In spite of the overwhelmingly negative hype that surrounds Emmure in the metal community, I felt it my obligation as a music fan to at least check out these guys before dismissing them entirely. Thus begins my experience with Felony, the third full-length album from this Connecticut-based deathcore act. In spite of my general disliking of Emmure's image and breakdown-focused style, I tried to approach Felony with an open mind free of bias. After all, approaching any album with a preconceived opinion is the number one "must-avoid" when it comes to music journalism. So you could certainly say that I tried to give Felony a fair shot - and, despite my efforts, the album turned out to be just as terrible as it's often claimed to be. I can't find anything positive to say about this entire effort... I honestly can't think of the last time that has happened. Unless uninspired breakdowns, generic riffs, and absolutely horrid vocals are what you're in search of, Felony is avoidable at all costs. This is one of the worst albums I've ever heard.
Emmure plays a style of deathcore with a heavy emphasis on breakdowns (usually consisting of only one or two notes repeated over...and over...and over again) and equally crappy vocals. Expect half-assed death growls, annoying screams, and whiny spoken word sections that are half-sung and absolutely repulsive. I think that pretty much sums up all of Felony. Every song here builds up to a breakdown, and it gets formulaic pretty damn fast. This half-hour album feels like it's over three hours thanks to its boring and repetitive nature. Not to mention the god-awful vocals that make Felony even more unlistenable.
Possibly even worse than the vocals are the awful compositions... never once have I heard songs so simplistic, formulaic, and yet still entirely unmemorable. There really aren't any great riffs on this album, and the ones that are even mildly enjoyable are soon replaced in favor of an uninspired one-note breakdown. If Emmure are actually talented musicians (which I highly doubt after hearing Felony), writing songs with exceptionally long one-note breakdowns is not going to impress anybody. I don't think I've ever heard an album with this many breakdowns... and yet I can't think of one here that doesn't make my shit-o-meter react violently. The generic guitar tones don't help enhance this aspect of the album either.
Moving onward to possibly the most hilarious aspect of Felony are the lyrics. Oh yes, Emmure is a pissed off group, and their means of expressing their anger are laughable at best. "Oh shit, what the fuck did I just do?" repeated nine times in "Sunday Bacon" doesn't fit my definition of quality lyrics. Neither does "Blue Moon bottle right across your head, I broke your face. And all you did was snitch, You little bitch" from the title track. And don't even get me started on the pathetic lyrics of "Bars of Astoria"...
In a sense, I'm glad I've heard Felony - all of the crappy music I've heard in the past now seems about five hundred times better, and all of the old school death metal classics in my collection seem even more appealing. From every other aspect, hearing Felony was a huge mistake on my part, and this is one of the most horrific musical experiences in my life thus far. Emmure does have a fairly large fanbase, though, so I guess some people must enjoy their sound. One-note breakdowns, uninspired riffs, generic productions, laughable lyrics, and horrendous vocals simply don't appeal to me very much... and I'd imagine that they don't appeal to most other music fans either. Since Felony is the one of the worst albums I've ever heard, it's finally time to play my 0.5 star card. I honest-to-god hope that I never have to hear anything this terrible for the rest of my life.
...and now I'll go listen to some Morbid Angel to cleanse my ears of this atrocity.
1. Sunday Bacon (2:37)
2. I Thought You Met Telly and Turned Me Into Casper (2:53)
3. I 4. Felony (2:47)
5. You Sunk My Battleship (3:09)
6. The Philosophy of Time Travel (2:36)
7. First Impressions (2:18)
8. R2deepthroat (2:17)
9. Bars in Astoria (3:28)
10. Lesson From Nichole (2:26)
11. Don't Be One (2:55)
12. Immaculate Misconception (1:26)
Total Time: 31:37