12 years ago Bring Me The Horizon released an album that defied the odds. On its anniversary we look back on why it is still such an important landmark in British heaviness and why it is still untouchable even today.
It doesn't happen very often, but there are moments that completely redefine the course of music. They hit like a bolt of lightning on an unsuspecting tree, setting it ablaze and spreading destruction at an unbelievable pace. You can't predict when they are going to come either. You can't prepare for the sheer force of what is about to happen. You just have to hope that you're somewhere safe when it does hit. No-one was ready for the storm that was brewing around the release of Bring Me The Horizon's second album, and the reverberations are still being felt over a decade on. This was an album that changed everything, even if people didn't realise it.
Flash back to 2006 when the band dropped their debut album 'Count Your Blessings'. A scrappy, distorted and overtly brutal take on deathcore from a group of kids who just wanted to incite as much mayhem as possible. Many loved it and many loathed it. It polarised the band in a way that no other British export at the time had managed. Though flawed, the potential for something truly special was there. The talent was stewing below all those sporadic riffs. It just needed the space to bubble over.
'Suicide Season' was the result of that change of tune.
All the elements that made BMTH who they were on their debut were still there, but the creases had been ironed out. The ideas had been given some breathing space. There was a focus that wasn't there before. Gone was the sporadic and searing and in its place was a guitar sound that could strip paint off the walls. Oli Sykes' distinct and wonderfully infamous screech had been replaced by a growl that sounded desolated yet passionate, brutal yet damaged. The sound quality had been pulled out of the dungeons and polished into an inch of its life by the one and only Fredrik Nordström. Every breakdown possessing the potential to knock your head clean off. The drums so sharp they could slice through metal. A bass track conjured from the darkest realms of hell. All mixed together it became an absolute fucking behemoth of sound. The sort of music to lose all inhibitions to played by a band with no regard for your hearing.
That's one of the other things that made it so utterly wonderful. From the moment 'The Comedown' bursts into life with the most gutteral of blastbeats all the way through to the sheer dissonance of the title track's plea to the heavens, you're not given a moment to rest. The scale of what the band created is unlike anything any other group had ever even attempted. It went further than any other band dared to tread, both lyrically and aesthetically. 'Sleep With One Eye Open' makes you genuine feel in danger and 'Football Season Is Over' makes you want to go out on the town and smash it. 'It Was Written In Blood' tells the story of Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin’s final poem in truly disturbing detail and the 'Suicide Season' paints the process of grieving for a loved one in all too vivid colours. The way that it leaps and bounds between subjects and moods is unmatchable, taking you along for the ride of your life while also pummelling you into submission in the process.
The Bring Me The Horizon story has only got longer and longer as time has gone on. Follow up albums 'There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret' and 'Sempiternal' have become seminal slices of metalcore majesty and 'That's The Spirit' has catapulted them to worldwide phenomenon levels of euphoria. With the release of 'amo' last year and the sharp one-two of 'Parasite Eve' and 'Obey' recently, things are only going to get bigger and better. Though 'Suicide Season' still holds its own legacy. No British band has topped the level of ferocity, malice and invention that the band reached in 2008. It still stands as one of the most visceral listening experiences that you can subject your ears to and will do long after into the future.
It's hard to bottle anger in such a way that it is still as potent after years on a shelf. It's hard for something to have the exact same effect on you the 50th time you've experienced it as it did the 1st time you did. It's hard to still be as vibrant, fresh and uttelry compelling in a world that has completely transformed around you. Though if you're Bring Me The Horizon, it's incredibly fucking easy.
I've said before and i'll say it again, if you think you're alive then you're better off dead.