Emmure returns to ToledoWritten by Mike Bauman | | email@example.com
From its heavy breakdowns and vocals to its energetic live shows and even the meaning behind its name — a form of execution known as immurement — New York-based metal quintet Emmure is rooted in brutality.
Growing up in Queens and listening to a variety of music, Emmure vocalist Frankie Palmeri credited bands like Limp Bizkit and Korn with changing his life. After seeing Limp Bizkit play on “MTV Beach House” in 1998, he was hooked on heavy music.
“It was just like I was connecting with anything that was really tenacious, has tons of energy,” Palmeri said. “It had no boundaries. It seemed like it went above and beyond what people expect from this heavy rock music or whatever.
“It just spoke to me on so many levels and I connected with it really hard, and so it just always stuck with me.”
Fleshed out by guitarists Jesse Ketive and Mike Mulholland, bassist Mark Davis and drummer Mark Castillo, Emmure will perform at Frankie’s Inner City on Aug. 2, during a pit stop in Toledo before picking back up on the Trespass America Festival the next night in Battle Creek, Mich.
“Toledo’s always been great to us,” said Palmeri, whose band was one of the headliners at local music festival The Jamboree in 2011 and again in April. “I honestly can’t wait to get back there once again and rock it. That’s one of those places where we’ve really been able to thrive, and our fans there are incredible.”
The guys in Emmure are no strangers to rocking it. The band has released five full-length albums since 2007 and has toured relentlessly, playing everywhere from Toledo to Europe and Australia.
Included in that touring have been slots on Vans Warped Tour and the Trespass America Festival, the latter of which features some of the biggest names in metal with Five Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engage and Trivium on the bill.
“It’s really monumental for us because this is definitely the kind of audiences and places and rooms we’ve always kind of dreamt of being in ever since I can remember,” Palmeri said of the Trespass America Festival. “We’re basically playing arenas and the fact that we’ve taken it this far is mind-blowing to me.”
Though Emmure has experienced lineup changes since its inception in 2003, including the departure of brothers Joe and Ben Lionetti in 2009, it has continued to press on and put out new material. The band is currently touring in support of its latest full-length album, “Slave to the Game,” which was released April 10.
The new album is Emmure’s first with Castillo and second with producer Joey Sturgis (The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria), who helmed 2011’s “Speaker Of The Dead.”
“He’s just like a f***ing super-talented dude,” Palmeri said of Sturgis. “We couldn’t have asked for a better producer, a better mind to help put our record together.”
Lyrically, Palmeri got more conceptual on “Slave to the Game.” He frequently references his love for comics and video games, including his affinity for “Street Fighter,” which he got a nod in the song “Bison Diaries.”
“I was looking for new ways to explore territory that I’ve already kind of discussed (on previous albums) and find new ways to tell the stories,” Palmeri said. “I would use these fictional characters to help me explain some areas I’m dealing with in my real life.”
Palmeri enjoyed that new creative process, and Emmure’s fans responded. “Slave to the Game” placed on four different Billboard charts, including No. 11 on the Independent Albums and No. 6 on the Hard Rock Albums charts.
“We’re never, like, patting ourselves on the back, so to speak,” Palmeri said. “We’re just kind of looking forward to working hard still and doing what we do.”
For Emmure, that means continuing to hit the road and get its music to as many people as possible. And with the Trespass America Festival, a tour that showcases some of the biggest names in metal and the genre’s diversity, Emmure couldn’t ask for a better platform.
“The fact that every single band is so different and stands on their own pedestal is really what makes the tour so special,” Palmeri said. “So it’s great for everybody.”
On Aug. 2, Emmure will perform at a show that also features Legion, Northern Shores, I Envision Apollo and The Cities Beneath Us at Frankie’s Inner City, 308 Main St. Tickets are $15 in advance and at the door. Advance tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, as well as locally at Culture Clash Records (419) 536-LOVE and RamaLama Records (419) 531-ROCK. Doors are at 6 p.m. and all ages are welcome.