Alternative Rock | Nu Metal | Metalcore
When looking back on the soundtrack of my teenhood, you could safely say that quite a big chunk of it exists with thanks to the Sheffield band that is Bring Me the Horizon. Specifically, they made up a lot of the more edgy tunes that I listened to as an angsty teen.
But while my musical taste continued to evolve over the years, so did Bring Me’s musical style. While the band’s earliest days saw them favour a style of music that felt predominantly influenced by deathcore, I recall fully diving into their music surrounding the release of their fourth studio album, 2013’s Sempiternal. And while that album is a prime example of BMTH leaping from deathcore, to a more metalcore-focused aesthetic, it easily became my favourite album of theirs, especially when you consider the fact that Sempiternal was essentially my introductory album.
The albums that followed Sempiternal, seemed to point towards an even further transition from one sound to the next. While a very solid piece in its own right, the following 2015 album That’s the Spirit, carried a more accessible feel, which would eventually lead to the awkward position that the band had been in until recently.
With their previous album amo, released in early 2019, being the most glaring evidence of what I mean by “awkward position”, it felt apparent that the band were torn in regards to what style they truly wanted to pursue next; whether they wanted to go down the route of being more accessible, or standing firm with the heavy aesthetic that built up their originally cult following. And while I feel that committing to one style or the other would’ve worked out nicely either way, amo wound up being an incredibly disjointed project stylistically, with an ugly mixture of slightly heavier tracks, and some of their most pop-inspired songs in their whole discography.
Fast forward to 2020, and the apparent idea was that the next step for Bring Me The Horizon, was to divide their styles into four separate EPs instead of cramming it all onto one album. Under the umbrella title of POST HUMAN, we get the first, and allegedly heaviest of these four projects, titled SURVIVAL HORROR.
I thought that this would be a good stage in the review to disclaim, that I am still not 100% on whether this project counts as an EP or an album. And while many articles have referred to POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR as the former, I thought that the 9 tracks (only one of them an interlude), and a runtime that exceeds 30 minutes, I thought it would almost be unfair to compare a project like this to other EP’s that I have reviewed over the course of the year. And thus, in this review I will be referring to this project as an album for now.
I must start with my overall verdict on how much I enjoyed the album itself, was that it was teased with some phenomenal tracks. There was a fair amount of versatility in each of the three 2020 teasers, but they could still work together under one project whose main stylistic focus is keeping it heavy.
Going through them one by one, “Parasite Eve” is arguably one of the most engaging tracks that has been inspired by the worldwide 2020 pandemic that I’ve heard this year, and upon the release of SURVIVAL HORROR in full, I could definitely sense that the theme of the repercussions of said pandemic, and a view of the world through an apocalyptic mindframe is a focal narrative for this project.
Following that is “Obey” which features the likes of YUNGBLUD, and stood as my favourite track of September this year. And the final teaser for this album, “Teardrops” felt spookily like something a band like LINKIN PARK would’ve championed a decade and a half ago.
This album even welcomes the 2019 track “Ludens” which was created as part of the soundtrack for the video game Death Stranding. But under this project, it is nice to see the track that sparked a great deal of hope-heightening a year ago, be given a fresh sense of purpose.
The idea I wrote about earlier, regarding the balance of versatility and consistency, is something that the album fully carries through. I was amazed to find just how much the opening track “Dear Diary,” sounded like something that could’ve been on the 2008 album Suicide Season, with its fast-paced, and hard hitting rhythm. But on the flip-side, you have the closing track, and token soft song “One Day The Only Butterflies Left Will Be In Your Chest As You March Towards Your Death”, an absolutely gorgeous and heart-pulling ballad which features Amy Lee of Evanescence.
I admit that I was worried that it would only be the teasers that showed the extent of how heavy this project could be, but on the contrary, every single track on this thing made me feel something, whether it was excitement, awe, or a little bit of both.
I firmly believe that this is the most that Bring Me the Horizon have been in their element in an extremely long time. POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR remarkably get’s the band’s new spark of frustration across to the listener, and I can only hope that the band continue to pursue a sound like the one that this masterpiece carries.
Favourite Tracks: Dear Diary, |Parasite Eve | Teardrops | Obey | Kingslayer
Least Favourite Track: n/a
Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited