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Emmure - Hindsight review


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Band: Emmure
Album: Hindsight
Release date: June 2020

01. (F)inally (U)nderstanding (N)othing
02. Trash Folder
03. Pigs Ear
04. Gypsy Disco
05. I've Scene God
06. Persona Non Grata
07. Thunder Mouth
08. Pan's Dream
09. 203
10. Informal Butterflies
11. Action 52
12. Bastard Ritual
13. Uncontrollable Descent

Another instalment in the ongoing saga of edgelord metal, Emmure return once again to stir the pot again in order to drum up attention. Hindsight is the eighth album by the band and probably the strongest one yet. While the bar is low the band at least make steps to raise slightly; while most would trip over said bar given its depth, it marks a step in the right direction.

The irony that I'm giving time and attention to something that makes a career off of negative attention is not lost on me. While this trope has been played to tedium at this point, Hindsight does try to vary the musical construct slightly and shows some progression, even if the modus operandi of the band remains the same.

Credit where it's due, in a roundabout way the band address this topic in "Thunder Mouth"; given the musical background to the track, it serves to be one of the stronger songs on the album, giving you a light snack worth of food for thought. Moving further in a direction like this would probably see Emmure widen their net in terms of potential audience.

When Palmeri switches focus and the headline grabbing lyrics are replaced with lyrics that (while not great) are about other topics then the album is able to excel, letting the music do the talking, rather than the echo chamber reverberations when Palmeri says something controversial. "Pan's Dream", "Action 52" and "Uncontrollable Descent" are the highlights of the record and show that there is potential behind the façade.

The incorporation of a heavier utilization of effects is a mixed blessing; on some songs it gives the track an added dimension and an additional hook ("Pan's Dream", "Pig's Ear" and "I've Seen God"), while on others it either detracts or seems like a wasted addition on a track that isn't salvageable. It serves to put a bit more light between the preceding albums before Hindsight and shows the band are inching towards a new destination, even if it isn't a giant leap from their sound of old.

"Gypsy Disco" sounds like a mental breakdown put to music; whether this is a rare moment the mask slips and the reality breaks through is uncertain (though given the band's history I would say it's a well-acted fiction), but credit to Palmeri, who is convincing enough to make you doubt yourself. "Persona Non Grata" and "Informal Butterflies" try to repeat the trick but by this point you've seen how the magician performs and you can see through it; the music behind it isn't strong enough to compensate either, leaving the tracks redundant.

The production and musical soundtrack to the album are to a good degree better than on the band's prior work; the album doesn't excessively overcompensate in focusing too much on the heaviness of the music (though it's still one of the main selling points) and allows other elements to come to the fore, even if they aren't given a spotlight so much as a candlelight.

While I doubt Hindsight will convert many detractors, it shows the band are making preparations for when this latest iteration of shock metal starts to fade from view and that their time in the limelight isn't extinguished with it. Will it burn brightly for now? Who knows, all I know is that the band have some fuel in the tank and like playing with matches so I guess we'll find out soon.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 6

Written on 30.06.2020 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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