Released 22nd October on Epochal/ Capitol
Like a heavier, harder, Nickleback, American rock band Emphatic’s second major label release creates a whole lot of simple din. The riffs churn, the solos squeal, the vocals drone around disinterestedly, and on the whole I was left pretty disinterested too.
The opening track, Life After Anger, really was one of the more boring beginners I’ve heard this year. The riffs were there, but they were so drowned out by production fuzz that they were difficulty to latch onto in any significant way, and the vocal lines were bland enough that I couldn’t be bothered to listen to the lyrics at all. I did try to come back and listen to the words, but that just left me even more disenchanted with this insipid group of post-grunge poseurs.
Things do pick up a bit when guitarist Justin McCain and the drummer are allowed to take control of the tunes and really wrench out some solid beats, but Toryn Green’s relentlessly unpassionate vocals tear down these tracks each and every time. There’s just nothing at all about his vocal delivery that adds anything to music. Sure, he’s on key (enough at least), but it’s all just so boring that it almost becomes remarkable in how dull it is.
This becomes particularly evident when the group try their hands a t producing a slow song. I mean, Some Things Never Die and I Don’t Need You just come across as second rate corporate grunge tracks that would have failed even back in the nineties when Green’s Eddie Vedder impersonations would have been somewhat relevant.
I suppose if you can bring yourself to ignore the dullness of the vocals there is a bit to be found in the heavy crunch of tracks like The Choice and Louder Than Love, but even then the harshness of beat which makes these tracks in some way interesting is downplayed heavily when Green decides that it’s time for an obnoxious melody. Chorus and verse just see the riffing and pounding beats drop back to hard-rock mediocrity in order to let vocal flatness reign, which is a real disappointment to hear. I mean, these guys are actually decent musicians, but they keep on hiding it behind a wall of blandness that only serves to ruin the moments when they actually rock out.
Really, it’s just a shame that the sludgy origins of grunge and the abrasive origins of heavy-metal have both been so watered down by releases like Another Life. The band seem far too concerned with audible lyrics and and sing-along, radio friendly choruses than actually making any kind of original music. I mean, really all these boys are is a less catchy Nickleback, and that is in no way meant as a compliment.
So, all in all I have to say that Emphatic’s Another Life really isn’t one of the most exciting albums of the year, in fact it doesn’t even come close. It’s all just so vapid and bland that it’s hard to really say much more about it other than ‘it bores from start to end’.
- EMPHATIC Enlist Drummer JOHN TEMPESTA For Recording Of Another Life Album (bravewords.com)
- EMPHATIC Taps THE CULT/Ex-TESTAMENT Drummer For New Album (blabbermouth.net)
- Empathic Enlist Drummer John Tempesta (Ex-White Zombie, Exodus) For Recording Of New Album “Another Life” (hardrockhideout.com)
- Empathic Enlist Drummer John Tempesta (Ex-White Zombie, Exodus) For Recording Of New Album “Another Life” (pittsburghmusicmagazine.com)
- EMPATHIC Enlist Former WHITE ZOMBIE Drummer (bravewords.com)
- Fortress – Alter Bridge (ljfacesthemusic.wordpress.com)
- Releases Of October In Brief: Vol. III (The Avett Brothers/ The Dismemberment Plan/ Red Fang) (ljfacesthemusic.wordpress.com)
- Interview: Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge (pop-break.com)