After facing an almost complete exile in 2015, frontman Frankie Palmeri recruited a new line-up to Emmure that not only ensured its survival, but with 2017’s ‘Look At Yourself’ an ability to thrive, re-invent, and embark on a new era.
Whereas that record acted as a mirror to look within at the person you’ve become, highlighting those nasty attributes that we as humans can bear when navigating this thing called life, ‘Hindsight’ builds on this new iteration of the band whilst looking back at the storm they’ve weathered.
Setting the tone for the record, thick riffs and thunderous percussion engulf ‘(F)inally (U)nderstand (N)othing’, which channels a hybrid of nu-metal tropes and metalcore (aka, classic Emmure). The track blends groove, sludge flavoured breakdowns, chopped samples, and an intense vocal delivery from Palmeri.
With ‘Trash Folder’ following on with the same blueprint, it becomes evident that the sleek production and the varied performance from Palmeri are the main foundation for the record. From the industrial overtones that soak ‘Thunder Mouth’‘s scat led fury to the sparse instrumentation that pushes the guttural peer-tipping-of-the-hat ‘I’ve Scene God’ further.
Whilst the melting pot of influences does help keep the record gaining momentum, alongside the brevity of the majority of tracks, it can also be a hindrance as shown on ‘203’. Whilst the track aims to diversify the record, sadly it feels empty and lacks the impact that it strives for.
That being said, when Emmure hit the mark, they do it extremely well, as shown with ‘Pigs Ear’ and ‘Gypsy Disco’. With the former hurtling at a breakneck speed, it plays with all of the group’s tropes in a devastating fashion. Whilst ‘Pigs Ear’ touches on Emmure‘s main influences, ‘Gypsy Disco’ injects a more spoken word element to Palmeri‘s performance alongside scratching guitars to create an unexpected highlight.
Approaching the finish line in a streamlined fashion, Emmure explore industrial ambience and pummelling growls with ‘Informal Butterflies’ and juddering aggression with ‘Bastard Ritual’. With both tracks clocking in less than two minutes a piece, it shows that Emmure are at their best when they streamline their structures.
Closing with ‘Uncontrollable Descent’, grinding guitars work against growled vocals and a barked chorus. Indulging in their nu-metal tropes alongside a plethora of attitude, the track concludes the record on a surprisingly restrained note.
With ‘Hindsight’, Emmure have created a record that harks back to the heavy hitters of nu-metal whilst sticking to their tried and tested foundations. Though it does admittedly fall flat at times and there’s no intention of re-inventing their soundscape too daringly, Emmure have refined the sound to make it completely their own.