News and Opinion editor
Bring Me the Horizon may have to find a new name. They’ve not only found the horizon; they’ve exceeded it.
The British metalcore outfit started their journey to the great yonder with their first album, “Count Your Blessings.” They’ve climbed their highest peak with their latest release, “Sempiternal.” Progression is not a strong enough word for the transformation this band has made.
BMTH are still expressing the same anger and angst as on their previous albums. They’ve just found a better way to deliver it. I can’t express how much their writing has improved since “Count Your Blessings.” With lines like “Go to hell, for heaven’s sake,” and “When you die, the only kingdom you’ll see is two foot wide and six foot deep,” you wouldn’t even recognize them as the same band.
With the previous lyric examples, the band has continued their themes from their last album, “There Is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven Let’s Keep It a Secret,” which includes death and religion. It seems that Oliver Sykes, the vocalist, is fighting a constant, back-and-forth battle between belief and atheism. It’s intriguing to listen to. These topics are ones that most bands would struggle with expressing, but BMTH nail them.
Sykes’ distinct scream has only become more so, and it’s much more understandable than any of his previous efforts. His shrieks have attained musicality and flow, and he even sings on some of the songs. This is a complete change of pace from previous albums, where the band would normally feature Josh Franceschi of You Me at Six for the melodic portions. It’s an incredible transformation from what Sykes used to be.
Musically, they’ve completely lost their grindcore elements. This is a good thing. The only element that set BMTH apart from other bands upon the release of “Count Your Blessings” was Sykes’ high-pitched screams. Now, almost everything they do accomplishes this. The majestic sound they created on their last album has become even more grandiose and captivating. They’ve completely grown out of the scene they started in.
Their lead single, “Shadow Moses,” is the best song on the album, but no song seems to have been just tossed in. Other songs that I particularly enjoyed include “The House of Wolves” and the angry “Antivist.”
I never would have foreseen BMTH taking this direction, but I’m ecstatic they did. Even if you don’t like hardcore music or you have no idea who BMTH are, I would recommend this album to you. It’s incredibly accessible, while maintaining the quality of being unique. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a metalcore album, but you’ll headbang while you ponder thoughtfully about the deep subjects thrown from Sykes’ throat.
Although the album officially drops April 1, the band is streaming the full length for a limited amount of time. You can listen to and pre-order “Sempiternal” here.
Dalton Carver is a sophomore majoring in communication. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him @dalty_james