The Student Playlist

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REVIEW: Bring Me The Horizon – ‘amo’ (Sony)


In a sentence:

Bring Me The Horizon’s sixth studio album ‘amo’ is a challenging, wildly inconsistent and often infuriating listen, but there’s treasures there for the stubborn.

Bring Me The Horizon’s sixth album, amo, only confirms what a lot of people already knew: this band is no longer metal. This new effort ambitiously embraces all kinds of different elements, that span from pop, dance and electronic music. But change is good, right? It is hard to imagine that this once aggressive deathcore outfit from Sheffield could have made such a dramatic transition.

It might seem unfair to label the is strange evolution of this band as a downward spiral, but that is what it feels like. The trajectory of this band started with their 2006 debut, Count Your Blessings, a true shout of power and among deathcore bands at the time, but with everything that followed it seemed that it was only a matter of time before Oliver Sykes’ voice would collapse under the strain of the raspy, unintelligible screams required for the band’s genre. Suicide Season (2008) and There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret (2010) managed to hold up well in terms of the heavy and dark nature of the band was accustomed to, but by 2013’s Sempiternal it was clear that the band was starting to change course. At this point, it was easy to speculate that Sykes’ voice might have deteriorated, the question was: is he singing this way because he wanted to or because he had to? Sempiternal was the beginning of the end, it was an undeniable indicator for a change of lane but still harboured some small remnants of the metal sound everyone was used to. It was the arrival of 2015’s That’s The Spirit that really pushed Bring Me The Horizon away from the metalcore madness that the foundation of their fanbase was built on.

Music video for ‘Mantra’

amo has nothing that would signpost that this is the same band who conjured up Count Your Blessings does have some, if minimal, redeeming qualities. The good thing is that it’s so different to anything Bring Me The Horizon have previously released that you know it is going to be listened to, even if it is just to marvel and gawp at the difference in sound. There is a beguiling blend of tracks on this record, lead single ‘Mantra’ sees hostile riffs with a semi-catchy chorus. It takes a few listens to get into, but there’s a lot of material that grates initially. Electro-dance sequence ‘Nihilist Blues’ welcomes the heavily in-demand Grimes to the album, as a contesting set of verses between the pair comes into play. The heaviest sections of amo come to us on ‘Wonderful Life’ which features some interesting guest vocals from Dani Filth, frontman of Cradle Of Filth.

Music video for ‘Medicine’

The risk that Bring Me The Horizon have taken for choosing new paths with their music is admirable, but it’s not tempered with enough consistent quality control. It’s not bad, simply wildly inconsistent, though most of the songs on this album such as ‘I Apologise If You Feel Something’ and ‘Fresh Bruises’ are bordering on some kind of strange trip-hop genre which is enough to drive any long-standing BMTH fan insane. amo is intriguing to say the least but it’s very much one extreme to the other and, at times, quite a challenge to fully enjoy. (5/10) (Rebecca Corbett)

Listen to amo by Bring Me The Horizon here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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