My ‘rock’ roots were reignited after stumbling across Bring Me the Horizon’s (BMTH) newest album release Post Human: Survival Horror. Written during the isolating months between March and late October, their deathcore aggression and cyberpunk synth beats perfectly radiated pandemic paranoia.
The album kicks off with high energy and fast drums. BMTH’s introductory song, Dear Diary,, encapsulates the initial uncertainty and panic of COVID. Effortlessly, Oli Skye documents the worldwide hysteria and incidence of panic-travelling and panic-buying; the speed-metal underscore and aggressive screamo draws on the anger and confusion of moving off campus and working from home without the comfort and proximity of friends.
Whilst the rhythmic drum beats and strong bass riff confers universal angst, they also inflate the dystopian concept of the band’s ‘post human’ series. Distinctively, the speed-metal tones echo a fictional post-apocalyptic fantasy:
‘I keep fading in and out
I don’t know where I’ve been
I feel so hungry
What the hell is happening?
The sky is falling
It’s fucking boring
I’m going braindead, isolated’
But most importantly, the first introduction track to the album voices not only a sense of teenage boredom, but a sense of discomfort. Specifically, dissatisfaction with authorial leadership. This sentiment is relayed throughout the album’s revived nu-metal style and frequent battlecry-like lyrics.
Another highlight of the album is Parasite Eve which differs from the deathcore style of the introduction song. In fact, the use of a choir vocal sample from the Bulgarian folk song, Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, perfectly distils a sense of end-of-the-world imminency.
‘When we forget the infection
Will we remember the lesson?
If the suspense doesn’t kill you
Something else will’
BMTH is notorious for their reckless and bold approach to their discography. But what elevates their newest album isn’t merely their angsty relatability. In fact, their album has racked in ‘universal acclaim’, scoring an average of 82/100 on Metacritic. BMTH exhibits raw honesty in their lyrics whilst maintaining an integrity to their ‘melodic auteurism’, reminiscent of their iconic 2006 metalcore sound.
Indeed, their ‘high octane ferocity’ was welcomed by an audience who are likewise exasperated by the emotional and political instability of 2020. Skye’s juxtaposition of his forefront screamo, against a backdrop of personal and vulnerable lyrics, reveal the album’s heart-to-heart with all survivors of the lockdown and isolation.
‘We hurt ourselves for fun
Force-feed our fear until our hearts go numb
Addicted to a lonely kind of love
What I wanna know
Is how we got this stressed out, paranoid?
Themes of tech addiction, media anxiety, moral responsibility, political disillusionment and mental health are all addressed by Skye throughout the track. The brilliance of Post Human: Survival Horror is how Skye was able to create a post-apocalyptic rock tune that was eerily recognisable given our global experiences of COVID. He avidly criticises the inadequacy of global leadership , expressing his own emotional disconnect and ‘suicidal, violent, tragic state of mind’ (Teardrops).
Post Human: Survival Horror remains brutal yet undeniably authentic. It relays a storyline of discomfort and unease by documenting an anecdotal truth of personal struggle and resilience.
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