For Fans Of
There are plenty or reasons for a drastic change in a band’s sound, the need to evolve and mature, mainstream success, boredom and the want of a challenge, just to name a few. For Bring Me The Horizon on their fourth record ‘Sempiternal,’ all of the aforementioned could be possibilities but judging by the type of change, it is clear the group are aiming for a bigger audience, as they have created their most accessible album to date.
Sounding like a heavier Linkin Park, ‘Sempiternal‘ combines enough unique BMTH elements to make it still sound like the band with cleaner and more melodic vocals and synth driven music. Front man Oliver Sykes sounds almost identical to Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington in moments, like the chorus lines in ‘Sleepwalking,’ which could easily be confused for one of the nu-metal legend’s heavier numbers.
The group have decided to open the record with the track that is furthest from the sound of the back catalogue, possibly to explain straight up that this will be something different. ‘Can You Feel My Heart‘ is a slow paced song driven by a dance style synth riff and atmospheric guitars with Sykes slightly gritty vocals slicing through. The synth lines will probably put the metal lovers off but the track, and album, will grow on the listener with every spin.
The reocrd can still be brutal in parts, like the fast paced punk number ‘The House Of Wolves,’ which trades synths for the pulverising BMTH guitar riffs and gang vocals. Another surprisingly different moment, and highlight, is ‘And The Snakes Start To Sing,’ a softer number with electronic touches that demonstrates the range and abilities of Sykes voice as it grows into a wall of sound with intricate guitar lines worked throughout.
The use of strings is rampant throughout the album, especially on ‘Crooked Young‘ in which they provide the main melody line, blended perfectly into a heavy sound akin to classic BMTH. The record closes with ‘Hospital For Souls,’ a slow builder which eventually explodes into a creepy power ballad that manages to sum up all of the elements, old and new, of this album.
It’s lose/lose for a band like Bring Me The Horizon, for if they were to stay the same, people would complain about their lack of maturity and likely lose interest. If they make a serious change, like they have on ‘Sempiternal,’ the diehards will dismiss them as sell-outs for the mainstream sound they are now trying for. Put all of that crap aside however, and you will find a successful heavy band, toggling the line between their roots and commercial appeal in the hopes of bringing the genre into the mainstream, something we should all support considering what fills the airwaves currently.
1. Can You Feel My Heart
2. The House of Wolves
3. Empire (Let Them Sing)
5. Go to Hell, for Heaven’s Sake
6. Shadow Moses
7. And the Snakes Start to Sing
8. Seen It All Before
10. Crooked Young
11. Hospital for Souls