Speaker of the Dead

01. Children of Cybertron
02. Area 64-66
03. Dogs Get Put Down
04. Demons With Ryu
05. Solar Flare Homicide
06. Eulogy of Giants
07. Bohemian Grave
08. 4 Poisons 3 Words
09. Cries of Credo
10. Last Words To Rose
11. A Voice From Below
12. Drug Dealer Friend
13. My Name Is Thanos
14. Lights Bring Salvation
15. Word of Intulo

[Victory Records]

By now Emmure should automatically trigger something in your brain. Whether it’s a psychological defense mechanism that makes Korn sound as good as Atheist or just pure, unbridled rage and anger, there should be some sort of kneejerk reaction to this six letter travesty. If, however, this does not happen simply because you don’t know who they are, then let me explain. Imagine the most uncreative, derivative musicianship that revolves around chugging and notoriously generic breakdowns. Then add a minute amount of vocal talent that gets wasted by horrible “talking” passages and you have Emmure

So, Speaker of the Dead, Emmure’s 4th album. Four albums usually means you have a pretty decent career and are worthy of resigning and making albums, but keep in mind this is their fourth album in a 5 year timespan. Yes, in a world where the standard is every other year, Emmure have vomited a whopping four albums since 2007. Its gotten to the point that records to Emmure is like babies to whores. Fathoming how they make so many albums is nigh impossible because they’re certainly “worthy” enough for Victory Records to be their label and there is certainly a “demand” to see them live. Then again, you probably only need a week or two to write the material. All this aside, there is good news! Speaker of the Dead is…

… less shitty than the last album!

Indeed! Hell, maybe even less shitty than album before that. Don’t get me wrong here: this is still auditory suicide. But when no song has that infamous rapping from 2009’s Felony you know it’s going to be better. Still, Emmure is famous for a reason and they certainly couldn’t live that down here. Breakdowns that transition to even more breakdowns before concluding on a breakdown is the bread and butter here. In fact, its so formulaic that across the span of these four albums they must have seriously recycled the same riff or breakdown multiple times. What keeps people from noticing this bullshit and buying into their awful music is the gimmicks. Oh yeah, the gimmicks. No sandwich consisting of purely bread & butter (with the crust cut off) is complete without some gimmicks. Annoying whammy bar squealing sections plague almost every song. If you’re familiar with the past two albums then you know what I’m talking about. The only difference is they’re artificial as fuck and I can’t tell half the time if it’s the guitar or a synth. But that’s not all. “Solar Flare Homicide” contains dubstep wobbling. Yes, as if you had any more reason to hate how overcommercialized its become after Britney Spears“Hold It Against Me”, Emmure have stooped to a new low.

On a more serious note, Speaker of the Dead‘s biggest flaw is that the music lacks any sort of discernible identity. Who is this band? What is there to care about in this music? Where is the depth? It took two listens to digest everything this album had to offer and that’s it. As if the music wasn’t bad enough, the amount of tracks on this trite depreciates each song even more. Very few albums have 15 songs and still manage to be good. Putting forth the effort into a smaller handful of tracks is much better than recycling ad nauseam. Emmure as a band make no effort to at least progress in the slightest. It’s a new level of stagnation that depends entirely on spewing the same contrived drivel over and over because these talentless hacks can’t even muster the balls to at least attempt something different. Yet people STILL buy into this. It’s sickening, disgusting and what ultimately makes the band offensive.  Conversely, the case could be made that this music shouldn’t be examined beyond the superficial. After all, it’s just “fun music”, isn’t it? No, fuck that. Music is an expression of the mind, body and soul in a format that fits one of our five senses. If your delivery is flat, lifeless and reeks of apathy, why would I not be indignant? It doesn’t have to be introspective and thought-provoking, it just needs to be good.

Fortunately (or unfortunately?), there are two “positives” to the album. Firstly, the vocals. They’re tolerable. However, once Frankie starts going off on his lyrically immature and childish tangents (“I wanna watch you suck his dick”, “Who the fuck you gonna call?”, all of “4 Poisons 3 Words”) things go from tolerable to abysmal. This isn’t even factoring the whiny, emo and soulless talking sections. Easily the worst attempt at multi-faceted vocals that provide absolutely no contrast whatsoever. Secondly, “Drug Dealer Friend” is less bad than the rest. Despite starting off like a horrible Limewax song and containing everything I hate about this album, there is visible conviction behind the music. You would expect “Last Words To Rose”, the ballad-y emotional track, to be more genuine, but when listening to an Emmure album all expectations are off.

It seems like every year the definition of deathcore becomes more and more muddled. Long gone are the days when a band had to incorporate actual death metal into their music to be considered deathcore. It’s hard to say its departure is missed because the genre has only had a handful of good bands (if even that), but its more so the fact that garbage like Emmure can even be in the same realm as death metal. You know, an actual genre with actual history and amazing bands. One could argue that Emmure is metalcore/hardcore, but even still this applies. Thus, I hereby decree that all pseudo-heavy breakdown-centric bands be called “brocore” and are forever banished from associating with deathcore, hardcore or metalcore.

Speaker of the Dead is the living embodiment of everything wrong with this medium today and should be avoided at all costs, unless masochism or sadism is up your alley. Apparently it was for me.

Emmure – Speaker of the Dead gets…


– MK

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