14 April 2014
by Tomas Doyle
Let the record show it and let it show it clearly: the opening track on Emmure’s new album Eternal Enemies was due to be called ‘Bring A Gun To School‘. But, after some (understandable) backlash, on the final version of the Connecticut deathcore quintet ‘s sixth studio effort it is simply listed as ‘(Untitled)’. The question is left begging then – which one is it guys? Are you edgy controversialists who don’t give a mother fuck what people think, or the sort of band who coquettishly say Stuff That Will Get People’s Backs Up only to run away screaming when – surprise surprise – it gets people’s backs up. It’s a universal truth: the only thing worse than a shit-stirrer is a coward without the guts to stand by their shit-stirring ways.
There’s actually another certitude that’s clear beyond all doubt here too, and that is that Frankie Palmeri is a very angry man. Emmure’s vocalist has frequently talked about his less than ideal past and distaste for plenty of that which he sees around him; but if he is abundantly angry then he also comes off as abundantly, weepingly desperate to prove it. There is a track on here called ‘Free Publicity’ for Christ’s sake. Max Clifford, eat your fucking heart out.
So what about the rest of it? Well, there probably are some other songs on this disc but in all honesty trying to critically asses them against one another is like being made chief judge in a ‘which brick is the most intelligent’ competition. This is an album with an IQ so low that even the State of Texas would think twice before executing it.
And in the end that is a big part of the problem. The really great kings of controversy: Marilyn Manson, Eminem, GG Allin, all had either brilliant music or a fantasy world framework which you could buy into to their name (or, preferably, both). Emmure are so quotidian, so every day and so fatally lacking in musical spark that all this really comes down to is a bloke shouting into a mic about how shit his life is. Is that enough? Nope. Not even close.
Essentially, what you have here is quite a boring band who are very angry that things are not as they would wish them to be. In a bid to make up for their shortcomings they’ll say whatever they can to get some heads turning, even if it’s out of sheer disgust. In short, they are the m0sh metal Katie Hopkins. Basically then, what you need to figure out before you listen to the new Emmure record is this: Are you the sort of cunt that likes Katie Hopkins?
Sounds Like: Dull, misplaced rage
Standout Track: Bring A Gun To School