Trying to predict Bring Me The Horizon’s next move is starting to get futile. Even when they drop hints.
The band’s first out of four instalments in the Post Human EP series has shattered the belief that the hardcore days of Bring Me The Horizon are over. Post Human: Survival Horror features some of the heaviest and most aggressive tracks the Sheffield five-piece has produced since 2010’s There Is Hell. It also includes some long-awaited guest-artist appearances, incredible lyricism, and drastic shift from personal to global theme exploration – the nine songs aim to put humanity on the right track. Or at least remind us what is waiting if we refuse to take action.
The idea behind Post Human is looking at how we’ve stepped out of evolution and the food chain. If we can do that, then we can take responsibility for what we’ve done to the planet and become something better than what humans are right now.Oli Sykes, NME Interview
2020 is the year humanity’s self-destructive behaviour reached its peak. The crises we are encountering keep stacking up one after the other, yet we somehow still turn a blind eye and delude ourselves that the problems will disappear eventually. But no one is going to fix them for us – it won’t get any better unless we start taking responsibility for our actions and decisions.
This is essentially what Bring Me The Horizon made clear with their newest EP. Post Human is an ambitious, creatively liberating project the band put into motion at the end of last year and we finally got the privilege of hearing the first instalment fittingly titled Survival Horror.
The idea behind the whole Post Human concept is to depict different moods with four different EPs. The band is ditching the whole album idea and removing all constraints for the creative process. Instead, they are focusing on “at the moment inspiration”.
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.NME interview
The return to the roots of deathcore Bring Me The Horizon some people anticipated so much finally happened. But the reasons for it are far from pleasing ignorant, toxic “fans”. The band is angry, as all of us should be, and the overwhelming heaviness of the record transcribes their emotions very accurately.
There really is a lot to pay attention to in Post Human: Survival Horror despite the short 32-minute, 9-track duration. The EP is shaped by our society and surroundings – the virus, fascist mindsets, corrupt leaders, hypocrisy, worldwide tragedies, ongoing protests, obsession with technology, and the environmental crisis. The band ruthlessly and unapologetically exposes the fact that everything that is happening is our own fault, not some crazy coincidence.
It is also worth mentioning that the approach of blending various music inspirations typical for the band is preserved full-power. Elements of deathcore, hard-rock, art-pop, trance, goth-rock, and even pop-metal are dominating the EP. Many of them happen simultaneously as well – Bring Me have certainly reached a heavenly point of creative liberation by consistently breaking down walls and pushing boundaries with every new release. All of this makes Survival Horror a very enjoyable but also eye-opening journey.
This is your wake up callFrom Kingslayer
We’re going down the rabbit hole
Are you ready?
The EP paints a haunting picture of the approaching end of the world. Dear Diary gets straight to the point and introduces the idea well. The very start of the song also indicates the return to the hardcore days of the band with earthshattering instrumentals and powerful growls.
The song illustrates the different stages of the apocalypse from a personal point of view. Verse one shows the prelude, verse two kickstarts the process, and verse three shows the post-factum.
The Resident Evil influence shines through the narrative uniting with the many references to the current state of the world.
Even though the song matches the pandemic situation so well, it was written long before Covid-19 hit us – is this an unexpected coincidence or a terrible premonition?
Parasite Eve expands on the dystopian, end-of-the-world vibe and brings it a level higher. Panic and chaos dance with euphoria, hopelessness, determination, and suspense during the course of the song.
It radiates grandiosity. Many drastically different elements switch around, but the song remains surprisingly coherent. From Bulgarian folklore music to distorted cyberpunk voices, the track is one wild ride making it clear that the future of humanity doesn’t look bright at the moment.
The climax is achieved thanks to Alissa Salls’ vocals – she takes the role of the cyberpunk leader announcing that “the end has arrived”. Her remark “we cannot save you” also indicates the hopelessness of the situation and the fact that only we can save ourselves – external help is not coming. Remarks towards the pandemic, racism, the environmental crisis, as well as fake news and conspiracy theories are also blended in different parts of the song.
Please remain calm
The end has arrived
We cannot save you
Enjoy the ride
This is the moment
You’ve been waiting for
Don’t call it a warning
This is a war
Ludens is what started the Post Human era almost a year ago
The Parasite Eve atmosphere later comes back in Ludens – another hard-hitting track with a lot of different elements still sounding coherent. Ironically, the song was made specifically for the game Death Stranding in the span of just a few days. And yet, it is one spectacular display of Bring Me’s most refined songwriting and musical arrangement.
The song features elements of each era of the band’s developments and switches between mellow vocals, brutal instrumentals, and hardcore screams. Even though it was designed to fit the concept of Death Stranding – and it does it very successfully with clever references and quotes to the game, the song still reflects the state of humanity to painful precision.
Essentially, Ludens is an exposition of humanity’s messed up direction of development, lifestyle, and choices. It makes on-point remarks and touches on subjects mentioned earlier on the album by focusing on the need to return to nature if we want to survive in the long run.
Do you know why the flowers never bloom?
Will you retry or let the pain resume?It’s out of sight, but never out of mind
I need a new leader, we need a new Luden
Oli’s personal favourite track on the record for obvious reasons
Teardrops and 1×1 are two tracks uniting global phenomena with dark self-reflection. Lyrically, the songs deal with several hard-hitting issues including tech-addiction of modern society, growing loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Both of them also feature a painful look back at the frontman’s ketamine addiction days and put forth the personal self-reflection inflicted by the current state of the world.
The sound remains heavy in the spirit of Post Human, however, the heaviness here is blended with more alternative influences strongly reminding of early days Linkin Park to create an irresistible atmosphere.
“Teardrops” to me, is like the most Bring Me The Horizon song we’ve written since “Can You Feel My Heart,” maybe “Sleepwalking,”“Drown.” This feels to me like Bring Me The Horizon in its’ purest form.Oli Sykes
1×1 is also part of the several splendid collaborations on the EP. The Nova Twins’ alt-rock presence is notable – their vocal contribution helps highlight “the guilt that we as a society carry for what we’ve done to other species and ethnicities and other genders” as Oli accurately described the song.
Annihilation never looked so good, shut up
Hush your mouth, you talk too much
Obey and Kingslayer, featuring punk-rock icon Yungblud and pop-metal superstars Babymetal respectively, are probably the most political tracks we will ever hear from Bring Me. Filled with anger, both songs have the unique energy of the guest artist and make on-point remarks towards world leaders.
Obey’s focus is strongly directed towards manipulation and control politicians abuse. The song is presented from the point of view of the oppressor and goes on to show us their thought process and puppeteering.
Before jumping into the metaphorical battle with monstrosity, we are treated with a suspense-infused interlude. Itch For The Cure strongly reminds of 2019’s Music To Listen To with distorted, fragmented instrumental and beat blend, minimal lyrics, but clear establishment of moods.
The interlude flows into Kingslayer with an unexpected bang. The Babymetal atmosphere is almost overpowering and unites with the anarchic, rebellious vibes of Sempiternal-era Bring Me The Horizon (that is seriously a killer combination).
Babymetal and Bring Me express their irritation and concern about the madness of the world supported by angry instrumentals with deathcore and speed-metal influence. The topics from Obey re-appear – manipulation and exploitation are tackled by doing whatever it takes to destroy the farce created by world leaders.
I consider opening and closing tracks of an album a very tricky thing. Exposing the concept of a record during its duration is one thing but introducing the idea and summing up the message is what makes or breaks it.
One Day The Only Butterflies Left Will Be In Your Chest As You March Towards Your Death is a good example of a perfect closing act for an album. Amy Lee and Oli Sykes have a heartfelt dialogue representing an exchange between Mother Nature and Humanity. The brooding vibe of the instrumental and the ballad-like execution fit perfectly well and build-up an environment that does justice to the message – it truly feels like the most important act of the record.
Past the point of rescuing, why’d I keep pushing my luck?
The hole I wore into your soul has got too big to overlook
One day the only butterflies left will be in our chests
As we march towards our death, breathing our last breath
I thought we had a future, but we ain’t got a chance in hell
The song highlights the fact that humanity is reaching a point of no return with its relationship with Mother Nature. It exposes the grave danger of the exploitation we keep practising over our only home and the irreversible damage we are inflicting.
The entire course of the song has a mourning tone with slow tempo – a great symbolic detail that makes the concept complete. A small detail – a horror-like scream is added at the end to signify the terror of the situation.
Bring Me The Horizon have been displaying high-class sonic, production, and lyrical capabilities for the longest time rightfully gaining them the status of one of today’s most relevant bands. Post Human: Survival Horror is the next bold step in their development and the next revolution they are bringing to the music world. The blend of genres, the relevancy of the concept, the spectacular guest-appearances, and the great distribution strategy of the whole Post Human idea are admirable.
The EP is a rallying cry to act against crises which have been around for a long time but have finally reached a point of no return. A message delivered with the appropriate soundtrack and energy. Who knows what awaits in the next three chapters of Post Human. The only certainty is no one can predict it.
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