It’s fair to say that whilst deathcore and metalcore have never been the most widely praised and respected of genres, a band such as Emmure has been a whipping boy even within their respective scene. Whether its their own particular brand of breakdown-heavy metalcore/deathcore, their line of offensive merch, or just frontman Frankie Palmeri’s shenanigans, most metal fans could summon up a reason for disliking them. And whilst it’s very easy for anyone to disparage their music or their fans, I’m going to take the more difficult route on this one and say: “You know what? I enjoy listening to Emmure, and I’m not afraid to say so.”
Bands such as Emmure and their ilk have long been a target for vitriolic comments and criticisms. One such repeated accusation is that they don’t possess any sort of merit or worth. This isn’t really much of a claim, as all bands have their own merit- and whilst it may not be apparent or obvious to you, it will be to someone else. To me, Emmure are the type of band that deals in unfussy and uncomplicated music that is no frills and straight to the point. They satisfy that need for when you want an aggressive soundtrack for some good dumb fun. Sure, they may not be mind-blowing musical geniuses with progressive influences (and they’ve never claimed to be), but that’s ok- not everything in life has to be serious and has to rigidly stick to others definitions of ‘metal’ and ‘not metal’.
They’re also fun when performing live. Whilst their music isn’t necessarily meant to be listened to for quiet contemplation, it is the ideal soundtrack for a good ol’ mosh. The almost nu-metal style swagger of their breakdowns moves you in a very primal and animalistic way: you’ve got to move and swing your fists to it. They’re the thinking man’s deathcore, as long as the man in question thinks like a savage Neanderthal. And that’s just fine. The joy of metal music is that it’s so diverse that it can be anything- and if just so happens to be simple but effectively brutal then that’s totally fine.
If there’s one downside to be said about listening to Emmure, it is that the impact of their songs doesn’t work well if you listen to large quantities of them at a time. I tend to think of our musical consumption like a diet of sorts: if prog is your vegetables (essential but not always appetizing), and metal is your protein, then I feel as though Emmure would be a McDonald’s burger. Sure, the quality isn’t phenomenal, but it does its job of satisfying your hunger/cravings- especially when you’ve had a few alcoholic beverages too. As an occasional treat its enjoyable (a few singles here and there, an album on occasion), but a diet solely of Emmure probably wouldn’t be particularly healthy.
In spite of this, I will still profess to being a fan of Emmure. I enjoy them- and if that makes you ‘not a trve metal fan’, then so be it. Life’s too short to be worrying what others think about your tastes- you should embrace them, guilt-free, for they are distinctly your own tastes. And whose to say that perhaps with the addition of three new members (Josh Travis on guitar, Phil Lockett on bass and Josh Miller on drums), Emmure may actually produce some solid tunes that will change the naysayer’s verdicts.
What do you think? Are you an Emmure fan and proud? Or are you vehemently against them? Feel free to leave a comment, like this post, and follow this blog for more posts.