Emmure - Eternal Enemies

Posted on Friday, May 02, 2014

Despite harsh ridicule from geezers and the poseur elite, I’ve unashamedly remained a diehard Emmure fan for the better part of a decade now. After all, one can’t help what one likes, and if one lies about what one likes, well… then that one is posing. However, Eternal Enemies might very well be where I have to draw some sort of line. By far the weakest record the band has ever put out, and certainly no reward for those who defend the group’s pit-friendly, attitude-laced Deathcore. The subtle signs of decline that bled through on previous outing Slave to the Game are far more apparent this time around. Things start out on a solid note with the hilariously titled “Bring a Gun to School,” but this is more of an intro, really, and the remaining 14 tracks range from not bad to not great to WHAT THE FUCK? Six albums in seven years has unequivocally taken its toll on the band from a creative standpoint. In the past, the energy these miscreants produced through groove and bile alone provided enough adrenaline to cure the common cold. (This literally happened for me a couple years ago while listening to Speaker of the Dead. No joke.) On Eternal Enemies, they’re just going through the motions, recycling already-recycled pit riffs, and phoning in rubbish like “E,” which is essentially three minutes of incessant crowd-baiting. The best songs found here would be considered filler on any one of their first four Victory albums. Perhaps an even bigger hindrance is frontman Frankie Palmeri’s lack of overall effort. It seems like he’s doing a lot more talking than growling these days, and on the lyrical side he’s completely out of shit to say. Believe it or not, there was once a poignant side to the man’s lyrical approach. Just check out 2007’s Goodbye to the Gallows —my all-time personal Emmure fave— with its odes to heartache, depression, aborted sons, and the pain that only selfish whores can inflict. Now all we get is a hundred different ways of saying, “I’m awesome, you suck… I’m real, you’re fake.” Don’t believe me? Just read this chorus to the self-fulfillingly titled “Most Hated”:
“Yeah, I’m the motherfucker people always talkin’ about / Aw shit / I see you standing arms crossed tryin’ to stare me down / Get bent / So if you wanna see me fail, I say it nice and loud / Eat dick / And you can hate me all you want because I don’t give a shit…”
Trust me, it’s sounds even more laugh-out-loud horrible than it looks in print. Is this guy really that insecure and delusional? I don’t think so. I think he’s just mentally exhausted. Album/tour, album/tour, album/tour… that’s all his life is now. Throw in some bad criticism and you get a lyric sheet that’s 98% trash talk. (Anyone who says “I don’t give a shit” twelve times per song clearly does give a shit.) Take a break. Go on hiatus. Regroup. Refocus. I just don’t see this band ever returning to form without doing so.

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