Bring Me the Horizon - There Is A Hell, Believe Me Ive Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Lets Keep It a Secret
Visible Noise
Progressive Metalcore
12 songs (52:50)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Tyler

This morning, I awoke with a peculiar thought. I said to myself, “Tyler, this day you should do whatever is necessary to fuck your metal credibility into oblivion and whip up a maelstrom of hate on the Metal Reviews forum.” And I went about brainstorming ideas on how I might accomplish this. The idea came easily enough. The answer was staring at me, ever so smugly, in a copy of Metal Hammer sitting in a drawer in my bathroom. In said magazine was an article about Bring Me the Horizon, “troo metal’z” favorite whipping boys of late. So, what would better stir up this website’s readership than a review of the band’s latest abomination, the indulgently titled There Is a Hell, Believe me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let’s Keep It a Secret? And, of course, just to really get under your skins, I’ll make it positive! So here it is; prepare to be furious.

All joking aside, There Is a Hell… is an album I sincerely enjoy, and so I will write about it, heedless of the inevitable reactions that the review will garner. Skepticism and downright ridicule is a natural and frankly justifiable response to seeing this review and the score I give it. I have been far from subtle in my hate for modern Metalcore bands (Bullet for My Valentine is a frequent, shameless target of mine) and the “Hot Topic kids” who have so annoying embraced it. And at a glance, BMTH seem no different. They have gauges. They have gaudy T-shirts fresh off of the wall at Hot Topic. They have that stupid hair-swoosh thing. Hell, frontman Oli Sykes has his own clothing line, specializing in gaudy clothes for hipsters with stupid swooshy hair, for crissakes! But with There Is a Hell…, I believe that the band has created a sound that combines such stagnated trends as Metalcore and Deathcore with a smorgasbord of instrumentation, electronics, and ambience, creating one of the freshest and most innovative albums in recent years.

Crucify Me is an absolute bastard of a song (in a good way!), and if you cannot endure this first track, you might as well throw in the towel and head for greener, more familiar pastures. It encompasses every element of There Is a Hell… that makes it such a vast improvement over the band’s previous work. The opening clean guitar lick is dreamy and ambient, not to mention instantly memorable. Immediately, this marks an improvement in the band’s music; on previous albums, it seemed as though the band’s guitarists were interested in little else than distorted, chugging, monotonous beat downs. That same lick sticks around when the distortion and drums come in, and lo and behold BMTH has checked off “lead guitar over heavy part” on its “Things that we can do musically to separate ourselves from the boring deathcore pack” list. And then, without further musical adieu, Oli Sykes stumbles into the party, roaring and screaming and demanding that we “crucify me (him), nail my (his) hands to a wooden cross”. This is yet another catching point for those of you cautiously venturing into There Is a Hell…. A few of you may like his howling, more of you will be indifferent about it enough to keep listening, and yet even more of you will fucking hate it. You will get as far as “Crucif-“ before muttering “nope!” and promptly killing the music. And that, of course, is totally acceptable. Sykes’s vocals are throaty, strained, and desperate, as if he is vomiting out each word at much personal anguish. However, in a sense, this is fitting given the album’s lyrics. Again, this is another massive improvement over past albums. On There Is a Hell…, Sykes deals with his past addictions and failed relationships in a manner that, I feel, is truly genuine. In the words of Devin Townsend, who participated in the aforementioned Metal Hammer article, “I can tell when people are faking if they’ve got problems, and this guy’s got problems.” So, it is fitting that the man who wrote the lyrics is the one in the vocal booth, and his desperate ululations are those of a man truly loosing his shit and pouring his soul into the recording. Whether you sense this sincerity or not may be pivotal in your acceptance (or lack thereof) and ultimate enjoyment (ditto) of There Is a Hell…

Make no mistake, dear readers. Despite the added progressivisms and whacky electro/techno/house references that There Is a Hell… so artfully utilizes, this is not an album intended to make listeners stroke their scraggly beards in deep appreciation. This is by no means “avante garde”, nor is it a “progressive metal” album. It does not try to be these things. No, it is something much more accessible. It is the dusty and worn vehicle that is arena rock, taken through an extreme metal car wash, buffed and shined with enough sub-bass and electronic tom-foolery to justify dubstep comparisons. It is as much music to mosh to as it is music to sing, drive, and party to, done with real energy and honest-to-goodness originality. Anthem, for example, does very little to hide its intentions; “this is an anthem, so fucking sing. Get the fuck up.” If you’d rather sit the fuck down and listen to that black metal demo recorded on bark and stone during the Dark Ages again, then all power to you. But give There Is a Hell… a chance (or better yet, two), and listen with the right attitude, and you may uncover something truly exciting.

If you are ready to give it a full listen through, this cup runneth over with moments that might just change your mind about BMTH: The infectious keyboard melody and heartstring-ripping final moments of It Never Ends, the anthemic choruses of Visions and Home Sweet Hole, the doom-tempo’d anger anthem Blacklist. No two songs are alike here. The cocky (no pun intended) Fuck shifts from a violent thrash beat-down to a (frankly annoying) love song (can’t fault em for trying). Memorial is another curveball: a beautiful church organ providing a relaxing transition into the similarly ambient Blessed With a Curse. On this track, the band once again illustrates that it is at least beginning to come into its own musically. Unfortunately, the lyrics here are a bit annoying, but some jazz-influenced drumming and a Gilmour-esque solo by lead guitarist Lee Malia (a particularly notable performer here throughout) make this another solid track. However redundant the confessional lyrics and vocals of Blessed are, it’s hard to fault closing track The Fox and the Wolf. With Josh Scogin of The Chariot screaming alongside Sykes, this thrashy assault finishes the album perfectly: with a vicious, pissed-off, mosh-inciting send off to one of 2010's biggest surpises (for me, at least).

So there you go; the decision to give this beast a try is now with you. Inevitably, there will probably be multiple pages of comments about this review, most of which will be negative. And I get it, I honestly do. I remain as skeptical as ever of bands that look like BMTH, I’m still annoyed by “Hot Topic bands”, and I still dream of the day when I won’t have to hear about how “brootal” bands like The Devil Wears Prada and Atreyu are. But I believe that on There Is a Hell… Bring Me the Horizon has carved out their own niche. You have my argument. Perhaps it will allow you listen to There Is a Hell… in a more positive light. And perhaps you will like it. You won’t know until you try it.

Killing Songs :
Crucify Me, Anthem, It Never Ends, Fuck, Home Sweet Hole, Visions, Blacklist, The Fox and the Wolf
Tyler quoted 85 / 100
1 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 29 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:24 pm
View and Post comments