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Album Reviews : Emmure – Look At Yourself

By on March 2, 2017

123I’m on record (probably) as saying that deathcore is my fast food; it’s dependable, never truly that horrible, never exceedingly great, and universal wherever you come into contact with it. Emmure’s Look At Yourself is the Hungry Jack’s promotion of deathcore. Or the Taco Bell. Or the Wendy’s. I’m not sure which one is your favourite, or why, but what I’m saying is the new Emmure album is really, very, shockingly good. Don’t come into this thinking it’s art, though. This might be 2017’s Limp Bizkit; it’s a joyous and heavy refinement of everything you either already love or loathe. Me personally, I love it; I grew up on nu metal, so rap and funky guitar tones are now in my DNA, and I just can’t get past that R’n’B tempo groove.

The first noticeable thing is that Franky’s admittedly unique-but-largely terrible vocals have taken some massive steps forward. His screams are thicker, his raps are clearer and more tonal, and his “crazy talking bits” have more authenticity than I ever remember hearing. Even the lyrics are an improvement. I was not expecting this much self-reflection and earnestness from a man who once penned the line “I want to watch you suck his dick.”

One impressive aspect of the vocals, and I’m honestly not even sure if he knows he’s done this, is how they manage to create light and shade in what is very often a boring and dynamic-less genre. Djent/deathcore/whatever has the problem that the different sections of a song can all have the same level of intensity, and can start to sound like a moshy mush of white noise. Emmure side step that by having the vocals set the tone; if he’s quietly rapping, the djent riff in the background can’t help but feel a little more restrained or weaker, and when he finally belts out some screams, it brings the rest of the song along with him. It’s subtle and impressive.

The other major part of this CD which has me super excited is the fact that, after every single member quit and left Franky as a solo vocalist, Emmure’s musicians are now comprised of the main song writer from The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganze, their old drummer, and the bass player from Glass Cloud (which was essentially Tony Danza v2.0). TDTDE are one of my favourite bands of all time (and Glass Cloud are ok I guess) and fuck me if some of the songs on here don’t sound like the Danza album we never got. I’m not sure how many songs they actually, but Look At Yourself sounds like deathcore written by proper musicians, who care, and want shit to be better than passable. So while I love this record inside and out, what I’m really keen on is hearing the album Emmure come out with once the band are settled and comfortable with everyone. You have to be in the right mood for this CD. If you’re an elitist snob who can’t abide rap over guitar, then piss off to your blogpost where I’m sure the world is waiting for your next hot take on Babymetal. But if you’re looking to chuck a mosh, if you’re looking to take something a lil seriously for a lil while (but you’re able to recognise just how dumb it really is), if you’re wanting some background heaviness while you wash up, you’ll dig this CD.

I have listened to it at least twice a day since I got it; there are enough subtleties and interesting quirks to keep the machismo and boorishness from getting overwhelming. It’s great. I love it. It’s helped me reach new PB’s at the gym and reconnect with my dad. Just don’t go exploring their discography. Start and stay here.

Band: Emmure
Album: Look At Yourself
Year: 2017
Genre: Deathcore
Label: SharpTone Records
Origin: United States


Mitch is a 26 year old vegan, socialist, atheist, utilitarian, reductionist metalhead, stand up comedian and philosophy major that hates labels. When he isn't being politely ignored at dinner parties he's being politely ignored on comedy nights around the country.