Label: RCA Records
Release Date: 1st April, 2013
When it comes to metalcore, there are commonly two sides of the fence you can be on right now. You can either act like the elitist metalhead wanting nothing to do with “pussy metalcore music.” Or you can just shut up and enjoy the brutal yet haunting music of Bring Me The Horizon‘s latest offering, Sempiternal.
The sound of Sempiternal is somewhat of a surprise considering it’s released through RCA Records, since major record labels usually try to make a metal band’s music more radio-friendly. However this is Bring Me The Horizon‘s most experimental work yet, blending liberal doses of electronica with heavy riffs to form an ethereal yet brutal sound.
The first track “Can You Feel My Heart” most clearly shows the band’s change in sound. It’s a euphoric combination of melodic guitar and bass, resounding drums, lead synths, ambient sound textures, and angst-ridden vocals with a good amount of sampling. The second track, “The House of Wolves” immediately breaks you out of your trance with some of the heaviest riffage and drums that Bring Me The Horizon has ever played, followed by an anthemic chorus with some light piano.
And so Sempiternal continues with its hybridization of electronica with cathartic metalcore. The electronic influences are more liberal in some songs like “Sleepwalking” and “Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake”, while songs like “And The Snakes Start To Sing” show Bring Me The Horizon‘s mellower side. “Shadow Moses” and “Anti-vist“ have no doubt been good choices for the album’s lead singles, with the former track one of the best of the lot. The tight unit of Oli Sykes on vocals, Lee Malia on lead guitar, Matt Kean on bass, Matt Nicholls on drums and Jordan Fish on keyboards and programming (ex-member Jona Weinhofen’s contribution is still in question) have evolved the sound of Bring Me The Horizon into an emotional juggernaut, albeit with brutal riffs as well. And now that Jordan Fish has permanently joined the crew, this could possibly be the start of a new direction and much bigger things for the band.
The two closing tracks, “Crooked Young” and “Hospital For Souls” both experiment with some beautiful orchestral arrangements. “Crooked Young” bears a close resemblance to the sound of BMTH’s last album There Is a Hell, Believe Me, I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let’s Keep It a Secret, and “Hospital For Souls” is a perfectly cathartic ending for the album, with its use of rave synths; curious but noteworthy.
In summation, Sempiternal is without a doubt Bring Me The Horizon‘s best work yet, crossing over many borders and earning fans from many different walks of heavy metal. A fearlessly genre-bending salvo in today’s saturated metal scene, it’s able to tug at your heartstrings in one moment, and make you wildly headbang in another. So if any elitist prick still chastises you for listening to this music, just remember what Oli screams in “Anti-vist”: “middle fingers up, if you don’t give a fuck”.