Review Summary: Bring Me The Horizon throw off their tarnished cloak of deathcore and move into a much more accessible space.
There was a lot to worry about in the lead up to Suicide Season
. Like, say, the fact that the album was called… well, Suicide Season
. Or the ridiculous album art. Or the rather sterile affair that was Count Your Blessings
. Or singer Oli Skyes’ strange habit of urinating on girls who wouldn’t sleep with him. Of course, Bring Me The Horizon have always had a bit of an image problem, and probably rightly so. Which is why it comes as somewhat of a surprise that Suicide Season
is actually… pretty decent.
Taking a leaf from the how-to book of fellow metalcore rockers Underoath, Suicide Season
finds Bring Me The Horizon throwing off their tarnished cloak of deathcore and moving into a much more accessible space of straight up metalcore. Like Underoath's turn for the better, everything here is just that tad bit more… pop. Gone, for the most part are the technical flourishes of guitar wankery and the deep death growls of Oli, replaced instead by a flurry of cleaner, gang chanted vocals and a myriad of catchy chug-chug heavy moments. Not that this is so much as a drastic change of sound, but rather a step further down a path already laid out by Count Your Blessings.
After all, it’s not hard to imagine an entire army of black fringes and angry t-shirts still heralding Bring Me The Horizon as the best thing to happen to music since Norma Jean. With an insatiable love for breakdowns and atrocious lyrics coupled with a rather repetitive repertoire of sounds, Suicide Season
is just fine and dandy – if you’re into that sort of thing.
The problem of course with Count Your Blessings
was that it simply took itself too seriously, where no one else did. Which, given its rather barren offering of music, is more than fair enough. It’s a problem the band has seemed to recognize, because everything on Suicide Season
, despite keeping up the intensity, is fresher and catchier, more fitting with the band’s youthful image. Take the opening of Sleep With One Eye Open
with it’s JunJUNjunJUN Fuuuccck Yoouuu!
. It’s a little immature, a little brash, but the band pull it off, if only because the music allows for it - for a little while. Oli even manages to take a dig at his aforementioned little ‘incident’ on the cutely named No Need for Introductions, I've Read About Girls Like You on the Back of Toilet Doors
shouting: After everything you’ve put me through/I should have f'ucking pissed on you!
. Clearly, this isn’t masterpiece-making material, and the catchy, almost party-like nature of the album becomes tedious, especially by the time songs like Diamonds Aren’t Forever
roll around, with its repeated vocal lines and more of the same chug-chug atmospherics that saturate the album.
Irritatingly, Suicide Season
is chock-a-block full of throwaway lyrical trinkets such as: ‘We will never sleep/ ‘cause sleep is for the weak/ we will never rest/ till we’re all fucking dead!!!’
(Diamonds Aren’t Forever) or ‘I won’t give up on you/ so don’t give up on me!!!”
(The Sadness Will Never End), all of course screamed out at the appropriate intensity level of three exclamation marks. The musically ignorant might be tempted to label it all as ‘emo-rubbish’, but they’d only be half right. (Hint: it’s not the bit that starts with ‘e’).
While Horizon have more or less overcome the problem of predictable song-structures, the same cannot be said of having a predictable sound
– Which is still probably just as bad. Heavy
still remains the order of the day, and although the band tried to fix this by throwing in occasional curveball such as random digital sound distortions in The Comedown
or the hint of strings in Chelsea Smile
(the two opening and best tracks on the album), none of it really pierces the building monotony of the album as it progresses. Horizon also have a tendency to drown their listeners in breakdowns – another rather fairly unpleasant musical sensation.
Still though, fans will find more to love on here, from Oli’s incredibly solid vocal performance to Matt Nicholls’ equally impressive job on the skins, while others will decry Suicide Season
as another cancer spot on their beloved music scene. The reality of course lies somewhere in between – Suicide Season
is simply competent
. It works where it has to, and even if its candy-sweet chugginess wares thin after a while, at least it sounds just about right in the first place.