Bring Me The Horizon

There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret

Written by: BL on 13/11/2010 19:54:58

Bring Me The Horizon. The mere mention of the name is sure to incite a reaction of some kind amongst all of you, whether good or bad. One thing you cannot deny is their meteoric success, forming a now worldwide fanbase the band has enjoyed since their small humble beginnings almost six years ago as a trendy looking deathcore band. Long since has their sound moved past simply slinging together a bunch of simple chugging breakdowns and angular riffs to frontman Syke's low growls and shrieks in "Count Your Blessings". "Suicide Season" marked the beginning of a transformation for the band, moving into a more accessible yet organic sound. It wasn't a perfect album, but you could hear them slowly starting to mature in the songwriting, the lyrics and refocusing the aggression into something more refined. Now comes their third full length, the awkwardly long and ambitious sounding "There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret". This takes everything they've achieved with "Suicide Season" and moves further out into new waters.

"Crucify Me" is the opening song, and doesn't depart too much from the framework laid out from "Suicde Season" at first. A short and soft deceptive intro leads into fast, pummeling yet melodic guitars while Syke's strained vocals dominate the early proceedings until we reach the chorus. Featuring the American female singer Lights (whom you don't hear til the end), it's the first sign of the band really playing around with their sound - heavily electronics tinged vocal effects during the chorus is something I'd never imagine the band doing. It did sound a little strange at first but after a few listens I found it quite enjoyable. It actually reflects the band's supposed electronic and ambient influences quite well which we wil get to hear more of later on. "Anthem" is a more standard affair, and literally plays out how you would imagine: a big chorus, super fast and aggressive riffing with pacey drums to match. Up next, "It Never Ends" and "Fuck" are two of the highlights of the album. Both songs actually share similar song structures, but even so are very well written with well worked interchanges of delicately soft and super heavy dynamics, and additional melodies courtesy of keyboard and synth samples. The former is so catchy that you will be nodding your head and singing along to the lyrics pretty quickly (especially the chorus and outro). The latter features Josh Franceschi of You Me At Six contributing some striking and contrasting clean vocals, which may not be everybody's cup of tea - but in the context of the song, I thought they were a nice complement to Syke's harsher voice.

"Don't Go" is a really surprising addition to the track list. Definitely one of the most ambitious songs the band has done so far, it features Lights again but this time round it's a wholely different affair. Most of the song is quite soft: some light strings, minimal drumming with Sykes' screams in the foreground, while Lights nimble but soothing voice delivers some haunting vocal lines - all leading up to a crescendo where the guitars finally kick in. The lyrics here show a side of him that you caught a glimpse of on the final album titled track of "Suicide Season", someone who seems more vulnerable than most would imagine with stuff like "God forgive me for all my sins, God forgive me for everything" and "Say you'll never leave me cause I need you so much" amongst others. I would have perhaps liked a catchier guitar part when the guitars actually came in but for the most part the song works really well. "Home Sweet Hole" is back on familiar ground, a driven and memorable chorus surrounded by visceral sounding guitar lines that zip by with some decent urgency. Other than a short acoustic interlude towards the end breaking the action up, there isn't all that much else to this track though. "Alligator Blood" similarly is perhaps a little on the safe side. Those gnarly guitar riffs while doing their job of slicing through the airwaves are such a staple to the Bring Me The Horizon sound that we are starting to get too used to them, less of a weapon and more of a cliche. "Visions" does a little better in all aspects, some very catchy guitar passages that helps lift the building monotony somewhat.

"Blacklist" slows the tempo right down, and might seem a little too one dimensional at first. I will admit that I was a little concerned at just how long the guitars seemed to be dragging along repetitively until the guitar solo crept in and then finally things picked up the pace for a bruising finish, saving the song somewhat. "Memorial" is a peaceful interlude track which follows that again displays the electronic side the band has now incorporated in their sound and serves as a well timed intermission, something needed after the meat of the middle section of the album. Following on, "Blessed With A Curse" is probably the final showpiece of the album, using the soft and heavy dynamics to the full extent that made the previous three strongest tracks so sucessful in my opinion. The way the song builds tension before unloading into the choruses is excellent, though the anticipation for one final epic crescendo is perhaps only slightly misplaced given that the song seems to end rather prematurely after a super tasteful guitar solo that just lingers alone with Syke's voice. Nevertheless it's a most enjoyable track and sets up nicely for the punishingly fast and heavy closer "Fox And The Wolf" that features Josh Scogin of The Chariot. A fitting end as the duo tear it up so to speak with fiery growls and screams all the way through.

So there you have it folks, Bring Me The Horizon have more or less successfully shown that progression is working in their favour when they try to push some boundaries here and there. There's a couple of small missteps along the way, including the somewhat average middle section of the album, which won't turn as many heads as much as perhaps the more ambitious songs in "Don't Go" and "Blessed With A Curse". That aside, heavier inclusions like the closer "Fox And The Wolf", "Visions" and "Anthem", will at least ensure the fans who prefer that side of the band won't feel left out amongst the undoubtedly more popular single material in "Crucify Me", "It Never Ends" and "Fuck". At the end of the day this is definitely a highlight release for the genre even if it won't strike a chord with everybody out there. Certainly also worth a look to see what all the fuss is about because you never know, this might be the album to finally change your opinion on what these guys are all about.

Download: It Never Ends, Fuck, Don't Go, Blessed With A Curse
For the fans of: Architects, Gallows, UnderOATH
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.10.2010
Visible Noise Records

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