Bring Me the Horizon's amo
Updated: May 11, 2022
By now, I feel like I should’ve outgrown emo bands, but it feels like Bring Me the Horizon (BMTH) has been an integral part of my adolescence. In middle school, I thought my friends and I were so cool because we gushed over the lead singer, Oli Sykes, and screamed in Sempiternal as if that put us on an intellectually superior level to those who gushed over One Direction or Justin Bieber. In my senior year of high school, That’s the Spirit had some of my anthems and carried me through my last year. Now, three years after their previous album, the band has now released their sixth studio album, amo.
Here’s a track-by-track review of the songs:
Track 1: i apologise if you feel something (6/10)
This is a decent enough interlude, but the lyrics are what you would expect from a 12-year-old’s Tumblr bio. The band does scream teenage angst, but this song falls flat even then.
Track 2: MANTRA (6.5/10)
Would it be a BMTH album without a stab at organized religion? This catchy beat tells the story of one creating a cult to find a purpose “through this existential misery.” As with most other BMTH songs about religion, it shows the band’s — especially Sykes’ — belief that organized religion erases individuality and autonomy. Aside from the obviously edgy lyrics, the overall song just feels generic at best. But it’s catchy; I’ll give it that.
Track 3: nihilist blues (feat. Grimes) (6.5/10)
I applaud the band for venturing outside the typical genre. That’s the Spirit dips its toes a bit outside of their traditional screamo, but this track incorporates inspiration from disco and electronic dance music. Keyboardist Jordan Fish praised singer Grimes, who collaborated with the band. “She’s someone we respect, and not really someone you’d expect to find working with a metal band. Or a rock band. Or whatever it is we are…” he said to Kerrang!. This track is far from my favorite, but it has definitely grown on me a bit, and I’ve come to appreciate it more.
Track 4: in the dark (9/10)
This is easily one of my favorite tracks. Although it sounds a bit generic (hence why it did not rack up a perfect score), it’s catchy and the lyrics are actually somewhat clever and memorable (my favorite being “don’t ask God, He never asked you”). The pop-ish elements are somewhat reminiscent of tracks from That’s the Spirit, especially “Follow You.”
Track 5: wonderful life (feat Dani Filth) (7/10)
This track earns a marginally better rating than “MANTRA” and seems to echo the albums I grew up loving. It has a similar musical feel and is almost as lyrically edgy. Again, it sounds generic, but also like a good anthem to blare in a car with friends.
Track 6: ouch (6.5/10)
For what it is — an interlude between “wonderful life” and “medicine” — it’s decent. Fish explains that “it’s got some lyrics from another song that we didn’t end up using in the end, but we really liked the words and they tie in nicely with the themes of the record. So we wanted to find a way of keeping them.” Although this wasn’t the weakest lyrically, the track did feel like a filler and a quick way to rack up an extra buck on iTunes. Despite that, it wasn’t terrible, nor did it make me wonder if I could get two minutes added back into my life.
Track 7: medicine (8.5/10)
This appears to be the album’s most successful track, and I can see why. It’s hard to not jam along, and it starts off with a hook: “some people are like clouds you know / ‘cause life’s so much brighter when they go.” Again, this song feels like it would fit with the previous album. Unfortunately, the lyrics aren’t as creative as “in the dark,” so it ranks right below. Still, it’s a solid track.
Track 8: sugar honey ice & tea (8.5/10)
This song would be close to rivaling “in the dark,” but the bridge just had to knock half a point. The lyrics are clever (most notably, those surrounding the title of this song); I need to give them credit for that.
Track 9: why you gotta kick me when i’m down? (4.5/10)
Sykes dabbles a bit into hip-hop, almost as if he’s trying to emulate Linkin Park’s fusion of the two genres. However, it falls flat. I understand that the band was trying to do something different, but the mixture of the genres feels forced, and the lyrics, again, feel as though they’re ripped out of my diary from when I was 12.
Track 10: fresh bruises (2/10)
Why. Just why. Judging from Kerrang!’s interview with Fish, it doesn’t appear the band knows, either. “This is another interlude. There’s not really much to say about it other than it’s very different for us.” It literally repeats two lines for over three minutes and doesn’t really transition the tracks, so it doesn’t even serve a purpose like “ouch” does. I would like those three minutes back. Still, a 1/10 feels harsh and I feel like a true 1/10 exists somewhere; this isn’t quite there.
Track 11: mother tongue (6.5/10)
This is where the title of the album comes in; the chorus kicks off with “So don’t say you love me ' Fala amo [speak love].’” The reason BMTH chose Portuguese as their love language specifically is not apparent, but the title fits the song. Even though this song wasn’t the album’s strongest links, it at least makes sense why it’s incorporated. It’s one of the poppier songs, but it’s a love song; what more could you expect?
Track 12: heavy metal (feat. Rahzel) (8/10)
Again, amo dabbles into rap by collaborating with rapper Rahzel. Rahzel’s beatboxing meshes surprisingly well with the rest of the song. This whole song screams irony; although “’a kid on the ‘gram in a Black Dahlia tank says it ain’t heavy metal,” this song is perhaps one of the heaviest on the track. It ends with Sykes screaming with heavy guitars in the background, a nod to BMTH’s origins.
Track 13: i don’t know what to say (8/10)
Like the previous album, the name of last track summarizes how I feel about the album as a whole (That’s the Spirit’s was “Oh No”). Lyrically, this album was actually one of the strongest. Sykes originally wrote the lyrics before his now-late friend passed from cancer. The heavy usage of the synthetic string orchestra cheapens the quality of the track, making it sound like it would come from a cliché movie soundtrack. It’s unfortunate; the cheesy “orchestra” distracts from a song that is emotionally tolling for Sykes and the band.
Overall, I’m disappointed with the album, which got an average of about 6.73/10. The online reviews appear to hover around the 3.5/5 star mark, so I can’t say I’m surprised. I can appreciate changes and growth in style, and I understand that BMTH is continuously experimenting with new sounds and genres. However, half of the tracks felt like they were fillers and were thrown in for the sole purpose of completing an album. amo had the potential to be a strong EP instead. However, Sykes appears to be happier, and so does the band. In 2014, between the release of Sempiternal and That’s the Spirit, Sykes was hospitalized for drug abuse. “When I got out of that rehab, I didn’t want to scream anymore, I wanted to sing from the f***ing rooftops.” Judging from That’s the Spirit and now amo, it looks like the band is experimenting with new sounds and having fun. Sykes sure looks happier in performances. At the end of the day, that’s all I can ask for.