Review Summary: Predictably disappointing.
Nearly 6 years ago, I wrote what could generously be referred to as a review of their current release, Felony. I didn’t listen to the record a single time, and I even made up some lyrics that weren't from the album. I suppose you could say it worked for what it was, but in the end, fair is fair, it wasn’t really a review. If we’re being completely honest, it didn’t even have to be Emmure, they were just the easiest targets, as they have a Nickelback-esque magnetism for hatred. I’ve been pretty out of the metalcore game since then, but I've followed it from the sidelines enough to mildly observe its progression. This is where we come full circle back to Emmure - the most progressive thing about Emmure is their steadfast dedication to making absolutely no progress whatsoever.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different outcomes - this is what it is like to listen to Eternal Enemies, their latest release. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to see Emmure progress. Truthfully, the most exhausting thing about the band is the hundreds of recycled comments complaining about how bad the band is. With this in mind, the band does manage to produce a few brief interesting moments, but these are immediately stifled by the oppressive blandness that permeates the entire record. Repeated listens further dilute the record into one long loud mess that completely lacks identity.
Most of Eternal Enemies sounds like someone didn’t have an idea, then wrote a song about the idea they never had. Not in a profound way, not in the way that other genres strive to sound like nothing. When I listen to Eternal Enemies, all I hear is nothing. The sound of several people coming together and thrashing about and nothing happened. Sure, when the play button is hit, sound comes out, but nothing of substance. Every song is a progression of down-tuned 0 or 1 chords, chugged incessantly. The first song is a 90 second breakdown that segues into the beginning of track 2, which starts with... another breakdown. Frankie’s lyrics are at an all-time low – it is astonishing that someone could have such juvenile thoughts at his age. Given time, it is imaginable that he will replace Jonathan Davis in this regard. The drummer does what he can to make the music seem like it has life, but it’s hard to give a corpse life support. The bassist exists in the same capacity that a tree exists in a forest. It’s a loud, vapid vacuum, full of sound and fury, but, well, Shakespeare.
The whole album sounds like the color grey. Completely unassuming, not quite white, not quite black. Poor in the way that unoriginality is poor. I can barely call it bad on its own merits, as it is hard to criticize Emmure without criticizing their musical niche as a whole – and so we come full circle again. Were underachievement an award, I have faith that Emmure would still manage to underachieve enough to not earn it. I am certain that Emmure will carry on, content to make exactly the same blank, pointless nothing for much of their lives. I am at a point in my life where the only thing that makes me feel is sad.