Bring Me the Horizon is back with an album titled Sempiternal, and it’s far from what is to be expected. No more grindcore sound, but it comes with great sacrifice. The sound that got them put into the same crowd as metal giants has been completely abandoned. The sound has become predictable, just like any other generic metalcore band in most songs. There are a few songs, though, that stand out like a diamond in the rough.
The first song to catch my attention was track number 6, entitled “Shadow Moses”. It is much faster and more in your face than the entire rest of the album combined. The song has an immense amount of depth, which has never been seen much in Bring Me the Horizons career. In fact, lyrically the entire album is the deepest that we have ever seen in a Bring Me the Horizon album. Lead singer Oliver Sykes has grown up a lot, and his voice has matured a lot too. He no longer sounds like an angst filled 12 year old boy screaming at his mother. His voice is eerily reminiscent of metal god Anders Friden (In Flames). The lyrical content is also similar to the deepness you would expect from an In Flames album.
My main criticism with the album is its lack of surprises. Hardly anywhere in the album did I find myself head-banging along. It took all the way until the 5th song on the album entitled “Go to Hell for Heaven’s Sake” that I was hearing intricate musical patterns. The first 4 songs were granted, heartfelt, but boring and repetitive. The next track “Shadow Moses” stands out so much it feels as though it doesn’t even belong in the album. Most unfortunately it is followed up by one of the most generic and slowest metalcore songs I’ve ever heard. If you are going to pick up the album, skip track 7 “And the Snakes Start to Sing” entirely. It ruins the descent buildup they were building and kills the mood all around.
Track 8 “Seen it All Before” picks up a little bit of the energy again in a very melancholy song about the repetitiveness of life and not being happy where you are at. The track is a good filler as you ease into track 9 “Antivist”. However the energy of Antivist is very off putting for sounding almost like a hardcore version of the Beastie Boys.
If you are still listening past the horrific past 3 tracks you will be pleased with track 10 “Crooked Young.” This song has the best breakdown of the entire album and the best drum track by far. Overall this is the second best song on the album and is the biggest surprise. After going into a chorus and violin filled intermission, Sykes comes in screaming “Hallelujah, I’m saved, It’s a miracle, thank you Jesus.” before screaming some less than flattering obscenities.
The final song on the record is filled with honesty and sorrow. “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die” is a quote taken directly from the song, and it hits you like you just read something deeply philosophical. Other than the honesty of this track, there is nothing else worth noting about it.
Sempiternal, overall, was entertaining, but not something I would recommend to someone who isn’t already a big fan of Bring Me the Horizon. There is nothing that was really worth getting excited about. It sounds like generic metalcore that you would expect from a newcomer in the scene—not heavy hitters like Bring Me the Horizon. For the majority of the album being terrible filler I give this album 2 out of 5 stars.