Bring Me The Horizon are all but guaranteed a UK Number 1 with amo on Friday having never placed in the Singles Chart higher than Number 17. In fact, they hadn’t even charted before 2013, and their highest position outside of Drown in 2014 is a somewhat meager Number 42. Just let that sink in for a moment. By industry standards, BMTH are far from being a hit-factory, and yet here we are in 2019 with sell-out arena tours and a possible Number 1 under their belts. Whatever your view of their music, you can’t deny that’s impressive for a band that started out playing fairly shitty deathcore.
amo is not a metal album, but you already knew that because you’re on the internet, that same internet that has called it a pop album, which it’s also really not. Continuing what now seems like an incredibly natural trajectory starting with Sempiternal (or even There Is a Hell… if you’re being cocky), there are essentially three types of song on amo: those that are so intimately tied to predecessor That’s The Spirit they could be conjoined twins (MANTRA; wonderful life; heavy metal); those that have made a break for the light but still carry the scars (nihilist blues; medicine; mother tongue); and those which bear as much resemblance to BMTH as a piece of toast wearing a party hat (i apologise if you feel something; ouch; fresh bruises). However, like a toddler covered in jam, no matter how far from their origins the band stray, their fingerprints are simply everywhere. The chord progressions, the orchestration, the rise and fall of the choruses. These tropes have all been present for years, hiding in plain sight behind the bluster of metalcore, but here the balance is switched on its head, forcing the aggression to the background and bringing that pop nous to the fore. Listen to a track like nihilist blues and then try and argue there’s no Nine Inch Nails in the mix, or skip to the end of the ironic heavy metal and claim this isn’t the same band that wrote Antivist. Impossible. Speaking strictly genre, this may not be the same band that wrote Alligator Blood, but spiritually they are very much one and the same, and the results are often breathtaking. So do chart positions count? Of course not, but sometimes it’s worth crunching the numbers, and 3 (Sempiternal), 2 (That’s The Spirit), 1 (amo) says a lot. The reason you don’t know quite where to look is because the Horizon has arrived.
amo is out now on Sony