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Album Review

Album review: Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal

Bring Me The Horizon ― Sempiternal

bring_me_the_horizon___sempiternal_artwork_by_recklessart_graphics-d5mwrx2Bring Me The Horizon have never been a band to avoid controversy. There was that fan-related incident, the fake argument with Architects’ Sam Carter that backfired, and a man pretending to be lead singer Oli Sykes attacking a BMTH fan.

Surprisingly, BMTH’s biggest problems have, however, come from METULLL fans that can’t fathom the idea that the Sheffield boys aren’t actually the worst band to ever grace this Earth.

For those of us more open in our music tastes, Sempiternal is a seriously good album. Similarly to There Is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven Let’s Keep It A Secret, the band have continued to be more ambitious with their production choices than their first two records, with more synths and electronica influences than you could shake a perfectly-straightened fringe at. It’s like a heavier Enter Shikari with less politics, more teenage angst.

‘Shadow Moses’, the first song released from the album, treads the line between rock and metal sounds so carefully that it has even nabbed itself a place on the Radio One playlist (although they probably got confused and thought they were You Me At Six). Follow up ‘Sleepwalking’ begins with a weird bleeping before Sykes’ gravelly wailing kicks in, but if you’re into that kind of thing, it works.

‘Can You Feel My Heart’ makes no qualms about shoving high-pitched electronics and vocal sound effects in wherever possible while ‘The House of Wolves’ steers the sound towards heavier guitars and relentless screaming. ‘Empire (Let Them Sing)’ begins with an energetic drum beat, owning the best foot-stamping, head-banging chorus on the record.

‘Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake’ could easily be mistaken for a far poppier band with Sykes’ vocals not as heavy as in other tracks and ‘And The Snakes Start To Sing’ slows everything down. Without the ferocious energy the up-tempo tracks have though it verges on boring.

Unfortunately, the much needed burst of energy fails to appear in ‘Seen It All Before’, but ‘Antivist’ will no doubt have black-adorning crowds shouting along on their upcoming tour. ‘Crooked Young’ starts off like a faster version of previous release ‘It Never Ends’, the string section a soothing contrast to Sykes’ never ending rage.

It’s not clear why you’d want to spend half a minute listening to Oli ramble on about some sort of deep and meaningful life realisation but the rest of final song ‘Hospital For Souls’ initially seems like a brilliant album ender with the standard checklist of speech, soft, emotional singing, and louder moments. Disappointingly, in the end, it’s a bit of an anti-climax.

Bring Me The Horizon will probably never reach chart-assaulting levels of fame like some of their peers, or win over fans of heavier music, but, for those of us still clinging on to the emo/screamo/I hate my parents music of our teenage years, Sempiternal is about as good as it gets in terms of new material in 2013.

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