Written by: BL on 19/12/2009 16:08:11

If there was competition for the most breakdowns in a band's career, I think few would challenge Emmure for the crown. A band notorious for music solely aimed at making those windmilling karate moshing hardcore kids do what they do best, and for evidently being afraid of touching the three higher guitar strings like they were their sisters. But for all the mindnumbing chuggah-chuggah guitars on the last two albums, they were mildly entertaining as a gimmick solely for being ridiculously heavy (if you define ultra down tuned breakdowns as heavy that is)

What can be entertaining at first always loses its appeal over time though, and after two albums of atom bombing guitars it really is hard to get excited by these new tracks. New being only in a metaphorical sense because this is still the same repetitive formula for every song Emmure have stuck to, you have maybe some kind of low end riff (if you're lucky it's a riff), then a breakdown, then maybe a different breakdown, some brootal dissonance, then more breakdowns. The screech sounds Emmure used on the last album are liberally splashed throughout, kind of like horror chords only more annoying. Usually bands who play this kind of beatdown hardcore style always incorporate at least one melodic track where you have actual melodic guitars, and so "Don't Be One" actually sparked a little interest. Elsewhere there were some neat tapped guitar on "First Impressions" which broke the monotony as well.

"Felony" does mark one stylistic change in that it crosses over a line that the band only hinted at on the last two records, and that is into rap territory. Vocalist Frankie Palmeri has always had this tough guy image with his maniacal growls and screams, but it's a little undermining to hear him rap random lines of lyric (and not even that well), and not only that - but "Felony" incorporates clean vocals (notably on "Don't Be One") too which just sounds out of place (and again not that great). Not forgetting the lyrics are just juvenile at times as well (check out "R2 Deepthroat" which targets Vince from The Acacia Strain: "The next time you see her, ask your girl what my dick tastes like").

I'll actually admit that while I didn't completely abhor the previous albums, I did know the limits of how much I would take a band like Emmure seriously. But it just feels that any forward movement the band have made is somewhat undone with "Felony". Save the three tracks I've mentioned below, the rest are mediocore even for Emmure's standards. If you like breakdowns you won't find the ones on here that special or even that enjoyable. And if you lose your party trick, it isn't much of a party anymore.


Download: I <3 EC2, First Impressions, Don't Be One
For the fans of: The Acacia Strain, old Bury Your Dead, domestic violence
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.08.2009
Victory Records

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