In Oli Sykes' own words: "This s*** ain't metal."
Sheffield’s once-upon-a-time Metalcore outfit Bring Me The Horizon's new album 'amo' is their bravest yet.
Frontman Oli Sykes has directly addressed just that on the song 'Heavy Metal' - which features the US rapper Rahzel - and sees him sing to day one fans of the band: “I’m afraid you don’t love me anymore / ’cause a kid on the Gram said he used to be a fan, but this s*** ain’t heavy metal.”
To some of their new followers, the tone of ‘amo’ may not come across entirely that surprising, for those around when 'Count Your Blessings' ordered for walls of death in 2006, it may come across as wannabe synth-pop.
A track that does the latter is ‘nihilist blues’ featuring Canadian singer/songwriter Grimes.
Watch the lyric video for 'nihilist blues':
Perhaps it will be a grower, but after a few listens, it still sounds like a Eurodance disaster that would fit in better on a 90s rave record.
There are some redeeming features though.
Recent crowd-pleaser singles ’Mantra’ and ‘medicine’ both have the strong anthemic qualities and infectious choruses that Bring Me introduced to us on their career-changing single 'Drown' in 2014.
‘I don't know what to say’ requires more attention. It’s written for a close friend of Oli who sadly passed away with cancer and what he wished he could have said to him - and will certainly wrench on your heartstrings.
The standout track brings back the orchestral metal vibes from previous album, ‘That’s The Spirit’, and incorporates guitar solos rather than an overkill of synths. ‘amo’ is worlds away from the hugely successful 2015 record - which reached number two in the Official UK Chart.
This does not mean to say the record won’t be a hit with newcomers, with the band likely to pick up a whole new following.
Bring Me have been on somewhat of a journey from being bottled on stage at Reading Festival in 2008, to selling out The O2 arena less than a decade later, and playing Glastonbury Festival for the first time in 2016.
'amo' shows symptoms of a band with an identity crisis, and although the eaglerly-anticipated sixth studio album from the Grammy-nominated five-piece has the potential to take the world by storm, they may lose some of their old school fans along the way.
'amo' is released on January 25 via Sony Music.
Words: Sam Clarke