Review Summary: Featuring elements of ambient, post-rock, experimental production and even melodic vocals, Bring Me the Horizon traverse new territory and deliver an album capable of turning the heads of even metal's staunchest elitists.
Opening with synths and glitch sound effects, introductory track 'Can You Feel My Heart' is quick to establish the Sheffield metallers new found maturity and songwriting ability. Oli Sykes strained singing showcases reflective honesty as opposed to previous post-deathcore histrionics as the track develops, before presenting an epic finish, marrying the power of the metalcore genre with the emotional sensibility of post-rock. Groove riffery heralds 'The House of Wolves', a cynical yet undeniably strong anti-religious statement, replete with both sing along chorus and crushing breakdown. Newcomer keyboardist Jordan Fish's electronics provide the undercurrent of maturity to the record, whether supplying post-rock ambience or haunting gothic flourishes such as on the rousing 'Empire (Let Them Sing)', showcasing the Brits dynamics, as clean sections segue into mosh-pit inducing fury effortlessly.
It's no wonder 'Sleepwalking' is a single. Arguably the bands most (relatively) upbeat song, featuring a catchy synth refrain and even indie-style drumming, if it weren't' for the overdriven guitar artillery one would hard pressed to identify the track as metal. It is 'Shadow Moses', however (the albums first single) that is the LP's true highlight. The riff battery is truly hammering, and whilst Bring Me's experimentation and evolution is truly admirable, it's thankful that that they've not strayed too far from their metal roots on this circle pit promoting riffathon. 'And the Snake Starts To Sing' contrasts this marvelously, as Oli Sykes showcases his newly found clean singing voice, reflecting over a torturous relationship, he trades bitterness for raw honesty, backed by strings, glitch beats and Lee Malia's emotive guitar playing. BMTH's nu-metal influences have never been as present in 'Antivist', as the expletive laden criticism of internet 'activism' grooves and thunders, chock full of gang chants and breakdowns.
All in all, a fantastic album, as Bring Me The Horizon have defied many of their critics and doubters, having delivered an album that's a true gem in their ever expanding canon, if not a benchmark album for modern metal itself.