Before I get into this article I thought I should explain my reviewing process for you all, as if to give you an understanding of how my music reviews will be done on this site.
- Besides any released singles, I have not heard the album yet. I write this as I hear it for the first time, my pen hits the paper as the music hits my ears.
- I try to avoid any music by the Artist/Band or the same genre during the day until my review, in order to avoid preconceptions.
- I go track by track, breaking down the album to help those who prefer to purchase individual songs as opposed to the entire album.
So without any further adieu, I present to you...
Bring Me the Horizon - Sempiternal
It was late 2011, and British Metalcore quintet Bring Me The Horizon was wrapping up a tour with Parkway Drive & Architects, in support of their 3rd release "There is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There is a Heaven, Lets Keep It a Secret". The band was in the works to release a reissue of the album, filled with electronic remixes (Similair to the Suicide Season Reissue), aiming for an early 2012 release. This eventually fell through as Bring Me The Horizon left their record label, Visible Noise, in search of a Major Label. BMTH felt as if an independent label lacked the resources and support they required at this stage of the bands life. In July of 2012, it was announced that RCA Records had signed Bring Me The Horizon to release their fourth album, stating "Signing you is as important as signing Metallica". The RCA signing shows that Bring Me The Horizon has evolved into a bigger beast, and "Sempiternal" is the result and Major label debut for the band.
Sempiternal is a word that denotes from the concept of "Everlasting Time" that can never come to pass, and stems from the Latin root word of "Sempiternal". The Cover art depicts the Flower of Life, and the clear message is that there is a new life for this band, a fresh start, and through these songs Bring Me The Horizon plan to live on forever. It is clear that they are here to stay.
1. Can You Feel My Heart
"Can you fix the broken? Can you feel my heart?"
An electronic opening. 10 seconds in and it is clear that BMTH have evolved their sound. "Can you hear the silence? Can you see the dark?" vocalist Olyver Sykes howls over the Anberlin-esque synthesizer. It is clear that his vocal range has grown since 2011's "There is a Hell..". Halfway through a melodic, ambient guitar breaks through the synth. The most powerful line yet "I'm scared to get close, I hate being alone. I long for that feeling, to not feel at all. The higher I get, the lower I sink, I cant drown my demos, they've learned how to swim." is repeated. This line will be all over sad 15 year old girls Facebook status's. A light electronic pulse signifies the end of track one, and leads right into...
2. The House of Wolves
"I'll Bow for your King When He Shows Himself"
Not all has changed, as a crunchy opening guitar friendly reminds us of the BMTH we have all grown to love. This song has the fast circle-pit tempo and the anthemic chorus we have learned to expect from BMTH. This is clearly a jab at religion, with such lines as "And when you die, the only kingdom you'll see is 2ft wide and 6ft deep." which leads into a nicely done breakdown. This song has a bit of lyrical repetition, but the fast pace and sing along chorus signifies it is absolutely perfect for a live crowd.
3.Empire (Let Them Sing)
" They came like moths to a flame, you live like a house in a hurricane."
A guitar fades in behind Oli's vocal chord ripping vocals, building to a great intro reminiscent of 2011's "There is a Hell..". So far Lee Malia's guitars have been so clean, yet so heavy, and it really stands out to me. It may be the Long Island in me, but the vocals remind me a lot of Stray From the Path's Drew York at times, which is not bad at all. This song is a bit slower paced, but what lacks in speed if made up for in aggressiveness.
"Time stands still, the way it did before. It's like I'm sleepwalking"
Another electronic opening here. It goes really well with the guitar and my god, Oli Sykes vocals are absolutely phenominal. This song has another chorus in "Its like I'm sleepwalking" that was designed for a live crowd. Around 2:25 things get a bit soft, providing a nice break from the brutality. It's nice to hear a Metalcore band not rely on breakdowns for every track. Breakdowns, like most things, are best in moderation. So far this track is my favorite, and I can definitely see this track being an early single.
5. Go to Hell, For Heavens Sake
"When did the diamonds leave your bones?"
Heavy guitars over ambient backing sounds are the gist of this album, and it is working really, really well. This track stands out to me, as it's a bit musically different and being the 5th song, makes for a good "Halfway point". Ever song is getting better than the last, and it looks like the middle songs are the best part of the album.
6. Shadow Moses
"This is Sempiternal"
The first single released from Sempiternal, this track perfectly exemplifies what the album contains. Huge chorus's, fast paced aggression, and oh so heavy breakdowns. While I've been writing this review, I keep finding it hard to write because I keep drifting off into intense air drumming with my pen (good thing I have 2 on me), and that's what good Rock/Metal music should make you want to do.
7. And The Snakes Start To Sing
"Don't say I'm better off dead, because Heavens full and Hell won't have me"
A piano opening? I approve of this. So far tracks 4-6 have been killer and this song seems to be a bit of an interlude into the last 4 songs on the album. I don't like calling it an "Interlude" exactly because that makes it sound like it is worth skipping, and it is still a great track in its own right. This track seems like it will provide a rest to the live crowd before everyone starts beating the crap out of one another again.
8.Seen It All Before
" I don't want to live like a broken record."
The slow intro provides a perfect segway from "Snakes" into the later part of the album. Nothing about this track really stands out to me until the last 45 seconds, but the first 7 songs were so great that I'm not even mad. I hope these last 3 songs deliver, because this album has been fantastic.
"There will be no peaceful revolution, no war without blood.
You can say I'm just a fool who stands for nothing, well for that, I say you're a cunt"
Another single that was released, this song brings back the boredom that starts sinking in on the last track. This track reminds me of old BMTH, and its always icing on the cake to me when a band doesn't forget their roots. Plain and simple, this track is badass. I'm lightly moshing to myself in my room, imaginary crowd killing for the win.
10. Crooked Young
"Fuck your faith, no ones gonna save you."
The lyrics indicate that this song is another jab at religion. There are bands that just have a winning formula, and Bring Me the Horizon has it. Every track including this one follows similar patterns, yet each track stands out on its own. This track keeps up the aggressivness and has me excited for the conclusion.
11. Hospital For Souls
"Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die,
I can’t fear death no longer, I’ve died a thousand times."
I can’t fear death no longer, I’ve died a thousand times."
"And then I found out how hard it is to really change, even hell can get comfy once you've settled in. I just wanted the numb inside me to leave. No matter how fucked you get, the sun will return and you come back down. The funny thing is, all I've ever wanted, I already had. There's glimpses of heaven in every day. In the friends that I have, the music I make, the love that I feel. I just had to start again."
- Oliver Sykes
That is the quote that begins this song, and the music that follows is just as beautiful. This track transcends seamlessly between beautiful soft vocal hooks and gut wrenching screams that are bound to steal your voice when attempted. The ending builds up slowly, "Hold me close, don't let me go, watch me burn." screams Oli at the top of his lungs as the track fades away and the album comes to a powerful end.
Now that the album has finished, I have a confession. I have never been much of a Bring Me the Horizon fan. I liked my share of songs but I was never able to get into them much, and was unsure how I would react to this album. Now that its done, I'm sitting here, both amazed by this album and saddened that it's over. This is not only a great album, it is the best that Bring Me the Horizon has ever put out. Oli's vocals are insanely good, Lee's guitars and Matt K's Bass are both heavy and beautiful, and Matt N. hits the drums the hardest he ever has, and lays down some mesmerizing fills. Sempiternal has guaranteed that I will spending an extra 30 minutes at the Vans Warped Tour Main Stage this year to see BMTH, and I absolutely cannot wait to see these songs play out live.
I give this album a 10 out of 10, and I recommend it if you like Underoath, The Devil Wears Prada, or Norma Jean.
Sempiternal will be released internationally on April 29th 2013. I highly recommend you Pre-order this album here. Please always support artist and buy music, I know I will be buying this album and I hope you will to.
As always I thank you for reading the ramblings of a boy who likes metal, zombies and wrestling. I am forever gratteful for your support towards myself and this site. You can follow me on Twitter @ParksXcore and be sure to "Like" us at the Underrated Heroes Facebook Page.
Until next time