Bring Me The Horizon

Suicide Season

Written by: TL on 21/10/2008 21:56:21

Back when I first heard Bring Me The Horizon and their debut album "Count Your Blessings", I was shocked, surprised and impressed all at once, as I realised firsthand how much heavier and dirtier they were, compared to the absolute emo-cheesefest their name and looks would suggest. From then on I was all aboard the bandwagon praising the band for their unadulterated aggression and untamed fuck-all attitude - But after the novelty had worn off, and the fan base began looking forward to the next album, I started asking myself where on earth Bring Me The Horizon would take their sound, in order to keep us interested after "Count Your Blessings".

It seems, however, that the band is more than comfortable shitting all over any expectations I may ever have for them, because their sophomore "Suicide Season" answers all my doubts by being even heavier, dirtier and all-round better than its predecessor. From the first beat of opener "The Comedown" the 'Horizon hammer away at strings distorted to an unseen level of "badass", the gas pedal is pushed to the metal and Oli Sykes completes the package by delivering vocals even more disturbed and vicious than we're used to. From then on and forward you're in the band's own private universe, where everything is twisted into perverted shape by bitterness and apathy, and where every destructive urge you have is awakened. It's not a theatrical soundscape like you'd expect from a regular metal band, rather it's a mood that's sharp, simple and primal. "Chelsea Smile" only makes things better, with more characteristic riffs and more memorable lyrics. Aside from his growls, shrieks and barks, Oli now also employs a manic Frank Carter-ish (Gallows) hardcore yell which serves as his weapon of choice throughout. He is also supported by backing vocals, both single and gang-shouted, as portrayed perfectly by the stupendous "REPENT! REPENT!" breakdown preceding one of the few moments where the music lets go of the all out madness and allows room for a moment of clearer desperation in some of Oli's better lyrics:

"But if I don't believe in him, why would he believe in me?!"

"It Was Written In Blood" brings the carnage back full force though, and its awesome call/response screamed chorus has you back in the mood for smashing things in no time. "Death Breath" follows the formula of the previous three tracks to the letter, and while it is by no means a worse track, you may feel that things are getting trivial by then. That's when the band treats us to a display of their thrashy party-attitude on "Football Season Is Over", coming complete with their trademark riff-ending mini solos that sound like the guitars are being torn apart, and with a retardedly vulgar refrain:

"Party till you pass out! Drink till you're dead! Dance all night till you can't feel your legs!".

So if you weren't clued in already, that should let you know that BMTH are all about fuckin' things up, be it themselves or their surroundings, at least for the vast majority of the time - but more on that later. "Sleep With One Eye Open" serves as a platform upon which Oli shows just how absurdly many shapes he can bend his throaty delivery into, giving us the complete range of barks, yells, shrieks and growls in quick succession. "Diamonds Aren't Forever" is a more breakdown oriented variant to the band's formula, again featuring lyrics that are all too easy to scream along to. At track eight out of ten though, things suddenly get more interesting, as "The Sadness Will Never End" is a much deeper and more melodic track than anything we've previously heard from the band, and its overall expression is completely devoid of thrash attitude, leaning more on a sound similar to UnderOATH or 36 Crazyfists. The cool thing is that BMTH manage to do it just as well, and it's a delight to see that they're actually also capable of some believable emotion.

"I can taste the failure on your lips!"

The second to last track "No Need For Introductions" couldn't have been titled better, because while it serves as an introduction to the last song, we really would've been better off without having heard the absolute worst aspect of BMTH, namely what happens when Oli goes a bit over the top in his self-righteous rage:

"After everything you put me through, I should've fuckin' pissed on you!"

Rather distasteful I think. That being said though, the closer "Suicide Season" is a completely different story. The eight minute plus mammoth of a track features the band at its most layered and deepest moment, heavier even than anything they've done before, and after the mellow, ambient bridge, the remaining half of the song is just one long ear-pleasing crescendo that UnderOATH would give a standing ovation.

In fact, if the entire album had been like "The Sadness Will Never End" and "Suicide Season", I would probably have been bursting with excitement, but it is still no bad thing at all that it instead shows both sides of Bring Me The Horizon, the older and more stupidly aggressive of which have grown even stronger than it was before. It leaves the image of a band that has not only gained experience, but also evolved and managed to surprise me yet again, and now I already know that I'll be looking forward to their next record with much more positive expectations. To end this already monumental review, let me just say that if you can stomach your metal without it revolving around medieval soothsayers, Egyptian deities and without being long haired and dressed for D&D, I suggest you give "Suicide Season" a spin or two, whether it be because you like it when it's stupid, simple and angry, or when it attempts to travel into more mature and thoughtful territories.

Download: Chelsea Smile, It Was Written In Blood, Football Season Is Over, Suicide Season
For The Fans Of: Eternal Lord, The Devil Wears Prada, UnderOATH, 36 Crazyfists
Listen: myspace.com/bmth

Release Date 22.09.2008
Visible Noise/Epitaph

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