Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal

by Greg Spencer Rating:10 Release Date:2013-04-01

If there's one metal album which has had people on tenterhooks for its release, it's Sempiternal. Bring Me the Horizon have quite clearly gone from strength to strength with each release, and their 2013 album is one of maturity, resonance and is, quite frankly, superb. Any lingering doubts about whether the band can maintain their status as one of the UK's premier metal bands are crushed with this triumphant return.

Oliver Sykes has been criticised more than most frontmen. People have often taken swipes at his vocal ability and style, but here he sticks his middle finger firmly up at any of the doubters. Before its promotion, Sempiternal was plagued by the news of Australian guitar supremo Jona Weinhofen's departure. Jordan Fish was swiftly brought in on electronics and, after hearing opener 'Can You Feel My Heart', there's real relief that Weinhofen hasn't left a hole in the band's sound.

The truth is that the electronics add a new dimension to the band's already developed sound. They're laced throughout the record and never feel too much or too intrusive. It works well.

Let's not beat around the bush, this record is blindingly heavy at times, Sykes's vocals on 'Empire (Let Them Sing)' are as piercing as they've ever been. He sounds like he's bled every inch of his vocal chords to maintain his tone, one which has improved a ridiculous amount since the band's 2006 debut full-length, Count Your Blessings. The first single from the record, 'Shadow Moses', isn't just heavy, with blistering guitar-lines which throttle along, it's one of the most catchy songs they've ever written. There's something about the song that's a total game-changer in terms of BMTH's sound and probably for the next generation of kids who'll imitate the band.

'Sleepwalking' is a prime example of how Sykes has shaped his vocals to be in the purgatory between melodic and heavy, in the song he manages to almost sing and scream simultaneously. Fish's electronics are apparent in 'Sleepwalking' too and, like band's such as Underoath have done before them, BMTH are balancing the metal elements and everything else perfectly. To appreciate this album fully you have to acknowledge how far the band have come since their debut. The comparison between now and then is amazing; this is a band who are now at a point where they can really go forth and set the world alight after this glorious release.

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