Emmure: Speaker of the Dead

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Emmure: Speaker of the Dead
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Emmure: Speaker of the Dead
Deathcore
Victory Records
February 15th, 2011
Release length: 38:20
Myspace
Emmure has been a hit and miss act since their debut EP release in 2006. The band’s style has always been composing songs that essentially are Deathcore breakdowns throughout the entire song, and then implement a breakdown within the breakdown as well. While some people are against it, the band has obtained a strong following, and never really strayed from the sound they started out with, but managed to make their material much more solid and overall enjoyable to some extents. Speaker of the Dead marks the group’s fourth full-length recording, and many want to know if it’s going to be the same old Emmure, or if they are going to be changing things up on this release like many of their Deathcore style-mates.

For the most part, the band hasn’t really changed their sound, but everything feels like it moves much smoother then on some of their previous efforts, which is great. The music still retains the concept of all the tracks being more breakdown sounding then anything, but there are plenty that step outside the common interpretation of the band at times, such as “Demons with Ryu” which has a more traditional Deathcore feel to it instead of just expanding on the breakdown for the wqhole three plus minutes. The breakdown itself on this track, however, is also very well done and sounds fantastic, having a very haunting atmosphere to it that many others don’t quite capture, though the lead guitars during the next breakdown really stick out in an obnoxiously annoying way. These breakdowns are also performed in a much more fluid manner, typically just going into the song naturally, then coming back out, and almost all seem to pack the same intensity as the music that they are included in.

The songs on this recording aren’t the most impressive, but they’re good. Outside of a few tracks like “Demons With Ryu”, the songs come off with that technical Deathcore style of playing that bands like Whitechapel have started to make common, but in more of a breakdown tone. While some songs, like “Area 64-66” sound absolutely intense and heavy like this, carrying a lot of energy and just making you want to go into the mosh pit and declare war, songs like “Eulogy of Giants” come off rather bland and rather generic, though far from being bad. “Bohemian Grove”, however, makes for an interesting track with it’s much slower pace and the guitars adding an element atmosphere that is a little haunting, but sadly only used during the chorus. Many of the songs also sound similar, but there’s enough variety to them in the guitars and vocals to show that they aren’t the same song. For example, “Last Words to Rose” and “Solar Flare Homicide” both have the technical Deathcore guitarwork and the general sound that Emmure has that feels like the whole thing is a breakdown, and then there’s “A Voice from Below”, which has more of a Melodic Death Metal infleunce going on with some great two stepping of traditional Metalcore. The vocals sometimes can feel like it’s going into rap, but doesn’t really ever cross that bridge, and also appears in other songs like the follwing track “Drug Dealer Friend”, and the chorus is far more addicting due to it’s melodic nature then some of the other songs. However, in a sense this works as they feel like the songs are just continuing on in a conceptual pattern at times.

There honestly isn’t anything to truly say about this album that’s negative, as every negative aspect has a positive aspect to counter it. Speaker of the Dead is simply a good album and nothing more. The music has is all typically well done, but it offers nothing that really stands out. The repetition is perhaps the biggest issue for the release. It’s the kind of album that, if you heard it once, you won’t really want to hear it again right away, but still packs enough of an impact to hold on to for a rainy day. The music never really goes past the mid-tempo, and the vocals are pretty much always the same, never really adding any range and coming off very monotone outside the random shouting that sounds more Rap inspired then anything. But at the same time, it all flows together nicely and feels like many tracks were done like that on purpose. It’s a mixed bag of emotions in the long run, but it’s not frustrating, and the breakdowns aren’t bad at all, in fact some are well done and really enjoyable, once in a while more entertaining then the actual song. The production quality is also top notch, the album feels heavily bass driven that gives it a heavy, crushing feeling, and that’s another perk to the release as it’s something many bands seem to lack or not really focus on. In the end, there’s nothing more to say other then they put a good album together, the production is good, and that’s it. It’s good. Nothing spectacular, jaw dropping, or entirely motivational at times, but just a well done album from a band that sounds professional and confident in their soun.

All together, the album is enjoyable. Some songs do feel lacking and ultimately come off as filler, but it’s only a few. The majority of the release is solid Deathcore that shows the band using their talents to display the love of breakdowns nicely. The non-technical tracks on the release are perhaps the most impressive though, and offer enough of a varying change in the flow of the music to keep the listener happy from start to finish. Fans of Emmure will enjoy the album and that the band is sticking to what they know best, though these songs that stray from the steple path of the band show a much stronger band underneath that feels like it’s dying to break out. While the music is solid, it often become repetitive, and the main factor to aid that is the songs manage to feel entwined somehow from one to another, as if a conceptual piece where the songs don’t really end, but do for the sake of subject matter. It’s worth checking out, as it’s a huge step up from their earlier material, but it’s still not the most enthusiastic, lacking energy on plenty of tracks, and becomes just another well done performance of staple material and nothing more.

01. Children of Cybertron – 1:34
02. Area 64-66 – 2:33
03. Dogs Get Put Down – 3:04
04. Demons With Ryu – 3:02
05. Solar Flare Homicide – 3:50
06. Eulogy of Giants – 1:53
07. 4 Poisons 3 Words – 2:57
08. Cries of Credo – 2:44
09. Last Words to Rose – 2:55
10. A Voice from Below – 1:58
11. Drug Dealer Friend – 2:38
12. My Name is Thanos – 2:09
13. Lights Being Salvation – 2:27
14. Word of Intulo – 1:15
Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Emmure
Emmure

Digital review copy of this release provided by Victory Records.