Bring Me The Horizon & Cradle Of Filth isn’t a collab we expected.
Cradle Of Filth frontman, Dani Filth, lending vocals to a new Bring Me The Horizon song is just the world we live in, apparently. Hell, even Grimes will appear on the band’s next record too. That being said, don’t expect anything extreme or blackened with the U.K. band’s latest single, ‘wonderful life‘; from either Dani or from BMTH leading man, Oli Sykes. Rather, in the third verse, the former gives us the kind of creepy, whispered vocals that he loves so much (making for one of the best sections of the whole song), whereas Oli just sounds like Oli; fry vocals and all. For older fans, the higher-pitched yells used throughout this new track most likely won’t be enough to satiate said people’s love for heavier vocal performances either.
Lyrically, ‘wonderful life‘ is somewhat cringe at times (“but everybody knows I got bounce“), yet for the most part, the wordings and the music video paint out a clear intent: to humanize people who seemingly have it all and who have cultivated massive careers in music. The song’s clip shows each of the five band members doing rather ordinary and mundane things. Actions such as: housework, getting handymen to come to fix stuff, going for a jog, hanging out on the couch watching T.V., spending time with the kids and family, and in Dani’s role here, shopping whilst dressed in full corpse paint and his battle-ready live outfit. The whole “joke” being that this supposed ‘wonderful life’ isn’t always amazing, full-on or overly interesting; that even famous musicians have boring days, have to clean their cars, mow their lawns, and go grocery shopping just like the rest of us mere peasants.
Along with the intro seeing Oli wax lyrical about how our brains begin to exponentially rot in our late 20s and onwards (which is scientific fact), this song is a call to find stimulation later on in life and to retain fleeting youth as we approach our middle-age. However, while I can see that lyrics like “Nobody cares if I’m dead or alive” play into the song’s idea of being stuck inside your head due to equal parts wasteful boredom and the stresses of handling success and being in the public eye – of constantly hanging on a knife’s edge, as it were – did anyone else find said lyric a little disingenuous? For if Oli were to suddenly pass away tomorrow (god forbid), countless listeners around the world would be deeply saddened by the news. Myself most certainly included! As so many of us have enjoyed the music he’s been apart over the years. Whether it’s the earlier records, these new songs from 2019’s forthcoming ‘Amo‘, or 2015’s chart-storming world-buster, ‘That’s The Spirit‘.
Overall, this is still a weaker track than ‘Mantra‘ I’d say. See, the playfulness and cleverness of the lyricism behind ‘Mantra‘ was a big part of why that song worked. Lines like “that’s all the time we have this week” playing into the predatory nature of life coaches abusing the wallets and minds of emotionally poorer individuals just trying to find their way in life; of sinister folks creating a cult of personality around themselves for profit. Yet whatever larger cultish theme that first single was leaning hard into is absent here; making me feel as if ‘Amo‘ will be a very scattered record conceptually. Given just how much could be done with the aesthetic and theme behind a track and video like ‘Mantra‘, I’m not sure if that’s maybe a missed opportunity on the band’s part. I guess we’ll find out when their new album drops in January!
As for the song itself, ‘wonderful life‘ ain’t too bad. Lee Malia’s catchy, fuzzy, low octave guitar work really steals the show here; injecting a dope-ass heavier element into the track’s pacing. Other than the bright horns and strings that spring forth in the song’s solid climax, Lee’s thickened, bouncy rock riffs are seriously the song’s greatest strength. While said part doesn’t vary itself over the course of the song, it’s such a sweet riff that I don’t at all mind. Shit, there’s even a breakdown here and that’s something we just don’t see much of now from BMTH.
Although, this is the same old story as to why I can’t fully love newer BMTH. Why the musicality on offer is great, and the production and arrangement just grows bigger and bolder with each new release, it’s the vocals from Oli that let it down. With little range and character to his voice, him staying within that same fry-vocal lane as it’s all he can do, and after seeing how he can’t match up live, Oli’s vocals hold my total appreciation back. It all makes me yearn to hear these songs with producer/percussionist/keyboardist/man-who-practically-saved-the-band, Jordan Fish, taking up the lead singer mantle. Just like how this alternate version of ‘Doomed‘ works so well with Jordan vocally at the forefront. And look, I don’t want Oli to scream as he did almost a decade ago. Because he just can’t do that vocally, it wouldn’t fit with their current sound, and just because there’s screaming, that doesn’t automatically make something good. I just want to actually see his singing improve and adapt. (Also, those ‘talking’ vocals in the intro have zero flow and just seem super awkward when paired with the timing of the accompanying instrumentals).
Anyway, that’s just my personal takeaway here. What’s your vibe on ‘wonderful life‘?