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Emery Impress with Album Number 8
Posted June 08, 2020
By RyanAdams_NRT, Staff Reviewer

What You Need To Know
Emery has been an influential band in the post-hardcore scene for nearly 20 years, both in the Christian-based scene and in the mainstream. White Line Fever is their 8th album. It was impressively created with the support of their one-year-old fanbase program titled Emeryland. Emery has also kept busy interacting with fans with "Are You Listening?", a weekly streamed music show on Twitch, a live streaming platform for gamers. White Line Fever primarily tells the story of how Emery began, and the struggles they faced while forming the band. 

What It Sounds Like
White Line Fever is not neccessarily experimental territory for Emery. Instead, the band plays on all their strengths that they know fans love. Musical strengths, which they excel at naturally. The dual vocals from singers Toby Morell and Devin Shelton are some of the most beautiful harmonies you will hear from a post-hardcore rock band. Vocalist Josh Head's screaming skills are utilized well. Matt Carter, Dave Powell, and the rest of the musicians add their skills to create an unmistakable Emery-sound throughout the album, which results in passionate post-hardcore songs, as well as a few soft, melodic gems.

Spiritual Highlights
Emery always strives to explore different themes--both spiritual and non-spiritual. The songs on White Line Fever are primarily about the band's beginnings. "The Noose" talks about how we deal with pain and our perspectives on it. A contemplative line stuck with me: "Our judgment coming soon/A bride without a groom/We all will worship a god/I am that I am or made of our thoughts." If we do "fall in love with the pain," as the song also says, how will we focus on God's hand at work during pain?

The softer song "Make Yourself Sick" talks about the struggles of self-doubt and hurt. The lyrics say, "We hurt ourselves in the simplest of ways." We often are our own worst enemy, with the lies we hear and choose to believe. Later, the lyrics say, "The walls you build won't protect your heart." This we can compare with scripture, knowing that the best place to protect our heart is in God's hands, as Psalm 61:3 (NIV) says. "Sad Season," the album's last song, contemplates the lessons we learn from pain and sad seasons in our lives. It says, "We all wish for happiness/But the sad parts make us stronger than the momentary scars/They show us who we are." This message seems to agree with the first chapter of the Book of James, which teaches that our struggles can grow us if we persevere with faith. 

Best Song
"Civil Wars" features exemplary vocals and masterful music: the ingredients needed to make a great song. "Civil Wars" is an honest account about the internal and mental struggles we all deal with in life. It sings "We've all got civil wars tearing us apart/There is no rest/You're always there." This song is very relatable. It encourages listeners to know that they're not alone in difficult life struggles. 

For Fans Of
Anberlin, As Cities Burn, Thrice

Bottom Line
Emery shares their heart with White Line Fever, offering an honest look into the band's beginnings, as well as writing relatable songs about the struggles in life. With a passionate and supporting fanbase that spans over twenty years, Emery knows what their post-hardcore fans want. As usual, they pass expectations--both musically and lyrically. If you're a fan of post-hardcore rock or of Emery, this album won't dissappoint.

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