Emmure – Look At Yourself

Rating: 2.5/5
Distributor/Label: Sharptone Records
Distributor/Label URL: https://www.sharptonerecords.co/artist/emmure
Released: 2017
Buy Album: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Look-At-Yourself-Emmure/dp/B01MR2YPMX/nuclblas-21
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/emmure


Band Line-up:

Frankie Palmeri – Vocals,
Joshua Travis – Guitar,
Phil Lockett – Bass,
Josh “Baby J” Miller – Drums.

Track Listing:

1. You Asked For It
2. Shinjuku Masterlord
3. Smokey
4. Natural Born Killer
5. Flag Of The Beast
6. Ice Man Confessions
7. Russian Hotel Aftermath
8. Call Me Ninib
9. Major Key Alert
10. Turtle In A Hare Machine
11. Torch
12. Derelict
13. Gucci Prison


Frankie Palmeri’s EMMURE seem to run roughshod through the metal world. For a myriad of, at times, inexplicable reasons, the band seems to be fodder for being ragged on. Think of them as the metal world’s equivalent of NICKELBACK – doing nothing inherently wrong, but still being the subject of snide comments and thuggish mickey-taking. Yet the band is entirely resilient to any and all barbs, and even a total lineup change. And so we have their seventh offering, “Look At Yourself”.

If you’re a fan of the chug-fest brand of deathcore that’s a direct descendent of late 90’s nu-metal but amped-up on steroids and Monster energy drink, then “Look At Yourself” will be so far up your street you’ll practically be neighbours. Right from the get-go of “Shinjuku Masterlord”, EMMURE’s stall is set out and unwavering to every adverse condition that it could be subject to. Boorish riffs are married to aggressive, confrontational lyrics spat out with the sort of pent-up fury that can be expected from a man whose backing band up and left him (see “Russian Hotel Aftermath” for a musical retelling of the story), whilst the rest of the world knocked him for it.

Where the blind fury and aggression present in “heavier” subgenres such as death or black metal, there’s an unparalleled level on display in “Look At Yourself”. The undercurrent of introspection and defiance is evident throughout the record, but it’s somewhat startling just how aggressive this is. Palmeri’s outlet is through the band and there is a great deal of catharsis within these thirteen tracks. One can imagine Palmeri was able to rest easy once the recording was done on this record.

It certainly helps that his new men producing the raucous goods provide a mighty platform for him to bellow his frustrations. But for an ounce of originality, this would stand out far higher than most. The 90s nu-metal influences are as apparent as a tattoo to the forehead (with the KORN-esque squeaks and squeals in “Ice Man Confessions” harking back to the Bakersfield fivesome’s heyday), whilst the relentless syncopated deathcore riffs bore a rough and bloody hole in the skull. It is done well, but it’s also been done before and often leaves a cold impression after the thirty-minute aural riot lets up.

Yet you get the impression that this album will go over a physical riot in the pits. It begs to be headbanged to and one can easily see the hardcore dancing being particularly lethal. EMMURE fans will love this album for the aggression and no-holds-barred approach that is a hallmark of Palmeri and his charges. There may not be an awful lot for others to latch onto, but it will most likely wind up a fan-favourite and that will be all that matters to the band.

Review by: Lee Carter