Photo Credit: Facebook @BMTHOfficial
Bring Me The Horizon is a metalcore band from Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Their debut album, Count Your Blessings, was released in 2006, to critical acclaim. Signed to RCA records, the band began an evolution that has led them to their current nu-metal sound, incorporating aspects of electronica, pop, and hip-hop, into guitar driven, distortion-laden backdrops. Lead singer, Oliver Sykes, states, “Even though we’ve broke all these barriers, and done all these things, and achieved…musically, things I never thought we’d achieve…a kid on social media can just go, ‘this is complete sh*t’”, he is referring to the band’s adaption and progression towards a less heavy, mainstream direction. Bring Me The Horizon’s genre experimentation may alienate part of their fan base, yet their pop infusions have the cogency to draw in a completely new and youthful crowd.
Bring Me The Horizon’s latest album, amo, was released on January 25th of 2019 and the reception was universally positive. Bring Me The Horizon has garnered status as a genre head, reaching out and connecting with an audience that feeds off of their candor and established musicianship. In reference to the album’s title, amo, the band states, “Love is worth fighting for, and it’s not something you should compromise…you should be able to find something pure, something that you value and cherish, and you feel thankful for having.” This positive outlook is meant to find resolve in deeper subject matter, as the band has matured and is seeking a wider audience.
amo starts off with, “i apologize if you feel something”, an electronic homage to the gut-wrenching emotive disposition of a first encounter, the perfect introduction to a heavy hitting album. The hit, “MANTRA”, kicks off the main course, finding intention in the fact that some people are blinded by their personal ways, their mantra is limiting their self-worth and ability to see the truth. Distorted guitars guide the high strung vocal hooks, “Before the truth will set you free, it’ll piss you off,” keeping in line with the genre’s to-the-point perspectives and defiant humor.
“nihilist blues”, delves into the electronica realm, featuring Grimes, stating, “I’m lost in a labyrinth // We are lost in a labyrinth”. The electronic beat and synths create a lush environment, ruthlessly drawing in the listener, into a dark world of questioning. “in the dark” hits the pop charts, with a vibrant guitar spanking under classic sounding melodic vocal hooks. The song teeters on the verge of Bieber-dom, with a raw tinge of BMTH’s roots keeping the track palatable.
“wonderful life”, comes out swinging, with a heavy detuning guitar riff backing Linkin Park style vocals. The production value is in key with the genre, hard hitting and punk. The lyrics state, “Nobody cares if I’m dead or alive // Oh, what a wonderful life”. The dirge continues, bringing the song to close at just over four and a half minutes, the band not shy of holding their own.
The album heads in a drum and bass direction with “ouch”, seemingly and intricately electronic enough to sound like a track from a Netsky album. “medicine”, goes back to the heart of the album, love, yet in a diverted manner, stating, “You leaned on my heart for far too long // Couldn’t see the thunder for the storm” and “I’m sorry for this // It might sting a bit”. The rest of the album finds its definition in the groundwork laid in the opening tracks, not holding back, with the overall feel contingent upon the ability of the lead singer to emote and reach his audience.
amo is a promising album choice for metalcore fans and pop fans alike. There is a story behind the music, a technicality to the mainstream sensibilities, and enough edge and grit to hold the listener in a state of exhilaration for the entirety its run. Bring Me The Horizon may be a seasoned act, yet their ingenuity and ability to adapt have set the tone for an era of high energy and impactful music, from not only them, but the musicians they inspire in the future.