Review Summary: Bring Me the Horizon try some new things, with mixed results.
I hold the notion that, whether successful or not, experimentation is always a good thing. Sure, there are experiments that can turn out horribly, (like that one time you decided to play with bottle rockets when you were five,) but that's to be expected. The true brilliance and benefits to experimentation lie in the fact that doing so prevents stagnation, which can be a killer to just about anything, and music is no exception to this rule. So that's why whenever a band or artist decides to try something new, I'm always intrigued and encouraged to listen despite how I feel about them previously. And I'll admit, when I read that Bring Me the Horizon of all groups were going to tackle some post-rock influences in their upcoming album Sempiternal
, well, that was all I needed to delve in.
So how did Bring Me the Horizon's little experiment with post-rock and metalcore turn out? Well, truth be told, it's surprisingly not bad. While there aren't too many post-rock influences found here, I myself can't deny that the English quintet tried to something different, and they came out with some damn solid results. "and the Snakes Start to Sing" and "Hospital for Souls" are by and far the best tracks the band has put out to date, and show that Bring Me the Horizon can indeed craft some great songs when they set their minds to it. The former is a track void of most of their root metalcore sound, and instead vouches for an electronically layered sound, and showcases Oli Sykes' new and greatly improved vocal style. "Hospital for Souls" is perhaps the most post-rock influenced track on Sempiternal
. Simply put, it showcases all the improvements the band have made since their inception in one neat 6 and a half minute package, and truly shows that Bring Me the Horizon do in fact have potential to do something great.
The other nine tracks? Well, they're either hit or miss. Opener "Can You Feel My Heart" sets a fairly good tone, only to be ruined by "The House of Wolves," a song that offers absolutely nothing new or interesting. "Sleepwalking" features some of Oli's best moments on the album, further exhibiting his progression as a vocalist. And then there's "Anti-vist," an absolutely terrible track which seems only to be present to appeal to fans of the band's older material. It also has some of the worst lyrics on the album, the opening line containing the gem "Middle fingers up if you don't give a fu
ck," although one must still admit that Oli has come a long way from lines such as "so why don't you just fu
ck yourself you fu
At the end of the day, Bring Me the Horizon has progressed and become better as a whole, but really, they still have a long way to go. In fact, their biggest problem seems to be inconsistency. Sempiternal
has some damn good tracks, and some damn bad ones too. They have, however, shown that they are capable of ascending beyond stereotypes that they've shown in the past, and when all is said and done, even if not everything they tried here worked, you have to commend them for trying. In a scene where Bring Me the Horizon play roles somewhat of poster boys, they've differentiated themselves slightly from the rest of the horde, and, perhaps with a bit more tweaking and modifying, they just may surprise us one day.