We are in a time where we truly have unlimited access to any type of music at our fingertips. With increased saturation of the market we have seen bands more willing and ready to experiment with their sound. Bands test new genres or introduce new elements to their music to challenge their creative selves, challenge their audience or to simply break out of the stale scene that they reside within. Over the years we have seen bands rejoiced for this experimentation (see: Underøath, Nine Inch Nails) and others, not so much (see: Suicide Silence).
This leads me UK rockers, Bring Me The Horizon (BMTH) – a band that, since the inception of keyboardist / percussionist Jordan Fish, has constantly pushed the limits and tested their listeners’ tolerance to genres outside of the metalcore norm. Once filling our ears with forceful riffs, brutal breakdowns and lyrics like ‘Party til you pass out, drink til’ you’re dead’, the band have progressively evolved layering their once aggressive music with synths, strings and emotive clean vocals. Their last release, ‘That’s The Spirit’ provided an excellent blend of their heavier self with an insight into a dark-pop direction with synth-driven rippers like ‘Oh No’.
BMTH are now back in the limelight with their sixth full length ‘amo’ produced by lead singer Oliver Sykes and Fish in Los Angeles. The thirteen track album lays it all out there with Sykes addressing love, loss, relationships and self-reflection.
It only takes until the third track to realise that the Sheffield five-piece are committed to this new sound with the listener entering a full-on rave experience with ‘nihilist blues’. The track chugs along with a pulsating beat, whispering vocals interchanging between Sykes, Fish and feature artist, Grimes, until it reaches epic proportions.
Old fans are further tested as they venture deeper into ‘amo’ with BMTH doubling down on the synth-first sound on ‘why did you kick me when I’m down?’, ‘mother tongue’ and ‘medicine’. These tracks demonstrate the sensational ability of Sykes and Fish to layer instruments, including orchestral strings/horns and group vocals, and build songs unbelievably until they crescendo into wall of sound overwhelming the senses (if you haven’t check out BMTH’s live show at Royal Albert Hall – it’s outstanding).
BMTH are sure not to disappoint old fans completely keeping some heavier cuts on the record, particularly ‘MANTRA’ (which received a Grammy nod) and ‘wonderful life’ featuring Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth). These two tracks are easily the heaviest offerings, even presenting a breakdown, and are guaranteed to get the crowd going live.
Even after just a few listens the album is so catchy, it will leave songs running over and over in your head for days if not weeks! Although each song on this album throws something completely different at you (including beat boxing from Rahzel on ‘heavy music’) it forms one cohesive listen making you want to come back to it again and again.
For fans unwilling to leave their heavy roots, this album may be too much of a departure, but for fans willing to test themselves, you are in for an absolute treat! With this record BMTH have reaffirmed their ability to not only meld new genres to their dark, emotive music but do it exceptionally well. This album is sure to set the band on a path to become even bigger and headline some of the most notable festivals around the world (and not just the heavy ones) – so get on board!
As Sykes’ pens on one of my personal favourites ‘heavy metal’, try not to be one of those kids on the ‘gram in a Black Dahlia tank that says it ain’t heavy metal!
ARTIST Bring Me The Horizon
RELEASE 25 January 2019
SOUNDS LIKE The Plot In You, Twenty One Pilots, PVRIS
LISTEN TO MANTRA, Heavy Metal, Why you gotta kick me when I’m down?