Review Summary: pontificating sempiternal, there is a hell believe me i live it
So apparently Bring Me the Horizon's anthem “It Never Ends” is about ever-bronchiti-inflicted frontman Oli Sykes' problems with fame and how people, namely his fans, want more than friendship from him, like sex and hot pictures. Big problem, right. But when we first heard the howling “every second, every minute, every hour, every day -- it never ends, it never ends” back in 2010, a believable tale about a struggle with addiction is what came to mind. Or, forgive the generalization of the interpretation, it sounded like a love fling even, err one-night stand, that became a never-ending obsession.
Nevermind that the song and much of Bring Me The Horizon's There is a Heaven, yada yada whatever title
contained over-the-top scenecore gimics -- keyboards, backing choirs, tattoos, DEMONS; because the song sounded sincere. Sincere delivery. Sincere emotion. Sincere Sykes. And half
the album carried that torch impressively well. “Don't Go” had an appearance from hottie Lights. “Crucify Me” may go down as the most pulse-pounding song about being an ocean (?) that I've ever heard. And “Blessed With A Curse” still turns all its listeners to stone -- cue that chorus, baby. Half the album, being the key phrase though. Bring Me Horizon had yet to release a consistent record, improvement and progression aside.
With that in mind, it's easy to approach Sempiternal
in a lazy manor: listen for the hits, skip over the normal chug songs, just like the last couple times. Yet you'll find much more than that when you actually listen to it. First impression reads Bring the Horizon have gone pop
. True, they have. But you know what else that first impression will give you? Bring Me the Horizon have actually crafted a front-to-back album in their destined-to-be polarizing Sempiternal
New full member Worship
keyboardist Jordan Fish is all over this thing. His keys are the backbone of bookends “Can You Feel My Heart” and “Hospital For Souls”, and his chords lead most of the choruses to be found here. Speaking of choruses, though, Sempiternal
is filled to the brim -- like in every song. Some are better than others: namely, the “Shadow Moses” and Jesse Lacey-esque “And the Snakes Start to Sing” pairing will be a marvel in scenecore for years to come. For the first time, Bring Me The Horizon feel very comfortable with the idea that they are a popular metalcore band, which makes this increase in melodic songwriting acceptable, but more importantly, very enjoyable. They aren't hiding behind these bull shi
t facades of being artisans of true
music. They're just shooting for the arenas here.
Hell, I'd say they're even shooting for the radio here. “Snakes” is the kind of cross-over hit that could take Bring Me the Horizon -- and Sykes popularity insecurities, lol -- to the next level. It's got these easily relatable lyrics delivered in this open-to-intepretation, playing-opposites vehicle that could get even the more ADD Swift and Gaga fans to actually start thinking -- offense intended, by the way. Of course the melodies are infectious enough, and like “It Never Ends, it's sincere: a winner in every scenecore sense of the word.
I don't really care for Sykes views on religion in “Antivist” and “Crooked Young”. That's when he shows himself as a one-dimensional frontman and isn't playing to what Bring The Horizon is/has become/ing. He's more than that, and while I wouldn't mind him tackling the universal issue in the future, “fu
ck your faith” isn't the way to do it. Subtly is importantly, and since Sykes uses so much subtly with the rest of Sempiternal
in his opposites-filled lyrical vehicle, it's confusing as to why he show's himself so nakedly here. Not exactly what his fans were asking for since "It Never Ends", eh?
But Sykes is still evolving and so is Bring Me the Horizon, so we can expect something even more powerful next time around, as is this band's trend. Yet for the next couple years, expect Sempiternal
to be the new how-to-scenecore book for every aspiring band of their ilk out there. Respectable, poppy, and yes, even sincere, Bring Me the Horizon have finally released their first actual album.