Review Summary: Middle fingers up, if you don't give a fuck about consistency
Bring Me The Horizon have always been classic underachievers. Their debut record Count Your Blessings
is one of the least offensively bad deathsnore albums I've ever sat through, and it had some honest to God semi-interesting guitar riffs sprinkled throughout. But then they threw all that out the window and made a boring chugfest of an album with no real riffs that was Suicide Season.
Next, they showed some signs of brilliance with their third record There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It,
which had the impressive as all hell songs "It Never Ends" and "Crucify Me," which were surprisingly atmospheric and fun. Unfortunately, the rest of the album was yet another stale chug fest with nothing of interest going on. Now Bring Me The Horizon have been promising a post-rock magnum opus with their fourth album Sempiternal,
but is it the experimental masterpiece we've all been hoping for? Well no, but it is a pretty good post-hardcore/ambient album that has its moments.
has a lot of potential, but its biggest fault is the less than stellar instrumentation. Sure the vocalist (whose name is eerily similar to the only move I can do on a skateboard) Oli Sykes is at the top of his game and doesn't sound tired and strained, and sure there are some catchy choruses, but it doesn't help much when complimented with meandering instrumentation. There's some nice atmospheric keyboard and the occasional strings sprinkled about, but the lack of any interesting guitar parts really brings the album down. This is especially true on the less ambient oriented tracks like "Shadow Moses" and "Anti-Vist." I'm sorry to break it to you guys, but playing two or three chug notes in an odd time signature does not constitute a riff.
opens with the refreshing "Can You Feel My Heart," which does a fantastic job of mixing post-hardcore with atmospheric and catchy keyboard, but Bring Me The Horizon pull a fast one on the listener and never really pull off this combination again. A lot of the rest of the record is by-the-numbers post-hardcore, like the decent tracks "The House of Wolves" and "Sleepwalking," but the rest is mostly boring background music. Besides the few stand-out tracks, Sempiternal
is a string of boring ambient tracks that don't really go anywhere. I'm happy that Bring Me The Horizon decided to experiment a bit, but making compelling ambient music is really hard and not something you can just jump into after so many years of making generic metalchore.
Bring Me The Horizon are at their best when they take their time and put their faith in the almightily build up, like in the spine tingling "Snakes Start To Sing," and the surprisingly great closer "Hospital For Souls." Both songs are pretty slow, and both cross the five minute mark, but most importantly both songs are well written songs, a quality most other Bring Me The Horizon songs do not have.
has its great moments, like the refrain of "brick by brick by brick" and the surprisingly effective breakdown in "The House of Wolves," but these few great moments are strung together by average songwriting and failed attempts at ambience. A few stand-out tracks and the occasional signs of brilliance make for a good record, but not a great one. It took Bring Me The Horizon four albums to make something good, but hey that's progress. Let's hope they have what it takes to finally make a great album next time.