Emmure – Hindsight
Released: 26th June 2020
Frankie Palmeri // Vocals
Josh Travis // Guitar & Programming
Josh Miller // Drums
Nicholas Pyatt // Bass
“Ladies and gentlemen… here we go… once again!” – the opening lyrics ping in your ear-drums. That’s right, heavy music’s perpetually cheeky cousin Emmure are back, after riding the wave of their successful predecessor Look At Yourself. The album’s called Hindsight, and well, it was only a matter of time until a musician leveraged the old saying in 2020.
As the U.S. deathcore outfit have settled into a new lineup, they’ve also settled into their sound; what Emmure sounds like in 2020 is something that they’re sure of. Hindsight is so quick you might miss it, but it’s punchy. I warn you, it’s pretty fucking raw, but also incredibly heavy (especially vocally) – so listen to it loud.
Fans are keen to hear this record, as they were for the 2017 release, as the new-age Emmure features some big names, like Josh Travis of bands like Glass Cloud and The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, as well as Josh Miller of Darko, who also played with Glass Cloud. The guys have really adapted to the signature Emmure sound too, so let’s see how it all goes.
Alright, let’s have some fun, the album kicks in with the less than three-minute ‘(F)inally (U)nderstanding (N)othing’ which is kind of an E of the current era – a homage to the fans who have stuck around over the years. Face of Emmure, Frankie Palmeri delivers his signature belch across this track, with his vocal battery at 100% full, in the same way he does in every album’s opening track. He wants that energy to be enormously contagious, and let me tell you, you can feel it. The song brings in rap-metal elements, infusing the band’s influences from nu-metalers Limp Bizkit, as Palmeri switches between his monstrous roar and spoken word verses. It’s catchy, and entices you to hear what else the controversial band have in store for the album. The track closes with a robotic narrator calling out the track title. Ok, we’re in! Two-minute track‘ Trash Folder’ continues with scratchy nu-metal vibes as Palmeri hatefully slips into a verse that appears to be characterising his mocking critics and answering back to them with his personified scream. Instrumentally, the band are certainly still warming up, but it’s all tuned way-down and Nick Pyatt’s bass is prominent. It’s certainly not the best song on the album, but it’s heavy and got a bit of a groove to it.
Single ‘Pigs Ear’ kicks in with an either real or fake broadcast describing a (or the) singer’s decay. “One thing we do know Wolf, is this guy wasn’t making a living in music, he had a bunch of low-level jobs, most of which he was fired from…” The sirens kick in as Palmeri alternates lyrically from self-pride (which we’ll see again later) to self-deprecation, on a pretty serious level. The song is produced with a crackling-finish to accentuate its energy.
The next single ‘Gypsy Disco’ continues the same self-deprecating narrative, and it’s extremely direct. Lyrically, the song describes the music industry as a streaming machine that provides immediate, yet short-lasting gratification, alluding to the tough grind many musicians experiencing the rife ramifications in the modern day heavy music world are living in. With lyrics like “Please God kill me, I’ve got nothing”, the front-man is clearly using music as a coping mechanism, and maybe also provides fans an outlet to cope with some of their own shit. ‘I’ve Scene God’ has definitely sparked some attention when recently released as a single. Palmeri encapsulates satan through his thunderous guttural roars in this track. It’s a really hybrid tune as it brings in some hip-hop elements with a distorted vocal rap. He quite cleverly brings in a bunch of names in the industry, but by using their names conversationally. Here’s a taster: “Say you stick to your guns, but you stray from the path, not a killa like Attila when you feel my fucking wrath…” which continues, until the self-pride kicks in; “but you’ll never be me, so you’ll never be God.”
It’s an interesting track that people wondered whether it was a diss or a shout-out, but essentially what matters is, it’s about Frankie claiming the throne as the best in the game. ‘Speaker of the Dead’-esque guitars squeal in the background, giving that radio-buzz to the eerie song.
‘Persona Non Grata’ is where the vocalist gives it his all, and Travis’ guitars come out of warm-up and they’re ready for game-time. Palmeri does something interesting here, where he channels raw emotion in his emotive lyrics “I don’t care about anyone, I don’t care about anything…” but then immediately channels a split personality (or back-up response), with “stay the fuck away from me” with explosive and antagonistic aggression. It’s an absolute head-banger. The guitars bump up and down, squealing behind the burst of bass and gear up to that crunchy and solid grind. The two-minute banger ends with more nu-metal grooves in ‘Thunder Mouth’, which felt like a song from ‘Look At Yourself’. The song starts off with the standard Emmure recipe, but then gets really cool. Palmeri kicks into a dirty melodic chorus that is hard to dislike.
“I know, you know, there is nothing you can take for me, I am eternal.”
Then, then! The band unequivocally pay respects to KoRn’s ‘Freak on a Leash’ with their own rendition of the verbal instrumental verse. This makes ‘Thunder Mouth’ potentially the underdog of the album that no one ever saw coming. Give it a whirl, and see what you think.
The back-end of Hindsight is upon us, as the band deliver songs like ‘203’ and ‘Informal Butterflies’. The former song returns to the vocalist’s highly emotive vocal style, as he cries with desperation for some meaning about the angel number. Eerie guitars return as Frankie raps, and then there’s silence.
A whole second.
THEN BOOM. The band jump in melodically as Frankie spews his guts up into this song, going ballistic, bringing you the head-splitting carnage that you’ve been salivating for, since the band released their previous album. ‘Informal Butterflies’ reveals strong hip-hop themes at the start, with dark and twisted senses, before Palmeri’s vocals take you by surprise. The rest of the band bring in similar styles to previous tracks, keeping this song pretty balanced with the rest of the album.
The album comes to a close with ‘Bastard Ritual’, a quick feature with electrifyingly heavy vocals, but barely any instruments – just Frankie’s piercing scream cutting in and out, with his ultimate physical threshold being reached. The singer’s really given it his all on this record, and this track encapsulates his brutally honest head-space at times, which is incredibly dark and once again, references failure and nothingness – a gruesome expression and description of what the mind’s capable of.
Emmure gives you one last taste with single and track-closer ‘Uncontrollable Descent’ which pleasantly picks up pace – return of the groove, and return of Travis shredding through the track. This song is another one that blends with deathcore brutality and spoken word. The variation accentuates the groove and leaves you feeling energetic. The three-minute anthemic piece brings in a whole raft of the band’s historical elements, urging a sense of nostalgia, and when listened to as a single, embodies excitement to hear the whole album in full.
And, just as Hindsight started, it finishes with the same robotic narrator from the opening track, calling out the album title, as a radio-crackle closes this chapter of the band’s musical journey.
Hindsight is probably not Emmure’s best album, but it may just be the most raw of any other, so far – well that’s at least what we think, anyway. It’s both musically and lyrically heavy, and may leave you finding stand-out tracks to add to your Spotify playlist, and leaving the rest as deep-cuts to come back to another day. As always with the ferocious band, it’s a great soundtrack for your workout, and will enhance their live setlist ten-fold.
Emmure – Hindsight tracklisting
1. (F)inally (U)nderstanding (N)othing
2. Trash Folder
3. Pigs Ear
4. Gypsy Disco
5. I’ve Scene God
6. Persona Non Grata
7. Thunder Mouth
8. Pan’s Dream
10. Informal Butterflies
11. Action 52
12. Bastard Ritual
13. Uncontrollable Descent