When did metal become so… overground? The horrifying new dawn of our subculture has seen Metallica become as acceptable (and, some might say, predictable) as U2. For genuinely groundbreaking metal, we must go subterranean.
This particular band has long had a reputation as Metal Marmite; rabid deathcore, made by some kids just out of their teens, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But look past the haircuts and tattoos, the youthful visages, the hype, the controversy, the public urination allegation, and the grotesque album cover, and you’ll see that Sheffield noise mongers Bring Me The Horizon have produced a truly great album.
Their third studio recording features a sound adorned with electronic samples and stutters, as on single ‘The Comedown’. Their riffs have a touch more speed and fluidity, and the combination creates an almost dance-metal feel.
Singer Oli Sykes’ voice, which used to waver like that of an adolescent from sub-sonic low growls to girlish screaming, has levelled out into a very masculine mid-range yelling. This voice is so full of visceral vitriol that, added to the sleeve notes, one wonders just how close to the edge he was. Luckily, he hasn’t lost his sense of humour, as is clear on ‘No Need For Introductions’ and ‘I’ve Read About Girls Like You On The Backs Of Toilet Doors’.
The rhythm and guitars, meanwhile, are electrifying, the intricacies of grinding rhythms and complex, bludgeoning riffs making a wall of sound that leaves one in ecstasy. The blistering intensity of ‘Death Breath’ or ‘Diamonds Aren’t Forever’ are obliterating, devastating, in a way no other band seems to be able to do at the moment. Unfortunately, there seems to be less of the sparkling guitar work of 2006’s Count Your Blessings, Lee Malia’s stunning solos sadly taking a back seat.
The guest singers from Architects and Deez Nuts add something; admittedly, not something essential, and it’s a shame if the band resorted to this for a little more credibility. Sadly, they probably won’t get the respect they deserve until Sykes gets a little less pretty, and they lose their teenage girl following.
They may be young – sickeningly so – but their youth works in their favour, and they deliver what ‘adult’ bands cannot: gut-wrenchingly furious, fresh-sounding music, so full of pure energy that it hurts. And best of all, there’s no way my dad will borrow this album.