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Bring Me The Horizon’s “Amo” is a successful experiment

Alex Toth, Features Editor

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This album was always gonna be a divisive one. If “That’s the Spirit” was Bring Me the Horizon’s attempt at testing the waters of pop music, “Amo” is them diving headfirst into it, without any remorse. For new listeners, it might be hard to believe that this record came from the same band that released 2005’s “Pray for Plagues,” but for those who’ve been following the British quintet for the past 10 or 15 years, “Amo” will hardly come as a shock. The biggest surprise, in fact, is that it’s actually good.

Bring Me the Horizon started out the “Amo” album cycle with the one-two punch of “Mantra” and “A Wonderful Life,” simple rock-oriented songs that made the upcoming album seem like “That’s the Spirit” part two. It wasn’t until “Medicine” and “Mother Tongue” dropped a couple months later that it was made clear that this album wasn’t going to be like anything the band had done before. The former track is the poppiest song on the record, and by far the poppiest the deathcore-turned-pop outfit has ever written. Despite this, it’s irresistibly catchy chorus is bound to set live shows alight just as much as the breakdowns and riffs of their earlier work.

The real meat of this album, however, comes with its more experimental tracks. The atmospheric electronics of album opener “I Apologise if You Feel Something” and interlude “Ouch” show that Bring Me the Horizon are in no way afraid to challenge expectations, and more importantly, that they can pull it off.

There are even some hip-hop influences scattered throughout the record, with vocalist Oli Sykes employing a vocal style that lies somewhere between rap and spoken-word on “Why You Gotta Kick Me When I’m Down?” and rapper/beatboxer Rahzel having a feature on penultimate track “Heavy Metal.” The latter track also serves as a great indicator for the entire album, with its amalgamation of musical styles and lyrics that specifically call out those fans that criticize the band for their new direction.

Despite all of these aforementioned songs being something undeniably new for Bring Me the Horizon, none of them are the weirdest, or most experimental track on the album. That distinction goes to “Nihilist Blues,” featuring habitually odd art pop singer Grimes, whose influence is clear in the pulsating synths and reverb-laden vocals that twist and turn from dark and brooding to bright and energetic throughout the track’s five and a half minutes.

In the end, there’s almost no major flaws in Bring Me the Horizon’s most daring experiment yet. The worst that can be said is that some tracks towards the end of the album, such as “Fresh Bruises” and “Mother Tongue,” do lack some of the captivating melodies and compositions of the other songs, but even the worst of this record is still enjoyable. If this is just their first attempt at being a full-fledged pop band, then there’s no telling what this band can do with a bit more experience under their belt.

Rating: 4 out of 5 sails

 

 

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Bring Me The Horizon’s “Amo” is a successful experiment