Released: Feb 15, 2011
Label: Victory Records
Number Of Tracks: 15
The album shines best in the experimental breaks, but the other material is strong and able to keep the listener engaged throughout the entire listen.
Speaker Of The Dead
I'mmaBaseball, on february 24, 2011 3 of 8 people found this review helpful
Sound: I've heard some people say that this album is a bit more experimental than Emmure's previous offering. To that I say, no offense to anyone who likes this band, but PUH-LEASE. The only "experimentation" I hear on this record are that the breakdowns (can they even be classified as songs?) are in different keys and tempos, Frankie Palmeri tries more than ever to sound like a horrible cross between Mitch Lucker (Suicide Silence, a superior deathcore band) and Fred Durst, and there's some "electronics" in there as well ("Lights Bring Salvation" being a notable example). The only things that closely resemble a song is "Area 64-66" and "A Voice from Below", in which there's about one riff in each followed by more breakdowns. For the most part though, this is the same cut-and-paste record Emmure have been making since they formed. There is no originality or innovation here, there is only chugging and breakdowns stretched out for almost forty minutes. // 2
Lyrics: Since there really isn't much to say about the music, I'll focus on the lyrics and vocals. Let me just get this out of the way, first and foremost... Frankie Palmeri is arguably one of the worst vocalist/lyricists today. Plain and simple. The guy seems out of touch with his world, which is perfectly understandable, but tries to make up for it with shallow lyrics about how much he hates his ex or how much he wants to fight people. For further proof of this, we turn now to "Drug Dealer Friend". ("I wanna watch you suck his d**k. I know you f**king love it b***h. Do you see me now? Look into my f**king eyes.") That's it. That's all the lyrics in a song, a song that is more than TWO MINUTES in length, mind you.
Regarding his more "deeper" songs, "Last Words To Rose" contain him talking to "Rose" through his persona, "M. Bison". Okay, so obviously he loves Street Fighter, that's fine. But Judas H. Priest, at least be more vague or sane about it. ("I am Bison and you are Rose sent here to destroy me. I am forced to leave you. This is Shadaloo.") It's not much better on the lead single, "Demons with Ryu". I know the reference I am about to make is from Mortal Kombat, but for the love of God, someone please perform a fatality on this poser.
To be fair though, there are a couple of good lyrics here and there, but good luck trying to figure out which ones he's reciting through his "gargling glass turned frat boy" vocals. Not much has changed for this guy since the last three breakdowns (sorry, I meant "albums"), other than he's more out of touch with the rest of the world, he likes Street Fighter and Transformers, and he's done even more to cement himself as one of the worst in the game. Scream, talk, repeat. NEXT! // 1
Overall Impression: Some of you reading this may think, "Boy, you're being pretty harsh about this record, aren't you? I bet you just hate them because it's the cool thing to do!" Yeah, let's totally excuse the fact that their music is unoriginal and uninspired, the vocals are ear-numbingly terrible, the lyrics are both confusing and meaningless, and the band carries a disgusting arrogance with their style. This is the new lowest common denominator for any kind of music, and is already my pick for worst album (of any genre) for 2011. Somewhere, Ryu is silently weeping... HADOUKEN! // 1
Speaker Of The Dead
ninjagayden777, on february 22, 2011 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Emmure are possibly most well known for their 2007 release Goodbye To The Gallows, looked upon as a metalcore gem. From that point on however, they have been displeasing fans with increasingly more mediocre albums. That trend has finally been broken with Speaker of the Dead, Emmure's 4th full length on Victory Records. The breakdowns are still there, but have much more atmosphere. The drumming is exceptional, and a little experimentation takes place in the form of electronic sampling. Speaker of the Dead may not be a complete return to form for Emmure, but if they proceed in this direction for album 5, the results will surely be promising. // 7
Lyrics: Vocalist Frank touches some fairly interesting ground with lyrics this time around. Gone are the slews of hate and revenge anthems (while a few remain), but in their place he experiments with some fairly odd topics. Areas 64-66 deals with the possibility of extraterrestrial life existing beyond our own realm, and the first single "Demons With Ryu" is a tribute to the classic fighting game Street Fighter. A few songs reflect older lyrical content, such as Dogs Get Put Down and Drug Dealer Friend, but for the most part the band has chosen some far more broad subject matter to wail and bellow of. // 8
Overall Impression: The album shines best in the experimental breaks (see Solar Flare Homicide and Bohemian Grove), but the other material is strong and able to keep the listener engaged throughout the entire listen. Overall my personal favorite songs are Dogs Get Put Down, Drug Dealer Friend, Eulogy of Giants, and 4 Poisons 3 Words. I would definately reccomend this album to anyone that appreciates heavy, sludgy music a la The Acacia Strain or Legend. // 9
Speaker Of The Dead
drugsrbadmkay16, on march 01, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Emmure's newest record has one of the most unique sounds I have heard in a very long time. It is, without question, the most revolutionary album the band has ever released. While it may not be the best, its new-and-improved sound and vision absolutely demolishes expectations I had, and quite frankly raises the standards for the genre. Each and every song on the record differs heavily from the previous, and yet they are all good. Emmure focuses a lot more on the "tech" aspect of the music this time around, and it really works. Are there still a LOT of breakdowns throughout the album? Yes. But this time around, they are controlled, and incorporated in the music much more naturally than before. They never feel forced, and they always sound fantastic and far from generic. You can almost feel them coming too, which is really cool. Like the songs themselves, the breakdowns are significantly different from one another. Some are very heavy, while others are very tech-oriented. It all depends on how the song sounds (other than awesome, of course). The unique sound of each and every song works really well along side the lyrics. Even before reading the lyrics, I could tell you at least vaguely what each song was about. That is extremely impressive. The only band I have any recollection of doing that successfully would be Whitechapel. Like always, you shouldn't even have the right to review anything by Emmure unless you've listened to them on a high quality Bose sound system with heavy distortion and bass settings. It's a different experience - believe me. Still, the album struggles in some areas. Overpowering guitar riffs are an issue on occasion, and the band does stray away from its roots at times. But all in all, this album is a masterpiece to the ear. // 9
Lyrics: Lyrically, Emmure has always been considered to be a failure. Frankie just doesn't have the intellect and natural creative ability to write beyond generically in my opinion. It has always been the band's biggest issue. While "Speaker of the Dead" is is not an exception, it still it is certainly improved from previous records. Frankie certainly worked a bit harder this time around, and the results are mixed. With that said, though, the music compliments the lyrics very well and forms a terrific sense of connection to the music. It works well enough to make it through, and I think we all know that we aren't listening to Emmure for the lyrics. Frankie's vocals are top notch as always, and probably a bit better in areas. While I know most people hate his vocal style, I think it works miracles with the band's sound, and this album does not count as an exception in my book. He certainly works hard at improving. // 7
Overall Impression: Is the album perfect? By no means. But it does what Emmure has failed to deliver on with their past two albums. It creates a terrific atmosphere for the listener, and just sounds so badass on every single track. Some songs certainly stand out more than others on the album, but each one has its own personality that has the ability to draw you in. Whether it be from the breakdowns, the vocals, or the intense emotion that can be found on some of the later tracks, each song has something that should take you off your feet. Give it a chance. I know most people are going to trash this review and give it thumbs up just for the score, but I don't care. I refuse to hate on a band that I find to be incredibly fun to listen to, regardless of how they may compare in talent. "Speaker of the Dead" is my favorite metalcore album at this moment, and I don't see that changing very soon.
Favorite Song: Bohemian Grove
Least Favorite Song: Eulogy of Giants // 9