With their reintroduction to the metalcore genre, Andrew Nolan discusses Bring Me the Horizon’s latest EP, Post Human: Survival Horror
Bring Me the Horizon have been nothing short of a benchmark for other metalcore bands in how to evolve both within and beyond a genre. Take someone who has only ever listened to the likes of amo, and try to explain that the same band produced the likes of Count your Blessings. How one band can be their own antithesis on such a scale is beyond me. Having softened their sound in more recent albums, their latest release Post Human: Survival Horror is something of a return to true metalcore form for the group.
Fans were aware of this shift from some of the singles released, which presented a sound that hadn’t been synonymous with them in years. 'Ludens', written for the soundtrack of Kojima Productions PlayStation title Death Stranding, in particular, caught the attention of many, with the track’s mellow chorus being assaulted by an upsurging breakdown towards the end. Much of the album’s content follows this trajectory. Already expecting a heavier experience, I sat to listen through track-by-track on its release. Even with this knowledge in mind, the first song titled 'Dear Diary' blew my expectations out of the water. Detailing a man losing his sanity in isolation, a relatable idea in today’s context, the whole song is a fast-paced and heavy ordeal, with the song’s peaking crescendo enough to make you put a brick through your own windows.
While some may expect a band to bow to a fanbase demanding heavier releases, it's very interesting looking at the context surrounding Bring Me The Horizon. A common issue amongst bands of the genre, Oli Sykes, the band’s vocalist, has very publicly suffered vocal cord ruptures throughout the years. Their softer sound, while still a creative choice, of course, inherently compensated for this. Surprising to some, there is a lot of technique involved in developing those harsher vocals, and if a band starting in their teens eager to make a name for themselves engage in this sound without proper technique it can cause a plethora of issues down the road. Vocalists like Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria have faced similar issues too, with their sound also altering as a result. Whether you’re a fan of their earlier deathcore entries or found yourself more gripped by their take on amo, seeing a vocalist come back strong from such significant injuries is a telling and positive note for many.
Though, I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention one gripe I had with the album and others of its kind. Post Human is closer to an EP, having a song total of 9 songs. Prior to release, 4 of these were released as singles. I’m fully willing to admit that it’s a personal pet peeve and nothing more, but I can’t help but feel that songs like 'Parasite Eve' would have been so much more effective had they been a surprise, like the aforementioned 'Dear Diary'. Regardless, BMTH’s return to their root genre is a spectacular one, and its entry as a predominantly metalcore album more than justifies itself.