Emmure are a lightning rod, and no one is more aware of this than their front man Frankie Palmeri. A man who seems to get most of the venom from internet keyboard warriors, they seem to take real issue with him as a person as well as a singer in a band. It seems silly that people get so up in arms about a man whose songs focus mainly on three things; drugs, videogames and comic books, but such is life, people always want to bitch about something and nothing.
It took me seeing the band live and interviewing them to really open up to them and what they are all about and for the most part I find them enjoyable and dare I say it, a fun band to listen to. After the negativity that surrounded the band on their last album Slave to the Game, both critically and personally from inside the band as well, it seems the knives have well and truly come out on this new album Eternal Enemies, which caused a great deal of controversy before the album was released. This was largely thanks to the first track on the album tentatively titled Bring a gun to school, it was fairly obvious that of all the songs on the album that would be the one that people would take issue with, purely from a reactionary stand point, people love to rally around and hit out about things that make them feel uncomfortable.
The song in question is lyrically based on the Columbine high shootings, and is sung from the perspective of one of, if not both of the shooters. It’s a powerful gut punch of a song that really opens the album wide open and shows a more menacing side to Emmure, but it is just that. A song, it is in no way shape or form the band promoting or supporting the actions of the gun men. It’s no different to the film Elephant which was based around the incident, but also it is no different to bands like Cannibal Corpse releasing songs like 'Stripped, Raped and Strangled' and 'Fucked with a knife' etc. For me personally I take no issue with the song being on the album or the name/theme of the song itself, but as we know an album is more than just a song, and thankfully this is probably Emmure's strongest album to date.
Some may point to the band's 2011 album 'Speaker of the Dead' for bangers and ragers, but 'Eternal Enemies' ups the bands intensity and delivers something much darker and more insidious than we are used to from them. Gone are the songs about Street Fighter and Marvel comics characters and instead we have songs about serial killers, high school gun men and slamming the people that have criticised the band, and especially frontman Frankie Palmeri over the years. It’s a venomous attack that feels like a sledgehammer to the head, it feels like this has been building for a long time and the band have been waiting for the right time to unload on everyone, and who can blame them really? Emmure are one of the most derided bands in current metal, a band that is practically a lightning rod for all sorts of shit, it’s about time they fought back and they have. Hard.
Emmure likely won’t attract any new fans with Eternal Enemies, but for the fans of the band that were disappointed with the bands last album 'Slave to the game' this is the album that you have been waiting for. Razor sharp riffs, punding drums and vocals so harsh they could strip the paint off the walls. This is the album Emmure have been threatening to make for a while now and it my eyes at least this could go down as their defining moment.