In honor of Bring Me The Horizon topping the charts in their latest album, Post Human: Survival Horror, this week, let’s take a look back and reflect in its glory.
As what is possibly their angriest album to date, featuring YUNGBLUD, Amy Lee, and more heavy-hitters in the rock industry, each track features heavier guitars and beautifully performed clean and unclean vocals. While still remaining true to their signature style, they are unafraid of introducing new sound into their work to convey the latest message; all with more nu-metal and even some dark pop elements. This is a mood shift I’ve been craving to see from the band for some time and it’s finally here.
Front man Oli Sykes commented in an interview regarding the new project, “You know like on ‘Lord Of The Rings’ where they all sing a song before battle, knowing that they might die but they’re going got persevere and see how it goes? We’re trying to embody that. This first record is about hope and anger and feels like the sonic equivalent of a riot. We’re inviting people to find the solution with us. It’s a demonstration to pull you in and get your back up. It’s a lot more aggressive than anything we’ve done for a while. The world doesn’t need light-hearted pop music right now – it needs anthems for anger. There’s so much to be pissed off about.”
As we reflect on what the last year has brought, this album reincarnated the not far lost feelings we’ve expressed or always wanted to let out as the year 2020 propelled us into a new age before our eyes. And since the album is on the charts, I know I am not the only one who thinks this.
Introducing us to the album, “Dear Diary” is a heavy addition to anyone’s playlist. While the guitarist brings in some beautifully juicy guitar riffs, Oli Sykes offers up some of his heaviest vocals to date while creating an explosion of expression.
The world is in the middle of an anxiety ridden experience with a pandemic weighing on the shoulders of the common man, and an uprising of humanity on the brink of fighting purely for their own survival. This track is more than a personal diary entry; it’s one many of us can relate to as the world seems to be beginning to crack and crumble at our feet. It’s a scramble to find the glue and the broken fragments of our society and trying to piece it together in a panic.
Up next, “Parasite Eve” sequels the previous track beautifully as it describes a future that is seeming more real by the day. The world had no idea what the year 2020 has had in store; and just as we start to feel safe, a new twist is introduced into our new reality. 2021 is beginning to look a lot more similar to what the previous year had to offer. is the perfect song to wrap all the emotions we are feeling but too scared to admit while we are trapped in our homes and facing our fears and a reality immersed in a world that no longer seems like our own. The outbreak has changed all of our lives around the world, but Bring Me the Horizon offers some release in their unique and cathartic expression of anger at the state we are in.
“We shelved the song for a bit because it felt bit too close to the bone,” Sykes continued. “After sitting on it for a while, we realized that this was a reason to release it now more than ever. In our music we’ve always wanted to escape, but there’s been too much escapism and ignoring the problems in the world. It’s not what the world needs. The world needs more and needs to think about it and remember. You can’t just brush over it and expect life to go back to normal, because it f***ing ain’t. In so many ways, we need to change. That’s what rock music is about – addressing the dark side and processing it.”
“Teardrops” begins with a heavy breakdown paired with electronic elements; discussing the tech addiction in youth and today’s culture, paired with the anxiety and depression that follows. While relating to today’s struggles, vocalist Oli Sykes shares his story of a past in mental health struggles and drug abuse. Because of his bandmates and their support, he was able to break through and grow past it.
We live in an era normalizing the struggle through addiction to substances and technology. It’s a vain attempt to fill a void of emptiness and different forms of pain; due to that normalization, many people who are struggling through life don’t know how to handle the numbness and self-destruction without giving into vices to ignore the emptiness. We’ve lost our innocence as humanity not knowing how to deal with darkness, fear, anxiety, and depression, and emptiness. Addiction is being normalized thanks to technology and culture built around that today. Sykes made similar comments about the meaning behind “Teardrops” in an interview:
Tech addiction is so normal for us these days. We’re addicted to our phones, addicted to our computers, to media, the news. We wake up in the morning, and no one says “You shouldn’t check your phone first thing in the morning, and just look at bad news or social media.” No one tells us that. That’s like inviting thousands of chatty strangers to your bedroom at like 7:05. We’re all in the same boat, so no one really likes talking about it. But the mental impact of the way we’re living now, the way our society is, I don’t think we’ve really seen the after effects or the repercussions of that and I think we will soon.
This song is about how our moral compass is a little bit skewed because we’re so numb to the bad news every single day and it’s hard to know what we should actually do about that. I think it’s very dangerous because when we hear these stories of oppression, tragedies or whatever. It’s like: Do I scream? Do I shout? Do I tell someone? Do I fight about it or do I sit down? We’re losing our touch with how to react to this stuff. I mean, I’m feeling that as a 33 year old man. You have kids, who, for them it’s completely acceptable and normal to live how we’re living right now. I don’t know how to deal with that.
~ Oli Sykes
The next track, “Obey,” imprints the memory and pressure expressed last summer that has changed the United States and parts of the world. In an explosion of anger, the longing to expose corruption in our system and feelings of being trapped and unable to do anything about it shook everything we knew. Many became sick of sitting on their hands and doing nothing about it; multiplied by the time spent locked in our homes, and it created an explosion of expression unlike anything our society has seen before.
Bring Me The Horizon joined forces with YUNGBLUD in this track to create a unique blend of influences in the music industry. While mainstream media pins people against each other for the sake of their differences rather than inspiring unity, they say it’s time to make changes in the system as a whole. The two artists state their refusal to stand by traditions that no longer serve them and to change the injustices the old ways brought along. Both artists made comments about their collaboration and what “Obey” means to them.
“We consider ourselves free, but only because the chains are invisible, and we are controlled in ways we don’t even want to think about. They tell us how to live with a smile on their face, like sh** ain’t f***ed up, inform us of tragic statistics like it’s nothing… it’s a weird world,” Sykes says.
“We are being told to conform to a completely outdated idea that we don’t relate to or even understand,” Yungblud adds. “They teach us to turn against each other and to fight against our differences rather than embrace and celebrate them. They try to keep us divided because it makes us weaker. Robots follow robots, because they feel nothing at all. But what they don’t realize is that to us, to be different is to be free, and a world of f***ing love and equality is a world we want to be part of. We will rise above the hate and the diversion. We will fight for the world we want to be a part of. We will not obey” (1).
“Kingslayer” introduces a fantasy element in the album with its song title and the collaboration with Japanese metal sensation, BABYMETAL. While Sykes and Moa Kikuchi (Moametal) provide heavy unclean vocals, Suzuka Nakamoto’s (Su-metal) supporting vocals create a fantastical masterpiece.
Taking a political stance in this track, the collaboration focuses in on those who don’t have a voice or feel trapped under the weight and fear of corrupt authority figures. While depicting the image of a fictional ‘kingslayer,’ the musicians call people to action and rescue others from these dark times, and to dethrone the corrupt who have taken power. In this case, all humans can become kingslayers, but only together.
The next track, “1×1,” features a collaboration with English rock duo, Nova Twins, and make attempts to reconcile from guilt and sorrow from past actions.
Anxiety, depression, and falling into addiction to rid the emptiness is referenced in the track, suggesting that the isolation created through the pandemic is causing Sykes to reflect on his past in a negative light. Isolation in moments has a way of getting under your skin. It adds pressure to darkest moments in our lives and a near obsession with picking apart oneself with all the awful things they’ve done to themselves and others.
Throughout the song, paired with a weighty beat, the artists highlight that guilt for treating themselves and others unfairly. In the chorus, that guilt is held heavily on their shoulders and reflect how gradually, it’s killing them on the inside.
“Ludens” was the first single released depicting the new era of Bring Me The Horizon. Also used in the game soundtrack of Kojima’s Death Stranding, the song initially wasn’t planned to be part of an album, but instead, it kicked off a new message for the band as a whole, with sequeling Post Human projects rumored to be on the way in 2021. “We’re not going to do an album again, maybe ever. We’re thinking about doing shorter records. I don’t want to say we’re going to do something and not live up to it, but the plan is to release multiple records next year,” Sykes said in an interview.
The motto of Kojima Productions company is ‘From Sapiens to Ludens.’ In Latin, the word ‘Ludens’ means to play. Hence, there is a clever wordplay here involving the evolution of humans. HomƟ Sapiens is the Latin name for the current evolution stage of humankind, meaning ‘knowing humans.’ The tagline of the gaming company suggests the next stage of evolution into ‘playing (gaming) humans’ (2).
While fitting the theme of the game, where the main character seeks to connect the human race after a catastrophic apocalyptic event, the song conveys its own message about society today; describing the shallowness of humanity in creating substantial connection while struggling against the digital age.
Concluding the album, “One Day the Only Butterflies Left will Be in Your Chest As You March Town,” is a beautiful message and collaboration with Amy Lee of Evanescence. Amy Lee haunts the atmosphere with her crystal clear and crisp vocals.
Creating a classic harmony between male and female vocals, we hear a dark story of love and the departure into a new battle against toxic connections. The two voices compliment each other and grip the soul as the story unfolds before us. Lee and Syke’s vocals war against loneliness and offer dark visuals in their emotional lyrics to convey the tale: a process in breaking from toxic connections, and a march to war against facing loneliness over uniting with someone who drains out the life of the other person.
Bring Me The Horizon’s latest project takes the events of the last year into account and eases us into a state of reflection and hoping for better. With more music on the way along the same vein, I am looking forward to hearing more new music from the band, more than ever before.
Stream Post Human: Survival Horror, available on all streaming platforms: