Atreyu, Taking Back Sunday and Hatebreed have all passed through Victory Record’s ranks at some crucial point in their careers, but the record company’s enthusiasm for signing metalcore bands threatens to be its undoing. Emmure, a fivepiece from Connecticut, exemplify everything wrong with that trend. While they play their dissonant tabs and repetitive breakdowns with passion on debut Goodbye to the Gallows, and while there is indeed a lot of difference between lead singer Frank’s angsty shriek and faux-death metal grunt, unlike labelmates A Day to Remember he uses the contrast between the two techniques for no other reason than to show off, forsaking rhythm and common sense in the process. The lyrics: “Only time will tell how long you’ll keep your legs closed / I give that bitch another week before she’s on her knees again with one of my friends”. Charming. And the chant of “I will kill myself” in closing track “When Everything Goes Wrong, Take the Easy Way Out” is just embarrassing. The CD is an utter mess, with songs devoid of structure or melody, and there’s simply no relief: not from the mallcore lyrics drenched in schoolbook self-pity or the relentless guitar chug. What is that in “Sleeping Princess in Devil’s Castle”? A searing melodic line played on an acoustic guitar? It’s overtaken soon enough, alas. The bottom line: wrist-slitting musicians should keep away from metal, to avoid painful exercises in sado-masochism like this.
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// Notes from the Road
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