SONG REVIEW – “Drown” by Bring Me the Horizon

If you thought Sempiternal was a big change, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The evolution of Bring Me the Horizon from deathcore frat boys to one of modern rock’s most interesting bands was completed with that stunning fourth album, and what direction they were going to head in next was anybody’s guess. A rehash of what came before was always going to be unlikely, but the further massive leap made on stand-alone single ‘Drown’ takes Oli Sykes and the boys so far from the primordial extreme metal pool they emerged from that finding the common ground between this new song and their first two (hell, maybe even three) albums is nigh impossible.

Any trace of metalcore has been washed clean; in its place are refined arena rock guitars, pristine melodic licks and a choir strong enough to make Jared Leto proud. There’s not a scream to be found, Sykes turning in his ‘cleanest’ vocal performance to date including a chorus huge enough to fill Wembley Arena (convenient as that’s exactly where they’re headed come December). Drastic as the change is, it does feel like a natural progression from the more ambience-driven moments of Sempiternal, and will fit nicely into a live show that’s become rooted more heavily in pathos and atmosphere than brute force over the past 18 months. The drums remain as propulsive as ever; the dynamic range of the song with its loud/quiet structure no more extreme than the ballads of There Is a Hell…. Once again, Bring Me the Horizon have managed to reinvent themselves without completely losing sight of what came before.

Quite what the mosh junkies will make of ‘Drown’ is difficult to predict, but those with a taste for massive hooks and mature melodic rock can’t really go wrong here. If this is an indication of where its creators are headed come the next full length, another expectation-destroying release is imminent.

[Michael Bird]

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