EP REVIEW: Bring Me The Horizon - 'Post Human: Survival Horror'
Throughout 2020, the year where all we seemed to love left us, there has certainly been no abandonment from Bring Me The Horizon. The band have been responsible for releasing sporadic pieces of music, each with their own refreshing and inspired flair. To the elation of many of their fans, these powerful singles have culminated to something bigger than anticipated- the release of ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’. As a long-time fan, the path to this dire, apocalypse-driven soundtrack has been a rocky, but one that fosters an incredibly important message. Bring Me The Horizon have, and with the release of ‘Post Human’, continue to amplify that developing through sound, style and composition does not hinder an expression of identity, but allows it to flourish in new and incredible ways. Truly, ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’ is an exceptional display of what is to come, a sincere homage to what has been, and most importantly, an essential page in the story of Bring Me The Horizon.
‘Dear Diary’ is the opening track of ‘Post Human’, and is certainly one of explosive proportions. Channelling the inner rage and annoyance, this track is an encapsulation of feelings and thoughts, set free- unleashed. As far as opening tracks go, ‘Dear Diary’ doesn't just grab you, but drags you into the ‘Survival Horror’ universe. The fragmentation and scattered aside-like lines are such an integral pillar to this song, adding a depth that is so promising for the album. Personally, my favourite part greets us at the end- the scream into the laugh, perhaps an allusion to the blatant ignorance the world has to the troubles we are surrounded by- the troubles that are soon to be discussed.
Track two revisits one of the four preceding singles, ‘Parasite Eve’. Within the inescapable discussion of the climate and circumstances that surround this year, this track continues to be one of the most profound and impactful COVID anthems. Led by poignant yet brutal instrumentals and haunting vocal features, the song begins to construct the prevailing sense of hopelessness, unknowing, and relentless anxiety that surrounds us in these times. This world-building and reflection of the landscape is a feature that never goes astray within such tracks, (a feature also seen in 'Ludens'), and in the context of this song, makes it resonate all the more. For the eager ear, ‘Parasite Eve’ holds an unmissable reference to the earlier ‘It Never Ends’ with the line “Don’t call it a warning, this is a war”- one of the many examples where BMTH reference their past, not only sound-wise, but lyrically. It was through this show stopping release that fans were able to fantasize about the industrial and apocalyptic world the band may delve into, and with the release of ‘Survival Horror’ upon us, it is evident that this brief glimpse given by ‘Parasite Eve’ was only a small, but powerful, taste of what was to come.
The most recent single, ‘Teardrops’ follows. Speckles of every album permeate through this track, creating a project that is nostalgic, yet exciting. Further to this, it becomes yet another one of the band’s hybrid and dynamic tracks, showcasing the best of Oli’s vocals and screams, and the way in which the band constructs the shifting foundations to cater for such dramatic changes in the song. With lyrical content discussing the inevitable desensitization of a world that has endured catastrophe and vast distressing events, it was essential for this track to be vulnerable and dire. Through these dramatic tonal shifts, and a genuine belief in what they are singing for, ‘Teardrops’ is not only vulnerable, but extends its hand out to the listener, pleading for a change, an answer. It is through these impactful tracks that ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’ not only resonates, but has a place in our current society.
The fourth track introduces the first of many collaborations, this one being ‘Obey’ featuring Yungblud! As a fan of both artists, it is safe to say I was apprehensive considering their at times contrasting styles. However, both artists have never been afraid to speak from their minds in a way that is true to themselves. Upon first listen, this apprehension was crushed, not only by the effortless delivery of a flawless collaboration, but from the brutal nature of the song itself. Truly, I believe this track instilled some belief that elements of the brutal Bring Me many love may appear. I think the most impressive element of this track is that both artists have merged into a similar style, whilst still maintaining their own- something that has created a beautifully dynamic track. This collaboration holds no weakness, proving that often a little outside touch can do so much to amplify the power and message of a song.
‘Itch For The Cure’ follows, and provides a temporary cooldown from the powerful collab that came before. However, the track also nods to the next collab! A small, sharp and sinister track, ‘Itch For The Cure’ is filled with energy, vibrancy, and is uplifted by its beat and instrumentals. Effortlessly, the band intertwines a sense of hope, or perhaps masked ignorance, within their created world, engulfed in human suffering and chaos. This track comfortably sits amongst its peers and is certainly not overshadowed by the heavier or more brutal songs surrounding, but stands its ground as a necessary track.
'Kingslayer' is next, and as I am typing this, I am still at a loss for words. I anticipated this track immensely, knowing that both Bring Me The Horizon and Babymetal have brought their talents and gifts to the table on multiple occasions, knowing that together, something beautiful would likely be created. With the return of some guttural screams and powerful instrumentals from the Bring Me boys, accompanied by the ferocious and fierce gifts of Babymetal, an incredible juxtaposition of sounds and styles has morphed into a track of sheer excellence. Beyond the aesthetic and auditory excellence, the lyrics continue to spread a message of warning with a dire tone; “You're a puppet, when they cut your strings off, Don't come crawling back”. It is this blatant and brutal dishing of the harsh realities we face ourselves in that make this album such a key body of work for our current environment- sending essential messages of freedom against a permeating sense of suppression, controlling one’s own decisions, and most importantly, paving the world through one’s own lens. ‘Kingslayer’ is easily my favourite track from this body of work, and presents itself as a powerful reminder that sometimes the best creations arise from the least expected partnerships.
‘1x1’ presents another collaboration, this time, the Nova Twins. At such a late stage in the album, it would seem almost impossible to introduce a feeling so new to the body of work. Yet, this track does exactly that. There is something so incredibly confronting yet inviting- a feeling brought upon by such crisp and attitude-amplified vocal performances. In a refreshing way, ‘1x1’ exaggerates the vocal performance, which perfectly articulates the true skill in which both parties hold in conveying their thoughts, feelings and sound through their voice. Truly, ‘1x1’ presents a beauty through vulnerability, an element fostered throughout every line of this track, making it a powerful and hard hitting song.
Acting as our earliest taste of ‘Post Human’ was Ludens. Emerging from the Death Stranding soundtrack, many thought it was evidently moulded to the game. However, its discussion of the ignorance of leaders, and the destructive nature individuals hold to the world surrounding extend far beyond the sphere of the game, but into our own realm. In a greater sense, Ludens not only introduced, but in the context of the full album, amplifies the mission of such a brutal and morally charged album; to lead a discussion of our present into the future. The composition of this track was also something to behold, with its breakdown leaving fans salivating over the thought of something so gnarly and gritty coming from the band at such a time. The perfect mix of fragility and brutality, ‘Ludens’ perfectly juxtaposes its elements to make an anthem for uprising- one that does not get lost among the newer tracks upon this album.
The final track of ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’ is ‘One Day The Only Butterflies Left Will Be In Your Chest As You March Towards Your Death’, and features Amy Lee of Evanescence. There is nothing that can truly encapsulate this track besides the fact it is hauntingly beautiful. Amy Lee brings a sombre and emotional performance; one that only solidifies her years as the figure-head for alternative music. This same energy is matched by Oli, showing off one of his most raw and emotive performances to date. As the track progresses, the weight upon your chest begins to get heavier. The silent screams toward the end deliver a menacing and intimidating touch, giving birth to a suspense that wanders off the edge of the album. Perhaps the best way to describe the feeling this track incites can be reflected through the feeling of watching a horror film; a building sense of intimidation and suspense, creating a heavy but anticipating feeling. When this suspense fizzles out with nothing eventuating, one cannot help but wanting more… and I find myself in such a position.
‘Post Human: Survival Horror’ is an incredible album that crawls into every crevice of the Bring Me The Horizon pit- uncovering skills, emotions, morals and messages learnt upon their extensive journey. It is through the acknowledgment of the past, and a direction for the future that Bring Me The Horizon have created an album essential for our present. This album encapsulates many unexpected twists and turns, and amplifies some of the most powerful artists of our scene today. Truly, ‘Post Human’ is a celebration of what lingers among us, and the power these voices have to lead us into a future, hopefully not reflective of the apocalyptic, post-human kind!