For today’s blog entry I thought I’d write about something I’ve been listening to a lot recently. My listening trends are kind of odd: at any one point I’ll be really into a few albums and not really listen to anything else for a week or two. I’ll go months without listening to an artist or album that I know I really enjoy, and one day I’ll rediscover them and fall in love all over again. This week I did this with the band Bring Me The Horizon and their most recent full length “Sempiternal”
The lead single off of “Sempiternal” shows off the band’s new found sound
BMTH is a band with an interesting career path. Starting out as one of the deathcore scene’s premiere acts, BMTH has been able to evolve their sound while retaining their popularity instead of fading out of the spotlight with the coming and going of trends in heavy music. A big reason of why the band has adapted over the years (their recent output barely resembles their early material at this point) is lead singer Oli Sykes’ vocal problems. At some point around their third album cycle, Sykes blew out his voice (something that tends to happen when you have to yell hour-long sets on tour 9 months a year) and was forced to change how he sings. This has lead to a more post-hardcore/alternative sound from BMTH, with Sykes using more melody in his vocal lines and a new, primal sort of scream that really adds a new emotional dimension to the band’s sound.
This track shows off Syke’s singing ability
Compared to their older material, BMTH’s new sound is simpler and more straightforward. They haven’t sacrificed any of their intensity (there will still be catchy one liners before brutal break-downs) but they have greatly improved their songwriting ability. The array of textures present in the music has been expanded with the addition of Jordan Fish on keys, synths, and programming duties. Fish adds depth to the songs on “Sempiternal” and puts a fresh spin on metalcore with his use of electronics. In addition to all of these new sounds, Sykes really stepped up his lyrical game for this effort. Having struggled in overcoming a crippling addiction to ketamine, Sykes had a lot of dark personal experience to draw upon for lyrical inspiration. His recovery is the predominate theme on this album, but religion also plays a big role. Oli Sykes is apparently not into the idea of religion one bit, and he has no problem letting everybody know.
“And when you die the only kingdom you’ll see is 2 foot wide and 6 foot deep”
“Sempiternal” is a very compelling album from a band that isn’t ready to go away yet. This album marked a new chapter in BMTH’s career and is my favorite effort from the band to date. I can’t wait to hear where they take their sound in the future and see them in concert again.