t really going to be any different than the rest of Emmure’s discography, I was met with what is actually the best individual SONG that they’ve ever written. Not being a TOTAL hater of Emmure (I listen to them sometimes), I was actually impressed by Protoman with its energy, digital effects, variety in vocal style, tightness within the band, and the thin melodic atmosphere that the song had. Of course, the song more or less consisted of less than four chords. Here’s the problem I had (even though I ALWAYS have this problem with Emmure): of course, the song is made up of a more fast-paced and jumpy breakdown, but it’s not until they go out to play the real SLOW breakdowns that you realize that they actually didn’t create any buildup at all. Not only that, the whole drop effect in the slower breakdowns is completely missing because the guitarists don’t change pitch; they play the EXACT same chord that they were playing the whole rest of the song. So I’m here to tell you that IT IS possible to squeeze out a few drops of enjoyment from this song after you wring out the agonizingly simple structure and chord progression, the dull tone, the simple breakdowns, the annoying rapping thing the vocalist does, the themes, and the fact that it’s Emmure.
So after the obvious fluke named Protoman, the band gives you exactly what they’ve been giving you since the release of Goodbye to the Gallows in 2007. Unlike Speaker of the Dead, there aren’t really any memorable topics that this album can possibly stimulate because it’s just so boring and fucking DULL! Speaker of the Dead was a very enjoyable review to write because not only was it my first Emmure album review, but it just had so many little things to get me started on in order to finish it. Slave to the Game doesn’t have any of that except for Protoman. The pitch of the guitars aren’t quite as deep as before, but they’re even duller and more boring than ever, the drumming is devastatingly simple except for the SLIGHTLY complex (but tight) kick drumming, of course, you can’t hear the bassist, but the bass is enough to shatter your eardrums.
But even then again, the bass in this album doesn’t even compare to Speaker of the Dead. I wouldn’t recommend this album to anyone unless all they’re looking for is breakdowns. Although I don’t like Emmure in the slightest bit, I still have a TINY spark of anticipation for the day that Emmure stops re-recording the same album and actually writes some new and different material. I would give Slave to the Game a score of 6/20.