Sound — 8
With each album, BMTH's sound seems to distance itself more and more from the deathcore styling of "Count Your Blessings" but this isn't exactly a bad thing. They're starting to ditch the heavy focus on breakdowns and really put some effort into the entire songs, each one being an achievement in production in its own right. It starts off with the heavy hitter "Crucify Me", and immediately you can tell that they're going for something different here. The use of choirs, strings and synths really help to "thinken-up" their sound, without straying into the territory of bands such as Enter Shikari by really laying down heavy synth tracks, and overall, it's a welcome addition to their sound which generally acts as a kind of seasoning. The way "Memorial" builds up into "Blessed With A Curse" really shows that they're exploring their horizons and creating more of an identity for themselves with their sound, while fans of their older work will be pleased to hear the heavier elements based in songs like "Fuck" and "Alligator Blood" All in all, this album is like nothing they've attempted before, but it still draws inspiration from previous efforts, and I'd say they've vastly improved.
Lyrics — 9
This is a touchy area, mainly because of Oli Sykes. Lots of people hate this band purely because of him and his "Scene" style, however this is a review of the music, not his wardrobe. Oli has definitely improved when compared to his overbearing vocals from "Count Your Blessing" and I'm thankful to see that he's taken another step forward. His lyrics have gained a lot of meaning and deeper layers, and thankfully sound much less like something from an emo kids Diary. He delivers them in a passionate and deliberate manner, and you can tell he's really matured. He's still straying away from his old screaming style, and knows when to up the ante with certain lines. Gang vocals and guest vocalists really help to bring the lyrics and vocals out of their shell, and keep the album diverse, interesting and catchy.
Overall Impression — 8
Now immediately, many of you will completely disregard everything I've just said purely because of this bands reputation as a "poser" metal band. So instead I simply urge you to listen to the album in its entirety just once, and you will come to recognize that this is a beast of a completely different nature when compared to their old work. They're not trying to come across as a brutal deathcore act any more, and even if you still dislike them, from a musical perspective, I think everyone will agree they've improved. It's fair to say that this album just isn't for everyone, but in my opinion, what they've delivered is an intricate and diverse piece of work, helping to identify their sound, push away from old reputations, and produce something meaningful. Bring Me The Horizon have ascended to a new level. I'm not saying they're a cut above every other band now, but they're certainly not in the same playing field when compared to their old work. Again, I urge everyone to at least give it a run through in it's entirety, with a natural approach. They might just surprise you. Be sure to check out: "Crucify Me" "Fuck" "Alligator Blood" "visions" "Memorial" leading into "Blessed With A Curse"