New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Bring Me the Horizon Explores Pop, Alt Rock on ‘amo’

The metalcore band opts for a softer sound on their new release.
Bring Me The Horizon performing at Arena, Vienna. (Courtesy of MCK-photography)

Bring Me the Horizon’s sixth studio album “amo” exemplifies just how much a band can grow over 15 years and proves that the five-piece band has branched out from their heavy metalcore beginnings.

Long gone are the English rock outfit’s screaming vocals and heavy metal breakdowns, replaced by a more melody-based sound on their Jan. 25 release.

Bring Me the Horizon presents an eclectic record fusing together a diverse array of sounds while honoring their hardcore origins, with each song bringing the listener to a different sonic landscape. The band’s music weaves together alternative rock, hard rock, grunge, pop and even trap and hip-hop beats, each song filled with layers that meld together.

Some songs on the release hone in on specific genres such as the Grammy-nominated single “MANTRA”, an alternative rock anthem with irate vocals, powerful drums and distorted guitars. Most other tracks traverse several genres on their own such as “sugar honey ice & tea.” The track starts with a heavy hard rock guitar riff and powerful drums, yet the tune morphs into an alternative rock song once the vocals kick in. A catchy pop hook emerges when the vocalist Oliver Sykes repeats “sugar honey ice and tea” in refrain.

Another song that shows this eclectic mix of styles is the track “why you gotta kick me when i’m down?” At first, it appears to add some electronic hip-hop relief to the album with trap beats, rap lyrics by Sykes as well as varied layers of synthesizer fills. But soon Sykes’ rapping turns first to singing, then to yelling as the music becomes heavier. The track radically juxtaposes these styles — not settling on one or the other — as the song veers back and forth between the two.

The album boasts several interesting appearances of major industry game changers including synthpop artist Grimes, rapper and beatboxer Rahzel and Dani Filth of metal band Cradle of Filth. While such a diverse line-up could potentially derail an album, the featured artists on “amo” provide a unique crossover that emphasizes the album’s genre-bending ability.

This record is a must-hear for alternative music fans looking for something fresh, new and innovative. With a hard-hitting Grammy-nominated track and an offering of other complex and diverse songs, “amo” proves it belongs in the canon of alternative music. So don’t miss it.

Bring Me the Horizon plays at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Jan. 29 and 30. 

Email Gabriele Esposito-Wilcock at [email protected].

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