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Released: Apr 1, 2013
Genre: Metalcore, Alternative Metal
Label: RCA, Epitaph
Number Of Tracks: 11
Bring Me The Horizon continues to change with each new album. While their first album was much more death metal or deathcore, the current album could probably best be described as metalcore.
SempiternalFeatured review by: UG Team, on april 01, 2013 7 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: Bring Me The Horizon formed in 2004 from members of several recently dissolved local bands in Yorkshire, and were immediately signed as the first band to Thirty Days of Night Records. They recorded their first EP in 2004, but did not gain any significant attention for it until it was re-released by Visible Noise in 2005. They released their first full length album, "Count Your Blessings", in 2006 and then won the Kerrang! Award the same year for Best British Newcomer. From there their career began to grow and they received gigs supporting bigger acts on tour, including Killswitch Engage. There has been a lot of hate for Bring Me The Horizon, as well, with many people thinking the band was too musically cheesy or were more like metalcore/deathcore painting by numbers. With each new release Bring Me The Horizon has taken another step away from that stereotype. They have gone on to win additional Kerrang! Awards, as well as being nominated for multiple AIM Independent Music Awards. With the release of Sempiternal, they've also lost their rhythm guitarist Jona Weinhofen, and gained keyboardist Jordan Fish. This is also their first release on RCA.
When Bring Me The Horizon first came out I wasn't really digging what they did and quit paying attention to them for the most part. With the video for "Alligator Blood" a few years ago I thought I could enjoy them more than when they first came out and started paying attention again. Now with the release of "Sempiternal" I'm really enjoying what I hear, but not everyone will. They no longer have a rhythm guitarist, though Lee Malia does remain on lead guitar. There is much more keyboard/synth thanks to the addition of Jordan Fish. They still have a predominantly "metalcore" sound, but they have added in a lot of ambient passages in their songs and have minimized the heavy breakdowns. The vocals don't get anywhere near a death metal growl on this new album. There is actually occasionally a little bit of melody (just a touch) in their songs which hasn't really been there before now. To me, this release is so far away from where Bring Me The Horizon started you have to listen to it fresh to really appreciate what it is and what they're doing. There are 11 tracks on the standard edition of the album with a runtime of 45 minutes, or the deluxe edition which adds three additional tracks. // 7
Lyrics: Oliver Sykes is definitely doing his job a little bit differently these days. There is very rarely any type of "death metal" growls, but instead he sings (occasionally) mostly clean or in the realm of "hardcore" or "metalcore" screaming. The internet assures me that he hasn't damaged his voice, but instead has chosen this change in his vocal delivery for creative reasons. They still occasionally use gang vocals on this album, and this seems to be one of the elements that has remained mostly unchanged since they started using it. The addition of Jordan Fish on backing vocals (in addition to his keyboard work) is mostly unnoticeable but occasionally really shines. I personally enjoy the change in vocal delivery, but this will be the thing that loses some listeners.
The lyrics are almost a continuation of the ideas from their last album, "There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret". There is a lot of anti-religious fury going on. From the song "The House Of Wolves" as an example: "Show me a sign/ show me a reason to give/ a solitary f--k/ about your god damn beliefs/ I'm going blind/ but one thing's clear/ death is the only/ salvation you fear." Then occasionally they express a different type of sentiment like on the song "Hospitals For Souls": "and then I found out how hard it is to really change/ even hell can get comfy once you've settled in/ I just wanted the numb inside me to leave/ no matter how f--ked you get/ there's always hell when you come back down/ the funny thing is all I ever wanted I already had/ there's glimpses of heaven in everything/ in the friends that I have/ the music I make/ the love that I feel/ I just had to start again." Some of the lyrics do seem to encourage self analysis and I can definitely appreciate that. // 7
Overall Impression: I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this album because while I like some hardcore and metalcore music, it is a very casual interest for me. The use of the keyboards to create ambient passages in the songs, as well as the gang vocals and Oliver Sykes' hardcore/metalcore delivery have created something that is so far very intriguing to me. My favorite songs on the album are "Can You Feel My Heart", "Shadow Moses" and "Hospitals For Souls". My least favorite song is "The House Of Wolves" but I recognize that this is a matter of personal taste and not quality. I would like to mention that there is supposedly some contention on whether Jona Weinhofen was involved in the writing or recording of the album, but as far as I know he is not credited on the album in any respect. I like that it doesn't seem you know what you're going to get with a release from Bring Me The Horizon as their sound so far has changed fairly quickly. I'm eager to see what their next release brings. // 7
naw2, on april 16, 2013 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album seems to have that most cliched and hated set ups for those who consider themselves true metal fans: Mixture of modern Metalcore and modern dance music synthesizers with a fashionably skinny tattooed vocalist. This is like a form kryptonite to many metal fans and I totally get why with bands like Attack Attack, Asking Alexandria and even earlier Bring Me The Horizon records managing to be very successful using this style of set-up with no innovation of any kind.
While this album does not have a particularly ground breaking sound to it I am happy to report what it has done made the formula work in such a way that it is not deeply boring and extremely easy to listen to. Even though the electronic parts are very prevalent it is done in what I consider to be in a very tasteful way. Furthermore the rest of the band has hit on a style which I feel they should stick with: Not particularly Breakdown-heavy (compared to other similar bands) and with more of a sense of musicality. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics I have to say are the albums biggest weakness. Apart from a few songs it does just seem that there is just a lot of blind anger and stereotypical lyrical content. One example I can use is the fifth track "Go To Hell For Heaven's Sake". It could be just me but using the opposite things in the same phrase is something that I have seen done so many times I can not be impressed with it's use, even if I am rather impressed with the songs overall Vitriolic feeling.
That's not to say all of the lyrics are bad. In fact they match the songs they are put in quite well and "Sleepwalking", while potential cliche has a set of lyrics which have always seemed to resonate with me.
The singer is, Oli Sykes, aside from being somewhat of a divisive character even for those who are fans of this bands corner in the music industry, is also quite a divisive vocalist. To some he is the best vocalist ever and for other he is a stereotypical, almost talent-less mess. As far as I can tell he's got a decent scream on him and his clean vocals seem to have improved over the course of time. That's not to say the clean vocals are fantastic but there are plenty that are worse and/or more auto tuned and fake sounding. // 7
Overall Impression: 1. "Can You Feel My Heart" - The album opens with a massive slice of what I will call (for the purposes of this review) "Electro-Metal". It focuses a lot on the clean vocals and is an interesting choice of pace to start the album and I for one quite like it. It's a good way to show what kind of musical journey the album wants to take you on.
2. "The House Of Wolves" - This I suppose is more of what I was expecting with the angry lyrics and the main focus being on the string instruments right off that bat. The anger in the lyrics means this song is one of those that it is very easy just go mental to if you were to hear it live. The synth's continue to be used in a very tasteful manner.
3. "Empire (Let Them Sing)" - This song has more of a stomp and head bang sort of groove. The gang vocals and harshness of the vocal tones make this song very aggressive. The semi spoken parts, while another often used clich, are very effectively used in this song to once again produce a very distinct angry tone.
4. "Sleepwalking" - One of the two singles released from the album and it is very plain to see why. The vocals put a greater emphasis on melodic hooks and the chorus is downright infectious with it's nicely flowing melody and memorable lyrics. However in the second verse and middle 8 we see the song is not afraid to use the heavier elements of the band. This to me is a very simple yet complete 4 minute rock/metal song.
5. "Go To Hell For Heaven's Sake" - Despite already saying that I am not a fan of this songs lyrics the rest of this song is very strong. A very strong and memorable vocal delivery in the undeniably bouncy chorus as well something that I feel has been missing on the album as a whole, some proper lead guitar work, mean this song definitely stands out in it's own right.
6. "Shadow Moses" - The lead single from the album and it definitely shows. From the longer electronic intro to the deliberately catchy chorus and the solid drop Bb-tuned guitars show off basically all of the core elements of the album all wrapped up in one song. The gang vocal cry of "This is Sempiternal" would be an absolute monster of a moment in an arena or festival stage.
7. "And The Snakes Start To Sing" - The first 4 bars of the intro are very sinister, which I guess matches the title of the title and topic of the lyrics. Then after about a minute it explodes into a brooding, crawling almost slithering track that does a fantastic job at getting under your skin. If I had to compare this song to anything it's like something off the first 30 Seconds To Mars album with more beef on it. Another very complete song and my favorite on the album to this point.
8. "Seen It All Before" - Musically it sounds like this song just follows on directly from the previous one but this one goes into show itself as much more guitar orientated than the previous synthesizer lead track. There is use of high vocal ranges than has been shown before by Oli Sykes. I think it definitely works in the context of this song but I think it could perhaps have done with a slightly stronger voice. Really good effort though on another excellent track.
9. "Anti-Vist" - Another very angry, guitar and bass lead track with some angry, curse-laden words to go with it. It's seems very similar to tracks that have already been on the album but despite the song itself being a little samey it's the anger that is portrayed that really catches the eye. It's almost like Oli Sykes (particularly in the "speech" part) is speaking to the face of whichever power he is talking about.
10. "Crooked Young" - The use of string is perfect for this sort of intro make it so much bigger and more epic sounding than it had any right being. The song stays strong with another infectious chorus and very subtle lead guitar work. However it's hard to tell whether Religion is being used to play up how lost the current generation of teenagers and young people in the UK feel at the moment or using the idea of children to slander religion.
11. "Hospital For Souls" - The intro with the sampled spoken pattern does a remarkable job of building up tension which is then doubled up by the synthesizer section. The song then begins in Ernest being almost entirely centered on clean vocals until the chorus, which sort of goes against the pattern of a few tracks on the album. It has a sort of "end of the journey" sort of vibe and that I imagine is not by accident. It is really a shame that it is not as interesting a song as some of the ones that preceded it.
This is a very good album. I would call it excellent but despite the album only cocking in at 45 minutes it does seem some of it (particularly "Anti-Vist" and "Hospital For Souls") seems to be filler, which is a slight concern. There are of course some stand out tracks, including "And The Snakes Start To Sing", "Sleepwalking" and "Crooked Youth". It shows a band that has decided and finally been able to take a step away from their previous work and write something which is not only a good listen but also provides hope for the future for new and old fans alike. // 8
DeadxFreedom, on april 16, 2013 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Sheffield metalcore quintet Bring Me The Horizon are back and better than ever with their fourth studio album "Sempiternal". The new offering boasts 11 tracks, including the incredibly addictive singles "Shadow Moses" and "Sleepwalking". As someone who has never been keen of Bring Me The Horizon's previous records, "Sempiternal" has come as a very welcome and exciting surprise. It may have possibly even converted me into a fan. With fierce guitar riffs, intense breakdowns and thought-provoking lyrics which will be great to scream along to in a mosh pit - what more could any fan want from an album?
The record instantly kicks off with a captivating synth melody and driving drumbeat, bound to get you hooked in the form of the track "Can You Feel My Heart", which eases you into the album. This is followed by an unexpected descent into chaos with an aggressive guitar riff, "The House Of Wolves" giving you a taste of what's to come. // 8
Lyrics: "Anti-Vist" may be the most hostile and controversial track on the album, launching a verbal onslaught seething with hatred towards modern society even using the infamous C word. The album's second single release "Sleepwalking" begins with an instantly memorable synth melody, which sounds slightly reminiscent of "Hybrid Theory"-era Linkin Park. This may lead you to expect the track to be calm and relaxed. That is, until the guitars and drums drop in. Before you know it, you'll find yourself head banging along to an energetic anthem full of bounce that will get crowds at intimate venues and open air festivals alike moving. // 7
Overall Impression: The first thing that anyone who's familiar with the band will realize is that they have matured and evolved as musicians. "Sempiternal" has taken a new, more experimental path with writing and recording for the follow-up to 2010's "There Is A Hell". The change in musical direction can be credited to some changes within the band's lineup, including the departure of guitarist Jona Weinhofen and introduction of Jordan Fish of Worship (keyboards, programming). With the addition of classical instruments such as violins and cello, as well as melodious and atmospheric synth tracks, the band has reinvented its sound. Sykes' vocals are raw and delicate, yet extremely powerful and full of passion.
2013 has already been a busy year so far for Bring Me The Horizon, with recording and releasing the album and signing to their new label RCA Records. But despite this, they show no signs of stopping. The band will begin touring Europe on April 28th through to the end of August, including a run of major festivals such as Sonisphere, Reading/Leeds, Rock Am Ring and Groezrock. They'll also be part of the line-up for the Vans Warped Tour in the US and Canada later this year.
Many anticipate that "Sempiternal" will be one of the best albums of 2013. Bursting with anger, attitude and anthemic tracks that will be mind-blowing when performed live, I'm inclined to agree. "Sempiternal" will be one of the essential albums for metal fans everywhere in 2013. Grab yourself a copy, you won't regret it. // 9
kristinqxde, on june 04, 2013 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: When you as someone about BMTH the most common thing is that they have changed. Not everyone likes these changes but I've gotta say "Sempiternal" is the biggest. Metalcore sound mixed with some electric samples came out very good. I haven't been expecting that but when album leaked, I listened to that and fell in love from the first sound of "Can You Feel My Heart." The album is different with its variety. We can listen to some light songs like "And the Snakes Start to Sing" or "Hospital for Souls," but it's a sin to not mention good old fashioned deathcore incoming in "Shadow Moses" or "Antivist." To sum up, Jordan Fish put into the band a lot of new stuff, but we can't call it a failure, on the contrary it's a huge success. // 8
Lyrics: I think every fan of Bring Me The Horizon loves the lyrics from their songs because Oli Sykes is able to express a lot of emotions in one track. As we look at the lyrics from "Sempiternal" we see another good job and maturity. Sempiternal means everlasting, eternal and that's what album is about. "Shadow moses" takes all the problems and shows up that you can't change your destiny and all you can do is get used to it. Every song's lyrics are perfect in their own way. On "Sempiternal" we have another surprise - Oli's clean vocals. He haven't sung before but as we can hear he's doing well. // 9
Overall Impression: In comparison to older albums Bring Me The Horizon has changed. On the other hand "Sempiternal" seems to be a continuation of "There Is a Hell..." because of their dissimilarity. For me the most impressive songs are "Shadow Moses," "Hospital for Souls," "Go to Hell, For Heaven's Sake," "Sleepwalking." I love this variety of sound 'cause I can hear what music inspired them to write this music. I would like a little more hard songs but I don't think it's a minus because we have some hard tracks on album. I hope I'll never ever lose my signed "Sempiternal" but if I lost it, I would definitely buy it again. // 9
ninjagayden777, on april 16, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Love it or hate it, the one thing Bring Me The Horizon have always had on their side was tenacity. Beginning as a sub-average whatever-core band, BMTH, like U.K. peers, Architects, expanded their sound in new directions with each release. Suicide Season brought more hardcore groove and low end riffing to the mix, while "There Is A Hell..." showcased a more emotional, ethereal atmosphere injected into their U.K. metalcore. Sempiternal serves as the fusing of all of BMTH's influences and sounds, serving as a rich palette of sounds and moods.
The music here adds to a whole in a similar fashion to Underoath's "Define The Great Line", offering at times what sounds like hardcore-influenced shoegazing. That isn't to say the album is without more straightforward riffs. "Anti-Vist", while weak lyrically, makes up for it with bouncing riffs and a lead or two to keep things interesting. "Shadow Moses" fades in with ethereal vocals and explodes in a syncopated breakdown, leading into a more hardcore inspired verse. The almost everything-but-the-kitchen-sink barrage of influences is cluttering and eclectic (ranging from electronic music, hardcore, pop, and orchestral), but the overall experience is so much more rewarding because of this. // 9
Lyrics: Oliver has obviously grown quite a bit between LPs. "Sempiternal" marks a turning point in overall lyrical composition, mostly for the better. Gone is most all of the past angst in Sykes' lyrics, replaced by the observations of a person who's seen the world. We do still get the occasional groaner (see "Anti-Vist" and its chant of "Middle fingers up if you don't give a f***"), but outside this major stumble, the rest of the album is quite good. "The House Of Wolves" kicks off with some of Oli's sharpest, most believable lines: "Show me a sign, show me a reason to give a solitary f*** about your god***n beliefs." He's more focused, and more raw.
Oli's vocal range has also significantly improved, ditching the deathcore-lite growls in favor of a more melodic hardcore-esque tone. Hell, "And The Snakes Start To Sing" has Oli doing his best Robert Smith impressing, melding the moldy blues of The Cure with the gothic tinged metal that was left back in the '90s. There is significant improvement with both lyrical content and delivery evident here. If only by the next album we get more of the ambitious Oli, and cast out the angst. // 8
Overall Impression: If you're adamant on hating Bring Me The Horizon, there is little here that may help convince you otherwise. But if you're on the edge or undecided, "Sempiternal" is a gorgeous album, filled with airy textures, dirty riffs, great hits, a few misses (see also, wtf album opener "Can You Feel My Heart"), and enough evidence yo prove BMTH are staying. They didn't just make an album with "Sempiternal". They deserved this one.
For fans of: Underoath, Architects, Tides Of Man.
Recommended tracks: "The House Of Wolves", "Empire", "Shadow Moses", "And The Snakes Start To Sing". // 9
talgat, on april 16, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: As with their last album, "There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret", Bring Me The Horizon change up their sound towards a more, for lack of a better term, "ambient metal" sound. Granted there are songs like "Anti-Vist" which keeps to their more metalcore roots but from the get go with "Can You Feel My Heart" it is obvious that electronics and the same sort of ambiance found in their previous album will be prevalent. Whether this or good or bad is up to interpretation. Many songs on the album have this ambient sound and it does get a bit overdone but each time it is slightly different and evokes a different feeling. Most times you feel alone with the music but other times the ambiance fills your body and your soul and in a way liberates you. Overall this is musically, the most revolutionary BMTH album and probably will set a new standard for metalcore from 2013 on. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics and the singing do show Oliver Sykes in his best form but that is no accomplishment as he hasn't been the best at either lyrics or screaming. The themes are slightly more positive than the lyrics in "Sempiternal"'s predecessor, but only slightly as with the lyrics "When it cuts you up this deep/It's hard to find a way to breathe", from the song "Sleepwalking", there is not much positivity. Overall the lyrics are Bring Me The Horizon lyrics, nothing too new. They're deep and personal but nothing revolutionary as far as the band's writing is concerned.
As far as lyrical delivery, Oli Sykes will probably loose his voice in the next decade. He's not one of the best screamers in the business and even this album is rather light on screaming when compared to BMTH's past catalog. This is fine though as Bring Me The Horizon employed the vocal talents of Immanu el, a Swedish band, to actually sing on the record. This sets "Sempiternal" apart from past Bring Me The Horizon because this is the first time we get constant clean vocals on a Bring Me The Horizon album. Granted, "There Is A Hell..." had clean vocals from Lights and Josh Franceschi but they weren't constant on every track, they were simply a bridge or a chorus. Immanu el provides constant clean and quality vocals that set the songs they are featured in apart from the more hardcore songs on the album with zero singing. // 6
Overall Impression: Bring Me The Horizon have been reinventing metalcore ever since they became the main band in the scene. "Count Your Blessings" is a standard metalcore album and even BMTH realized that keeping things the same would lead to them fading out of the scene in the years to come. To remedy this, they evolved their sound from each album to the next and "Sempiternal" has the definite sound of a metalcore band trying to be different and even though at times it does get rather formulaic, it still sounds like a better album than most other bands within the same genre would be able to pull off.
This album is Bring Me The Horizon at their best, songs like "Can You Feel My Heart" and "Sleepwalking" show an obvious change for the band but it is a change that is successful and truly helps Bring Me The Horizon keep their rank as one of the best metalcore bands. Meanwhile in songs like "Anti-Vist" and "House Of Wolves" do keep to the more standard idea of a metalcore song.
If most other bands tried to do what Bring Me The Horizon did with this album, it would sound like they were trying too hard. Granted, the idea of electronics in a metalcore song are nothing new, they've been done over and over again but Bring Me The Horizon reinvents this idea to enhance the experience "Sempiternal" gives you. This experience though is what leads to one of the albums's faults, this album is not one to just put on and forget about while you do other things, you need to sit down and listen to it to get the full effect, otherwise the album could be easily viewed as a standard BMTH album and kinda forgettable within their catalog. // 8
ALBUMreviews, on july 04, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: First of all I must mention that my English may not be totally accurate, so don't be judgemental. And also this is my first review.
Bring me the horizon has according to a lot of people and myself change a bit in their sound. Oli Sykes said "This album is more like a hard rock record" which is good I think. A step away from the intensive metalcore. BMTH never sounded better. In this album they also used electronic instruments which makes the album alot more friendly listening to and more powerful as a whole. If you're really into that I suggests you listen to "Can You Feel My Heart". The theme of Sempiternal in particular is great because it floats together really well. Some songs like "Empire(Let Them Sing)" is more aggressive while others "Hospital for Souls" and "And the Snakes Start to Sing" is more calm. // 9
Lyrics: Some parts of this album, mostly the quite ones that slowly reach a higher level of sound get stuck in your head. At least in mine. But that's not a bad thing. We have metaphors "Worms come out of the woodwork, Leeches crawl from out of the dirt, Rats come out of the holes they call home" and atmospheric ones "Hold me close, don't let go, watch me." There all great, personal opinion is of course relevant here. Some hate it, some love it. But overall the lyrics this album was awesome. It's different, dramatic and easy to relate to for all people. It illustrates the image of a person having problems, that he/she can't change about themselves and leads to the point where they just gotta except it and move on.
Vocals: Oliver Sykes nailed it. I think his voice fits perfectly with the sound. Best performance on "Empire." "Sempiternal" have almost no metal growls and alot of screaming, but this time mixed with clean vocals. It was nice hearing him do more actual singing. Because he's excellent at both. One more thing to mention is that Oliver did something that many artists these days miss. He add the pain into his voice on the record. Which make you kind of float away in the kind of spiritual music. // 10
Overall Impression: Impression:
01. "Can You Feel My Heart" - A very good starter on the album. Big electronic sounds with good lyrics, it makes you feel like something extraordinary is about to happened.
02. "The House of Wolves" - Here it kicks of with an amazing track. Angry words and heavy guitars. In the end of the song you can here more growlings, this is probably one of the heaviest tracks on the record, next to "Antivist." Love the chorus on this one.
03. "Empire (Let Them Sing)" - The first time I heard this song it totally blew my mind. I thought it was just so insane. "The wolves are at my door, but I can see the writing on the wall(2x)" then it's time for the chorus before the song ends. Really cool and unexpected way to put there feelings into a song.
04. "Sleepwalking" - Single, listen to this when your at the ocean if you get the opportunity, I did and it just got so more amazing. Weird thing to say but actually the hole album gets a bit better in the country, look at the music videos and you'll understand. Anyway, this song has a little bit of calmer sounds to it, it's like Oliver said "hard rock" instead of metalcore. If you enjoy this type of music you will probably love this track.
05. "Go to Hell, For Heaven's Sake" - A good song, catchy and nice intro. But one of my least favorites on the album.
06. "Shadow Moses" - Another single. This is according to me the best track on the album. The lyrics arelegendary "Can you tell from the look in our eyes (we're going nowhere), we live our lives like we're ready to die (we're going nowhere)" When I first heard this song I got that feeling that this is big, this track sound with a huge chorus. Epic. Amazing.
07. "And the Snakes Start to Sing" - Here we have the metaphors and the slow playing of instruments. Good lyrics, nice instrumental and vocals.
08. "Seen It All Before" - Also one of my least favourites on "Sempiternal." It feels like a good song but more like between a B-side and an A-side. I give it 4/5. It still very good, that's why.
09. "Antivist" - Amazing song with a lot of anger and lyrics that are not recommended for younger listeners. But it's a really cool song, and it kicks of the album again.
10. "Crooked Young" - Also a brilliant song. Really nice ending and good chorus, brutal and angry.
11. "Hospital for Souls" - A track that wrap up "Sempiternal" with a dramatic and spectacular ending. Oliver's voice make you hear the pain.
Overall "Sempiternal" is now one of my favourite records of all time. If I lost it I would run like Forest Gump to get a new one. I hope more people can enjoy this masterpiece the way I did. // 10