Review Summary: Boring and repetitive, yet filled with energy. Can Oli Syke's steal the show enough to make this a good album?
I don't know what made UK hardcore stylists Bring Me the Horizon so popular, maybe it was the instant fame of vocalist Oli Sykes, whom can be seen as the "head honcho" of BMTH. All the girls love him and surely at the time of "Count Your Blessings" he had an amazing scream, but he's just about the only thing leading this band anywhere. BMTH is extremely popular among American teenagers, their merchandise is seen everywhere and somewhere along the line every hardcore listener in America has listened to them. I've never loved Bring Me the Horizon, I like them alot, but not to the point where I obsess over them.
The biggest problem with BMTH's second album release is that it's very boring. Each song seems to start promising, then just continue the same guitar riff and breakdown through the entire song. As the album opens with 'Pray For Plagues', easily one of the most played Bring Me the Horizon songs, we hear Oli's intense scream and yet we hear that same guitar riff over and over through the entire song. It does switch between that and maybe one or 2 others, but theyre not very inspiring nor fun to listen to. The thing that makes this song worth listening though is the vocals. Oliver Sykes has actually taught himself to open up a second vocal box to get these screams out (or so I heard, it may be fake but that's what has been said). As the last minute of the song apporaches, we are most likely just about to hit the skip button, but then we have the final breakdown.
This is proabably the best breakdown BMTH has to offer, it's got fast double bass and a cymbal beat, a mosher's dream. 'Tell Slater Not to Wash His D*ck' starts out fast, but does almost nothing for the listener. Everything you heard in Pray For Plagues is re-done hear, I'm not saying that this isnt a good song. I enjoy it cause of my personal like for the band, but it's a very repetitive and boring song to listen to. None of the music, breakdowns or vocals are very inspiring hear, through the whole album we seem to feast of Oli Syke's high vocals and the repetitive breakdowns. Drumming is a big factor in hardcore music, but drummer Matt Nicholls doesnt seem to bring that hardcore drum element to any of the music. He can do blastbeats and nail on the bass but that doesnt make him a good drummer. 'Black and Blue' is the best track on the album, it's nothing new compared to the other tracks on the album, but it's got great energy and just feels like it was put together nicely.
Let's talk about Oliver Sykes. He's got long hair, endless tattoo's, piercings and is an apparenant bad ass. There are pictures of him smoking blunts and doing just some of the most ridiculous stuff. The rest of the band is barely noticed when it comes to promo's or even shows, Oli just steals the show. Forget what you know about the new BMTH though, this was Oli's highlight years. Before recording their latest album "Suicide Season", Oli had surgery on his vocals, which left him with more of a yelling sound than a scream. He does steal the show on this album, though he never reaches any amazing feats, the sound of his voice is actually annoying, since we hear it endlessly through the entire album. He changes between the lows and the highs but nothing in-between, and it just gets annoying to hear.
Overall, I like Bring Me the Horizon, I have no real hard feelings towards them. They do have an overrated head vocalist and they need to work on variation between songs. This is not a terrible album, it's just boring.