A hazy mist covers the landscape. A flanged guitar plays an eerie, mysterious melody. The listener is just to the point of being soothed by the ringing tones when the entire scene explodes into a full-out aural assault. So begins "Planet Mongo", the opening track from Emry's third album Damage. Emry is a five piece metal band in Warsaw that has played extensively in the area, treating their audience to a big, full, aggressive sound. Schooled in the manner of old Metallica, Slayer, Megadeath, Testament, and Sepultura, this quintet takes these influences and turns them into eight scorching originals. In the aforementioned "Planet Mongo" the quality of songwriting is evident in the aggressive guitar riff and the catchy chorus melody with flanged vocals that slide creepily into each other. "Redefine" begins with a bit of industrial in the drum pattern before machine-gunning into a heavy, fast riff and screaming vocals. The chorus provides a nice contrast with a slower, moshing feel and clear vocals that seem to float over the destruction below. Another song with soaring vocals is "All Is Lost" where Emry bring out the acoustic guitars and a nice fretless bass, creating an ode to, well, all things lost. If you like your music blisteringly fast, then "Hate" is for you as the tempo begins at breakneck speed and shows no mercy until the final note. Another very strong song is the closer, "Lack of Trust" which begins with sedated guitars and keyboard. But the band can only restrain the monster for about one minute before it erupts into a Metallica-tinged romp. Here especially the vocals are very up-front and clear in the mix. This being their third release, their studio experience really shows. While many metal bands sound muddy, Tim Bushong has captured the aggressive, distorted sound of this band exceptionally well, allowing the technical prowess of each member to cut through. While each make their instruments beg for mercy, they play as a group with each taking their turn in the limelight. Damage shows this band knows who they are, where they came from, and that they are not afraid to make it big. This CD is available from www.emry1.com.
This review first appeared in WhatzUp, April 2001.