Where to begin? Really, I really don’t know where to start with my review of ‘amo’ (2019) by Sheffield band Bring Me The Horizon.
Maybe it is easier to start with the positives. With most bands there is a danger of their music becoming stale and repetitive, this most certainly is not the case with the Steel City boys. Their new record which was released in the UK on January 24 is anything but “typical BMTH.”
What ‘amo’ though, that is difficult for me to explain. Is it dark wave? Is it pop? Do I like it? I can safely say the answer is no to the latter.
I will admit that the production quality and value in this album is second to none, it is skilfully pieced together. From the dark and brooding synths to the (what I assume to be) auto-tuned voices, the album is well-crafted. One issue is that this would be an amazing album IF it was released by any modern-day pop band (something which is a common opinion found on social media).
Now, I must warn you, from here on out I would take everything with a pinch of salt and remember that like most things, this is all subjective and opinion-based.
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK BRING ME?
My friend and I decided that BMTH, along with Brexit and work, is now on a “no speak list” as neither of us can bare to be reminded of this move in the band’s career.
I can’t even say that I am disappointed as I really had no expectations for what this album would be, especially after hearing the singles ‘Medicine’ or ‘Wonderful Life’.
I wrote an article last year on the premise of the band’s evolution, mainly concerned with the ‘poppy’ route they had warned they were moving towards. So maybe it is my fault, maybe in some sort of weird way I was expecting this to be a jolly ruse and that the once metalcore band were just pulling our collective legs. Nothing could’ve prepared me in any way shape or form for what this album would be.
One more thing, I am not the sort of person who is going to wish for them to return to their style, bands need to adapt and change, but changing into Bring Me The 1975 is not ideal.
The first single off the album, ‘Mantra’, was a shock, it was that little bit lighter but almost compared to something off of That’s The Spirit (2015). It took me a while to come round but it is easily my favourite off the album. It’s catchy, rock-oriented and fun. Then things take a turn for the worst.
When listening to ‘Nihilist Blues’ ft Grimes, I was literally reminded of the song ‘Katy on a Mission’ by Katy B. Even the vocal styling and electr0 beats. Whilst I liked ‘Mission’, I most certainly didn’t enjoy Nihilist Blues.
Other songs such as ‘Mother Tongue’ and ‘Heavy Metal’ (which cleverly plays on the fact that the band aren’t heavy metal and talks about Instagram comments on the subject, most of which seem to have been deleted?) are synth-driven and feel as if the song could’ve been completed with just Oli Sykes (frontman) and Jordan Fish (synth and vocals) sat at a computer without the need for any instruments whatsoever.
Sadly we are starting to see the slow death of the UK metalcore scene, something that may not have ever been the most relevant or prolific thing in the world, but something that brought a large fan base together. This album is definitely going to divide fans, which is fair enough. This is the thing about music, like I wrote earlier, everything is subjective. One person’s opinion can’t be exactly the same as another’s, life would be boring if this was the case. But by creating this album the band have literally moved into a genre of music that so many other bands are doing at this moment in time.
The one time I will compare ‘amo’ with old music from the band will be now. Never in a million years would fans believe that this record would ever be a thing during the ‘Suicide Season’ (2008) or ‘Sepmiternal’ (2013) years. Going from the eardrum-busting ‘Antivist’ to ‘Fresh Bruises’ (from ‘amo’) is like binge watching the ‘Saw’ film series and then deciding to whack on a light bit of ‘Thomas the Tank Engine.’
I am fearful for our future. Maybe Justin Bieber will release a collab with Slayer, maybe Busted will return with a death metal album and bite the heads off chickens on stage. Who knows? All I know is that I am going to have to listen to a lot (and I mean A LOT) of Architects to get the taste of this album out my mouth.
If I was given the option to listen to amo again or to put a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger then I would have the taste of steel and gunpowder on my tongue before you could shout “MANTRA.”
But don’t take my word for it (as 90% of you will agree I am sure), go and buy the album, whack it on Spotify, do whatever. May as well add to that play count, because I fucking won’t be.