After every member except vocalist Frankie Palmeri left at the end of 2015 it looked like EMMURE were finished. The band have faced a lot of harsh criticism throughout their career, some of it deserved but this looked like something Frankie couldn’t bounce back from. But now EMMURE are back with a brand new line up featuring members of GLASS CLOUD and THE TONY DANZA TAPDANCE EXTRAVAGANZA. So with this new line up EMMURE are ready to bounce back with their seventh full length album Look At Yourself.
From the first moments of opening track You Asked For It it is very clear this is still an EMMURE album. An breakdowns barrage of breakdowns backed with a nu metal attitude. Frankie Palmeri is still as angry as ever. Shinjuku Masterboard has Frankie asking if we think he gives a fuck, it’s the kind of tough guy lyricism that has been EMMURE‘s bread and butter from the very beginning. However it is delivered with 100% conviction as he mixes in screams and rapped vocals with so much attitude.
One area where they have grown this time is there are far less attempts to be edgy and generate controversy. This was the biggest downfall of their last album. So their are no song titles like Bring A Gun To School and the language used will be far less offensive to certain groups. It’s still not the most sensitive album out there but it seems more focused on letting the songs speak for themselves instead of relying on controversy to sell itself. Flag Of The Beast is the strongest moment on the album as Frankie tackles his critics and includes the albums most direct reference to his former band mates. By the time he screams “Hate me if it makes you feel better” it’s clear he has no interest in winning those who dislike him over.
That is something that is true about the album as a whole. Fans of EMMURE are sure to love every second of it as it’s certainly their strongest album since 2011’s Speaker Of The Dead but the album does nothing to win new fans over. Even with the new line up they stick so hard to their formula from the previous albums, the execution is just better. All the songs are condensed down and rarely last beyond two minutes meaning the pace never drops and the album doesn’t get too boring. It’s just a shame the whole thing sounds so uninspired. Even with the new band members background in tech-metal and mathcore they never get a chance to show this as instead the focus is on sheer brute force.
Look At Yourself certainly isn’t a terrible album. EMMURE have never been critical darlings but this album shows they can deliver a fairly enjoyable 30 minutes if you’re into the typical macho brutality present on a lot of deathcore albums. It’s just a huge shame that the album feels so safe and formulaic. Ice Man Confessions is the closest they get to taking a risk on this album but even then it sounds like nothing new. In the end the album is certainly going to please fans and EMMURE have clearly set out to please no one except their fans and themselves. They have certainly succeeded at that, but there is nothing here for everyone else.
Look At Yourself is set for release on March 3 via Sharptone Records.
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