Bring Me The Horizon - SempiternalBring Me The Horizon

Sempiternal

01. Can You Feel My Heart
02. The House of Wolves
03. Empire (Let Them Sing)
04. Sleepwalking
05. Go to Hell, for Heaven’s Sake
06. Shadow Moses
07. And the Snakes Start to Sing
08. Seen It All Before
09. Antivist
10. Crooked Young
11. Hospital for Souls

[04/02/13]
[Epitaph Records]

Bring Me The Horizon  are a band metal heads love to hate, for reasons good and bad. Much has been said about their image, music, lyrics and the events surrounding them as a band, a good amount of it not fit to print here, but that’s not the point of this review. The band are a about to release an album that has generated as much hype and debate as nearly any major metal release in recent memory, with some dismissing it out of hand based on the major and not so major changes the band have made, some embracing the their newfound maturity in songwriting and style, and still others are wondering what all the fuss is about, leading them to finally give the band a chance. With all that said, Sempiternal is a hotly debated and anticipated album that almost lives up to the bar set for it.

At times, Sempiternal is a great album, but not as consistently as it would like to be. It is, however, a refinement of the songwriting style the band brought to bear on their previous record There Is A Hell…, which was an enjoyable if forgettable slice of modern metalcore. Sempiternal manages to balance the memorable with the passé, becoming a good album that wants you to think it was a great one. Tracks like the opener ‘Can You Feel My Heart,‘ with its bombastic synths and Oli’s new vocal stylings, lead-off single ‘Shadow Moses’, and ‘Empire (Let Them Sing)‘ manage to  be memorable, catchy, and well written songs that showcase that the band possess songwriting abilities as good as any of their genre peers, if not better. Things start to drag a bit near the middle, with most of the songs book-ending ‘Shadow Moses’ feeling decent but uninspired. The record hits a nadir with ‘Antivist’, the most forgettable song on the album, but picks back up again for the phenomenal closing track ‘Hospital for Souls,’ providing a suitably epic conclusion.

Not much criticism can be leveled at Terry Date’s production, as it’s the slick, airtight, big budget metalcore production you would expect from a band with the kind of label backing Bring Me The Horizon have. Sempiternal is sonically fantastic, but it’s a shame the music itself doesn’t always do justice to the production. Everything sits well in the mix, Oli’s vocals are upfront but never overpowering, the guitars and synths (mostly) never clash and the rhythm section is competent and easy to hear.

Sempiternal is nothing new for the genre; the promised post-rock influences that the band teased beforehand rarely — if ever — show up, and it loses steam halfway through, but if this represents what Bring Me The Horizon are capable of, perhaps even a band as thoroughly mocked and reviled by the heavy music scene as they can break through to more underground appeal. Certainly not a great album, but as a sign of things to come, Sempiternal is very promising indeed.

Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal gets…

3.5/5

– CK

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