Review Summary: Bring Me The Horizon hit the right notes to create a career-defining album.
Ever since ‘Count Your Blessings’ was released, Bring Me The Horizon have never stuck to the same formula, with there being a hit (‘There Is A Hell…’) and a miss (‘Suicide Season’). So when they announced the various influences they had for the upcoming ‘Sempiternal’, many were curious. Not only had they completely left all of their old sound behind, but had put together some ideas that could work extremely well.
The best thing is; Bring Me The Horizon have completely disregarded their Grindcore elements off of their first couple of albums, and brought an element of Metalcore, mixed with Post-rock. In short, they’ve created what is to be a defining record in their careers.
Everything has changed, whether it be the tone of the songs, the various instrumentals thrown into the mix, or just the overall sound of Sempiternal. Everything has been ramped up, much to the listener’s delight. The various keyboard sounds that are intertwined with each song, whether they be subtle or extremely important to the overall feel of the song. Opening song ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ uses various keyboard sounds and various effects to leave a lasting impression on the listener. This song sets up the album perfectly, adding a moody affair to the album.
Although Oli’s voice has decreased in ferocity ever since ‘There Is A Hell…’, it adds more variety to the album. He does still provide his distinguishable scream, but takes away much of the punch it had to give the album the mood it deserves. He also provides very interesting and well-performed clean vocals, which complement the overall feel of the album.
The way the guitars are perfectly blended with the electronic influences just make it that much better. Bass is, for the most part, able to be heard if the listener tries hard enough, but can be lost in the various constant blend of everything. The subtle effects are enjoyable, and complement the song they’re added to. Drums are a step ‘down’ when compared to their earlier work, but the drums don’t need as much of a performance to work well with each song.
The album never backs down from start to finish, unlike other Metalcore albums. The usual ‘strong start, mediocre finish’ associated with the average Metalcore album need not apply here. Although not many care for Oli’s various thoughts on religion, ‘The House Of Wolves’ is still a decent song in it’s own right, having a heavy feel than others on the record. ‘Antivist’ is a full-blown attack at religion, and seems a bit unneeded.
Songs like ‘And The Snakes Start To Sing’ more than make up for this, adding more ambience, and fuel even more emotion for the album. ‘Sleepwalking’ is a nice catchy and semi-heavy piece. The best is saved for last however, with album-closer ‘Hospital For Souls’ ending the album with Oli’s voice perfectly blending in with the mixture of the backing band, with the idea of Oli ‘having everything he ever wanted’ very reminiscent of a drug addiction confession.
Overall, Bring Me The Horizon have crafted what will be regarded as one of the highlights of not only their career, but for the genre they have taken up. The album is amazing from start to finish, and the various uses of electronic pieces and moody sound effects perfectly complements the voice of not only Oli, but the voice of the various instruments performed by the backing band.
+ Completely disregard their earlier sound
+ Electronic elements help with the overall mood
+ Oli’s vocals fit perfectly with the tone of the album
+ The backbone of the band are still there, and intertwine with the songs perfectly
- The bass and drums are sometimes lost in the mix, but are still audible.
> Can You Feel My Heart
> And The Snakes Start To Sing
> Hospital For Souls