Review: Bring Me the Horizon’s New Album “Survival Horror” and COVID-19
Bring Me the Horizon (BMTH) is a band from the UK who debuted with their album Count Your Blessings in 2004 and their style has since changed tremendously. Post Human: Survival Horror was released this past October and is a perfect example for the change the band has undergone over the years.
When they first entered the scene BMTH was primarily a deathcore band with heavy guitar riffs and loud vocals. They remained within this genre but gradually “softened” their sound, a transition that is highlighted by their album That’s the Spirit, which was released in 2015. This album lacked the deathcore elements that they previously upheld and instead relied on elements of electronic metal. This album and the one that followed, amo, were criticized by fans for incorporating too many pop or electronic elements.
Oliver Sykes, the band’s vocalist and front runner, has remained unapologetic for this shift which can be noted from the snarky lyrics in their song Heavy Metal in the amo album; “a kid on the ‘gram in a Black Dahlia tank/ Says it ain’t heavy metal/ And that’s alright.”
Post Human is similar to amo as they both mix songs from the electronic metal and metalcore subgenres. Metalcore, unlike metal, mixes screaming with cleaner vocals and utilizes similar guitar riffs as deathcore; this may certainly create a nostalgia for Bring Me the Horizon’s earlier years.
Their new album, which was produced primarily during the COVID-19 lockdowns, reflects the emotions that many have been feeling over the past few months. The first song, Dear Diary, includes the lyrics:
“Dear diary, I don’t know what’s going on…I think my TV is bust/ Every channel is the same, it’s sending me insane…The sky is falling, it’s f*cking boring/ I’m going brain dead, isolated… Traumatized for breakfast, I can’t stomach any more Survival Horror.”
These lyrics don’t only pay homage to the album’s title but also to the movie WarGames, a 1983 film about the Cold War. The character, Professor Falken, is discussing a possible nuclear bomb, hoping to be close to the blast when it comes. “A millisecond of brilliant light and we’re vaporized. Much more fortunate than millions who wander sightless through the smoldering aftermath. We’ll be spared the horror of survival,” he says.
The aforementioned lyrics reflect on the horror of the COVID-19 pandemic which, at this point, has left over a million dead across the globe and how Sykes, as well as many others, are overwhelmed by this truth. They also highlight the loneliness and isolation that have been experienced in mass due to lockdowns.
The song, Ludens, includes lyrics with similar sentiments about COVID-19. “How do I/ Form a connection when we can’t even shake hands?/ You’re like a phantom greeting me… It’s out of sight, but never out of mind.”
The new album includes features from artists YUNGBLOOD, BABYMETAL, the Nova Twins, and Amy Lee (the vocalist of Evanescence).
Each song on the album is excitingly unique from the other with BMTH’s use of stylistic techniques, relatable lyrics, and classic metal guitar riffs. Whether you’re a fan of the old Bring Me the Horizon or the new, there is a song on this album for every fan.