Thursday, May 8, 2014

Emmure - Eternal Enemies

Emmure’s past two records have shown improvements in many areas, especially with the only two songs I actually enjoy by them being on those two records. After hearing a song like Protoman, I was given a TINY spark of hope that they might actually progress their sound on their next album; and apparently I wasn’t the only person that was given that little spark. Well guess what, THEY HAD US FOOLED LIKE A GREYHOUND CHASING A HARE INTO A DEATHTRAP! Welcome back, everyone! A new chapter in Emmure’s successful, yet unchanging career is upon us and I am here to go through the chore of taking my time to listen to the WHOLE thing and tell you about it so that you can save yourself the 30 minutes and go do something productive like walk your dog (whatever it is you people do).

I’ve never been big on lyrics in heavy metal, but a piece of commentary on the first (of probably several) music video from this album that I read on Under the Gun mentions something very interesting (to me, at least). And I’m not quoting them because I realized something else from what they stated. Since the beginning of his career, and still to this day, Frankie Palmeri has had a strong “me against the world” theme going on (obviously the source of his rage and energy). Actually, I’m going to quote what Under the Gun said because I couldn’t have said it any better myself (link to the article I’m referring to can be found at the bottom of this review).

What they accurately stated was “Fuck you for not getting him. Fuck you for not understanding what Emmure are trying to do. Fuck you for trying to hold them back. Fuck you because fuck you. He’s Frankie Palmeri and even though he’s toured the world for the past several years and touched the lives of countless people worldwide, who in return have supported him financially and allowed him to avoid needing a [minimum wage] job, he still feels like the world is a cold place void of love and compassion.” And to add on to that, Emmure has also hopped on the “stand your ground, don’t give up, be yourself, party it up, fuck what others think/say, YOLO” bandwagon by having two or three songs on each record having that message.

If Frankie is such a victim of this cold, heartless, desolate place we call Earth, why are there these random songs with a completely contradicting message? That’s a rhetorical question because the answer (for some of you) should be obvious. A lot of people also ask why he seems to appear so full of himself and egotistical if his lyrics are so self-victimizing. I’m not even going to bother with that because talking about Emmure is a chore of its own that I don’t want to drag out any more than I have to.

Eternal Enemies begins with a song titled Bring your Gun to School, which obviously seems to glorify causing a mass murder inside a school and killing kids. I agree with the guys from Lambgoat on this song; I’m just going to assume that Palmeri wrote this song purely for the sake of pissing people off and causing controversy (something he seems to enjoy). So yeah, with that said, mission accomplished. Next.

Emmure promised us that this was going to be their darkest and heaviest record yet. I didn’t actually think they would succeed; but they did. This album is heavier and darker than any other Emmure album. Being an avid heavy metal fan for quite some time now, heaviness/brutality has become a trait that has no influence on my opinion of a band. Unless, of course, I’m in the mood for slamming brutality, how brutal or heavy a band is doesn’t really matter to me; it’s not going to make me like them more or less. But I do know that there are a lot of people that do have that in their criteria, so if you were hoping for an Emmure record, only heavier, congratulations! If you didn’t want that…well I guess that just sucks for you because Palmeri sure as hell doesn’t care what you think.

I originally thought that Mark Castillo joining the band was going to change them for the better. Considering that he was the drummer for Between the Buried and Me (he played drums on The Silent Circus) before quitting due to his side project, Bury Your Dead, gaining enormous popularity, and then playing with Crossfade for a year or so, it would make sense that he would help influence Emmure’s musical direction for the better. I was pretty sure he didn’t do anything fancy on Slave to the Game because he was new in the band and was still solidifying his place on the lineup, which is totally okay. Well, how does he sound on Eternal Enemies? EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME. You can’t even tell that the band has had a change in drummers at all during their career! I know this is a cliché and overused statement, but really, it’s sickening to see such talent and skill go to waste like this.

Oddly enough, aside from their drummer and one of their guitarists, all of the members are original. If you’ve been in the same band, on the road almost constantly, with no escape from the other members due to living in a van, especially when one of those members is Palmeri, you’ve got to be pretty goddamn tight with the others. So SOMEHOW, I can’t say or imagine how, these guys, despite having a raging asshole in the band, have managed to get along and not get sick of each other for more than 10 years.

There’s not much to say about this record. I could’ve made this one massive rant about how EVERYTHING this band writes is a carbon copy of EVERYTHING they’ve written and how they play nothing but uninspired, overused, simple, boring, tasteless breakdowns, but I wanted to avoid that this time to see what else there was about an Emmure record to discuss. The only positive about this album is that they remain tight and solid as a band; no one falls out of tempo, even though what they do sucks BIG TIME, they do it very well without fail. Eternal Enemies gets 2/20. 

The Under the Gun review I mentioned: