Metalocalypse

Back Off Emmure a Little, Haters

This Sunday night at Warehouse Live, Emmure and the Acacia Strain will headline the Eternal Enemies Tour. It's a tour name with multiple meanings. First off, it's the name of Emmure's latest album. It is also a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that the two groups have had a long-running feud in song and in real life for some time.

But lastly, it refers to Emmure's position against the world, and more specifically the vast majority of the metal community. Though they're immensely popular among a group of dedicated fans they refer to as their "Decepticons," they're also, according to many, the poster children for everything wrong with metal today.

Still, if you're a metalhead, it might be time to put your money where your mouth is and give this band their due.

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One of the biggest criticisms of Emmure is the simplicity of their music. I'll admit this doesn't bother me in the slightest because I'm a pop-music fan who really couldn't care less how complex a song's chord structure is. Even then, the oft-slung arrow that all Emmure plays is "binary code" (sticking to the 0 and 1 and on their guitars), is patently untrue.

Yes, a lot of their songs do focus around these types of chugging riffs, which is the hallmark of their genre. They're a deathcore band. Still, the diversity of their catalog is actually pretty astounding for a band in their genre.

Go ahead, put a song from their first full-length, Goodbye to the Gallows, up against something from Eternal Enemies. The two records practically sound like they were made by different bands. That's not to say that the music has grown more or less complex, just that Emmure has definitely progressed. That drastic change in their style is proof that the band doesn't just play the same thing all the time.

Not to mention, especially on those earlier records like Goodbye to the Gallows, these chugging "binary code" riffs took a major back seat to their metalcore influences. Songs like "Don't be One" from Felony or "You Got a Henna Tattoo That Said Forever" from Gallows sound more like Killswitch Engage than Emmure's death-metal contemporaries.

Haters of the band also love to focus their attention on ludicrous statements made by controversial front man Frankie Palmeri. This one has some validity to it. Yes, Palmeri has said many things in the media that are potentially offensive, or at the very least slightly insane. At the same time, as I've discussed before here, his personal feelings don't eliminate the strength of his artistic output.

Furthermore, we respect and admire artists whose personal beliefs are vastly more offensive than Palmeri's are on a regular basis. We could all cherry-pick quotes and statements by each other's favorite artists all day and make them look bad, and it still would have no particular relevance to their music.

What, though, is Emmure's strength as a band that overrides the hate? Why are the band's "Decepticons" so damned loyal in their adoration?

Story continues on the next page.

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Corey Deiterman