Okay, so Bring Me The Horizon
might have been one of the worst trendcore bands in recent memory, but Sempiternal
is a surprisingly decent affair. Sure, the band still suffers from major song writing problems and they need to get a new vocalist, but for what it is, it’s the bands best release so far.
I heard that the bands goal was to pool in more influences than they have done before, a choice that I strongly agree with. Right from the opening track Can You Feel My Heart
it becomes clear that Bring Me The Horizon
have left their former partying aesthetic behind and have started to take themselves and their music more seriously. Opening with kooky electronic samples reminiscent of glitch before moving into the band’s standard metalcore sound, Bring Me The Horizon
have succeeded in crafting an interesting meld of stuff. Along with the electronic elements, there also seems to be elements of ambient and post rock, most poignantly exemplified in the closing track Hospital for Souls. Whilst the post rock elements may not be as accomplished as an artist such as Neurosis
, the band works well with a rather diluted and radio friendly form of the genre. Tracks such as Seen it all Before show some effective post rock melodies whilst the famous track Sleepwalking
present a very soft and mellow side to the band with rather beautiful keyboard work. Vocally, Oly Sykes still sounds like shit but the musical aspect of the band has been increased dramatically.
However, even though the band appears to be adopting a more experimental, and I dare say unique edge, there are still elements of the bands sound that are bogged down by ideas that are just so low bro. Shadow
Moses is a useless and frankly annoying song that repeats the same riffs and vocal patterns throughout even though the introduction hints at something more. Some of the riffs try to be heavy but are never really heavy, they’re always fairly melodic, lacking any sort of atonality and dissonance that really heavy music embodies. Unfortunately, the post rock elements are really diluted as well, hints of crescendos and twinkly guitars don’t necessarily make for an effective post rock performance even if pulled off reasonably well.
Thankfully though, despite the relative shortcomings of the music on display here, the album remains surprisingly consistent as a whole and actually succeeds in keeping me rather entertained. Sure, the music is unbearably one dimensional and the lyrics are ridiculous, but it’s hard to argue with music that remains so catchy. Heck, it’s even suitably atmospheric at times, with Sleepwalking
, And The Snakes
Start to Sing and Seen it all Before creating some pretty powerful ambient overtones. Hospital for Souls adopts the post rock and ambient elements to the bands fullest potential and results in the bands most atmospherically poignant track. The ambient overtones mixed with clean and sparkling guitars are surprisingly effective. Lyrics are still shit though, with a poignant title such as Hospital for Souls I was expecting something more introspective and abstract rather than the self pitying ramblings we get for much of the album. Eh, fuck it, if this album was purely instrumental, or better yet, get a vocalist who would actually suit this style such as Aaron Turner of Isis
fame I would enjoy this album a whole lot more. As it stands though, Sempiternal
is an album aiming for high grounds yet never quite reaching it.
All the elements of Sempiternal
result in a rather entertaining yet ultimately frustrating listen that just can’t seem to find it’s footing. Take Sleepwalking
, this track opens up really well and would actually be effective if not for the useless breakdown and the fucking atrocious vocals of Oly Sykes. If Bring Me The Horizon
want to get better then they need to lose the vocalist and work some of the new elements into their sound more effectively. As it stands though, I like it, it’s not something I spin frequently but it’s good for the occasional listen even if it comes across as rather one dimensional and desperate. If you can stomach the vocals of Oly Sykes then this may be something really good for you, but for me, this album only just skims over the pit of mediocrity. It needs more work guys.