Sound — 10
The opening of the album is a simple heavy chuggy riff, with a drop from the wammy bar. Frank Palmeri shouts "Go!" and yet it still doesn't seem to start. The intro carries on, and it starts to create a definate base for the rest of the album. After another drop, and some strange effect in the background, "10 Signs You Should Leave" begins and Frank's vocals are by far the wiredest I had ever heard. He whales "You know it's all a game!" in a amazingly distressed voice, whilst a riff that's played quite high on the guitar and mixed with a bunch of opens to keep it heavy is played by both Ben Lionetti and Jesse Ketive. The drums are staggard and almost out of time, but everyone falls in line to the same, fast paced, brutal pattern, and Frank starts screaming like any true Death Metal vocalist would. Less than a minute into the song, there is yet another change in tempo and overall sound as Frank Starts to roar. The track starts drawing to a close and goes into an immensely heavy breakdown. The main riff starts, and then there's a break just before the outro, to give you that time to stand back up so they can knock you down again. There's a few dis-chords before the main riff of "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong" kicks in. Some more are thrown in, as it starts to get more thrashy. Just over half-way into the album, there's a two-minute long (I use the term "long" very loosly) interlude of just some ambiance and a faint sound of what seems to beat a heartbeat. After this slow down, "Sleeping Princess In Devil's Castle" begins with a surprisingly light sound. however, true to form, only 25 seconds in there's some open strings played, and it's just as heavy as the rest of the album. The track keeps switching between these two completely different styles, until they are almost one. The song seems to have no point, but that doesn't really matter. It's the kind of track that you could sit and listen to whilst falling asleep, or you could play to relive some aggression. The track end to allow an immense power chord from "The Key To Keeping The Show Fresh Is... I'm Dead", a track who's title is just as strange as the song itself. Thrash riffs ensue, and after a short pause you are throw right into the middle of the track with some nice heavy guitaring, followed by some serenadial guitar work. Whilst the genre of music it could be labeled as isn't exactly new, it is definately an innovation in its own class. The music stays fresh throught the mere half-an-hour it is on, and the whole album has racked up over almost 200 listens in the very short period of time I've owned it. It is definately one of the most inovative albums I've heard in a long time. Emmure don't seem to be afraid to break boundries between musical styles, and are very confident with their talents. There are times where most bands would bust our an earaching twenty-minute long dual guitar solo, and whilst it may sound good, Emmure keep it heavy by merely changing the riff, speeding it up slightly or slowing down. This takes nothing away from the music, and definately improves the album.
Lyrics — 10
Whilst the lyrics may be difficult to hear for someone new to the 'Death Scream' style, and even quite hard to hear for those who are in this kind of band themselves, they're definately worth knowing. The opening song, the second track, begins with how this person left an ex-partner. There's a short telling of how bitter this person is, and then the lyrics begin to get twisted. The line "You ask me "when is it over?" Over? This isnt over till I say it's over." it roared, with the last part repeated many times. It's as if this person is trapping their ex-partener, or making them feel guilty for leaving them. "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong" continues with a similar theme, of how this person has moved on. There is more insight into this relationship with the line "I give that bitch another week, before she's on her knees again with one of my friends.", which is quite obvious in itself. This is followed by "Won't you be my bride? (Another day?)" which isn't so obvious. Maybe this ex-partner was more than just that, and was in fact a fionce? The theme continues into "Rusted Over Wet Dreams", in which the lyrics are fairy general again. However, right at the end we are given more insight. "But if there's one regret we can share. What shall we name him? What shall we name our dead son?" Moving later into the album, "It's Not Just A Party, It's A Fueral" reveals it's dirty little secret right at the beginning, with the opening line "They will find my corpse on the shower floor." If you can't work that out, you probably shouldn't be reading this. The entire song has similarities to a suicide note, whilst the final song "When Everything Goes Wrong, Take The Easy Way Out" is almost a final prayer.
Overall Impression — 10
Of all of the albums I own, this definately contends to be the heaviest. For their debut studio outing, there's not much the could have done better, and many bands could learn from it. I am personally hoping that their second album, "The Respect Issue", is just as good, if not better. Whilst the whole album is nigh-flawless, the greater tracks are definately the opening few tracks. The lyrics are so powerful and the music so hard hitting. The riffs are inventive enough to be different, yet in a familliar style. This gives the album a nice base to work off, and makes it easy to access for anyone wanting to get into a heavier style of music. That's not to say it isn't as brutal as it could have been. When someone wants to hear heavy music, this is the first band I think of these days. They have replaced the more experienced "Despised Icon", or the more popular "All Shall Perish" as my iconic death-based band. If I could find this album in a store today, I would buy it with very little forethought. I would buy this over eat for the day.