Classic Review: Bring Me The Horizon - There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven,
Bring Me The Horizon undoubtedly deserve heaps of respect for constantly pushing boundaries, never satisfied with just settling into one style and playing it safe. Looking back however the band may have found the perfect formula that suited what they excel at the most with 2010's There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It, There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret . Relatively shortly following the release of 2008's Suicide Season, guitarist Curtis Ward left the band in large part do to a lack of desire to tour and a strained relationship with several of his band-mates. Renowned guitarist of Australian metalcore band I Killed The Prom Queen, Jona Weinhofen, was brought it to relieve Ward of his duties . This marks an extremely important and a bit of an odd period in the bands history where you can argue the bands strongest material of their entire careers was written by someone who ultimately would be in the group for one album. Not only would I dare to say this is Bring Me The Horizon's best record but one of the better metalcore albums of the decade in the genre of metalcore as a whole. During this stretch of three records the band would make drastic changes from Ward, to Weinhofen, and then finally landing keyboardist and songwriter Jordan Fish for their landmark record, Sempiternal. Each of these changes would mark huge stylistic changes for the group going from harshly heavy, charmingly sloppy deathcore with Ward, a more focused and calculated approach to metalcore with Weinhofen, and a more electronic based approach with Fish. The bands ability to start trends and not follow them is hands down the reason they became the breakout band from this scene head and shoulders above all others. Despite the fact that I enjoy a fair amount of BMTH's catalog, it's fair to say There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret , is the one moment where everything truly all came together and aligned just perfectly for the band to produce their masterpiece. The album finds itself at the bands crossroads between still having that heavy and wild style early fans love and just the begging of experimentation, which added a great deal to the record. Unfortunately due to the fall out the rest of the band had with Weinhofen they sometimes tend to downplay the huge impact his abilities and songwriting skill had on this album and even some of Sempiternal but his wonderful knack for post-hardcore, metalcore, and groove styles can be felt all over the release. Gone from There Is A Hell are the silly one-liners and song titles of the groups earlier days and in comes a new era of pushing genre boundaries and forging something that was unmistakably Bring Me The Horizon. Just because of a great deal of maturation occurred doesn't mean the band stopped bringing hard-hitting tracks with crushing grooves and breakdowns however, in fact they come harder then ever on a track like Alligator Blood. The guitar tone on this record is so thick you can almost feel it if that makes any sense to you the reader. While the records don't sound similar, one of the only other records that ever gave me that odd sensation of physically feeling it's heaviness is Slipknot's legendary Iowa record, which is very high company for BMTH to be in. Listen to a track like Blacklist and tell me you can feel the crunch packed within it bleeding through your headphones. I have read some complaints about Oli's vocals being weak on this record but I strongly disagree. For one, this is easily the best and most trained his guttural vocals have ever sounded on a record, secondly, his strained high to mid vocals add a huge boost of rawness and emotion.
Bring Me The Horizon has never been shy about welcoming outside input to help improvement to improve their music and here they do a great job of collecting great guests musicians and producers alike to unbiasedly listen and pass some of their knowledge along to help the record sound more full and complete. The ambient and electronic soundscapes add a great deal of feeling and atmosphere to the record without taking anything away from the primary instruments, something they've been a little guilty of in recent years at times. In closing, this is nearly a perfect album to experience and there isn't much at all for me to detract from it. There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret was and still is the ideal middle ground between the bands heaviness and experimentation. I only wish we could've gotten a few more records with guitarist Jona Weinhofen as he brought so much to the group in his short time. This album gets a perfect 5 out of 5 stars from us.