Emmure has survived a massive facelift and are out with a fire*starter of a new record labelled “Look At Yourself” … of course. It’s no small joke running a band that can put their differences aside and still run a tight ship that sells records across the globe; many of the greats have lost at it. Ask Michael Keane of The Faceless, or Chris Letchford of Scale the Summit or Mark Hunter of Chimaira and Geoff Tate of…*ahem* and the list goes on and on. Wait! How is it that people can’t seem to get enough of Trent Reznor, that dude always has fresh, familiar faces collaborating with him, per album?! Never mind, let’s see how “Look At Yourself” even managed to be born, and be born so FREAKIN’ ANGRY!
I am not really upset or surprised with how pissed off the vocals and the guitars sound on the album. As stubborn as ever, Palmeri clings to his mic making his presence felt as the solitary founding member to see Emmure through to this day. In a way, the overall lyrical quality and the ridiculously down-tuned guitars will grow on you if you are not accustomed to breakdown-centric entire anthems. Roping in Joshua Travis and Phill Lockett (ex-Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza) and Josh Miller, Travis’s fellow member in Glass Cloud, seems to have worked wonders for Emmure’s sound. The album does not have a very long overall run time and does not move away from the formulaic sound writing which in Emmure’s case is a signature.
“Look At Yourself” does not go off the beaten path, so it should sit perfectly well with long time Emmure fans. The tracks are all beatdown-ish so you can feel the anger bubble out of your guts on “Shinjuku Masterlord” and finally start elbowing faces and takin’ names in the pit by the time “Natural Born Killers” reaches its peak! “Eternal Enemies” is not for those who would like their vocals to be no-frills, low as the underworld, and their guitars to be mapped throughout the tracklist! It’s not technical, it’s balls out Hardcore with a message about an unabashed comeback!
“Look At Yourself” makes use of familiar Emmure formulae like tracks that do not clock over the 3 minute mark usually and also use Palmeri’s creepy, raspy spoken voice and some Korn-esque spooky , clean guitar locking with precise bass note to inject some foreboding into the tracks. There are plenty electronic effects that layer over the rhythm section and bring forth some truly, modern, headbangworthy grooves! It goes without saying that having new co-conspirators who share an affinity for similar, downtuned, beatdown inspired Deathcore certainly does save your band, and also allows you to hit that comeback album nail on the head. Good for you, Mr. Palmeri, you stuck to the end-game when none but these new-comers stuck by you, and now you have the benefits of “Eternal Enemies” to reap from!
It may be pedantic to call “Look At Yourself” as NOT game changing material, however the record definitely does add some spirit to Emmure’s discography.
“No I don’t care what they want
I’ll never be what you want me to be
Don’t give a f–k what you think
Just get the f–k away from me.”
No, Emmure certainly doesn’t care much about what other people want them to be, and hopefully the new line-up speaks more for the band and its music than the public consensus. Emmure has made good music to warm up one’s fists and grit one’s teeth too, just make sure it doesn’t put you in a hoodie wearin’, permanent hulk-rage mode, that you end up karate kicking all of your friends out of your circle!!