Review Summary: If you thought the only thing metalcore needed was more breakdowns, then boy has Emmure got an album for you...
Never in my life have I come across a band that was so content with mediocrity as Emmure. You would think that after the release of their third album, there would be a noticeable difference in the sounds the band produces, but alas, that is not the case. Emmure has released three whole albums full of the exact same rehashed ideas and stale breakdowns, and not only has the band displayed a glorious absence of progression, it even seems like they may have regressed in some cases.
The only noticeable difference this time around is that Emmure has actually managed to find a way to jam even more breakdowns into a single song. Instead of approaching the music with the normal metalcore formula of Intro-Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Breakdown-End Chorus/Outro, the band has decided to "spice things up" with the following formula; Intro Breakdown-Verse Breakdown-Chorus Breakdown-2nd Verse Breakdown...I think you get the idea. The band does attempt a few slower (possibly ballad attempts?) with songs like Chicago's Finest, and those songs end up being the better on the album, though not by much. In songs such as these, the lyrics seem to be the focal point, but the songs end up falling flat on their face when the singer begins the stereotypical spoken word passages with lines such as, "I never thought I'd feel so alone, I never thought I'd want to come back home..." and then segues into the "powerful" lines "I lost everything just to have this, and now my dreams are coming true..." and "Chase your dreams", delivered in a screamed fashion.
However, that's not to say that their aren't a few (and I mean few
) redeeming factors. The vocals are actually a step above decent, but sadly they do nothing to distract from the mediocrity of everything else, and the guitarists actually do a few interesting things in spots. Now when I say spots, I don't mean an interesting riff or even a short solo, the spots I'm referring to are literally spots, maybe up to 5 seconds in length, where the guitarists display some semblance of "the shred" in the form of the shortest leads I've ever heard. Even so, a three second shred passage (like the one found after the second breakdown or so in False Love In Real Life, at about 30 seconds in) is not enough to save an entire song. In the same way, the one or two good things are definitely not enough to save the entire album.
Even though the album fairly poor on all fronts, I will say that if you are in the mood to mosh around this album would actually be a decent listen. On the other hand, so would any other metalcore album released in the past few years. The HxC kids will undoubtedly love this album, as the music is usually heavy, and when heard live, the music would undoubtedly bring the mosh, but as far as casual listening goes, I say stay away. I can't really think of a good way to close this pragraph, so I will just leave you with perhaps one of the most fowl lyrics I've heard in quite some time, from the song Tales From The Burg.
"It must of been his brand new hand pentagram
Or the fact that he f*cks Iron city girls , no condom on the rag.
Just so you know the next time your sucking his d*ck.Your tasting the blood of a pirates fan.
Tell me how much lower can you go in life. You f*cking b*tch."
Yeah...its that bad...(this was copied and pasted from the band's MySpace, and I'm not even going to make a joke about the grammatical errors, you may do this yourselves)
So what do you get when you combine an abhorrent amount of breakdowns, mediocre musicianship and songwriting, and decent vocals paired with pretty awful lyrics? Well the simple answer to that question would be this album, but more specifically, you get a terrible album. You may be able to get a little enjoyment out of one or two songs on here, but after that first or second listen, the album loses an semblance of decency it had in the first place. To put it simply, the money spent on this album will only go to support a band that clearly has no appreciation for the actual art of producing music...