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Whilst ‘keeping secrets’ emerges as the game plan behind Bring Me The Horizon’s worldwide crusade, one fact remains uncovered: their latest album, ‘There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen it. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret.’ remains anything but one throughout the many shores it has graced. Debuting at first place in the Australian ARIA charts and surprising media firms throughout Australia, Bring Me The Horizon have bounced back with a third full-length release; dishing out twelve tracks that stray from the mangled path of deathcore rambles and nu-metal licks which characterised this album’s predecessors, and rather amalgamating these styles into a sound more musically mature and structurally refined. Arguably standing at the forefront of the overflowing jungle that is modern metalcore, does ‘There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen it. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret’ break the boundaries to prove that there is more than just neck tattoos and shampooed hair defining this UK blockbuster?
‘There Is A Hell…’ is a hand of cards, each card reflecting a crucial element within the album’s construction. Mr Melody is their newest king, in which the opening track – ‘Crucify Me’ attests to the melodic nature and, contrasting to previous releases, musical consonance so integral to this release. Instantly, this album strikes a chord (no pun intended) with the clean solo guitar introduction; bound to take most by surprise in comparison to the relentlessly harsh tones this band has grown to become associated with. Lengthy chord progressions, climaxes and catchy, strummed chords permeate much of the album in which the new direction of their sound is made clear. Soaring delay-filled leads glide over chords beneath, with chorus-like riffs employed in many of the tracks. This is possibly the most exciting aspect of BMTH’s latest score, mirroring slight influence from the likes of Misery Signals and Shai Hulud in which the album gains an overall, greater sense of musical structure and maturity.
If melodies are King for this release then the double-feature of Canadian pop singer sensation, Lights is undoubtedly its Queen. If you haven’t heard of Lights then here’s a quick run-down: the ultra-fuckin’ bomb. Let’s just get real for a second – Lights’ short-lived, yet deeply meaningful contribution in the opening track and slow song, ‘Don’t Go’ jumps this release up 10 notches. Like rays of light through the clouds, listeners are granted moments of tranquillity within this album in which it’s melodic, and more musically harmonious nature is further heightened. Similarly, John Franceschi’s (You Me At Six) input in ‘Fuck’ provides a sense of stability within the album, interrupting the savage screams of Oli Sykes.
BMTH throws an Ace within the deck through their incorporation of a diverse range of musical forces. The album’s single, ‘It Never Ends’ displays their attempts at shaping their own style, featuring a range of synths, a full choir and electronically tampered drums. In others, you’ll hear violins and keyboards, electronic bass, acoustic guitars and even an auto-tuned choir. And whilst this all sounds somewhat innovative for this band, at some stages the effect of the electronic devices is one of novelty; appearing to have little musical meaning within and seemingly appearing as a way to jump on the synth-metal bandwagon.
Despite the numerous wildcards and modern-metal shenanigans thrown within the mix, for the most part, ‘There Is A Hell…’ is BMTH the way fans have known for the past six, or at least, few years. Ironically, this is where the monotony of the release stems from. ‘Anthem’ and ‘Visions’ resemble the thoroughly heavy nature, and nu-metal inspired riffs of previous album, ‘Suicide Season’ – undyingly fast and featuring the onslaught of gang vocals that pervaded much of that record. Of course, what bounce-heavy BMTH release would be complete without a coined-phrase: “Let’s play a game of Russian roulette, I’ll load the gun, you place the bets,” as seen in ‘Alligator Blood’, bound to reverberate from teen-screaming halls throughout the stages worldwide. Each of these mentioned tracks could easily suffice as an extra within ‘Suicide Season’, and in this way, the recycled nature of chugging riffs and fast breakdowns evident throughout most of the album truly weighs it down, testifying the musically exhausted nature of their style. There is an exception to this however, with heavier tracks such as ‘Memorial’ reflecting new influences in its use of down-tempo bluesy riffs and simple drum beats.
Through their latest release, ‘There is a Hell…’, Bring Me The Horizon have drawn a new hand of royal cards in an attempt to further redefine the traits that define them. Carrying the torch of mainstream alternative music, if this band represents the qualities of modern metal then listeners can look forward to a future of electro-synth gimmicks, atmospheric chorus-like riffs and lengthened chord progressions. And whilst the melodic aspect – comprising a huge part of their new direction – is probably the most refreshing element of this album, for the latter part much of this release seems like a non-developed extension of their previous release; recycled, reused and monotonous. ‘There is a Hell…’ may be BMTH’s most musically matured release to date, but to live up to their status in pioneering modern metal, what’s needed is more consistency in innovation and less reprocessing of generic material.
1. "Crucify Me" (featuring Lights)
3. "It Never Ends"
4. "Fuck" (featuring Josh Franceschi of You Me at Six)
5. "Don’t Go" (featuring Lights)
6. "Home Sweet Hole"
7. "Alligator Blood"
10. "Memorial" (instrumental)
11. "Blessed with a Curse"
12. "The Fox and the Wolf" (featuring Josh Scogin of The Chariot)