Album Review: Bring Me The Horizon – amo (2019)

  • Originally posted on March 3, 2019

I first became aware of Bring Me The Horizon around the time their fifth studio album, That’s The Spirit, was released in 2015. True Friends and Throne were my favourites from that album, and I have been and listened to their previous music since.

But, even as a relatively new fan of the Sheffield band, I was surprised at the dramatic change in tone for amo, the sixth album, released in January. Gone were the days of the heavier rock and consistent growling. Enter: electronic rock, more generic pop and EDM.

I have seen more criticism for this album than most: much of it is from older supporters who dislike BMTH’s new sound. However, they have merely evolved into a more modern (and at times, futuristic) sound and have embraced techno, and to their credit, they have done it well. It’s no fluke that this was their first UK #1 album.

Still, it was a shock even for me when I heard ‘nihilist blues’ for the first time. There was likely not a single instrument used in the whole song, and it featured the vocals (and apparently a lot of editing) from Grimes, more known for her associations with Elon Musk and Azealia Banks, and her original, if slightly strange, music. But, based on the first two months of 2019, it is the best EDM track of the year.

It’s not to say that every one of its tracks is a departure from the past. ‘mother tongue’ could well have come from a 2015 track, however similar to many other artists now, you cannot place a whole album into one genre. What is obvious, though, is the progressive slide Oli and Co. have gone on towards the electronic side of things.

‘nihilist blues’ aside, my favourite track of the 13 is ‘heavy metal’. It combines more electric sounds with a great guitar riff and smooth vocals, and appears to be about a break up.

However the track following this is ‘i don’t know what to say’, which has a definite change of tone as it closes the album. The string violin melody dominates the track, and means that it could be found on most symphonic albums; indeed, it’s not the only song which BMTH could claim to have taken inspiration from Evanescence. The verses of ‘nihilist blues’ had an identical style to those in EV’s 2011 track ‘Never Go Back’. No complaints from here though.

All in all, amo is an unexpected but brilliant turn for Bring Me The Horizon. It goes through several stages, and overall is a very enjoyable listen; rarely, there is not one song which I would skip. Worth a listen if you’ve got an open mind.

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