Black Earth Tiger review by Emanuel

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  • Released: Aug 6, 2007
  • Sound: 2
  • Lyrics: 1
  • Overall Impression: 2
  • Reviewer's score: 1.7 Junky
  • Users' score: 7.7 (19 votes)
Emanuel: Black Earth Tiger

Sound — 2
Please say it ain't so Vagrant Records. The label, which has one of the best acts today, The Hold Steady, also has this act, Emanuel, one of the most boring and indistinctive bands in recent history. Even the band's name, which was shortened from Emanuel Nice, says please try to distinguish us from the multitude of other hard rock/emo/wimp metal/screamo bands vying unsuccessfully for your attention with first name names. Put aside the lackluster name and you're still left with a band that sounds like all of these bands that try to appeal to both the wanna-be punksters and wanna-be metalheads. Emanuel's attitude is if Fall Out Boy can do it, so can we. The problem is that Fall Out Boy, despite what you may think about them, have achieved and maintained a high level of success because they have been able to separate themselves from this lump of bands by being just a little different, both image-wise and on record. The bands, such as Emanuel, that try to share Fall Out Boy's success by imitating them only put themselves more in the lump's center. Remember back to when grunge first became popular in the early '90s because of successful records by Seattle bands Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Well, Emanuel would be Bush. Actually, that would be a compliment since those bands have at least a few decent tunes. They would be more like Candlebox, a band everyone loved to hate until Creed and Nickelback came along. Emanuel's second album, Black Earth Tiger, is apparently a big improvement over their debut album, Soundtrack to a Headrush, according to the press material Vagrant Records included with the album. I haven't heard their debut, but if Vagrant is correct, then that must be one of the worst albums of all time, judging it based on the quality of Black Earth Tiger. Black Earth Tiger captures Emanuel attempting to be both an emo and screaming metal band. Nearly every song contains a verse chorus verse structure that starts as emo for the verse and then moves on to screaming choruses by lead singer Matt Breen, followed by another emo verse. After more than a dozen listens to this repetitive structure, nothing stands out for me. In fact my favorite song on the album is the two minute Whiteflag (Intro), which begins the album. This song doesn't contain the band's trademark sound that is found throughout the rest of the album, instead it is just a short intro that slowly builds to the next song Cottonmouth.

Lyrics — 1
I feel kind of bad for the instrument players in Emanuel. They have the chops to do much better. But being behind Breen, who is the main songwriter of the band, is a huge disservice to their skills. His vocals don't add anything to the group, and his lyrics are even worse. F--k the world is the main line in My Antapex that gets repeated over and over. People hearing this uninspired angst will more likely be sympathetic to the world than Breen and his dribble. The rest of the lyrics on Black Earth Tiger are no better.

Overall Impression — 2
Based on Black Earth Tiger, Emanuel won't leave much of an impression on listeners. If the band gets another shot at recording another album, they should pick a genre, instead of two, and then diversify their sound while staying within that genre. By doing this they may gain some loyal genre fans -- the fans that provide the necessary foundation for any successful band.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This album was a HUGE disappointment...their first album was amazing though, cant say anything bad about it. I still enjoy Scenotaph off this album .
    i suppose this album gives a bad name to the people around the Louisville area such as myself. As i said before when they were in the general news, Louisville and the surrounding areas are predominantly a metal scene.
    how can ug comment on how poor the band is when they havent heard their debut?? aint heard this album yet, hope it isnt as bad as the reveiw paints it to be.
    Awful awful review, I can't ****ing stress that enough, just an awful review. No one gives a shit about your opinion on the band's name, you're hear to review the sound on the album period. and the comments you do make on the album itself are vague and highly narrow minded
    couldn't agree more. i've never heard of this band but what a garbage review. you spit nothing but verbal diarrhea. and i think you're the only person who "hated" candlebox. your view on people disliking them is beyond incorrect. please don't suscept us to another one of your linguistic trash reviews ever again.
    This is one of the worst reviews I've ever read. First off, you have no business judging Soundtrack to a Headrush since you've never listened to it. Second, in no way can you justify comparing this band with Fall Out Boy...they're too different. And third, "spread your legs and f**k the world" is from Scenotaph, not My Antapex. Get your songs straight. I don't know if you normally review albums, but you should probably stick to just leaving comments on them from now on, because you clearly don't know enough about this band to be a critic.
    "Emanuels attitude is if Fall Out Boy can do it, so can we." Have you ever even heard Fall Out Boy? They are NOTHING like Emanuel. Next time you write a review try for some constructive comments that are actually useful to someone who might want to check the band out. That is, the point after all.
    ha. okay, i saw them live a while ago and i personally liked them quite a bit... better than some other bands out there, i can tell you that. i havent bought the album yet, but from what they played off of it, i enjoyed it quite a bit.
    Okay first, Soundtrack To A Headrush was definitely a better album than Black Earth Tiger not the other way around. Second DON'T give a review if you don't know enough about the band which you clearly didn't. Third where the f*** did you get that Emanuel is like Fall Out Boy did you even listen to Emanuel. And Black Earth Tiger still had some good songs on it like "Cottonmouth","Scenotaph" and "Phobos". So just leave the reviews to people who know what their doing okay?
    the guy that wrote this review isnt very smart, its not the best album, but if ur gonna dis it u might want to get ur song names right, people just thing ur an idiot now
    Yeah Soundtrack to a headrush was an amazing album because you could listen to the album with no skips. This album really disappointed me and the guy that reviewed this?? wtf lol probaly the worst review sounds like they beat him up after a show and he resents them now [:
    oh, and tell me where does this band try to be metal???? completely useless review, i can't believe UG let this one through...