Four years after We Do What We Want was released, and after the band left Tooth and Nail to start up their own label -BadChristian-, post-hardcore band, Emery, is making a comeback. However, for their older fans, maybe the term “comeback” is slightly misleading. Their crowdfunded album, You Were Never Alone, can easily be called a decent record as a standalone piece, but for listeners who compare this newest work to some of their older albums, this record may be a bit confusing. In some respect, it would appear that Emery has…regressed.
The first track on the album, “Rock, Pebble, Stone”, will automatically set off a past listener. The song’s tone overall is very light and the unclean vocals that were so prominent in Emery’s earlier work are now completely nonexistent. In fact, this song is so very different from their past albums that if it weren’t for the vocals, I could have easily thought I was listening to a different band. Of course, this thought process changes dramatically with the second song, “Thrash”.
“Thrash” immediately starts off with some heavy screams before bleeding into Toby Morrell’s signature singing style that continues throughout the song. While the first half displays the sounds associated with earlier Emery, the last half shows that the band as as whole isn’t afraid to mess around. In this track, rock mixes with jazz, pulling off a very experimental song that sort of works, despite the random changes in tempo.
Other songs like, “What’s Stopping You?” and “Salvator Wrytha” also incorporate interesting elements, such as punctual vocal overlaps, breakdowns, and sudden changes in the beat. As a whole, You Were Never Alone is, needless to say, an interesting piece. The songs, genres, and singing styles vary. While the album can be appreciated by someone who isn’t knowledgeable about their previous work, older fans may be more on the edge. After all, it becomes increasingly clear that this is not the Emery from years before; whether or not that is a good or bad thing has yet to be decided.