Look At Yourself review by Emmure

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  • Released: Mar 3, 2017
  • Sound: 3
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reviewer's score: 4 Poor
  • Users' score: 6.5 (24 votes)
Emmure: Look At Yourself

Sound — 3
Proud of his shock value as plenty of metal frontmen are, Frankie Palmeri's overly-aggro persona has easily been the most defining characteristic of Emmure, for better and for worse. In recent years, however, it almost seemed like it'd be his downfall. After their 2014 album, "Eternal Enemies," struck controversy for one of its tracks being named "Bring a Gun to School," which led to former guitarist Ben Lionetti calling Palmeri "a disgusting human being," Palmeri would suffer an even bigger fallout with his band members a year later. After a summer of spotty touring due to Palmeri's vocal cord injuries, the rest of Emmure's lineup left the band in November with the intention of starting a new metal band, citing creative differences and personal tensions. Though left hanging to dry, Palmeri's resilience quickly whipped up another lineup for Emmure to continue by 2016, and after signing with SharpTone Records, Emmure bring forth their seventh album, "Look at Yourself."

Even though Emmure's rocking a fresh new lineup, "Look at Yourself" is still fully committed to the metalcore/nu metal sound the band have been flexing for nearly a decade. Being considerably shorter than their previous album, nearly every track runs at bite-sized length - an approach which helps keep the no-bullshit recipe of pummeling breakdowns and layered growls in "You Asked For It," "Natural Born Killer," "Russian Hotel Aftermath," and "Call Me Ninib" from doing their job and not overstaying their welcome, but does a disservice to the few moments of sonic variance attempted in the album. Whereas their usual tricks to mix up from their breakdown base are deployed once more, like the nu metal rhythms of "Shinjuku Masterlord" and "Major Key Alert," and the dose of reverbed guitar melodies in "Torch," other moments pay homage to metal peers and pioneers: the post-metal guitar textures in "Derelict" sound like those used in Architects' latest material, the opening riff in "Flag of the Beast" takes a page from Korn's recipe book, and one can catch a couple "Around the Fur"-era Deftones influences in the guitar effects in "Smokey" and the simmering low vocals in "Ice Man Confessions." But as decorative as those different sounds may be, they're only splashes compared to the expected tidal wave of palm-muted riffs and death chords that flood the album.

Lyrics — 5
Lyrically, Palmeri keeps his aggressive brand aflame as expected, from bellowing death threats left and right ("Choke on your tongue / Now dig your own grave" in "Smokey"; "I'll put you in the same grave as your friends" in "Natural Born Killer"), playing up his own villainous image ("The people who left me, and the ones I've banished / Fuck it, I'm done, I've got one thing to say / Hate me if it makes you feel better" in "Flag of the Beast"), and of course, making it clear that he doesn't give a shit in the crystal clear hook of "Shinjuku Master." But along with relatively more self-reflective lyrics taking a little break from the raw violence in "Ice Man Confessions" and "Derelict," Palmeri's anger turned towards himself in "Russian Hotel Aftermath" is presumably his initial feelings regarding when his former band members decided to leave Emmure (their last gig together was in Russia). But while that self-hatred is the clear color of that moment, he's quick to go back on the offensive in "Torch" ("Tell me now / Do you see? / You cannot do this without me"), and relishes in his loose screws in "Gucci Prison" ("Just another damaged person / Yeah bitch I might be / There'll never be another motherfucker like me").

Overall Impression — 4
Palmeri's feat of pulling his band from the brink of oblivion is both a show of determination, as well as being another bitter reason for him to keep Emmure going. But while a new Emmure has been put together, the effort in "Look at Yourself" is ultimately the same overblown metalcore they've done in all their other albums with minimal changeups, leaving the band to continue sounding stale.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Should be mentioned that this band's new lineup is essentially Glass Cloud with a different singer (Josh Travis, Phil Lockett, and Josh Miller).
    Too bad Glass Cloud was terrible too.
    jacob911363 · Mar 15, 2017 07:55 AM
    Hey, no hate to anyone who enjoys their music. I used to dig some of their stuff. But I lost all respect for Glass Cloud after seeing them live. Their vocalist kept boasting about how he was ignoring doctor's orders by singing with a sore throat. Josh Travis spent half the show behind his guitar cabs. His playing was extremely sloppy, but it didn't matter because the set was backtracked to hell. It came off as extremely unprofessional and a little sad, honestly. Couldn't listen to them after that.
    Sorry I jumped the gun there. What venue did you see them in? I want to see if there's a video cause that sounds like it would fun to watch lol. Personally I like their first album, I wasn't a big fan of the ep.
    No worries So, it was mostly between songs that Josh was offstage. Same with the singer's banter. But give this a whirl:
    This was also shortly after the rest of the band left. They had the drummers from the other bands on the bill play a song or two each. Bass and most of the guitar was backtracked. Seeing Josh at the end of the video made me wonder if he wasn't miming the whole thing.
    I first heard Emmure in 2010 and they were complete anus back then. However, Josh Travis really makes this album sound much better than it has a right to be. It's probably the best Emmure album, although it's still kinda shitty either way. 
    This is what Emmure was meant to be from the beginning on. Josh Travis is definitely a win.
    I listened to it and thought it was great. I didn't even like Emmure's albums in the past. This album beats the new Suicide silence anyday
    This album got a lot better IMO. I think you just dont like the band or the style. Yeah the style remains same. It remains the same with most of the bands.
    I liked this record a lot. But I also listened to it knowing I was listening to Emmure and wasn't expecting deep lyrics with ballad solos. I'd give it an objective 7/10 being that it's a fun record that sounds good and the lineup change was an apparent improvement. It's probably the best or second best record in Emmure's catalog. My two cents.
    Great album. Kicks my ass from beginning to end, what else could you ask for from a metal album? It's a solid line up for the band, and their live show is insane now having Josh and company lighting up the stage. Frankie is a douche, we all know, but his douchebaggery is what makes emmure pop; stand out from the rest. Adding some chunky Josh riffs gives it some extra flair. I don't love everything they have made, but this album is definitely a good installment into anyone's collection that enjoys a good throwdown.