Sound — 9
Emmure's 3rd full length album, despite the claims of others, shows a maturation of the band in the deathcore scene. The band has been criticized for stealing The Acacia Strain's sound and being unoriginal. While this may be true, that has not stopped me from listening to any of the band's early albums. However, Felony is a whole new direction for Emmure. They have established themselves as a band of their own genre. Their sound is heavy and brutal, yet unique. The major difference is the bass guitar. The bass has been cranked up, so you can hear the thick basslines in every song, complimenting the heavily distorted and downtuned guitars. The guitars have taken on a new tone, with screaming treble and ridiculously heavy lows. The drums continue to assault the listener with double bass blast beats. The songs are structured with heavy breakdowns and catchy guitar riffs. Another change is the addition of effects in the guitars, bass, and in the tracks directly. Emmure has really Right from the start with the song Sunday Bacon, you become immersed in a heavy piece of hardcore music that doesn't let up until the end. Much like previous albums, there is a cleaner and slower song in the mix (much like Rusted Over Wet Dreams and Chicago's Finest). This is Don't Be One, which stands out as almost the least hardcore track, yet is good nonetheless.
Lyrics — 8
This is where Felony sets itself apart from previous Emmure albums. Emmure has mostly came across as a deathcore band, with the screamed and growled vocals with the occassional spoken word. It has become almost leveled out, with half spoken words and half screams and growls. This is also album where Frankie, the singer, shows off his singing skills (in the track Don't Be One). While the screaming can be a little muddy and effect driven at times, it still remains talented and unique from most bands in the deathcore genre. The spoken word, howver, can be shockingly fitting and can express the anger and emotion of the lyrics better than the screaming. Not having heard a band employ this technique in almost every song, it is difficult to classify this album into one genre. The lyrics are incredible and brutal. If the pulsing instruments on Felony do not get you going, listen to the lyrics. The hatred, stress, and creativity in the album's lyrics create a hardcore atmosphere that will make anybody bang their head. Sunday Bacon, once again, and Bars in Astoris are good examples of this. On the other hand, the lyrics can be humorous. The song R2-Deepthroat compliments its name with hilarious lyrics, rumored to be a jab at The Acacia Strain, and a one liner that will keep you laughing until the song ends.
Overall Impression — 9
Although many fans of Emmure have forsaken their loyalty because of this album, Felony is a big step for Emmure as a hardcore band. They have taken their style of music to new ground and created their own genre of deathcore and hardcore. Fans of change will appreciate this step away from the alleged "TAS stolen sound" and newcomers will enjoy the unique approach the band has taken. Best tracks in my opinion are Sunday Bacon, Don't Be One, Bars in Astoria, I<3 EC2, R-Deepthroat, and Lesson From Nicole.