"Bring Me The Horizon don’t care about the expectations of metal – if anything, the guidelines are there to be ridiculed." Post Human: Nex Gen is long, chaotic and antagonistically weird

Bring Me The Horizon's latest album is another dizzying evolution for a band that refuses to stand still

Bring Me The Horizon
(Image: © Press)

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Over the last 20 years, Bring Me The Horizon’s mantra has been that of innovation. From their grotty deathcore beginnings to the eclectic pop-rock blaze of 2019’s Amo, the Sheffield powerforce have transformed time and time again – and it seems like the constant evolution may have finally caught up with them. POST HUMAN: NeX Gen is an identity crisis in sonic form, desperately searching for meaning behind a manic frazzle of glitching distortion. It’s a record that sees vocalist Oli Sykes wearing his heart on his sleeve, seeking the comfort of sensory overload to detract from his vulnerabilities.

Throughout, POST HUMAN: NeX Gen does absolutely everything it can to piss off metalcore purists. True to its name, NeX Gen is carving out a bold new era of heavy –  even if that means putting a band like Underoath on glitchcore track a bulleT w- my namE On, or delivering guttural metal howls alongside sugary choruses on Kool Aid. At every turn, Bring Me The Horizon don’t care about the pre-existing expectations of metal – if anything, the guidelines are there to be ridiculed. This defiant approach leads to tracks like AmEN! pairing Glassjaw’s raw post-hardcore grit with Lil Uzi Vert’s emo trap flow, all while a triumphant, call-to-arms chorus rounds things off.

A key ingredient throughout this record is electronic glitching and distortion. At every turn, a new robotic sound seizes control; Rip (duskCOre RemIx)) dips a toe into nightcore, Sykes’ vocals pitched-up over the bouncy flow, while stand-out Top 10 staTues tHat CriEd bloOd is a bleepy whirl of bounding, buoyant fun. Thick alt metal is also on the cards, tracks like Aurora feature liMOusIne existing in a haze of fuzzy, shoegaze-y instrumentals before ending on a sharp note of pulsing, gristly nu metal. There’s also a breathless injection of outright drum and bass in the form of [ost] puss-e for good measure.

While the album is undoubtedly experimenting with a potential ‘nex gen’ of metal, confidently traversing a slew of complex sounds, the primary concern is rooted in personal growth. Every track is an analytical burst of reflection, desperately searching for what comes next. It’s rare to see Sykes being so candid; N:A sees the singer singing over an acoustic guitar, proclaiming “my name’s Oli and I’m an addict” as light instrumentals soar, while hyperpop banger LosT is a glistening howl of emo euphoria despite its exploration of suicidal tendencies and drug relapses.  

Chaotic, confusing and nonsensical, POST HUMAN: NeX Gen is a record that feels like it shouldn’t work – but, surprisingly, that’s also why it does. We’re not sure whether this will herald the next generation of metalcore just yet, but there’s something incredibly human burrowed within these abrasively buzzing electronics.

Emily Swingle

Full-time freelancer, part-time music festival gremlin, Emily first cut her journalistic teeth when she co-founded Bittersweet Press in 2019. After asserting herself as a home-grown, emo-loving, nu-metal apologist, Clash Magazine would eventually invite Emily to join their Editorial team in 2022. In the following year, she would pen her first piece for Metal Hammer - unfortunately for the team, Emily has since become a regular fixture. When she’s not blasting metal for Hammer, she also scribbles for Rock Sound, Why Now and Guitar and more.