“Before the truth will set you free, it will piss you off” sings Bring Me The Horizon vocalist Oli Sykes in lead off single MANTRA and if there was ever a statement that some people are going to have a swallow some bitter pills, that’s it.
There are few bands out there that can spilt opinion like BMTH. Are they metalcore, deathcore, Art-pop? Well here’s the truth, they are an extremely talented group of musicians who have seen the ruins of the metal landscape, the same tired old genres and styles, and decided that the only way to progress is to slip through the cracks and explore new horizons.
Is this new album’s sound that much of a shock though? Or do we have a bunch of keyboard warriors who are upset the band haven’t released Count Your Blessings Part 2? The keyboard influence of Jordan Fish has been felt for quite a number of years and to be frank, that extra layer of musicianship has been the key that has allowed the band to escape the metalcore prison.
Let’s be honest, if you’re looking for a band to keep releasing the same album, get on the AC/DC train. If you’re looking for something vibrant, challenging and daring, then listen to this.
Opening with i apologise if you feel something, it’s an ambient intro that sets the tone for the album. The band, whether you like or not, or going to take you, the listener, on a journey to the farthest reach of their universe. Strap yourself in and get ready for a blast off into a whole new dimension as the flames from this rocket ship heat up on MANTRA. That this will become a live favourite is quite evident.
Now for the ‘bitter pill old schoolers’ as next up is the art pop influenced nihilist blue with duelling vocals with Canadian superstar Grimes and while it’s not ‘traditional’ BMTH, it fits the album perfectly. The thing is Oli Sykes wants to scream not sing all the time and while on in the dark he sounds like Ed Sheeren, it’s actually good.
Yes there are ambient EDM sounding tracks like ouch and fresh bruises however tracks like wonderful life with a glorious cameo from Cradle Of Filth’s Dani Filth, still kick arse while also acknowledging the state of play with some self aware humour.
The punk driven energised sugar honey ice & tea shows the band can still rock with a great riff and delicious chorus. Once again they have displayed that they have evolved from their earlier works and while heavy metal may not be metal it does continue to show the bands dark humour.
Closer i don’t know what to say is beautiful orchestral tapestry of emotion, an ode to a close friend who dies of cancer. It’s a suitable epic finish to an album which leaves the listener thinking about more than petty musical sub genres.
The whole album is a snapshot of the bands life at this point. The worldwide success of the band equalised out by the break up of relationships. The musical craftsmanship going to another level while sombre emotionally. There is humour, there is darkness. This is an evolution. This is a truth and yes it may piss you off, however as the lyric near the end of the album says, they have “made gold out of pain”. So will you if you let the truth set you free.
Album Review By Iain McCallum