The Respect Issue
is the second full length album by metalcore band Emmure. In all honesty, what can I say about this
album that I didn’t already say about the other ones I’ve reviewed? This is probably the most by-the-book metalcore album I have ever heard in my life. In fact, this is probably the most generic one in their entire discography. The notes played on this album are almost exclusively open notes and diminished ones, it still has way too many breakdowns for its own good, the bassist is missing in action (meh), the vocalist is still bland at best, and there is barely any notable instrumental work that might help the songs stand out more instead of blurring together like a big stale metalcore mess. Hell, I’m pretty sure the album is even structured
almost exactly the same as their last one.
The album opens up with “Young, Rich, And Out Of Control”. This song is basically in the same vein of their other album openers (“A Ticket for the Paralyzer” and “Second Hand Smoke”) in which it is just a short breakdown designed to “pump” the excited Emmure fan up for his next unmeasured dosage of breakdowns, chugs, and shouts. It sounds exactly the same as the last two opening tracks, featuring some diminished and open chords chugging along with double bass pedals. When reviewing an album, you have to do your best to be objective and not let your opinions on a band’s other albums force a biased stance against them, but it really can be daunting for a listener when they are hard pressed to note many differences between the three openers.
Do I really need to give examples of breakdowns on this record? “Sound Wave Superior” is basically a breakdown for the entire song, there isn’t even a moment where they pick up the funeral doom pace found on “I Only Mean Half Of What I Don’t Say”, and “False Love In Real Life” is more or less a bunch of slightly varied breakdowns with really badly paced high pitched diminished chords and a sloppy guitar lead that lasts about 2 seconds. That’s right; almost a third of the album is 90% breakdowns. The rest of the album doesn’t decrease in breakdown-abundance or increase in quality much either.
Frankie, the vocalist, is pretty much your cliché brocore vocalist. He layers his screams with different kinds of screams sometimes to create really crappy “brutal” screams. His high pitched screams are pretty weak to be frank. For example, he ruined what could have been an almost half-decent song on “Chicago’s Finest”. When the guitarists finally decide to stop chugging and play a recycled melody instead, Frankie spoils it with his terrible wails. His low end isn’t anything spectacular either, it’s extremely monotone. In “Tales From The Burg”, he actually sounds like a dog when he uses his low end scream. The gang vocals in that song are also pretty weak. The only other trick he has up his sleeve is his clean vocals. His clean vocals mainly consist of cliché spoken word parts and a few shouts. They don’t detract from already subpar metal songs but they aren’t all that fantastic either. They have improved a bit from the previous records.
There are a few alright moments on this album. As an example, “I Only Mean Half of What I Say” has one breakdown with a mildly interesting drumming pattern. However, it doesn’t last very long before we get back to the usual drivel. Also, “Dry Ice” is a half-decent instrumental placed near the end of the album. It is nothing spectacular but it manages to be the best song on here by not having a misplaced breakdown or two (or five) in the middle of it even though I was half expecting one. Songs like “Dry Ice” have been done to death in metal albums though. “Chicago’s Finest” is one of the few tracks on here that seems like it could have been composed in a day instead of a bunch of half baked chugging patterns made up on the spot in the studio. Near the end of the song, the guitarist actually displays a bit of talent and plays a short solo that I would have liked to hear more of. However, “Chicago’s Finest” also just sounds like a slightly slower version of a song from their last album “Rusted Over Wet Dreams” at times because they both share a strikingly similar guitar melody.
Overall, this is probably the most generic album Emmure has made, and that’s saying a lot. There isn’t anything on here that they or other metalcore bands haven’t already done. With a few okay moments comes relentless chugging, bad screaming, and at least 50 breakdowns pissing on your intelligence every song. Although if you actually bought this album expecting some decent music, I’d say you don’t have much to lose anyways so you might as well do these hacks a favor and pop their CD of For The Fallen Dreams b-side tracks into your player. Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.
- Guitar solo in “Chicago’s Finest”
- Dry Ice isn’t a bad track.
too many crappy breakdowns.
- Frankie is a crappy vocalist.
- Too many open and diminished chords (too much chugging).
- Barely any interesting drum moments.
- The bassist doesn’t do anything.
- Most of the songs sound the same.
OVERALL RATING: 1.5/5