Emmure - The Respect Issue
There's metal, then there's heavy metal, then there's just heavy. Emmure are blatantly heavy, like a sledgehammer laid down swiftly atop the skull. Their sound is a monsterous thing on The Respect Issue, an album that rises up from the pits of pure metalcore to deliver a more sinister, grinding, almost doom-metal paced brand of weight. Unfortunately, the album bogs itself down a bit too much to be considered anything but decent.
There's a variety in the constant blastbeat nature of the band that has to be attributed to solid songwriting; never do the songs linger in one place for too long, quite easily shifting from a mid-paced break into a harrowing and bitter dual-guitar melody, or vice-versa. They also use as example of their creativity some fantastic vocals and lyrics, while the latter may be somewhat contrived the words fit the music perfectly. And I'll say this for the band, Frankie Palmeri has a vicious throat. Really spiteful, aggressive and soundly comfortable switching up from the deepest growl to the sharpest shriek. The music works on all levels you'd expect from a solid metalcore album; the only problem is the style wears so heavy on one's ears that by the time you're halfway through, you might feel like you've heard enough. It's an album that can be challenging to listen to all the way through despite it's rather economic length (less than a half hour). This might just be a compliment in disguise, but the massive amounts of thrashy metal they dose out will leave even the most seasoned headbangers with a bit of a hangover.
Really a small complaint for a pretty darn good release from Emmure. Their debut release may or may not have hit these same notes, I'm not sure. What really matters here though is that The Respect Issue is a worth-while metal album that will remind the listener of Meshuggah, Misery Index and a host of others. Extreme, slightly mathy and always gripping you by the throat, Emmure make a powerful statement here that will need to be followed up by something even bigger if they expect to reach that coveted next level.
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