Ok folks! Stretch out, get that sick new Attila jersey out from the wash, open up your bedroom pit, and crowd walk your sister’s friends cause Emmure are finally back to bring you the album a few people from your high school are still totally stoked for!
All joking aside (well, half joking), Emmure had been on my radar since 2009’s Felony, but I only delved in when they released the “Solar Flare Homicide” single off Speaker Of The Dead in 2011. I took a liking to their unapologetic “bro-core” style by keeping my expectations manageable and simply accepting it for what it was: a series of fuuuucking heavy breakdowns with slight fariations and the occasional spoken vocal line.
Look At Yourself sees Emmure falling in line with the many greats who never deviated from their initial formula and simply gave their fans exactly what they wanted, and what they wanted was apparently another full album’s worth of breakdowns with only brief respites interspersed throughout.
To be clear, this album is PUMMELING. Hell, it’s probably going to stay in my workout mix for months! Yet sadly I still probably won’t be able to differentiate many of the songs from one another. What this album does have amidst the (sic) mosh breakdowns, dissonant chord squeals, bounce riffs, and high school-level angsty lyrical content are some great moments which help keep the whole thing from becoming one big homogenous mess.
I did appreciate the interesting uses of electronic and atmospheric elements throughout the record, which gave off a very eerie vibe and added a little more depth to some of the riffs. “Flag Of The Beast” and “Ice Man Confessions” sound like what Korn would have written if they spent a summer touring with The Acacia Strain. Granted, even some of the breakdowns are memorable; but I feel after twenty years I’ve capped my “Dunbar’s number” for them. I don’t know when Frankie started rapping full lines on albums, but it seems to work really well with the music, adding some nice variation to his overall vocal performance. Personally, I think his flow leaves something to be desired, but that’s just me.
I’m happy to take my constructive criticism shots at them, but in reality this album is actually great for what it is: unapologetically heavy, just catchy enough when it needs to be, and tailored to a very specific audience (their own). These songs are sure to slay in a live setting, and I’m sure they were written with that in mind.
Written by Paul Ablaze
*edited by Kate Erickson