Review Summary: Bring Me The Horizon display some rays of brilliance on their third full-length, but it’s still mostly the same monotonous chug-a-luga-lug that we all adore from the genre.
Be honest with me folks: am I getting too old? I don’t really think of myself as old, but when I hear metalcore/post-hardcore bands in 2010 basically doing the same thing that metalcore/post-hardcore bands did in 2002, I start to realize how old I am. Bury Your Dead/As I Lay Dying/Lamb of God were pretty par for the course back in high school, but when I spin a fresh release now-a-days, like Bring Me The Horizon, it just seems like there’s been no progress at all within the genre. Despite all this, however, Bring Me The Horizon still seems to be one of the more popular bands going today. What are some the unique things that Bring Me To Horizon are bringing to the table with their wordy third full-length There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret
, and what are they doing to further drive this genre into the ground?
Starting up There is a Hell…
actually surprises me right from the get go, as opener “Crucify Me” displays a more melodic, breathable structure than anything that was found on the band’s sophomore Suicide Season
. The heavier involvement of strings and choirs helps relieve the more generic guitar parts, and my attention is kept for most
of the shockingly long six minute runtime. My only gripe would be that Lights is terribly underutilized on this song, as she is just tacked on to the final seconds of the track. All in all, however, it seems Bring Me The Horizon are adding a more integrated neo-classical element to their sound, which should help make their metalcore drastically more interesting.
But wait! “Anthem” starts up, and all of a sudden we’re back to the stale wall of guitar noise, raspy singish-screaming and uninspired drum parts that absolutely plague this genre. Nothing happens, a breakdown comes in right on cue, and the song’s done. And just when I’m about to give up, lead single “It Never Ends” starts up, and just like “Crucify Me”, has a way more interesting structure and progression, and there’s more electronic strings and choirs to keep the song from being monotonous. A melodic element is present through-out the song, and it actually keeps me involved. But wait! Just when I think “Anthem” was a hiccup, “F*ck” just seems to be one sloppy breakdown after another before the song awkwardly comes to a halt and plays out to another guest vocalist. Finally, continuing this nauseating back-and-forth teeter-totter, “Don’t Go” goes back to the neo-classical elements and heavily features strings and more pivotal, melodic guest vocals from Lights. Was this schizophrenic tracklist intentional?
And the second half album, sad to say, is nearly void of the melodic elements. All of “Home Sweet Hole”, “Alligator Blood” and “Visions” are basically metalcore white noise: dull, streamlined guitars that offer absolutely nothing in the way of excitement, momentum or interest. “Blacklist” is a sluggish string of breakdowns that struggles at the best of times, and the whole affair comes to close with a laughably bad guitar solo. Thankfully, the band comes back with another refreshing, electronically-soaked number “Blessed with a Curse”, which actually features an interesting, coherent progression, but the whole album ends on a sour note with the bland and unnecessary “The Fox and the Wolf”.
So what exactly was this band thinking? They obviously had a good thing going on a handful of tracks with the involvement of electronics and stronger melodies, but they decided that tiresome chugging and go-nowhere four minute progressions was their best approach. There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret
is sort of a tragic figure that way: this actually would have been pretty decent if the band kept their thinking caps on, but instead were treated to 2002ish metalcore ideas more often than not. Aside from a couple of great tracks, Bring Me The Horizon’s third full-length just continues to shovel on the tiresome, mundane chug-a-luga-lug-rawr-rawr-rawr-chug-a-luga-lug that my old man ears have been hearing for nearly a decade, and I can only conclude that this is just another painfully average metalcore album to throw onto the pile.