I tell ya what, I didn’t think I’d find myself writing about Bring Me the Horizon. Every kid I knew back in Year 9 was listening to BMTH. Their long fringes pushed to the side, hesitant to smile in case people knew that they weren’t actually sad. BMTH’s first album, Count Your Blessings, was so stupidly heavy that it was almost a form of rebellion to listen to a band where you couldn’t understand a single fucking word being screamed into your little earbud. Yes, earbud; you couldn’t have two in or else Miss would know you were listening to music in class. And now, the band are so far from the off the walls, scream-until-your-lungs-die-heavy, they’ve even dropped their first album from their Spotify album list. Instead, BMTH welcomed synths and a heavy reliance on electronic production in their later albums; sticking to the trend that their post-hardcore/melodic hardcore contemporaries moved to years ago.
So why today have I found myself listening to my throwback, regretful go-to-band of my pubescent years? Well I saw that they had a new single out and I’ve been listening to enough of Trippie Redd/the new emo trap phase that it was a logical genre jump to listen to BMTH’s new single: Mantra. I’m not surprised that I like it either, the last few releases from the band have been guilty pleasures of mine. Songs like Can You Feel My Heart and Sleepwalking from their 2013 albums aren’t that bad, and Happy Song, Follow You, and Drown showed surprising growth on their 2015 album. Mantra follows the melodic singing that Oli Sykes transitioned too quite a few years ago now. A smart move in my books. Mantra drops the reliance on electronic production and feels very much like a throwback to 90s nu-metal. Only just with Sykes’ schoolboy vocal charm. The thick, distorted guitars remind me of bands like Filter, early Linkin Park, even P.O.D. But the reminiscent throwback to the 90s sound doesn’t feel shoehorned into the band’s music — it’s a natural mix of the overdriven guitars, crashing cymbals and Sykes’ melodramatic lyrics.
Bring Me the Horizon never really went away, they adapted to the changing scene. But with the rise of emo trappers like Trippie Red, Juice WRLD, and the OG Lil Peep (RIP), we could see BMTH skyrocket back into the mainstream. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but I’ve seen crazier things happen. Hell, they’ve got me back listening to them.