Review Summary: Fourth try lucky for Oli Sykes and company
Lets get one thing straight before we start. This is not Bring Me The Horizon as you've ever heard them before. This new album is a reinvention of everything they have done, leaving a lot of their previous selves behind save for a few traits. Many bands try this over the course of their lives, for some bands this is a disaster and causes their careers a massive wound, others can pull this of and create something magical and special, leading to a great future for themselves. This is what Oli Sykes and company have attempted on Sempiternal. And the result of this remodelling? Surprisingly positive.
Retreating somewhat from the metalcore sound of their previous works, leaving but a trace of an occasional breakdown here and there, the band has adopted a more prog rock/metal sound with some electronic sounds scattered throughout to. Songs such as 'And The Snakes Start To Sing'
embody this, with a slower sound they show another side to the band that has not come about in previous efforts, and it works great, contrasting well with the heavier sounds, such as on 'the House of Wolves'
Thats not to say that they have totally abandoned metal, they still have a heavy sound at their core, but the songs are more crafted than in previous efforts, whereas on previous efforts you were confronted with a solid wall of sound, with chugging guitars and relentless drums and Oli screaming in patters than he appeared to have been making up as he went along, this time around there appears to be more effort put into the sound. The guitars produce great heavy riffs containing melodic passages that contrast greatly from previous records, the drumming is diverse and follows the rest of the band well. Electronic sounds are incorporated into the songs to help create atmosphere, working well on songs such as 'Sleepwalking'
and Shadow Moses.
As for the vocals, Oli Sykes has improved tremendously for this album, his screams are stronger and more diverse, his range improving a lot for this record, and he has developed softer vocals as well, his near whispers on 'And The Snakes Start To Sing'
perfect for the sound created. His lyrics have improved as well, from previous outings where they were near laughable, finally they seem to have thought put into them, and it has brought about good results.
The only thing holding this album back, in all honesty, is inconsistency. The magic doesn't quite hold itself throughout, whilst gems appear throughout, such as; Can You Feel My Heart, Empire (Let Them Sing), Go To Hell for Heavens Sake and And The Snake Start To Sing
other songs just don't match them, for example Anti-vist
is a hearkening back to some of the worse BMTH from previous records, with lyrics that are just anger for angers sake 'middle fingers up if you don't give a f*ck'
and The House of Wolves
which is a boring track.
Overall, this is a massive improvement for the band, thoroughly enjoyable and showcasing a lot of potential and talent which was previously hidden from sight. Though there is still distance to go for the band, but for fans of the group, or people like me who have previously not had much time for them, this is something definitely worth trying out.