... In Shallow Seas We Sail

An Album By

Emery

Review by

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As the follow-up to last year’s 8-song EP, While Broken Hearts Prevail, the latest from Emery can best be summed up as a morality tale, with far-from-subtle warnings about lust, jealousy, immature relationships and the risk of making an idol of one’s “love.” “I fell apart when I fell for you,” states the title song, and as one tends to expect in this cliche-ridden fairy tale of needing love more than living in loving ways, it turns out badly. So badly that the closing emphasis, “Dear Death,” comes in two parts. One is evidently not enough. Lacking depth and a sympathetic narrative, it’s hard to hear five angry young men denouncing failed love in music that longs for the climactic rage that this kind of “post-hardcore” seems designed to unleash, and not hear this as misogynistic, or at the very least anti-romantic. After 22 years of marriage it would be silly to say I can relate to the emotional nastiness that Seas We Sail aims for, but I have to admit they warn you up front that their approach will remain “shallow.” Musically, they fare better than they do lyrically. Going back and forth between full-throated metal roaring rage and a more melodic sing-songy approach of the average emo band … which may be the point; to reveal the inane cliches in emo’s deification of love. Unfortunately, they fail to acknowledge the inane cliches of modern post-hardcore metal. They, and the music, would benefit from greater complexity, and an appreciation for the subtleties that any honest appraisal of a fully engaged loving human relationship always requires.

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