Emmure – Slave To The Game by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs

Released: 10th April 2012

Insert Coin
She Gave Her Heart To Deadpool
I Am Onslaught
Bison Diaries
Cross Over Attack
Umar Dumps Dormammu
Blackheart Reigns
War Beings With You

Five albums in five years – either that’s some serious work ethic or Emmure aren’t too fussy about what they put out there, a bit like Nintendo when it comes to the moustachioed plumber.

Likewise, unfortunately it’s not until you’ve put your money on the line that you discover whether or not this is something worthwhile, or just another re-packaged set up.

Having swallowed said cash in clever opener ‘Insert Coin’, Slave To The Game opens proper with ‘Protoman’, which is pretty unsubtle about its I’m-out-here-on-my-own attitude. Full of frothing-at-the-mouth growls, it doesn’t suggest that the band have mellowed much in the last year, but it’s a promising start given its inclusion of melodic guitars giving all that rage something to hang on.

From here on in though it’s largely business as usual, with a nice big serving of deathcore for all. Despite the flack that Emmure have copped since defining their sound, Slave To The Game doesn’t vastly steer away from the band’s might-as-well-be-patented chugging breakdown style. At least they’re not bowing to external pressures like so many are prone to.

Calling it variety might be going a bit too far, but this time around Emmure have incorporated aspects of nu-metal , as in ‘Cross Over Attack’ – although it’s another ‘me-by-myself’ rant, and electronic samples, which unfortunately makes ‘Umar Dumps Dormammu’ sound like a slightly slow robot trying to complete a calculation. Likewise, on ‘Blackheart Reigns’ it appears someone may be trying to send morse code with a guitar. I like to think though that Emmure are having fun with it.

Aside from the opening number, the stand-out track is immediately ‘MDMA’, which brings back some melody, but really catches the ear because it actually sounds different to a lot of the other tracks, which quite easily roll into one another.
You can also argue that closer ‘A.I.’ does the same with its alien abduction guitars, but the electronics run away with it a bit. Thing is, it’s probably all a state of mind and perspective – if you’re royally pissed then Slave To The Game is the kind of cathartic soundtrack you’d maybe reach for.

On the whole Slave To The Game certainly feels like a sequel, and whilst that means for fans there’s something to buy into, for most others there’s not necessarily much to keep you here past the first level. Still the next one should be around soon enough.