RIYLThe Acacia Strain
Bury Your Dead
Tracklist1. Insert Coin
3. She Gave Her Heart to Deadpool
4. I Am Onslaught
5. Bison Diaries
7. Cross Over Attack
8. Umar Dumps Dormammu
9. Blackheart Reigns
11. War Begins With You
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Emmure has had an interesting string of albums over the past six years, releasing five full lengths in that time period. While not a great effort by any means, their debut, Goodbye to Gallows, turned some heads and showed potential even if it was a rip off of The Acacia Strain. Unfortunately everything went downhill from there, further and further into nu-metal territory with Respect Issue and Felony. Then, last year’s Speaker of the Dead showed signs of the band channeling their hardcore roots again, albeit in a limited fashion. That brings us to their newest release, Slave to the Game, which is a continuation of Emmure trying to find a balance between hardcore and nu-metal.
Slave to the Game has a promising start with ”Protoman.” The initial verses aren’t much different than what Emmure has done in the past, but when the band infuses melodic leads over the choruses, the song really begins to take shape, giving hope that the rest of the album will at least be tolerable. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the rest of the listening experience becomes annoying very quickly.
The melody seen in the first track is overtaken by hoards of absurdly down-tuned breakdowns masked as verses and choruses throughout each song. When this style of songwriting is used to this extent, every track blends together and the album becomes unlistenable. The cheesy lyrics and embarrassingly executed spoken word parts don’t help matters either, giving us more evidence that Emmure will remain a bunch of tools for the foreseeable future. However, there are a few bright moments towards the end of Slave to the Game, with “MDMA” and “War Begins with You,” but most people probably won’t make it that far through the album to even hear them.
Emmure’s problems with teetering the line between nu-metal and hardcore continue to plague their albums and this newest release is just another log to throw into the fire. The question still remains though: is Emmure that clueless about how bad their music is or are they in on the joke? With five albums under their belts and over 300,000 fans on Facebook, I’d say the joke is on us.