Pushing Bullet for My Valentine hard for most mediocre release of the year is Sheffield’s Bring me the Horizon with the single, Mantra. The British rock band have a new album due out on the 11th of January, 2019 which will be called “amo”. That will be released via Sony Music and Mantra is our first taster, and it tastes bland.
As a band, Bring me the Horizon are constantly changing. The changes are often small and whether they are an evolution or a mistake, is really up to the individual listener. I am sure there are plenty of people in both camps. Whatever your feelings towards the band, they have done very well for themselves since starting as a deathcore band with their 2006 release Count Your Blessings. Time saw them move towards a more metalcore sound with releases like 2008’s Suicide Season.
The band changed further with 2010’s There is a Hell, Believe Me, I’ve Seen it. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret. Damn I hate that title. Embracing a more hard rock style, the band started including new elements in their music. A synth orchestra, pop styled glitched vocals and choirs while dampening down the heaviness and breakdowns for electronica. While I can appreciate a band trying to be forward thinking and original, it wasn’t for me at all.
It was for a lot of people though and Bring Me the Horizon went on to achieve more commercial success than they had before. These days I see them as a hard rock, or rock, band but as Forrest Gump would say, “you never know what you’re gonna get”.
Mantra is very much on the commercial rock side of things. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing on it’s own but it also manages to be bland and boring too. The under 4 minute track starts off with a decent drum beat by Matt Nicholls though the underlying guitar sounds very effect heavy. We jump into a decent enough, mid tempo riff with a little bass from Matt Kean and fuzzy sounding guitars from Lee Malia. As the vocals start, they are cleanly sung with a bit of a synth effect over them from frontman Oli Sykes and the main instruments drop right off.
This is really where the song takes a turn for the worse. Loads of synth and keyboard effects start popping up, assisted by Jordan Fish. When the guitars jump back in for a “heard it all before” chorus, they are buried beneath electronic layers. The last word of the chorus is Mantra and that is sung/stated by a computerised female voice too, to add to my irritation. That is pretty much it for the song. Nothing else really happens other than what I have described, repeated a couple times. There is no breakdown, that is replaced by a gentle electronica section. There are no unclean vocals. They are replaced by effect heavy cleans. Damn, what a disappointment Mantra is.
Still, maybe effect heavy, synth drowned radio rock is your thing so, if it is, Mantra is available now on all the usual streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. You can also preorder the new album, Uno, from the band here. Find out more or keep up to date with news and music from Bring Me the Horizon from their website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Mantra by Bring Me the Horizon (amo)
The Final Score - 2/10