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Saturday, 11 March 2017

Reviews: Emmure, Suicide Silence, Aversions Crown (Reviews By Lee)

Emmure: Look At Yourself (Sharptone Records)

Keeping on par with traditions of previous albums where the introduction track lasts roughly around 1 minute 40 seconds, You Asked For It eases the way into a solid riff for about 35 seconds before the ass kicking starts. One thing I’ve always liked about Emmure’s material is most of it is made to get pits started, the crowd jumping and this starts off exactly where the previous line up ended with 2014s Eternal Enemies. Shinjuku Masterlord doesn’t give you a chance to breath with the fantastic growl of Frankie Palmeri starting the song off with “I’m Back”.

The essence of Emmure seems to come back with this track combining Deathcore and elements of Rap within the vocals, it’s clear to see that the musical influence stayed with Frankie. Smokey introduces the turntables into the album, similar to how it was incorporated into E from their previous release. Natural Born Killers continues to bring the riffs and keeps up the high tempo of the record so far. Flag Of The Beast, the third single release, dials back the hard hitting music and focuses primarily on the vocals with a nice audio sample at the start and if a song starts with “You know what you are? You’re the antichrist” then you know it’s going to be good!

Taking the aggression down a bit, Ice Man Confessions brings in some beats and audio samples with the chorus utilising the aggression, with the verses being the complete opposite which compliments the song very well. Second single release with Russian Hotel Aftermath is just simply a song about self-loathing and it was only fitting for the lyrics to be backed by brutal riffs throughout and it just seems as if the album doesn’t know when to tone it down and that’s only a good thing! The theme certainly continues with Call Me Ninab, Major Key Alert and Turtle In A Hare before toning it down slightly with Torch, the first single release.

Torch seemed to take the album in a different direction as the musical focal point was simply to slow it down and let the vocals do the work and although the single was released in October, it still packs a punch. A Djent-y break now with Derelict which lasts only 70 seconds before the album finishes with Gucci Prison which ends the album the way it started, hard and fast. Solid album with the new line-up 9/10.

Suicide Silence: S/T (Nuclear Blast)

A lot of controversy surrounded this album with Eddie Hermada confirming that the album would be at least 70% clean vocals. With bands such as Whitechapel testing the water with clean vocals, Deathcore seems to be trying to change direction but with it, there’s been a lot of fan backlash. Starting off with the song that seems to have triggered the debate on clean vocals, Doris kicks off with a riff that screams Suicide Silence and the verse vocals match but the chorus changes and that’s where I think the band starts to lose its identity a bit and tries to become Deftones. It’s tough to be objective with this album, as a band I’ve followed since 2009's No Time To Bleed, seeing a dramatic change in the band’s direction is a bitter pill to swallow but for what it is, I’m keen to see how they can incorporate the clean vocals.

Well, I was keen until I heard Silence. This song single-handedly kills everything that the band had been working towards and what they stood for musically, this isn’t the Suicide Silence that fans know and seems to be an album more toward Korn/Deftones fans. Listen claws it back slightly, utilising a slow bass line and screeching vocals before coming clean again. So far this has been a frustrating listen but for what it is, it’s not bad, it just needs a different band name on the cover. Dying In A Red Room and Hold Me Up, Hold Me Down are two completely contrasting songs with Dying In A Red Room being 100% clean but Hold Me Up, Hold Me Down brings that essence of Suicide Silence back slightly but when this is track 6 out of 9, the damage seems to have been done. A dramatic U-turn musically and a risk which didn’t seem to pay off. The rest is more of the same and overall is only worthy of a lesser score and I think that’s a bit generous. 5/10

Aversions Crown: Xenocide (Nuclear Blast)

Moving onto Aversions Crown’s third album, Xenocide, we start off with Void, a kind of battle music-esque intro, full of atmospheric tones and although the song is relatively brief, the tone starts to change towards the end before Prismatic Abyss kicks in. Deathcore gallore with intricate drumming, blast beats but with a focus on the lead guitar whilst the rhythm is generally hidden behind everything else. Mark Poida, who replaced Colin Jeffs to front the band leaves his vocal mark on the album sounding scarily like Phil Bozeman from the This Is Exile record. The general pace of the album remains the same throughout, often fast paced with slight breakdowns to bridge elements of the songs together and this is finely reflected on The Souless Acolyte. The nature of the album continues with Hybridization but sweep picking is now added into the mix. So far it’s a solid album but I’m still waiting for something to stand out. With bands such as Chelsea Grin, Whitechapel and Thy Art Is Murder, they bring their own element into the Deathcore genre, Aversions Crown seem bring their own stamp onto the genre with harmonising lead guitars breaking out from the rhythm riff which to be fair, not many bands can do this well without detracting away from the heaviness. Ophiophagy takes the pace down slightly but the drum triggers and blast beats do a great job of quickening the pace when needed with the vocals picking up the pace alongside. The album more or less continues in this fashion and is a solid outing from the Brisbane lads. A band who are getting a good reputation behind them solely on the material they’ve put out and rightly so! Keep it up lads!  8/10

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