Bring Me The Horizon has changed over the years. I was introduced to them as an “angry group of screaming British guys” when I was in high school. That was when the band was a metalcore staple. Since then, Bring Me The Horizon has undergone a fantastic transformation, altering their style as they see fit.
Six years ago, on Sempiternal the band started combing electronic elements with their trademark aggressive style. The band found great success with this new venture. The follow up record, That’s The Spirit, featured more pop influences, but it was still “heavy” in some ways. As many people have noted since “MANTRA” was released last fall, the once “heavy-metal-bunch-of-screaming-British-dudes” have shed nearly all of their roots and embraced pop. With such a radical change in their sound, a logical question is: will their new music be any good?
Before I get into my thoughts on the album, some people might question why I even bothered to review amo. Anyone who has read my reviews will know that I do not like pop. Generally, I find the genre to be annoying and filled with odd electronic sounds. Why then, did I decide to review amo? Everyone knew it was going to be a poppy album before it came out. This was not a surprise. I approached the record with this in mind, so the change wasn’t shocking. Plus, more importantly, after falling in love with Sempiternal and That’s The Spirit I had faith that Bring Me The Horizon would produce good music.
amo is absolutely a pop album. The band did not sneak some crazy heavy song in. It’s all poppy, electronic based music. There are some moments when the band uses their guitars, but they are a minority that break the synthetic tone of the record. That being said, I don’t dislike the album. I enjoy the lyrics. Oli Sykes is a great lyricist. However, most of the songs will take time to grow on me because of their firm pop sound.
Songs Worth Investigating
“nihilist blues” was the first song I indulged in when amo dropped on YouTube the night before it was scheduled to be released. Needless to say, this is one of my favorites, even though it is a very poppy song. While depressing, the lyrics resonate with me and fit in with my world: we’re “ashes in the plume”.
“sugar honey ice & tea” is another tune with a great message. Again, the lyrics are brutal but honest. The chorus reads: “Everybody’s full of Sugar, honey, ice, and tea”. “MANTRA” and “wonderful life” are two of the more rocking songs. Of the two, I prefer the emo tinged “wonderful life”. “heavy metal” is a brilliant response to those “kid[s] on the ‘gram” who saw hurtful things about Bring Me The Horizon’s new musical direction.
…And to Conclude
If Sempiternal or That’s The Spirit didn’t divide Bring Me The Horizon fans, amo certainly will. The band opted to employ a very different style, filled with a variety of electronic textures and themes. Naturally, such a change will earn them new fans and alienate some older fans. Despite my musical tastes, I welcome the “new” Bring Me The Horizon. Good music and good songwriting is pleasurable, regardless of how the instruments sound.