Release Date: Apr 2, 2013
Record label: Epitaph
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Heavy Metal, Metalcore
Recent listeners to Nick Grimshaw’s Radio 1 breakfast show have been woken with a jolt following the surprise addition of Bring Me The Horizon to the station’s playlist. The riffs of ‘Shadow Moses’ may be a strange accompaniment to your tea and Weetabix, but it’s all part of the Sheffield metal band’s bid to become a Proper Big Deal in 2013. Their fourth album ‘Sempiternal’ is packed full of similar sucker-punch moments, with ‘The House Of Wolves’ and ‘Antivist’ typifying the album’s muscular and impressive anthemics.
A band operating at the top of their game is a fearsome sight. And very few rock groups right now can lay claim to such a degree of ascendancy as Sheffield metallers Bring Me The Horizon. 2010’s outstanding There Is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret laid the foundations, building on the muscular steeliness of their first two records to deliver a towering achievement of an album.
While many have tried, few bands have merged metalcore with electronic influences quite like Bring Me the Horizon, who complete their transition from faceless deathcore band to something altogether more interesting with their fourth album, Sempiternal. Produced by Terry Date, the same producer who worked on the Deftones' 2000 art metal masterpiece, White Pony, the album finds the band almost reinventing its style, diving headfirst into the kinds of atmospheric flourishes that were only hinted at on There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It, There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret. What makes Bring Me the Horizon's evolution so interesting isn't so much the change in their sound, but how they got there.
From the moment Bring Me the Horizon released their 2006 full-length debut, Count Your Blessings, hatred reigned down upon this young British band. They were a bunch of swoopy-fringed teenagers, raised on Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park, trying to rip off the riffs of At the Gates and other extreme metal royalty with no idea of what they were doing, or why. It was all style and no substance; and boy were they deservedly crucified for it.
This record features the least ridiculously drastic musical change Bring Me The Horizon have made between albums. From chaotic metalcore to deathcore to chug-heavy metalcore, it took the Sheffield band four tries to finally come into their own on 2010's There Is A Hell, Believe Me, I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret. Sempiternal is both a continuation and expansion of that release.
Despite their ability to polarise opinion, Bring Me the Horizon teeter on the brink of hugeness. Polished to a devastating sheen by producer Terry Date, Sempiternal screams its ambition from the rooftops, its creators' trademark blend of pounding riffs and modern pop gimmicks rendered in vivid shades. There are some exhilarating moments, not least the precise grooves and barked choruses of Empire (Let Them Sing) and Crooked Young.
Bring Me The Horizon have not built up a fanbase by playing it safe, and Sempiternal marks their most striking—and fearless—evolution to date. From the skittering electronics dominating the opener “Can You Feel My Heart” to the frail croon of Oli Sykes on “And The Snakes Start To Sing,” BMTH both impress and inspire at every turn. There’s plenty of metallic crunch to sate diehard moshers, and the spiteful anthem “Anti-vist” is pure hatred unleashed.
A fourth album of successful progression from metallers with grander designs than most. Mike Diver 2013 One has to admire the chutzpah of Sheffield crew Bring Me the Horizon. Poised to dominate British metal in the wake of 2010’s third album, There Is a Hell…, the move to a major label for this fourth collection could have signposted graduation to undefeated heavyweight status.