The 30th of October, 2020: Bring Me The Horizon releases the first EP, Survival Horror, in their POST HUMAN quadrology, a set of four projects intended to all be released by the band within the span of a year. A young reviewer sets out to write about this latest release by one of her favourite bands, and spends almost two weeks barely able to write a single coherent paragraph about it. This is the result.
Written by: Izzy
Writing this review has been probably the greatest struggle I’ve faced putting my thoughts out on any piece of music into words. Whenever I sat down at my desk and decided I wanted to express my love for and opinions on this album, I wanted to call it one of the best albums of the year and talk about how amazing it was, but I simply couldn’t type it out in a way I was happy with, or speak on it in a way that felt well constructed and not just rambling. And so here we are, on the fifth or sixth draft of this review, which I intend to write entirely in one sitting, because I really want to get this review over and done with after learning a few important things.
Sometimes I need the time to properly digest an album and develop my thoughts on it, I intended this review to come out the Monday after SURVIVAL HORROR was released, and for a new release by one of my favourite bands of all time, that was not nearly enough time to truly integrate exactly how this album made me feel. It was more like an explosion of hype, I wanted to call it another masterfully crafted classic and just gush about it for 800 words, but as time has passed I’ve realized I do have some very real and numerous critiques of it.
Sometimes I need the time to properly digest an album and develop my thoughts on it. I intended this review to come out the Monday after SURVIVAL HORROR was released, and for a new release by one of my favourite bands of all time, that was not nearly enough time to truly integrate exactly how this album made me feel. It was more like an explosion of hype;I wanted to call it another masterfully crafted classic and just gush about it for 800 words, but as time has passed I’ve realized I do have some very real and numerous critiques of it.
Firstly, the non-single tracks on this album were honestly quite a let down, the intense and fast paced electro-industrial nu/alt metal of "Obey," the massive sing-along choruses of "Parasite Eve," and the complex and foreboding experimenting of "Ludens" are all present, but it feels like Bring Me The Horizon put all their effort into just a handful of the tracks, leaving the rest sounding half-baked or watered down.
"Dear Diary" is heavy and has some playfully provocative lyrics but not much else, "Teardrops" has an incredibly clunky pre-chorus that drags the whole track down, "Itch For The Cure" is a completely unnecessary interlude on an already short EP that just wastes your time, "Kingslayer" is basically a Babymetal song with Olly featured and feels so out of place, not to mention this song goes from serviceable to intensely irritating if you’re like me and already despise Babymetal’s corporate vocals and poor attempt at co-opting both metal culture and idol culture while failing to recognize what makes either musical style good. "1x1" is Linkin Park worship alternative metal/rock, which basically means boring verses followed by a decently catchy chorus--all power to the Nova Twins though because they actually kill on their feature and make the song a lot more bearable. And then arriving at the closer, I actually don’t have as much to say, it’s a competent duo and nice way to close the album, but does feel a little underwhelming when it’s such a short project with such a epic and triumphant closer than feels a little detached from the rest of the album’s sound.
The album is really, really poorly structured too, aside from the closer every track feels like it’s position was randomly generated and there was little or no thought into making this any more than an assorted selection of vaguely related songs. And lastly, and I’m sure this one will get me some hate, but I cannot stand Mick Gordon’s production, I don’t like the Doom soundtrack for the same reason, but at least it felt a bit more fitting there. With SURVIVAL HORROR it just ends up making the whole thing feel really sterile and grit-less.
So after spending over half this review nagging and nitpicking, does any of this mean I HATE this EP or any of these songs? Absolutely not, but I also don’t think they’re amazing. They’re just alright, and certainly don’t feel exciting or special. It’s a release featuring a few stand out highlights, padded by inoffensive but uninteresting filler.
Now you probably wanna know what Ms. Negative Nancy over here actually enjoyed. Most of the actual choruses are incredibly good and get stuck in your head real easy, the breakdowns are always well placed and hit with some massive impact, and while I felt underwhelmed by the project as a whole, the best tracks are absolutely amazing. I think the reason I had so much trouble writing about SURVIVAL HORROR is that I was subconsciously trying to make myself like it more than I actually did. I tried to praise it and proselytize about how it was one of the best albums of the year, when in reality I didn’t like it that much, I found it passively enjoyable but wanted to love it because it was a new release by one of my favourite bands of all time and had a huge amount of hype behind it.
Don’t consider this a hate review, or even a negative one. I mean, yes, sure, the review itself talks mostly about the negative aspects of this album, but that’s because the reasons I like it are on a very simplistic and primal level, it’s nice music but I can’t describe what it is that I like, while on the contrary it’s easy to hyper focus on what I didn’t like about it. Bring Me The Horizon have delivered an acceptable album that doesn’t really live up to its lofty ambitions, but is nonetheless pleasant and quaint, with some excellent highlights, and that’s all that really matters in the end, right?
Bring Me The Horizon - POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR was released Oct. 30th, 2020 by Sony/RCA
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!