Deathcore whipping boys Emmure have had much criticism flung their way, but one plus point that can be levelled at them is that they are certainly prolific, with ‘Slaves To The Game’ coming in as their fifth release since their debut full-length in 2007. And, like all those before them, what we have here is another lesson in mammoth groove, danceable tunes and straight-forwardly knuckle-headed fun.
Although there has never been any danger of the New York bruisers re-inventing the wheel, the band are certainly on top of their game here. Opener ‘Protoman’ comes hurtling out of the traps with some colossal riffage, and from then on we are met with 12 tracks of consistently crushing breakdowns and big, singalong hooks. Album highlight ‘I Am Onslaught’ contains enough nu-metal bounce and neanderthal stomp to level skyscrapers, ‘Bison Diaries’ full throttle assault and venomous sludge is almost equally as effective, and album closer ‘A.I.’ besets us with its heaving, lurching refrains.
There is no light and shade with ‘Slaves To The Game’. It is simply wave after wave of gratifying heaviness and it serves its purpose fantastically. Many will write the band off once again as one-dimensional. That they surely are, yet so are AC/DC and Slayer. For those of us open minded enough to not consider ourselves above anything that doesn’t tie in with the musical elite, Emmure have – as they’ve proved they can do time and again – provided an album worth its weight in fun. Not only are they profilic, but they’re steadily improving with it too.
Written by Tony Bliss