Emmure – Slave to the Game (2012)

For a long time, Emmure has been one of the most divisive bands in the metalcore/deathcore genre. Whether it’s because of their image, attitude or sound, they’ve made a lot of enemies in music circles. Their latest effort Slave to the Game won’t endear them to any such foes but it offers just enough to recommend it to existing fans or anyone still sat on the fence.After a brief introduction, the album kicks off with Protoman, a song not dissimilar to those heard on last year’s Speaker of the Dead, but with the inclusion of an atmospheric melodic guitar tone. This sound was used to good effect by the band on their earlier works and it makes a welcome return. Combined with their unique vocals, catchy chugging patterns and tight production, it’s a promising start to the album. Sadly though, it soon begins to fall down.The next few tracks just simply aren’t that exciting. They’re by-the-numbers Emmure – songs laden with breakdowns and dischords with some space given for drum and bass parts. The melodic guitar is gone. They don’t sound bad – they’re highly moshable and it’s a formula that works. But even with the interesting use of effects, you still feel that they should be doing something more. By the time the album reaches its halfway point, Poltergeist (a bizarre spoken word track), it already feels like a bit of a disappointment.The album picks up with the next track -Cross Over Attack. This song sees the return of the melodic guitar, used to catchy effect this time. It doesn’t come back until a couple of tracks later on MDMA and again, this is one of the better tracks on the album. The two songs inbetween are largely forgettable, aside from a brutal breakdown on Umar Dumps Dormammu. The album ends in this same ho-hum fashion, with the outro seeing the only use of the dubstep effect from Speaker of the Dead.On the whole, Slave to the Game isn’t much of a progression from Emmure’s last outing. It certainly won’t convert any of their critics but it has some moments which make it worth a listen and a few tracks worth returning to. They’ll need to step their game up for their next album but, for now, this will definitely do.
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By George ~ Me Gusta Reviews