Reviewed by Meghan Player
There are a lot of albums in 2013 that are already earning the ‘highly anticipated’ tag. From Alkaline Trio to the Snowdroppers, Northlane to AC4. Personally, when I heard Bring Me The Horizon were being added to that list, my reaction was mild at best. Having not had a huge background in listening to the band previously, I was mentally preparing myself to “not enjoy” their latest album, ‘Sempiternal’.
Determined to sit down and give an honest review, my jaw almost hit the floor as the opening synthesised bars of ‘Can You Feel My Heart?‘ rang out. What was this aural soundscape that I was hearing? Was this really the same band I had written off completely? Whilst the electronic whirs pulsate throughout the track, the contrast of frontman Oliver Sykes roaring vocals are impossible to ignore. Each growl perfectly timed, each melody flawless – the sheer noise that explodes out of your speakers is borderline earth-shattering.
As the album continues, the stylised, soaring melodies don’t let up – unveiling a new layer of darkness and depth with each ensuing track. ‘The House of Wolves‘ beats to a different drum of its predecessor, opting for a bone crunching foray of frantic noise to kick things off, closely followed by an ambient electro-influenced chorus.
‘Go To Hell For Heavens Sake’, ‘Shadow Moses‘ and ‘Seen It All Before’ showcases the bands profound maturity – delivering a versatile and accessible array of tracks that warrant second, third, hell four listens. ‘Crooked Young‘ delivers an incredible blend of classical string melodies alongside thunderous metal core guitars, while finale ‘Hospital For Souls’ opts for a haunting, dignified opening before exploding into a riff frenzy. Broken down into a quiet verse, loud chorus – the track perfectly sums up the entire album – a gorgeous contrast of light and shade, a fight between good and evil, a battle of wills.
Undoubtedly, Sempiternal is quite simply, a brilliant album. Incorporating an eclectic mix of styles, sounds and genres under one banner was never going to be an easy task, but Bring Me The Horizon have managed to make it work. Their mature take on the core genre is commendable, and has certainly won me over into their legions of fans. There may be a lot of anticipated albums for 2013, but Sempiternal justly deserves the status. This could easily be one of the best albums of the year.