Now, it has been a minute since Emmure has released a project packed with new tunes: since 2017 to be exact. With that in mind, once there was word that the band was coming back swinging in 2020, the hype for the new record started to brew. So, let’s dive in to see if this album was worth the wait. From the jump of this record, it is apparent that the band was going to pull out all the stops in a twisted way. Let’s look into that. So, the band provides their harsh and edgy approach to instrumentals- they are heavy, they are loud, and they scream “I want to rage”. That approach is nothing new for the band, and that was exciting to hear on the album, but the band includes these moments in a few ways: either authentic or glossed. Throughout the make, it is apparent that the band is heavily relying on new uses of music technology to bend pitches and create this ominous journey. With that being said, when sitting and listening to the record from front to back it almost feels as if the album is fading in and out in terms of style, for some moments are to the wall intense, and others are filled with this musical rendition of static. This inclusion can work if it’s occurrence makes sense in terms of progression, but in terms of this record: it doesn’t always feel congruent. Overall, I am giving this album a 3.5 out of 5 stars, for there are moments that really place one in the good ole days of metal-alternative music through the Emmure lens, but there are other moments that just leave the audience stunted. It is not a bad move to stunt the listener, but some of the time, it just doesn’t fit the scope as perfectly as it could, musically speaking.
“203”, “Persona Non Grata”, and “Informal Butterflies”
These works stick out when listening to the record as a whole, for they are the ones that provide the best blend of electronics, old-school metal-alternative influences, and overall contrast from instrumentals to vocal lines. A lot of the selections on the album don’t necessarily bop; rather, they provide major highs and lows that either shock/engage the audience, or they feel passive. These tracks drive those heightened moments to keep the listener’s attention, which places them ahead of the rest in the make.
When first glancing at the art on the cover, it is notable that it seems to fit the aesthetic of the band’s characteristic sound. This will incline listeners to give the record a spin before hearing anything that falls on the inside. When connecting the image to the actual music, I would say that the connection in quite strong. The cover is quite minimal in nature: there is a figure starring at the audience, the image of the face is blurred with smears of black as well as broken TV alterations to view, which makes the perception fuzzy. This is substantial to the music that is found in the make, for the majority of the tracks speak to the audience, for it feels as if the band is speaking, directly, to the listener throughout each selection. Additionally, the band relies heavily on this mix of sound that is true to the metal alternative scene as well as an electronic approach. This use of altered and twisted sound, connects to the blurry nature of the album artwork. In general, I would say that the two work well on their own, but once the relationship between the two is made: the record is elevated in some regards, for the overall theme resonates more.
*”Hindsight” was released on June 26th, 2020 through SHARPTONE.