1. i apologise if you feel something
3. nihilist blues (feat. Grimes)
4. in the dark
5. wonderful life (feat. Dani Filth)
8. sugar honey ice & tea
9. why you gotta kick me when i’m down?
10. fresh bruises
11. mother tongue
12. heavy metal (feat. Rahzel)
13. i don’t know what to say
Reviewed by Sarah Minazzo
Bring Me the Horizon’s latest album, amo is the sixth studio produced record for the band with singles already gaining traction online unsurprisingly. It is a genre-bending album with vocal range more suitable to lead singer, Oil Sykes. While this may not be for hardcore Horizon fans who miss the screaming days, the album has some quality tracks and theatrics of its own accord and may attract newer fans.
- i apologise if you feel something
High pitched sweet melodic vocals on air with synthesizer beats and a slow build-up of light percussion and strings begin the first track, i apologise if you feel something. The number is essentially an album overture creating the amo atmosphere for the listener.
MANTRA heads off to a running start with the beat of the drums and the guitar riffs fuelling the fire. This song would be a winning crowd pleaser at a live gig. The track has a fantastic blend of Sykes’ echoing raspy vocals, guitar riffs and drums fitting neatly together.
- nihilist blues feat. Grimes
Synthesizers and bass beats are back to create the atmosphere with the soprano echoing vocals of Grimes to bring nihilist blues to life. Whilst similar in ambience to the album’s first track, this number takes it up a couple of notches at a much quicker bpm. It’s a quirky track, almost trance in some respects but definitely an entry that you would expect to hear at a dance rave rather than from a rock band even when the drums do come into it.
- in the dark
Keyboards and synths marking the start of in the dark but before long, are joined with guitars and drums however the verses are mostly accompanying Sykes’ vocals with beats. It’s got a cleaner sound than the previous track and is more identifiable as somewhere between groove and rock. Much like the previous tracks by this point, there is a lot of lyrics relating to truth and the loss of control. Whether this refers to Sykes’ time in rehab is up for debate but nevertheless, it’s a persistent theme.
- wonderful life feat. Dani Filth
Guitar riffs open up wonderful life with Sykes’ vocals as close up to your ear before the band taking a bit of a thrash at their respective instruments. It’s a heavy track with somewhat screaming albeit much lighter and raspy. There’s a nice little break with hand claps before breaking back into heavy metal guitar work. It’s lyrics seem sarcastic with Sykes’ tone, talking about “getting high on a Saturday night/living on the edge of a knife/living such a wonderful life”.
Piano with crackling ambiance effects blend into synths and percussion beats accompanied by soprano vocals creating an interlude style track in the form of ouch. It has a music box quality to its sound, giving a sense of theatre.
How else would you follow up a track called ouch? Of course, there would be a remedy or a medicine! Sykes sings about letting go of people who are not good for you and how they “need a taste of your own medicine.” This song I feel will be relatable for people. It’s got a nice clear sound giving great balance to all vocals, percussion, synths and guitar work. A quality track that I can see will be a singalong with the audience on their upcoming tour.
- sugar honey ice & tea
More name games here- another appropriate follow up title since sugar honey ice & tea have often all been used as home remedies or medicine. Don’t however let the sweetness of the name fool you. This is a heavy metal track with some machining guitar riffs here and runs at a higher bpm than the previous tracks. Vocally it’s a great comfortable range for Sykes despite some strained screams. This is also sure to be a crowd pleaser rounding out this name game trilogy.
- why you gotta kick me when i’m down?
Why you gotta kick me when i’m down has an RnB vibe with some awesome synth and strings work for the track’s chorus. Not sure if the fans here for rock will embrace this however I admit it’s kinda catchy even though the track’s ending with a few seconds of complete silence then sudden synth beats, felt like a random choice.
- fresh bruises
We’re back to name games- so we get kicked when we’re down and not surprisingly, we would get fresh bruises. Strings accompanied with high-pitched ambiance tones and echoing vocals lead into heartbeats, then transform into percussion. The first half is very atmospheric with limiter on high pitched vocals making it a little hard to hear lyrics. It would suggest this is somewhat another interlude track.
- mother tongue
A beautiful piano opener with Sykes’ vocals lead into a great combined sound of piano, guitars, drums, synths and strings for this track, mother tongue. It best combines all the elements that have been experienced across amo’s genre-bending, perhaps more so than any other track.
- heavy metal feat. Rahzel
The guitar opener here is befitting of heavy metal. Even with the rap and R’n’B elements brought on by collaborator Rahzel, this is still a metal-based track and fits together well. Sykes discusses in his lyrics about not being loved anymore and how it’s not heavy metal. Maybe a response to fans who want him to go back to his screaming ways?
- i don’t know what to say
Strings strike up the start of i don’t know what to say before Sykes’ vocals sing along with acoustic guitar, synths and female backing vocals. It’s a nice slow build up but a worthwhile one with electric guitars and drums joining in on the second half. The strings return to the fore in the song’s final throes, a fitting theatrical end to the album.
Overall, amo crosses boundaries and blends genres generally with success. While this may not be the record the screaming fans want, it may bring new people to the Horizon with its plays on music styling and widen its appeal.