Bring Me the Horizon, ‘Sempiternal’ – Album Review
Bring Me the Horizon have built up an impressive following with their first three albums, but if justice is served, their latest release ‘Sempiternal’ should take them to new heights in the metal world. While fully embracing their metalcore roots, the band aims to redefine the genre with ‘Sempiternal.’
Right from the get-go, the UK act lets the listener know they’ve reached a new plateau in their career with the leadoff track ‘Can You Feel My Heart.’ Frontman Oli Sykes pours his soul into the song, opening with the lines, “Can you hear the silence? / Can you see the dark? / Can you fix the broken / Can you feel, can you feel my heart?” on top of an atmospheric sonic explosion.
From there, the album jumps into the hyperactive track ‘The House of Wolves’ with its catchy ‘brick-by-brick’ refrain, followed by the call-and-response cut ‘Empire.’
‘Sleepwalking’ showcases Bring Me the Horizon’s more melodic side, with a beautiful bridge in the middle of the track in which Sykes paints a picture with his words: “Your eyes are swallowing me / Mirrors start to whisper / Shadows start to see / My skin’s smothering me / Help me find a way to breathe.”
While rock radio hasn’t been kind to metalcore over the years, it would be a shame if the cleverly titled single ‘Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake’ doesn’t make a big impact on the airwaves. Imagine ‘Hybrid Theory’-era Linkin Park on steroids and you’ll have a good idea of what ‘Go To Hell’ sounds like.
The epic first single ‘Shadow Moses’ follows, and it’s fitting that it falls in the middle of the album, as it is the true centerpiece of ‘Sempiternal.’ The verses are as aggressive as any on the disc, but the infectious chorus will stick in your head like a boot to the face: “Can you see by the look in our eyes / We’re going nowhere / We live our lives like we’re ready to die / We’re going nowhere.”
The band slows things down and explores new sonic territory on the cut ‘And the Snakes Start to Sing,’ venturing into Deftones-like atmospherics within the tune. ‘Seen It All Before’ continues the melodic vibe in its verses before delving into a bouncy chorus.
‘Antivist’ finds the band at its angriest on the album, both lyrically and musically, as it’s an unrelenting track that literally offers up the middle finger to the world. It’s followed closely by the explosive ‘Crooked Young,’ which strongly questions the merits of faith and religion.
‘Sempiternal’ closes out with the nearly seven-minute ‘Hospital for Souls,’ a soaring cut that builds to a rousing crescendo. Lyrically, it contains perhaps the album’s most poetic line: “Everybody wants to go to heaven / But nobody wants to die / I can’t fear death, no longer / I’ve died a thousand times.”
Credit goes to the disc’s producer, Terry Date (Pantera, Soundgarden, Deftones), who brings out the best in the band on ‘Sempiternal,’ allowing both the vocals and the sonic layers to be heard clearly without taking away from Bring Me the Horizon’s raw and explosive nature.
By definition, ‘Sempiternal’ means eternal or everlasting, and with this album, Bring Me the Horizon definitely leave a lasting impression.