Sound — 6
For a deathcore-turned-metalcore band, some of the riffs aren't that bad. Sure, you've heard them a thousand times before, but they are delivered with some precision here, especially on "Anthem". "Home Sweet Hole" has a punk rock feel to it, while "Alligator Blood" reminds me of something Hellyeah would come up with. "Visions" and "Blacklist" have a nice groove to it as well, and "Fox And The Wolf" reminds me of Cancer Bats (incidentally friends of BMtH as well). I commend the guitar work on this album, even if it's the same old stuff you've heard from the same metalcore bands before. Jona Weinhofen (I Killed The Prom Queen, Bleeding Through) brings a new sense of aggression for the band. For the most part, however, the album is two guitars taking a back seat to the electronica influences on this album. The drums do their job in keeping the rhythm, and the bass-- wait, was there even bass on this album? Regarding the electronics used on this album, they make Bring Me the Horizon sound like a band who's just experimenting for the sake of experimenting. When Lights sings on "Crucify Me", the electronica sounds annoying, I actually like hearing vocal passages being completed without interruption. It doesn't get much better on "Blacklist", but it's not overly terrible. Admittedly, the best song on this record is the instrumental "Memorial", and it's not just because it lacks Oli Sykes (more on that later). There is a certain ambience that seems to recall Underoath here, and it serves as an interlude for introspection which I can dig.
Lyrics — 2
Whoever told Oli Sykes he was a great "singer" and "lyricist" needs to be dressed up as a pinata, hung upside down by their ankles, and fed to a bunch of hyperactive six year olds. His vocals reminds me of Underoath's Spencer Chamberlain if he stopped trying and was just going through the motions. The intro of "Don't Go" was going fine until that moron ruined it with his "I'M A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION" 'vocals'. The best singer on this album is Josh Scogin of The Chariot on "Fox And The Wolf", but that's not really saying much. For every good lyric on this album, there's at least three more dragging down the quality. Lyrics such as the ones found on "Alligator Blood" ("Let's play a game of Russian roulette, I'll load the gun, you place the bets. Tell me, who will make it out alive.") and "Anthem" ("This is an anthem, so f**king sing. A dedication to the end of everything.") reek of cliche, and the ones that are good are repeated to the point where it becomes tedious (the album title being repeated over and over in "Crucify Me"). And don't get me started on "F**k". Good lord. I think this band would be a lot better without Oli Sykes, he hurts this band musically more than he helps it. If BMTH got someone who could actually scream and write decent lyrics, Oli could probably just appear in promo shots only just to keep his fans happy. But that's just my opinion.
Overall Impression — 4
All in all, I felt really underwhelmed by what this album had to offer. The music is good, but the album is ultimately brought down by cliches, irritating vocals, and a sense of trying too hard. If you're a diehard fan of the band, that's great, each to their own. But if you're looking for something dynamic from a metalcore band, Bring Me The Horizon's latest effort is not one you should be looking into. There is a band, believe me I've heard it. They have a singer, they should keep it a secret.