Bring Me The Horizon has proven many times that they are one of the most versatile bands on the scene. Simply examining the variation within the last three albums is more than enough evidence to rest my case. “Sempiternal” was easily one of my favorite records from 2013, and the band has once again transformed their sound to match the growing struggles of the members.
Throughout the entirety of the song, you get a sense of what the album has in store. There is a strange feeling within the music that gives you chills. Bring Me The Horizon’s vocalist, Oli, is at his finest, neither straining nor sounding contrived. The instruments’ dark tones are beautiful. Overall, “Doomed” is a great opening track to this album.
Being the first single off the album (“Drown” was remastered, voiding the original version from being considered a part of the tracklist), “Happy Song” has a lot of the elements that make Bring Me The Horizon so great. The angry lyrics and rough emotions carry the song all the way through. The aggressive nature is balanced out by the eerie cheerleading chant that comes together for a glorious jam.
This song has certainly grown on me since the first listen. I was too quick to judge, writing it off as a bland attempt to relate to a broad audience. After more listens, I realized how great this song really is. The positive lyrics are a little strange coming from such a historically angry band, but set that aside and there is a lot to like here. The fast-paced instrumentals are spot on and the electronic tracking is a perfect fit. All parts come together to create quite a pleasing tune.
Unfortunately, this is where the album hits its first road block. “True Friends” is simply annoying. Lyrically, it is some of the weakest material the band has released in recent memory. Lines like “True friends stab you in the front” are silly, coming off forced and ridiculous in perspective of the rest of the rather well-crafted album. Instrumentally, it’s a bit bland; overall, there isn’t much to praise.
With a breath of fresh air, the album rings with true beauty. “Follow You” hits every target it sets out for. The somber yet powerful message comes across with deep sincerity, never sounding forced or generic. Vocally, this is one of the best on the entire album. The same can be said for the instruments, each giving off a vibrant tone.
I don’t have a specific opinion on “What You Need.” There are definitely some aspects that work well. The drumming stands out as a bright spot here. It is sharp and fluent, hitting the right notes on every act. The vocals are hit and miss here, as well as the lyrical content. In fact, that’s how I would categorize the whole song: hit or miss. I wouldn’t say this is a bad song by any means, but it in no way stands out.
You gotta love those strings, right? Honestly though, the backtracking of this song is beautiful. There is a melodic masterpiece of sound that plays throughout this track and it makes it that much better. The overall balance of rough vocals and heavenly, harmonic instrumentals is gorgeous, piecing together one of the most intense songs on the entire album.
I was bored by this one. The slowly-paced chorus is like a trudge through thick mud; it never seems to lighten up and becomes a bit tedious to listen to. At this point in the tracklist, the album needed a kick in the rear to finish out strongly, and I don’t think this was the right way to go about it. The instrumentals are dull, the vocals are too thick, and overall “Run” doesn’t hit its mark.
As I mentioned before in the review, this is the remastered version of “Drown,” though I can’t say I see a huge difference. The lack isn’t a bad thing at all, considering this is one of my favorite tracks released by the band in recent memory. The strong, anthemic feel to this song is incredible, creating an arena-pulser like no other. Oli shows off some of his best vocal abilities in a long time, making a strong push. I’d consider this track a classic.
Coming off of “Drown,” this track is such a downer. The above-it-all elitism flows in this track bothers me. I can’t confirm this motive with any evidence; it’s simply an opinion. This track lacks any sort of fresh taste. The drums are non-existent, as are the general instrumentals of the entire track. It’s simple, but in a bad way. The emotion and passion just aren’t found here and it ends up falling flat.
After such a complex serving from this record, the closer needs to be very strong to secure a victory. What we are given is a bit of a mixed bag. There’s a strange funk groove in the beginning that sets off the song in a quirky way, but in the total picture it’s a bit off-putting. The tone of this track doesn’t quite suit the rest of the record. Because of this, it feels out of place and unfortunately doesn’t quite work. By itself it might work fine, but context is key.
You certainly can’t discredit Bring Me The Horizon for being stale. They have proven time and time again that they are a band with a purpose of change and they do it well. This time around, the finished product didn’t work quite as well as previous attempts, but there is a lot to like amongst the many tracks.