Bring Me the Horizon
Amo


4.0
excellent

Review

by Simon STAFF
January 25th, 2019 | 1156 replies


Release Date: 01/25/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Everybody knows I've got bounce.

I’m going to be straight here; when That’s The Spirit unveiled itself to the general public, I was one of the many who scorned the album’s pseudo practices and genre alterations. With that said, however, it’s evident that time has been very forgiving to That’s The Spirit – growing significantly over the years in spite of a handful of disingenuous and insipid numbers which bog it down. Regardless of my own feelings towards it, it would appear I’m not alone with my shelved appreciation. The album has shown a delayed infatuation within the metal community this past couple of years; a knock-on effect that has seen a lot of big names copying the formula in varying degrees, with the hope of attaining the same kind of rewards BMTH has been reaping this past half-decade. This is because, like it or lump it, That’s The Spirit changed the playing field for the genre forever. The world doesn’t move around without its hilarious ironies, of course, because this is a band who was intensely ridiculed ten years ago. Fast-forward to present day and they’re one of alternative music’s biggest names; solidifying validation and praise from both critic and music listener alike since Sempiternal’s release. And their penchant for evolving and morphing with every record has ultimately resulted in them staying ahead of the curve time and time again.

With that in mind, even if you never got around to checking out Amo’s singles, its capricious turn to pop sensibilities should probably come as no surprise if you listened to their fifth effort. But it should also be noted that it’s not quite the departure I was bracing myself for. Early interviews suggested that the band was doubling down on a sound completely engulfed in sugary electronic-pop characteristics. Truth be told, it’s nowhere near as bad as it sounds. Unlike Linkin Park, who shed every interesting facet of their sound for a contrived, derivative, and utterly bland experience, BMTH manage to keep a toe in familiar waters as they move further into the mainstream. Yes, the likes of “Medicine” contains ubiquitous pop tropes that swallow up the band’s traditional roots, but you can still hear the band at its core. Basically, what I’m trying to articulate is it doesn’t come across as distracting. This is largely down to the fact Amo isn’t as far removed from its predecessor as one might think. If anything, the album amalgamates the same amount of pop and electronic influences as the former but replaces That’s The Spirit’s pop-metal amalgam for stadium-stomping riffs that derive more from Royal Blood’s gene pool – or when it’s really branching out, honing in on an abrasive 90s techno sound. And I have to admire the band for giving a vociferous warning on Amo shifting further away from their roots prior to the album’s release, because when “Mantra” dropped Oli stated it was a conventional offering to warm people up for a drastic change in sound. A straightforward affirmation that, in hindsight, holds a tinge of preconceived hyperbole.

Whether it was intentional or not is moot. Regardless, it definitely worked as a damage control cushion of sorts – facilitating the worst kind of expectations in a sense: festering on the idea that a bland pop album is imminently heading your way. In a nutshell, Amo isn’t the sell-out record long time fans have been waiting to hate. It doesn’t pander to the older demographic, of course, but it still knows which side its bread is buttered on. Amo puts an emphasis on groove and feel, and plays a much more prominent role in the band’s songwriting than ever before. A lot like how many artists approach an album these days, songs are written towards where the money lies: the live experience. You can hear the potential these tracks would have in a stadium setting; the quiet/loud dynamic of “Wounderful Life”, with its funky guitar riff transitioning into the kind of bombastic chorus Limp Bizkit would write, is clearly designed for a live setting. Indeed, there’s still plenty of conventional guitar, drums and bass here to please a fan of rock music: from “In The Dark”, with the song’s noodley guitar leads and punctuated heavy choruses, the song shows a natural evolution from That’s the Spirit; “Sugar Honey Ice & Tea” furthers the grooving Royal Blood stomp mentioned earlier; and “Heavy Metal” finds a harmonious balance between its rock and electronic stylings.

Unlike Thirty Seconds to Mars and Linkin Park, BMTH have made the leap a successfully exciting one. The difference? Amo uses the same kind of contemporary pop elements, but they are used as sporadic undertones. It’s a legitimate progression for the band that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be easy listening for someone who solely listens to the radio's Top 40 Singles Chart. When the record isn’t using hard-and-alternative rock elements, it’s a very experimental electronic album; a cross between the 90’s unsympathetic techno attitude and an ambient house style that’s similar to what Burial has been doing. Like anything the band is involved in, the likes of “Nihilist Blues” and “Fresh Bruises” are a drastic change in sound but they maintain the same downcast melancholy the band is known for, and that’s what separates their attempts from previous bands failures. Amo doesn’t come across contrived. It knows what it wants, and it delivers the songs with conviction.

The album isn’t without its lulls though. “Mother Tongue” is a good example of BMTH fumbling with the delicate balance they’ve generally succeeded at delivering here. It’s beige writing formula strips away at all the interesting instrumentals in favour of cookie-cutter pop melodies that fail to succeed on their ideas. And the problem isn’t so much the idea as it is the execution: the hooks are so generic and samey that the song’s sacrifice of having Oli as the sole attraction turns into its own undoing. “Why You Gotta Kick Me When I’m Down” is another one that ultimately fails where everything else succeeds; a janky track that hears Oli awkwardly rapping over what is a pretty decent instrumental, but a vocal style ill-suited to Sykes. But in all honestly, I’m quite surprised by how well this album has turned out, overall. It takes painfully overused radio tropes and mutates them with a set of old-school ideas. The album, once again, moves the band onto new and exciting pastures, and more importantly, it does these things in a way that isn’t obnoxious or forced. Bar a couple of obvious blunders, Amo is an excellent album that is filled with twists and turns. It has a really dank and distinct aesthetic, basically taking the same kind of tone “Doomed” had but runs with it for the entire album. If you’re a fan of BMTH’s earlier works and don’t like where they’ve gone in recent years, the chances are you won’t be taken to this either. But if you’re a fan of all walks of music, or like latter day BMTH, this will definitely be worth checking out.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: CD BOXSET/̶/̶D̶I̶G̶I̶T̶A̶L̶/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶/̶/̶V̶A̶R̶I̶O̶U̶S̶ ̶B̶U̶N̶D̶L̶E̶S̶

PACKAGING: A cardboard case with alternative artwork.

SPECIAL EDITION: Contains a tote bag, two patches, the CD (in a baggie), and a silver USB padlock necklace. No bonus tracks, but the edition is good quality and the items are well made. 3.5/5

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://www.bmthofficial.com/



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user ratings (596)
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
veninblazer
January 25th 2019


10170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review as always, Simon.

Digging: Dayseeker - Sleeptalk

onionbubs
January 25th 2019


11998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

oh shit

Digging: The Menzingers - Hello Exile

Green Baron
January 25th 2019


24705 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

you've got to be fucking kidding me

Ninjahague
January 25th 2019


1513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

review I agree with the most, album is fUN but sad but FUN

veninblazer
January 25th 2019


10170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also, That's the Spirit is their fifth album, not fourth. In case you were referring to that in paragraph #2.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2019


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cheers agent.



come at me sput, this album got me good.

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen

veninblazer
January 25th 2019


10170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I joked that my review would get overshadowed by "some shitty two-paragraph staff review" earlier today in private.

Glad to see I was proved wrong about that for now. I'd say this is the best, most well-written review for Amo I've seen yet in either direction.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2019


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awh cheers agent, i appreciate that.





veninblazer
January 25th 2019


10170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I hate to admit my prideful tendencies, but I was hoping the review that overshadows mine would be better than it...which this one most certainly is. Lol you've got a great writing style.

veninblazer
January 25th 2019


10170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also something of note:

"the quite/loud dynamic of “Wounderful Life”, with its funky isolated guitar riff transitioning into the kind of bombastic chorus Limp Bizkit would write"

Typos aside, did you know that song was actually meant to be on Limp Bizkit's next album?

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2019


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll get onto reading your review in a min, bud.



and well spotted. I remember the band going on about doing a collab with durst, but i didnt realise it was that song. it makes sense now haha

veninblazer
January 25th 2019


10170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you man, I really do appreciate it. And yeah, Durst didn't like the song apparently so they tried to de-Bizkit it and made it fit on to this album.

veninblazer
January 25th 2019


10170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fucking hell, found another error lmao. It's "Sugar Honey Ice & Tea", you forgot the "Ice".

I know I'm being nitpicky, but that top review counts imho. Think about the Born of Osiris album that dropped for example, great review overshadowed by some lazy staff two-paragraph diatribe. Lol

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2019


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i know just found it combing over the review again bud

veninblazer
January 25th 2019


10170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, yeah I had to make some edits to my own review too, don't worry. I'm not perfect.

BrushedRed
January 25th 2019


3189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This is actually far beyond any expectations I had set. The singles sucked, the last album was very meh, but damn, the songs that aren’t singles are quite great and the opener is fantastic. If they’d have played around with those ideas more and cut the washed out BFMV sound in tracks like Mantra, Heavy Metal, Wonderful Life, and Sugar Honey & Iced Tea, this could be their best stuff, imo

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2019


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'd normally agree about the rock stuff on here, but i think it accompanies the electronic stuff here well. the house elements on this were a massive surprise

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2019


15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

plus, i initially hated mantra, but it's since grown on me quite a bit. and i think it sits in the album pretty well.

SlothcoreSam
January 25th 2019


1008 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Every time I hear Mantra, I can't help but think how BMTH are the modern day The Offspring. So much cheese in their songs!

Digging: Devon Kay and The Solutions - Yes I Can't

BrushedRed
January 25th 2019


3189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I just really appreciate their songs like I Apologise If You Feel Something, Ouch, and Fresh Bruises. Definite, major highlights I’d have never expected from them. I want a full album like that in the future.



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