In what might be the most controversial release of 2019, Bring Me The Horizon have unleashed their sixth studio album unto the masses.
Amo has polarized opinions across the world, with older fans of the rock band boycotting it due to the lack of deathcore which could be found in some of Bring Me The Horizon’s previous releases. In contrast, Amo has done quite well for itself in the eyes of critics, with five-star reviews across the board.
Pre-release singles such as ‘MANTRA’, ‘wonderful life’ and ‘medicine’ could be considered quite misleading when it comes to the overall sound of the album, which has taken elements from a variety of different genres — EDM, rap, and pop, to name a few.
The album kicks off with the largely instrumental track ‘i apologise if you feel something’, which then ushers in lead single ‘MANTRA’. ‘nihilist blues’ featuring Canadian art-pop singer Grimes follows, and while the track was made public a few days before the album release, it’s still ultimately a fresh listen. The song has been discussed in detail on social media, drawing in a lot of new fans to the band thanks to the obvious influence of dance music. The interesting cocktail of frontman Oli Sykes’ vocals with Grimes’ actually works brilliantly, creating what is, in the end, a solid piece of music.
‘in the dark’ teeters on the fence, with pop one side and rock the other. Sykes has refined his clean vocals over the years, and while he may never sing in the ranks of Michael Jackson or even the more contemporary Justin Timberlake, he can still carry a tune. These softer offerings have raised concerns among older fans, but they’ll just have to roll with the punches as its tracks like this that keep the album running smoothly throughout.
For fans of slightly heavier music, ‘sugar honey ice & tea’ is more reminiscent of That’s The Spirit, but still has its fair share of vocal overlays that make it unmistakably Amo. Another notable point is ‘mother tongue’, a song which has been widely accepted as for Sykes’ wife, Brazilian model Alissa Salls. Fans will know that Sykes has been learning Portuguese for her, and he showcases some of this in the chorus of this track. Hearing Bring Me The Horizon take on the complicated genre of ‘love song’ certainly makes for an otherworldly experience, in any case.
The star of the show may well be ‘heavy metal’, featuring American rapper Rahzel. The track touches on the backlash that Bring Me The Horizon have received for switching up their genre, with the chorus announcing, “I’m afraid that you don’t love me anymore, ‘cause a kid from [Instagram] in a Black Dahlia tank says it ain’t heavy metal”. Ironically, this might be the heaviest track on the album…
Closing with another song that is mostly instrumental, ‘i don’t know what to say’ clocks in at five minutes and 52 seconds and finishes off an album that despite dividing fans is an absolutely fantastic release. It may not be for everyone, and definitely may not appeal to some of Bring Me The Horizon’s day-one followers, but it has the potential to make the band accessible to a wider audience. Some may call that selling out… we’d just call it adapting, growing, and thinking sensibly.