The Sheffield rockers are following last year’s genre-exploding triumph ‘amo’ (which crash-landed at Number One) with a series of gnarly, experimental EPs
Bring Me The Horizon don’t give a fuck what you think about them – we established that long ago. When the long-fringed Sheffield lads emerged from MySpace in the mid-’00s with their stylised take on deathcore, they were ripe for a whipping from cynics and trolls. With their thick skin came a shamelessness that fascinated both fans and haters, and kept the spotlight on the band as they moved through genres and rose up the charts until they finally hit Number One with their most palatable album, 2019’s genre-exploding ‘amo’.
Many bands in their shoes would use this opportunity to go full Coldplay with a radio-friendly album primed for mass communication, but not Bring Me. Instead, they’re releasing four EPs across the next year, all themed around how humanity is totally screwed. The first in the ‘Post Human’ series is ‘Survival Horror’, a protest record written in the misery of lockdown.
Opener ‘Dear Diary’ is a snotty thrash metal account of the combo of fear and monotony that comes with entering lockdown (“The sky is falling, it’s fucking boring / I’m going braindead isolated,” howls frontman Oli Sykes), before the dark and trance-y ‘Parasite Eve’ beckons in a doomed new age “when all the king’s sources and all the king’s friends don’t know their arses from their pathogens”. As the record rolls through the motions of anger, resilience and a little hope for the future, the sentiment feels all too familiar.
There are some familiar sounds on there too. That song’s pure aggression harks back to the heavier vibes of 2008’s ‘Suicide Season’ and 2010’s ‘There Is A Hell’, while the rousing emo-rock of ‘Teardrops’ could have appeared on 2015’s ‘That’s The Spirit’ and ‘Itch For The Cure (When Will We Be Free)’ picks up where the trancier moments of ‘amo’ left off.
Still, there’s enough new territory here to keep it feeling fresh, not least for the poptastic collaborations: Yungblud‘s pop-punk battlecry elevates the anti-establishment ‘Obey’, BABYMETAL bring some J-pop exuberance to ‘Kingslayer’, Nova Twins revive nu-metal for ‘1X1’ and Evanescence’s Amy Lee brings some regal poise and breathing space to the closing ballad, ‘One Day The Only Butterflies Left Will Be In Your Chest As You March To Your Death’.
What could have been an act of self-sabotage or self-indulgence – or both – has transpired to be a welcome reminder of all that this band does best, rooted in raw relevance for today and the cyber-punk energy of tomorrow.