Everture – Emerge Review

Album length is a point of contention at AMG Headquarters. So around the office cooler one day, the illustrious Carcharodon revealed that his promo was a honkin’ two-hour commitment. I now realize that “Mine’s a nine-minute grind EP! Sucks to be you!” was the wrong thing to say. As a dear Lavagirlbitch to the Sharkboy, he used his power to punish me pick a promo for me. Please direct your hate mail to him for the awkwardly named Everture. I was immediately horrified at the phrase “modern metal” that greeted my eyes, and Emerge‘s equally cringey promo.1 I have no idea what the descriptor “modern metal” means. Metalcore? Prog? Nu-metal? I’m not sure and I’m absolutely terrified. Will Everture provide the adequate punishment for my hubris?

Short version: ouch, ouch, ouch, a million times yes. Everture is quintet from Kokkola, Finland, offering tunes marked by “cool intensity and melodic phrasing.” Modern metal apparently means metalcore, so my high school self would have eaten it up. Likewise, debut full-length Emerge is the aural embodiment of “2006 called: they want their metalcore back” on paper. Boasting pop hooks with chug-happy riffs, Emerge challenges recent A Day to Remember in its display of radio-friendly metalcore-meets-pop-rock with the ferocity of a declawed kitten on Valium. Worsened by subpar performances across the board and a distinct identity crisis, Everture offers a painful-at-worst, bland-at-best debut in an already bland and outdated style.

A good album is defined by a majority of engagement with minority difficult passages. Emerge offers its inverse: like any Emmure album worth its merit, Everture offers filler trick after filler trick with somewhat interesting takes peppered throughout, which are often too short-lived or doomed by excessive repetition. “In Between” and “Ivory Tower” offer catchy choruses, while the “heaviest” tracks “The River Flows” and “The Unfortunate End” attempt to conjure the technical angst and mood of Silent Planet, but the nauseating repetition of the central riff or bland breakdown ruin the mood. Other than their obvious detractors, “For Tomorrow” and “Undersky” offer semi-catchy The Sorrow-esque Gothenburg passages. “For Tomorrow,” “Promises,” and the unfortunately named “My 52 Shades” aim for the bullseye of the power metal grandiosity dartboard and end up missing the mark entirely, arguably killing the bartender with painfully pretentious power metal cheese.

Vocals are Everture‘s biggest problem, among many. Bands like Shinedown and Disturbed benefit from charismatic singers to carry their comparatively straightforward radio-friendly metal-influenced rock; metalcore acts like Our Hollow, Our Home and Feed Her to the Sharks are benefited by satisfying harsh vocal performances that compensate for uninteresting cleans; post-hardcore iterations like The Amity Affliction or Our Last Night provide the fiery vocal dynamics to compensate for a lighter guitar tone. Everture has no such luxury, but perform like they do. Clean singing is their main priority, and while Emerge‘s songwriting offers catchy hooks scattered across its painfully excessive forty-three minute runtime, the singing is not solid enough to carry the weight of the album, channeling Brent Smith, Chester Bennington, and ZP Theart sans vocal lessons or appropriate key. Furthermore, screams are uninteresting Cry of the Afflicted– or In Hearts Wake scratchy bark fare. Speaking of which, Everture‘s members are all provably competent musicians, but the mix doesn’t do their skills any justice. Emerge would benefit from a clearer guitar presence and louder screams, but all the good stuff is muffled in favor of bottom-heavy chugs, strained cleans, and unspectacular drums. Ultimately, Everture is content laying forced pop-rock on top of uninspired chugs. 

Throw subpar vocals atop a toothless metalcore attack with no dynamics or satisfying payoffs, and there’s little engaging about Everture‘s debut. Emerge is a poorly mixed and written album in the midst of an identity crisis from a band that takes itself way too seriously. It manages to be the unfortunate roadkill in the middle of a six-genre pileup, borrowing the worst of metalcore, heavy metal, power metal, prog, pop-rock, and post-hardcore – and only the few catchy choruses and melodic licks hold up. I’m still not entirely sure what makes Emerge “modern,” but if Everture is a reflection of heavy music’s current state, I don’t want it. So, Carcharodon, from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry. Please don’t make me do this shit ever again.

Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Inverse Records
Websites: everture.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/evertureband 
Releases Worldwide: March 19th, 2021

Show 1 footnote

  1. I quote: “The struggles and despair gives personality and feel to this album also from the point of the listener.”
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