Bring Me The Horizon: you may have heard of them. Bursting onto the metalcore scene with debut EP ‘This Is What The Edge Of Your Seat Was Made For’ back in 04, it wasn’t until second full-length ‘Suicide Season’ dropped some four years later that the quality of the band’s output finally matched the plaudits and hyperbole routinely heaped upon them. Last year may have brought the interesting, yet obviously stopgap release of remix album ‘Suicide Season: Cut Up!’, but when it comes to this, BMTH’s third album proper, the question on everyone’s lips is: ‘Where do they go from here?’
In an attempt to head this one off at the pass, the unveiling of ‘There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret’ has been preceded by much talk of how this is a huge step forward for the band; a bold and unrestrained body of work which is unafraid to push their more experimental, electronic tendencies to the fore and feature lyrics of a highly personal, bluntly confessional nature. Such proclamations are swiftly followed by a roll call of guest stars and big-name producers, along with the breathless ‘revelation’ that not only have the band dared to employ an orchestra, they’ve elbowed in a full choir to boot! Nevertheless, such vagaries cannot hope to illuminate the true nature of the beast.
In an attempt to do so, therefore, we would ask you to picture a young man alone in the crowd. Stripped to the waist, tears streaming down his face and hopelessly flailing his skinny fists about him as he struggles with an invisible, irrepressible army of foes, no one dares approach him, yet none can tear their eyes away. In due course, the evening draws to a close; the young man, however, does not stop flailing. The house lights come up, the crowd files hastily into the night, yet still the young man does not stop flailing. Eventually, exhausted beyond belief, he collapses, and in his addled, oxygen-deprived state, he slips into the disorientating, false euphoria of a soul with nothing left to give. Some time later, a passing janitor spies the young man twitching restlessly on the floor. Tentatively, he nudges the stricken youth with his broom. Jerking instantly to his feet, albeit as unsteadily as a man rising from the grave, our protagonist blinks once, blinks twice, and raises his fists once more.
On the one hand, this may seem little more than an extended metaphor, a representation rather than a description of the music to which it pertains. On the other, it is an inducement to approach this, by far the most accomplished record BMTH have produced to date, unburdened by preconceptions and allowing for an element of genuine surprise. For all its bluster, ‘There Is A Hell…’ is far more than the story of a man battling his self-perpetuated inner turmoil; it is the sound of a remarkable band establishing themselves as one of the finest of their generation.
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