I’ve been waiting for ages for Bring Me The Horizon (BMTH) to release a good album (since 2013 to be precise). I’d rather hammer 13 nails into my ear drum than listen to BMTH’s 2015 album That’s The Spirit, which was definitely a rough spot for the band, as they struggled to find an audience for their pop – rock mongrel. They pushed away so many true BMTH fans, who lived for vocalist Oli Sykes’s screaming along with a heavy guitar and drum presence, in favour of attempting to attract a new, more mainstream audience. To clarify, mainstream isn’t a dirty word, when done right, however going from heavy rock to pop is a very difficult task which very few have succeeded in doing, without losing the majority of their fanbase.
Things are looking slightly better this time around though, as BMTH have let us into where they’re going with amo. The two singles that have been released so far sound promising. ‘MANTRA’ is a not-so-powerful pop-punk track with a tinge of metal. The instrumentals are there, the vocals are not; as Sykes spends the whole song attempting to sing rather than scream. Stick to what you know (screaming out expletives to a heavy guitar backing) rather than trying to be cool. I mean, the instrumentals are there at least, which is a plus, I guess. On the flipside, ‘wonderful life’ gives me Sempiternal flashbacks, which I love. It’s refreshing to hear a screamo-esque track from BMTH, even if its only slightly shouty rather than primal screeches. The ever-present guitar riff throughout the chorus adds to the shouting vocals, which are only present during the chorus, as Sykes still attempts to talk-sing through the verses. The saving grace of wonderful life is the low rumbling speech verse from fellow screamo artist Dani Filth, which is the direction that amo needs to be taken (as far away from the trainwreck that is That’s The Spirit as possible)
However, those singles may well be the outliers in amo. Last year, the band released a compilation album of the best of their discography from 2004-2013, which suggests that they are leaving that hardcore sound in the past and continuing with the mainstream pop punk vibes from That’s The Spirit. I hope they realise that by adopting this sound they are losing more fans than they are gaining, although they’ve not got many of the original fans left to lose. They seem to be putting their musical direction on a backburner almost, as they are continuously pumping out merch from their clothing brand Horizon Supply Co. I wish they’d try as hard at keeping fans happy as they do on designing beanie hats.
BMTH are on a downwards spiral, as they are too focused on creating a brand for the mass pop rock market rather than staying true to themselves. BMTH lost me as a fan at That’s The Spirit, so let’s see if they can win me around with their follow-up album amo, but I doubt it.
amo will be available from 25th January 2019 via Sony RCA.