Review Summary: Love it or hate it, it's still good.
Bring Me The Horizon. To some, it resembles the epitome of brutality, cleverly invented riffs and well-thought out lyrics; however, to some, it is exactly the opposite, corny one liners, cheap, recycled riffs and the epitome of what is wrong with the metal community. ‘Love them or hate them’, even the band themselves recite this line and it rings true on their newest album, the exhaustively titled ‘There Is A Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret.
There really is no need to go into a history of this band to develop the background on how Bring Me The Horizon progressed to releasing this album. To be brief, Bring Me The Horizon play straight up deathcore, which has started to progress further into metalcore territory for each album they’ve released. ‘There is a Hell…’ see’s Bring Me The Horizon breaking out all the guns, not just relying only on your basic guitar, bass and drum approach to create an atmosphere. While the haters are going to keep on stringently believing that this is merely another sign that the Oli Sykes Band is continuing on their downward trend of ‘selling out’, even one such as myself cannot deny that use of stings and orchestra used throughout the record (songs like ‘Crucify Me
’ and ‘Don’t Go
’, for example) are cleverly placed to give ‘There is a Hell…’ surprising depth that would never have been guessed with these guys five years ago.
The production is yet another thing to write about on this record. ‘There is a Hell…’ was produced by renowned heavy metal producer Fredrik Nordstrom, known most famously for his work with Gothenburg heavy weights In Flames, At The Gates and Dark Tranquility. His nuances behind the sound and mixing board have made bands famous in the past and it still continues to show years later in ‘There is a Hell…’ He can make songs that would normally be considered either subpar or uninspired and can bring out the positive aspects of it to truly make them shine. Songs like ‘F*ck
, ‘It Never Ends
’, and ‘Alligator Blood
’ could have just further weighted the record down, but credit goes to Nordstrom for making these songs interesting yet still retaining the ‘heavy’ aspect to them. His ability to reign in Sykes vocals to be more in tune with the guitars are laudable and give Bring Me The Horizon a ‘kick in the pants’, bringing the album more alive than felt on any of their previous records.
Now at this point there really hasn’t been any talk about the negatives of this album. This is simple, Bring Me The Horizon have gone done the nigh impossible from a musical critique point of view, and have released a surprisingly competent album. The highlights of this album are particularly so to accentuate the fact that they have done just exactly that, mainly in response to the naysayers of the band, which are multitude. Make no mistake; this is still Bring Me The Horizon. This is still the same band that people either hate or love, most of the time, uncompromisingly. ‘There is a Hell…’ still suffers from some of the same mistakes and downfalls that brought ‘Suicide Season’ to its knees. ‘Blacklist’ is utterly laughable in its attempt to be ‘brutal’ and ‘semi-truck heavy’, coming off as only an extremely poorly thought out show of musicianship that shows the bad side of deathcore, with constant chugging to nothing and open stringed breakdowns galore. Bring Me The Horizon still refer back to the mindless ‘chugg-chugg’ pattern on nearly all their songs that still hinders them down massively throughout the entire album, even with the multitudes of guest singers (featuring the likes of Lights of all people!), it still handicaps ‘There is a Hell…’
Perhaps the single most disappointing standout track on ‘There is a Hell…’ is the closing track ‘Fox and the Wolf
’. On this album, Bring Me The Horizon have tried a different approach to writing songs and have massively increased the time that their songs last, their longest song, ‘[i]Crucify Me/i]’, is nearly six and a half minutes long (incredible by deathcore standards) and nearly all of their other songs average around the four and a half minute marker. ‘Fox and the Wolf’ is an enigma on ‘There is a Hell…’ Where most of the songs on this record tend to start with an intro, a buildup, a climax, and a comedown, ‘Fox and the Wolf
’ is a revert back to the older ways of Bring Me The Horizon. A minute and a half of carelessly thrown in ‘brutality’ which may have been better suited as a B-side for ‘Count Your Blessings’-era material, it acts as quite the solar plexus punch at the very end of the record. The fact that it acts as the closer makes it even more profound, even enough to go as far as calling it completely unnecessary. It’s a shame that they had decided to throw it in there, as the album would have been much better without it.
As stated before, Bring Me The Horizon are still Bring Me The Horizon. They still got those ridiculous scenester cuts that make them despised by many and loved by more. Oli Sykes is still the same ole douchenozzle, writing songs about girls and hard-knock lives. But ‘There is a Hell believe me I’ve seen it’ stands as a surprising shining star on Bring Me the Horizons discography. It’s still a huge doubt whether they’ll be able to capitalize on this album, but even for one such as myself, a self-described naysayer of the band, can only hope that this could mean better things for a band such as this. Bring Me The Horizon carry around a huge stigma, whether it be their image or their style of music, but hopefully with ‘There is a Hell…’ the haters will be able to look past that and decide to give these a guys a fresh listen with open ears and an open mind.