Bring Me The Horizon (BMTH) are a well known and oft-maligned band for many reasons. Whether it’s their deathcore origins, their emo look, their dodgy attitudes towards woman, or you just think their music sucks (or all of the above; why pick just one?); they’re a band that have attracted a lot of attention to themselves, not always positive. Many years ago when they were first starting out I saw them open for Killswitch Engage. Oli Sykes (their rather uncouth frontman) was full of energy as he bounded around the stage, becoming indignant as the crowd proceeded to not care in the slightest. Their set ended with Sykes jumping into the crowd threatening to fight everyone in attendance while the chant “Killswitch. Killswitch. Killswitch.” echoed through the concert hall.
After that BMTH faded from my radar, until they released their third full length album, (deep breath) There is a Hell, believe me I’ve seen it, There is a Heaven, let’s keep it a secret (TIAHBMISITIAHLKIAS). Despite it’s ridiculous title and the fact that it’s a BMTH album it actually turned out as a rather surprisingly good effort. It’s true that the album essentially saw BMTH clone and modify the British band Architects‘ sound and pass it off as their own. For the most part this cunning ruse was successful, as unfortunately Architects seemed to have collapsed under their own weight as of late. Sykes had also abandoned the deathcore growls and shrieks and instead replaced them with raw hardcore yells. With their third album it was clear that BMTH weren’t keen to stay in one place, creating a smorgasbord of all of their influences into an album that lacked some cohesion. However, there were some standout tracks that incorporated such variety as mainstream electropop starlets, violins, proper Integrity-style breakdowns (i.e. a breakdown that is actually heavy and more than one note is played) and some post rock atmospherics, to add a nice “emotional” touch to proceedings. While I only enjoyed half of the album, I seemed to be one of the only people in the blogosphere that did (or were willing to admit they did) other than my good friend Alkahest at Heavy Blog Is Heavy.
Either way, this made me interested enough to check out BMTH’s follow up with some optimism and so far we’ve been given the new track “Shadow Moses” to chew on, which debuted on BBC Radio 1 on Friday (4th January 2013).
In anticipation for their new album BMTH have been talking about how the “post rock” elements of their music will be progressed further, though listening to “Shadow Moses” it’s not entirely clear how. If anything in terms of the “post rock” vibe this seems to be a regression compared to the opening track of their first album “Crucify Me“. Instead there seems to be a stronger lean towards electronic elements that are more synonymous with modern pop music, rather than the emotional nexus that post rock tends to dwell in.
“Shadow Moses” is a hodgepodge of slight djent influence in the riffs and Linkin Park esque nu metal trimmings, with a random SlipKnot riff thrown in at 1.35 practically ripped from the All Hope Is Gone era. The fact that this riff or style of playing never resurfaces makes it quite the jarring entry. Overall thus far Bring Me The Horizon aren’t going to convert anyone new to the band with this track, as Sykes’ vocal chords remain intact and I realize that for a lot of people the vocals are where a lot of people become stuck. Personally, I enjoy his brand of vocals, because while they may not be the best, they have conviction, which is one of the main things that I personally look out for when it comes to vocalists. Also, credit must be given to turning gang vocals into a catchy sing-along anthemic chorus; though admittedly having this song on repeat while I wrote this post has diminished my feeling of the song significantly.
No small animals were harmed during the making of this post.
Bring Me The Horizon’s fourth studio album, Sempiternal will be released in April 2013 via Sony Music. “Shadow Moses” will be released as a single on January 11th.
What do you think? Have BMTH convinced you to check out their new album? Sound off in the comments!