Album Review: Sempiternal by Bring Me the Horizon

Bring Me the Horizon, a British metalcore band from Sheffield, Yorkshire, has gained many fans and critics over the years. What is truly undeniable is the fact that the band has grown immensely since their releases in 2006 and 2008. When their third studio album was released in 2010, many had come to enjoy the drastic sound change from their first two albums. They had gone from blast-beat drums, chugging guitars and roaring vocals to a more complex and almost melodic sound. This opened up their fan base substantially, and heightened the expectations for their later releases.


To prepare themselves for the writing of their next album Sempiternal, they isolated themselves to a remote location, as they feel they write best when they are free from all distractions. When writing this album, they chose to travel to a small ranch studio in Banbury, Oxfordshire.


Sempiternal opens with the song “Can You Feel My Heart,” which has many of the elements that were prevalent throughout their previous album, such as electronic modulations, energetic riffs, and Oliver Sykes’ trademark shouting style of vocalization. The entire album has a knack of making the most of combining different musical elements. It also has an enormous post-rock influence in the sound. This album put a large emphasis on Sykes’ singing, as Sykes has yet to sing on any of the previous albums, and typically relies on his screaming and shouting styles of vocalization. The lyrical work has changed little in terms of subject matter. The lyrics still possess a certain ominous and dark tone much like Sykes’ previous writings, but the band uses this to its advantage. They wanted to create a dark atmosphere, without the music itself sounding too heavy, so the band took style cues from bands such as Agalloch and succeeded in creating a dark atmosphere without musical heaviness.


The stand-out track of the album is “And The Snakes Start To Sing.” It is the track that really shows the album come into its own. It starts with Sykes softly singing along to a slow piano tune, lingering guitar and preemptive drum beat. The song progresses and maintains its mellowness despite the roaring sustain of the guitars. Sykes’ lyrics in the entire album undoubtedly play with the emotions and mind, creating a surreal mood for the listener.


While the band itself has matured and changed over time, as do many bands and artists, Sempiternal is undoubtedly Bring Me the Horizon’s best work. It clearly demonstrates that the band has stood the test of time and evolved into their truest sound. The emotionally powerful lyrics, ominous thundering instrumentals, along with Oliver Sykes’ greatest vocal work, all combine to make Sempiternal a great album that is highly recommended.