Album Review: Emmure – Look At Yourself

By Anthony Joseph

Here in 2017 with the over-saturation of bands and cookie-cutter riffs that often occur, most bands can get lost in a sea of noise and sounds that begin to blur together. That is not the case with Emmure and their brand new album entitled ‘Look At Yourself’. Emmure have been on the rise throughout the years, carving their path in the metal scene being labeled by the media as either deathcore, hardcore, metalcore, and even nu-metal. Emmure sounds like Emmure and most fans would agree.

There has been some controversy surrounding this band, and primarily vocalist Frankie Palmeri throughout the years, in particularly this new album ‘Look At Yourself’. There is a completely new lineup of band members on this album minus Palmeri himself. Emmure’s newest members are Josh Miller, Phil Lockett, and Josh Travis who have all played previously in the band Glass Cloud. Anyone who was a fan of Glass Cloud’s music knows that them teaming up with Palmeri to write new Emmure music meant we were in for a hell of a treat.

The record starts off with the intro track ‘You Asked For It’, which opens with some airy ambient keyboards and then Josh Travis’ unmistakable guitar chugging and twisted dissonant leads. Once Palmeri comes in with his line in the song “Get The Fuck Up”, it instantly makes you do just that. This intro hits you deep in the gut and makes you want to destroy everything around you. The second track ‘Shinjuku Masterlord’ gets the album moving along with Palmeri’s angry “I Don’t Give A Fuck” attitude. Musically the song slowly builds around a fairly basic-sounding guitar riff and groove with some layered sounds, but the way Josh Travis approaches playing an 8-string guitar, he keeps it interesting at the same time. Travis’ guitar playing has always been impressive from his past work in The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza and Glass Cloud. He brings so much groove and atmosphere to the table on ‘Look At Yourself’, making this record their absolute heaviest to date. This is also a very bass-heavy record, something that was missing from previous Emmure albums.

The song ‘Flag Of The Beast’ sounds a lot like a song that would have come off of Korn’s album ‘Follow The Leader’, with its chorus leads and heavy grooves, but retains that signature Emmure sound. ‘Ice Man Confessions’ is a favorite on this album, with its title as a reference to contract killer Richard “Iceman” Kuklinski. One thing to mention about Emmure’s latest offering is that the majority of songs clock in under the 3-minute mark but every song packs an extreme punch and everything is to-the-point. In the lyrics department, Frankie Palmeri has always covered many topics throughout Emmure’s discography, ranging from personal matters, relationships, conspiracies, and video games. On ‘Look At Yourself’, it seems like Palmeri returned to writing a more personal record about himself and other people in his life. There are some clean vocals that are present during the song ‘Turtle In A Hare’. Palmeri has never really been a singer but it was still nice to add some cleans. The most atmospheric and melodic song on the album is ‘Derelict’, and Josh Travis does a fantastic job in creating some of the most twisted guitar riffs yet, resulting in some of the most beautiful ambiance on this song, but the only downside is the song only clocks in at 1:10 minutes long.

There is a lot of killer and very little filler on Emmure’s ‘Look At Yourself’. All 13 songs hit you in the face very hard and leave you wanting more. There’s much dynamic to be heard on this album. It’s hard to say whether there will be more people buying this record to hear Josh Travis’ guitar work or hear Emmure itself, and only time will tell. The contrast between Frankie Palmeri’s vocals and Josh Travis’ guitar playing do complement each other. This is Emmure’s best work hands down, a very strong album, and good enough to be on a lot of people’s year-end lists.

Rating: 9/10

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Record Label: Sharptone
Release Date: March 3rd 2017

Track Listing:
01. You Asked for It (1:32)
02. Shinjuku Masterlord (3:09)
03. Smokey (2:01)
04. Natural Born Killer (2:38)
05. Flag of the Beast (3:24)
06. Ice Man Confessions (2:12)
07. Russian Hotel Aftermath (3:01)
08. Call Me Ninib (2:12)
09. Major Key Alert (1:21)
10. Turtle in a Hare Machine (2:25)
11. Torch (2:32)
12. Derelict (1:10)
13. Gucci Prison (3:56)

Total Duration: 31:33

Emmure links: website | facebook | twitter | instagram