Black Earth Tiger

Written by: PP on 12/11/2007 01:54:37

I'll admit it straight from the start. I've always found Emanuel one of the least interesting bands of the emo/screamo fad that's finally starting to show signs of wearing out together with metalcore. That's not to say there aren't good bands in these two genres, because some of my favorite bands find themselves categorized into these two genres. But unfortunately, and this is especially true for the emo/screamo genre, both are also full of bands whose sound is so generic you can't listen to more than one or two songs from their record without wanting to quickly switch away and listen to something else. While Emanuel's "Black Earth Tiger" is definitely an improvement from their debut "Soundtrack To A Headrush" which said absolutely nothing to me, it still isn't very good.

"But why?", I hear you ask. First of all, the band itself has recognized that it's at the bottom of a quickly sinking ship and out of desperation, it's trying to transform its sound to something that's been pretty stable in the last few years. Here I'm thinking about 'experimental' nu metal, bands like Deftones, Hopesfall and maybe even Glassjaw. Put those three bands together and voila, you have a sound that's roughly akin to the one you'll hear on "Black Earth Tiger". But as with all attempts to copy pioneering bands, the end result isn't satisfying at all.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little bit too harsh here. They don't really sound enough alike to those bands to be called copycats - for instance the scream/clean dynamic is something that you can clearly align to bands like Emery instead. But that doesn't help much.

The only positive thing I have to say about the album is that the band keeps their sound pretty tight and don't wonder towards a grander sound, which seems to be the escape strategy for many of their peers aboard the same ship. While the problem that's plaguing those bands is that their sound is far too forgettable, Emanuel suffer from a much bigger problem - they sound generic and, for the most part, boring as fuck, even if a few songs are pretty cool like "Scenotaph" and "Phobos". So go download those tracks and don't spend your money on the full album.


Download: Scenotaph, Phobos
For the fans of: Emery, Deftones, Hopesfall
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.08.2007

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