By BRYCE ADDISON M. PINEDA
Refusing to fit into one specific genre, Bring Me the Horizon proves once again that they are trailblazers in innovation through their newest release.
British rock band Bring Me the Horizon released their new genre-bending album entitled POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR through RCA Records on Oct. 30.
Produced by the band’s own Oliver Sykes and Jordan Fish with the help of video game sound designer Mick Gordon, this new record delighted fans as it saw a return to the band’s earlier metalcore sound reminiscent of their 2010 record There Is A Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It, There Is A Heaven Let’s Keep It A Secret while mixing it with electronic elements first explored in their 2018 effort, amo.
Following up on last year’s experimental work, Music to Listen To…, SURVIVAL HORROR is the first release in a series of four projects exploring themes of infection, corruption among world leaders, technology, environmentalism and the human condition inspired by the survival horror genre of video games.
This apocalyptic, cyberpunk-inspired record was critically acclaimed by an overwhelming majority of Bring Me the Horizon’s fanbase after their last album, amo, divided their audience due to the band’s drastic change in music style. Through the release of this new record, the band breaks through once again as they explore the world’s current topics after the lockdown.
The nine-track EP begins with Dear Diary, which signifies a departure from the band’s new electronic pop-rock in favor of returning to their deathcore roots akin to their early output from albums such as 2008’s Suicide Season. Just short of three minutes’ in length, the track opens up with explosive guitars and intense vocals as it introduces the overarching themes of survival and contamination through detailing the diary entries of a researcher infected with a zombie virus.
The second track, Parasite Eve, was released as the EP’s second single. The song begins with a Bulgarian chant representing the dichotomy between euphoria and chaos, as explained by songwriter Sykes. Coincidentally, the lyrics are fitting with the world’s current state of affairs as they also deal with an apocalypse brought upon by the spread of a deadly infection. Serving as an analysis of human morality and psychology with lyrics such as “When we forget the infection, will we remember the lesson,” Parasite Eve ominously serves as a reflection of human behavior in the modern world.
The fourth single, Teardrops, is a song that explores the psyche of someone who bears sadness about a deteriorating world filled with chaos and the rise of technology as it consumes and disconnects individuals from the real world, tying into the over encompassing themes.
Once again, Bring Me the Horizon manages to impart thought-provoking messages in their releases. For instance, in their collaboration with English pop-punk singer Yungblud, Obey deals with the topic of government corruption, where politicians execute immoral acts while demanding the masses to comply with their orders. Taking on the perspective of the oppressor through lines such as “There’s nothing to see here, it’s under control / We’re only gambling with your soul” and “Whatever you do, don’t wake up and smell the corruption,” this energetic track serves as a call to action for people to stand up against those who use their influential positions for self-serving purposes.
With motifs of science fiction and corruption, Itch for the Cure (When Will We Be Free?) serves as an interlude to the next track, Kingslayer, featuring Japanese kawaii metal band, BABYMETAL. Despite not being a single, this collaboration became instantly well-loved in the metalcore scene for its unusual blend of techno, J-pop, deathcore and nu-metal along with Sykes’ heavy use of guttural vocals absent from their recent releases.
The next song, 1x1, featuring English rock duo Nova Twins, is overwhelming about humanity’s guilt in the destruction of other species riddled with allusions of being ‘disconnected’ from the outside world caused by the rise of technology seamlessly segues into the themes of the next track, Ludens.
Being the fans’ first taste of what the new record would sound like, Ludens was praised by critics and audiences alike for its fresh composition. Initially, it was released as part of the soundtrack of the action game DEATH STRANDING, with the title referring to the production company’s mascot. Lyrically, it deals with the same concepts explored in previous tracks, such as Teardrops and 1x1 with lines such as “We can't unplug the fact that a world covered in cables was never wired to last” and “How do I form a connection when we can't even shake hands?” Overall, it showcases the detrimental death grip that online communications have on human interaction. At its core, the song is also about how real change comes from the people, represented by the Ludens, a fictional race of beings in the game who possess superior mental capabilities and moral wisdom than humans.
Contrary to the previous songs, the EP ends with a ballad featuring Amy Lee of Evanescence entitled One Day the Only Butterflies Left Will Be in Your Chest as You March Towards Your Death. As one of their most mellow songs, the soft rock track ends the record on a crescendoed hopeful note through its metaphors highlighting the dichotomy of death and rebirth.
Over the years, Bring Me the Horizon has been widely praised for being one of the most innovative and forward-thinking bands in the scene. They caused waves through the release of Sempiternal, which inspired the overall sound of the genre in the coming years, cementing their position as one of the genre’s most influential artists. Even after switching genres, the group still continued to set new trends through the release of singles like Shadow Moses and Drown.
With the release of POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR, which delves into current themes through high production value and strong vocal delivery, the band adds yet another addition to their impressive discography. As seen through the indelible mark the five-piece group had left on the metalcore genre, Bring Me the Horizon proves once again that they are the main catalysts in the scene as they convey the central aspects of aggressive lyrics and heavy guitar riffs that define the genre. Raising the bar even higher with their newest release, the band continues to be a leading pioneer which other music groups try to emulate, yet fail to replicate.