One of the year’s most eagerly awaited albums has finally dropped…through my post-box, and ravaged my ears like vultures at a sky burial. There Is A Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It, There Is A Heaven Lets Keep It A Secret (There Is A Hell…) is the third offering from a band that are simply unavoidable, Bring Me The Horizon. Whether you have loved or hated them off the back of previous releases, There Is A Hell…demands your attention.
In anticipation of the release, much was said by the band and commentators alike about the style and direction of There Is A Hell… most prominent was that this was about drawing on musical influences from every member, this was certainly not an entry into a popularity contest, this is Bring Me The Horizon opened up and creating the sounds that excite them, unconcerned with being musically categorised. There Is A Hell… is innovative work, a breath of fresh air from an otherwise stagnated scene.
The album is beautifully produced, from the daring instrumental choices to the venture into several genre domains, all whilst keeping that Bring Me The Horizon meaty-ness and brutality. “Don’t Go” is the stand out track in terms of the alternative as the violin intro and military-esc snare work lead to Sykes’ screams about his childhood. Lyrically he has scratched deeper beneath the surface and you can’t help but feel the emotion and vulnerability from his internal cry. Guest vocalist Lights’ gentle, clean lyrics compliment Sykes’ suffering perfectly as she softens the pain of this beauty and the beast affair. She also features on opener “Crucify Me”, having the same delicate effect. “Blessed With A Curse” is another track where you can sense Sykes’ frailty, albeit in a more subtle approach. The song grows with him though and elements of strength and positivity shine through the classic rock-esque fretwork.
The fast paced “Home Sweet Hole” is a much needed follow up to the emotional depth of “Don’t Go”. It’s high energy, features a gang chanted chorus and some rapid work on the kit from Matt Nichols. A definite feel good number.
First single, “It Never Ends” was the initial taster for fans, and it was a strong indication of the diverse approach taken in the recording process, demonstrating the creativity, both musically and lyrically. “Fuck” then premiered online featuring Josh Franceschi (You Me At Six), and the title pretty much sums up the songs angle. Again however, Franceschi’s clean vocals bring a little calm to an otherwise relentless assault.
There is still plenty more outright heavy, dirty Northern metal on offer here that will have circle pits worldwide spinning like a washing machine on a rinse cycle. “Anthem” is straight out of the blocks with a chorus destined to be screamed by every fan, “This is an anthem, so fucking sing!” There are some delicious beat downs too, courtesy of Lee Malia and Jona Weinhoffen which will have kids make the ceiling crumble as Sykes’ commands them to “get the fuck up!” Possibly the heaviest songs, “Alligator Blood” and “Visions” are reminiscent of the kind of hardcore on the latest Parkway Drive album. Dirty riffs and stomping drums make these tracks virtually impossible not to bring back the head bang. The final track featuring Josh Scogin (The Chariot) is phenomenal, with he and Sykes vocally tearing the shit out of each other’s vocal chords. Unfortunately it only clocks in at 1:43, this being my only criticism of what has easily become my album of the year.
There Is A Hell… is Bring Me The Horizon’s finest collection to date, pushing the limits of the modern Metal scene, and quite comprehensively demonstrating they are far from a one trick pony. Every element of this album warrants its place, each one adding more artillery to the driving machine that is Bring Me The Horizon.