Although some bands in the modern metal scene understand what it is to write a good song (Bring Me the Horizon), other bands don’t sound like they’re really trying to do anything new and just throw in the same breakdown-after-breakdown formula again and again. Essentially, Emmure is just another one of those bands, differing slightly from other deathcore acts by the more frequent use of hardcore-style shouting and gang vocals instead of the typical growls.
The question though, is whether or not what they do that’s good is enough for them to beat the competition.
Alright.. Emmure don’t hesitate to get their message across with the opening track, Children of Cybertron – “How much more proof do you want? You can’t fuck with us, you can’t fuck with us!” And then they proceed to chug-chug at us for 15 more songs. This shit’s not easy to listen to; there are no breaks from the ear-pummelling.
The band do attempt to add emotion to some tracks, especially the album’s first single, Demons with Ryu; Bohemian Grave and Last Words to Rose – they have more of a teary feel, but for some reason, we just don’t feel it. The songs are still hammered full of guitar breakdowns and screaming that the emotion just isn’t a strong point.
It does sound promising though, and so do some new elements. In Solar Flare Homicide the band uses some kinda dubstep influence. In the wrong hands, this could be disastrous, but Emmure do it slyly, throwing in bass/synth wobbles between guitar chugs.
Fans of earlier albums may be disappointed by the lack of gang vocals and shouting, but Speaker of the Dead is definitely an overall improvement. The band is learning to focus their sound more, and has begun to stand out of the crowd. They’ve ditched the ridiculous song titles – R2DEEPTHROAT – and replaced them with things like A Voice from Below – it’s not great, but it’s not just stupid.
Speaker of the Dead keeps the Felony-esque, personal lyrics – “I’m probably the worst fuck you’ve ever had,” – Drug Dealer Friend’s main line is “I wanna watch you suck his dick/I know you fucking love it, bitch.” Although, they’re not as consistent.
But even if this album feels more serious, being significantly heavier too, Emmure do keep the humour around it – the whole song Demons with Ryu is about the character Ryu from Street Fighter, and features a “Round One – Fight!” sample near the end. Last Words to Rose is about Street Fighter also, and track 3’s title, Dogs Get Put Down is a line spoken by Rorschach in Watchmen.
This album is another case of breakdown stuffed deathcore. Although most songs are under the 3 minute mark, the chuggy guitars and Frankie Palmeri’s voice have well tired by the end of 15 of them.
The penultimate track, Lights Bring Salvation is even very reminiscent of a certain Suicide Silence song, the repeated scream of “Wake up, wake up!” … and we don’t really know what the band are trying to get across with Word of Intulo’s single repeated lyric – “We’re all gonna fucking die.”
However, at the moment, Emmure should probably be on your metalcore/deathcore wishlist for 2011. This stuff’s heavy and doesn’t back down, and also, it’s nice to have more of a change from other similar stuff, that’s so gloomy to listen to and constantly paints pictures of people dying in front of your eyes.
Even if Emmure could be doing better, they sure do what they can do well. And considering they’re touring soon – yeah, that’s gonna be pretty sick – then this album’s probably gonna be a great aid. And why shouldn’t it be?
Overall Rating: 7/10