If you have any sort of interest in metal, or more specifically deathcore/metalcore, you’ll be familiar with Emmure. Loved and reviled in equal measure, they’ve become whipping boys for modern metal and rather unfairly the butt of many a joke, in spite of the fact that their music can often be fairly enjoyable. With that in mind you’ll undoubtedly have heard about everyone in the band, sans vocalist Frankie Palmeri, leaving spontaneously and being replaced by most of Glass Cloud. Which brings us to the latest news: the release of a new single called “Torch”. Presumably this song will be featured on an as yet unannounced album, but I still have certain expectations and hopes for that album when it arrives.
It’s no secret that Emmure, like most 21st century metal bands, have built their back catalogue on a solid foundation of breakdowns. Although elitists may sneer, a breakdown is an effective tool to use to inspire moshing in a live setting, and it all works on an almost universal principal that a simple yet catchy rhythm can relate to anyone. I’d like to see the band take this percussive element and see if they can apply it to other instruments other than the guitar: could they use a bass to hash out rhythms (like Korn do)? Could they utilise a range of percussion instruments?
Different Guitar Work
Now that the band has recruited Josh Travis (formerly of Glass Cloud and The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza), part of me really hopes that he brings his own inventive approach to playing the guitar to Emmure. Blending his mathcore background and a few guitar eccentricities could really shake up the Emmure sound and give fans a different spin on the style that they’ve come to expect.
As I stated earlier, Emmure rely heavily on a soundtrack of bruising breakdowns in order to elicit a physical response from their fans in a live setting. Perhaps the best way to achieve such an outcome would be to look to hardcore music, and how those bands inspire crowdsurfers, two-steppers and moshers alike- namely through their varied use of tempos and time changes. So instead of an album of mid-tempo sluggers, how about a few fast thrashy numbers and slow, sludgy crawling tracks?
Comic Book Lyrics
Fans of Emmure will probably familiar with frontman Frankie Palmeri’s love of video games, comics and films, which have at times filtered into the lyrics. I think the better Emmure songs focus on characters and narratives to engage the listener, and I’d enjoy hearing Frankie draw from those interests to craft a more engaging listening experience.
A big part of what made new single “Torch” enjoyable was its use of dynamics. There wasn’t a brick wall of breakdowns to flatten the listener, rather the heavier parts were interspersed with moments of ambience and melody that ebbed and flowed. Applying that approach to their work gives the listener an opportunity for respite from the sledgehammer assault the band normally offers, as well as hopefully providing a more rounded album.
And What I Don’t Want… Bad Lyrics
I’ll be blunt about this- there is nothing enjoyable about lyrics that are offensive or derogatory and its uncomfortable. When Frankie Palmeri says that he’s turned over a new leaf lately, I hope that includes leaving his previous lyrical subjects behind.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What are you anticipating or dreading? Feel free to leave a comment, like this blog post, like the Facebook page , follow the Pinterest page, and follow this blog for more content.