Bring Me The Horizon is a rock band from Sheffield, England that formed in 2004 and has had a heavy presence in the emo and scene subcultures of rock music. Since their formation, they have released one EP and six albums, with their most recent release of “Amo” in January.
Their first three albums consisted of a heavy, metalcore sound with passionate lyrics mixed in. Oliver Sykes, the front man, provided the deep, guttural screams while the other members provided the aggressive, energetic breakdowns. Although not everyone’s favorite sound, I fell completely in love when I first discovered them in the sixth grade.
Bring Me The Horizon has been an integral piece of my life growing up. Their lyrics spoke to me as they were one of the few bands I so constantly relied on to express how I felt when more often than not I was unable to. It was more than just teenage angst; it was a struggle with mental illness that only Sykes appeared to be able to put into words.
With lyrics like, “I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, I’ve said it a thousand f****** times/That I’m OK, that I’m fine, that it’s all just in my mind,” from their song “It Never Ends” and, “My skin’s smothering me/Help me find a way to breathe,” from their single “Sleepwalking,” it is hard to argue that the band lacks substance.
Fans began to see a shift in their heavier sound when they released their 2012 album, “Sempiternal.” Sykes’ usual growls were replaced with more coherent yells, while the band began to play heavily with synth.
The shift was executed appropriately enough to not strip the music of its substance, which worked incredibly well in their favor. Their versatility was duly noted, and their attempts to branch out in another direction turned out to be exactly what they needed to stay relevant.
Although not as heavy as most fans had been used to, it was a fresh change that nobody could argue against because it was still them. It appears that “Sempiternal” had been a step in a different direction, while the album that came after, “That’s The Spirit,” had been an entire leap.
“That’s The Spirit” was different. Some songs, like “Oh No” and “Run,” reminded me of the music you would hear on the radio—which is funny enough because one of their first songs I had ever heard play on the actual radio was “Throne,” which came from this album.
Having gone through ridicule from my peers over the harsh sound and vocalist that “no one could understand,” I felt a tug at my heartstrings realizing that air time could mean only one thing: they would be heading away from their rigid, emotional sound that I attached to my angsty teenage years to a more easy to digest and universally liked production. I welcomed the idea of them receiving the recognition they deserve, their talent is impeccable, but I did not want to think about the changes that would thus result.
Although different, the album was not too far off from their usual sound. Fans could hear the obvious shift, but who they once were still remained and could easily be heard through lyrics like, “And I really wish that you could help/But my head is like a carousel/And I’m going ‘round in circles,” off of their single, “Drown.”
Unfortunately, with their most recent release of “Amo,” the band has undergone a complete shift in musical direction, which proved to be an overwhelming disappointment.
Take, for instance, “sugar honey ice & tea” off of the new album, which has lyrics like, “You could tell the Messiah/His pants are on fire, I’ll politely decline,” or the song, “wonderful life,” which features the lyrics, “You got the FOMO coursing through my veins/This is not a drill, no, this is the real world,” which just leaves me wondering, what happened?
The lyrics are not the only thing that has had such a crucial change, their new sound gives off an air of a wannabe Linkin Park more than anything else. Drifting from their original metalcore sound may have given them a higher chance at air time, and an invitation to the Grammys, but it has led me to mourn who they once were.
As Bring Me The Horizon says goodbye to the teenage angst that helped me cope for an upwards of 8 years, I am also forced to say goodbye. Maybe my disappointment lies in the fact that I have a reluctance to let go of the angst I have grown comfortable in while refusing to grow up; however, they could have at least kept the same level of substance within their lyrics.
“Amo” may have just been the death of Bring Me The Horizon, and to that I say: rest in peace.