Bring Me The Horizon
01. Crucify Me
03. It Never Ends
05. Don’t Go
06. Home Sweet Hole
07. Alligator Blood
11. Blessed With A Curse
12. Fox And The Wolf
[Epitaph | 10/15/10]
Metalheads everywhere cringe at the thought of Bring Me The Horizon, and with good reason. Looking at them and their fanbase, it’s the epitome of scene kids infiltrating our precious metals. Their vocalist Oli Sykes is the biggest twat ever; even looking at him can throw me into a fit of rage. And not only that, their music was just terrible deathcore.
Despite the terrible connotations associated with the band, The Number Of The Blog’s Quigs Quigley was tenacious in his defense of Bring Me The Horizon’s latest album Hell/Heaven (I refuse to type that whole long and pretentious title more than once) is actually pretty good. After putting it off for some time, I finally caved and gave it a listen, and it was surprising. Hell/Heaven is actually not bad at all.
Transforming from the generic deathcore of the past into some above average metalcore, Hell/Heaven will no doubt change your idea of Bring Me The Horizon. While their sound has gotten a little too close to biting Architects‘ sound (Oli’s screams sound damn near identical to Sam Carter’s at times), they do manage to change things up enough and stand apart to sound unique.
The best thing about the album comes in the way of the production and sound quality. The sound is absolutely huge, with layers of synth orchestration and meaty riffs. Everything just sounds great, and it comes as no surprise, as I’m sure they can afford to have top notch production. Songwriting is actually a strongpoint as well, with breakdowns few and far between, tucked into places where they actually work well in the context of the song. There are even a couple of guitar solos in the songs “Blacklist” and “Blessed By A Curse.” They aren’t very technical at all, but the fact that they’re reaching that point is a good sign.
Lyrically, the album is hit and miss and is definitely where the album suffers most. While the vocals take on a hardcore style of screaming with gang shouts scattered about, the lyrics coming out of his mouth are sometimes juvenile and shameful. While the song “Fuck” is a good listen, I feel guilty enjoying a song that has the lyrics “Lets fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!” It’s damn near embarrassing. When he’s not busy being pretentious and full of himself, Oli does come across as convincingly emotional in his delivery as in the ballad “Don’t Go,” which features Canadian electropop singer Lights. I’m not sure if it’s contrived or if real emotion is actually there, but it’s convincing enough.
The better songs seem to be condensed towards the first half of the album, where the memorable orchestration, riffs, and choruses lie. Either things get more generic towards the end or I’m over it at that point, but the 2nd half of the album lacks some of the power the first half has. Pacing is also broken with “Blessed With A Curse” being succeeded by “Fox and the Wolf,” a shorter track featuring Josh Scorgin of The Chariot. “Blessed With A Curse” could have been a great closer for the album had it not being followed by the short burst of intensity out of nowhere. The song is great, but it doesn’t belong at the end of the album.
Hell/Heaven works best when you ignore the fact that it’s a Bring Me The Horizon album and if you go into it with an open mind. Honestly, this is not bad at all and it shows a maturing in sound that will be surprising to those who wrote them off in the past. While it isn’t some piece of masterful work, the band are clearly working on it. If they keep it up, they’ll move beyond the realm of guilty pleasure.
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