Horizons are broadening
Firstly, I'm finally back with a review! It's been a while, but admittedly I've been so busy with other work, that it's been the first opportunity I've had in a couple of weeks to review an album. What better album to review than a new Bring Me The Horizon album!
One of the most controversial bands of the last 10 years in British Metal, a band that have received so much hate and backlash during their career, and yet at the same time an incredible amount of love and respect from their forever growing fan base. Arguably in the Top Five biggest Metal bands in the UK at the moment, Bring Me The Horizon have a lot to live up to, and with their latest release, Sempiternal, have they managed to finally make an album that would be completely and utterly well-received by the public, and not just their own fan base? Or are they in-bound to receive yet more negative comments from angry Metal fans and Internet Trolls?
Without an ounce of bias being dripped into this review, I have never liked BMTH, I found Oli Sykes (lead "vocalist") to be a pretentious and often moronic character, and their music had not properly resonated with me. But being the nice guy that I am, I have decided to give them a chance and in doing so, have broadened my horizons (no pun intended) to try my best to engage with their music. In the past, it seems that when they crafted their songs, they hadn't really put 100% effort or thought into the musicality and lyrics, definitely in a similar vein to Bullet For My Valentine. However, from rumours that I heard before listening to Sempiternal, it was said that the album would have moments of Pink Floyd-esque genius. Now that made me feel particularly enthralled and ready to give the record a chance. Without further ado, I present you with my review of Sempiternal, and more importantly whether my opinion of the band has changed or not.
There I was, sitting comfortably with a pen in hand ready to make notes, my usual procedure. I proceed to click play on my laptop and as I do, I lean back in my chair and begin to listen to the album. No less than 30 seconds in, I had to double check to see what I was listening to. "This surely can't be BMTH" I pondered to myself with absolute surprise. The small amount I had heard led me to feeling ambiguity and astonishment. Such an immediate difference, with musical direction, with the fact that the screaming had generally disappeared and attempted, GOOD vocals by Mr Sykes were present. It almost seemed electronic in parts. So I let the album continue playing, and song by song it just felt like I was being proved wrong. This album has so many different elements and combinations of musical genres, it would be ideal for any audience, more or less. A prime example is the ambient, trippy moments of a track like "And The Snakes Start To Sing" which wouldn't be out of place on a Deftones or Pink Floyd album. Also, they have slightly stuck to their original sound with a couple of beat-down moments and heavier, crushing motifs. But for me, the definite element that stuck out more than anything is the fact that they aren't afraid to try and develop their sound, trying out new and exciting things. Each song sounded like its own entity, like being transported to another universe, each with a twist. With the exception of the last 3-4 songs on the album which sounded fairly similar to each other and repetitive in parts.
It is evident that this is by a country mile Bring Me The Horizon's best album to date. Obviously that's a personal preference, but from a general Metal/Rock fan's perspective, they would get more out of an album like this than one of their older albums (Suicide Season being the main example) After listening to all of the songs off of Sempiternal, it didn't particularly make me want to go back and listen to their older music, just because I know it would feel like an anti-climax compared to what I had just heard. It's not a case of ignorance, because I will give them a chance in the future, and I believe Sempiternal to be the best album I have heard this year so far. They have done British music proud, and at a time where Metal is on the rise in terms of the standard of top quality tracks and albums, BMTH have managed to meet and surpass the expected standards. Overall it is a very good album that has so much replay value. There are many songs on there that will be in their live roster for years to come. Anyone seeing BMTH during festival season will have the time of their lives going insane to tracks like 'Antivist'. And yes I thought it was called 'Anti-Virus' at first.
Stand-out tracks on the album: 'Can You Feel My Heart', 'And The Snakes Start To Sing' and 'Antivist'
Rating: 9 out of 10