By Brandon Carson
Bring Me the Horizon (BMTH) return with POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR, an EP drenched with universal feelings of anxiety from all the wrong in the world. 2019s amo saw a new direction for the band. The hooks were catchier as the band was taking more inspiration from pop music. Along with more electronic elements being applied to their mainstream metal sound. A direction that took shape in 2015s That’s the Spirit. BMTH has been continuously changing and adapting their sound since their first record. They went from deathcore to mainstream metal in a gradual way, adapting their sound with each release. POST HUMAN, however, features a consistent sound and production overall, fusing every single BMTH era into one cohesive whole. The record is a breathtaking nu-metal revival that does justice to the genre and allows BMTH to give their unique spin.
Welcoming back the heaviness
It’s no surprise that BMTH was bringing back their metal roots. Not that it was gone in amo, but underdeveloped. But here, the band knows exactly how to fuse it with their mainstream melodies. “Dear Diary” opens the album with an incredible change of pace for BMTH. They take the listener way back to their Suicide Season sound with a heavy guitar riff and blasting drums that create an intense atmosphere delivered in the lyrics of the song. Almost every song feature breakdowns that never get old and showcases the musical ability they can bring to the table. The heaviness this album captures is callbacks to the nu-metal greats: Slipknot, Linkin Park, Deftones. But BMTH knows this and their sound well enough to create a fusion that can hold up in 2020.
Nu-metal isn’t the only edition to this heavier sound. The album’s themes reference survival horror games Resident Evil and Silent Hill, which bring a dreadful tone to the music. They worked with Mick Gordon, who made the DOOM Eternal soundtrack on the record’s production. Gordon adds an extra layer of fear and urgency to the mix that blends well with BMTH’s expected production. “Kingslayer” keeps the energy up with another blend of BMTH’s sounds. What sets this song apart is the edition of BABYMETAL. Hearing this extreme instrumental followed by BABYMETAL singing the hook creates a fascinating juxtaposition.
A tight grip on their songwriting
BMTH has had over a decade to find and hone in on their formula. A lot of songs in their discography follow it because it creates big hits and singles. But usually, each album has a few tracks that seem discombobulated. POST HUMAN surprisingly doesn’t contain this problem. The flow of the record is consistent and never getting off track. It’s apparent that these songs belong in the same universe, and it’s due to the strong songwriting. Each song features the same structure, but it never becomes a problem because they can all stand independently. Every song is not without a big hook or some sort of catchy moment. “Teardrops” is textbook nu-metal right down to screeching synths of this Linkin Park love letter. Singer Oli Sykes channels his inner Chester Bennington on the hook, that the song almost feels like a rap verse is missing. And yet this inspiration fits right into BMTH’s standard sound. The hooks on POST HUMAN are all catchy and hard-hitting, never getting annoying or anywhere close to filler like amo.
Adventurous production and collaborations
BMTH’s last couple of records have been a main point in their development as a band. Sempiternal took their deathcore roots and gave it more texture. That’s the Spirit gave them mainstream appeal and featured more electronics in the production, and amo made every song an experiment. POST HUMAN uses its production to create an apocalyptic atmosphere for the record. A whole heap of new sound appears, especially on “Obey.” The wall of sirens that ring in the background mixed with the guitar give it a grandiose quality. ‘Kingslayer” and “Ludens” also knock it out of the park, keeping me hooked at all times. BMTH took a lot of creative liberties with their production, and it works in their favor.
There are numerous collaborations on the record. The best is easily BABYMETAL, who bring heavy and melodic sides to “Kingslayer.” YUNGBLUD gets a verse on “Obey” and, to my surprise, nails his delivery. It’s the right amount of heavy you wouldn’t expect from him. Nova Twins show up on “1x1,” which is, unfortunately, the worst track on the record. While Nova Twins brings a new aspect to the missing song, it just doesn’t have the same power and impact of the previous tracks. Last but certainly not least, Amy Lee from Evanescence performs in the tremendous closing duet, “One Day the Only Butterflies Left Will Be in Your Chest as You March Towards Your Death.” Acting as a conversation between humanity and mother nature, this ballad brings the entire record together and ends the record on a high note. The song’s crescendo at the end is a great way to end this emotional roller coaster of an EP.
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