British rockers, Bring Me the Horizon return with the second single off their incoming new album. This song is called “wonderful life” and it will feature on their new album, amo, due for release on the 25th of January via Sony Music.
Amo was originally planned for release on the 11th but has been delayed.
The 5 piece have really changed their sound over the last decade or so though it doesn’t seem to have caused them to much damage commercially. While there are songs I like from their older material. Arguably when they were more metalcore, I never really became a fan. Recent releases show me that I would probably never have remained a fan anyway so it is no loss to me (or them). Over the years they have evolved/changed/sold out – call it what you will. Where they are now is a hard rock band, with occasional metal tinges and even more frequent delves into synth, pop esque choruses and overloaded electronica. Amo will be their 6th full length and we have already had one single from it. The dire, Mantra.
After the shockingly bad first released single from amo, I genuinely thought I wouldn’t bother with any more of this album. That song was Mantra and you can read our thoughts on it here. So what changed my mind?
The guest artist did. Wonderful life features one of my favourite front men, Dani Filth. Dani, of Cradle of Filth, has a unique voice to say the least. He is also a fantastic lyricist and a real character. How on earth the watery, synth heavy mess of this band’s songs like Mantra works with someone like Dani Filth is beyond me and therefore intriguing. Also a little scary. Dani isn’t adverse to doing silly things so on one hand, his presence may make wonderful life a heavier and darker song. On the other hand he may well have donned a shell suit, removed his piercings and be sitting behind a set of decks helping the band try to get on those magical airwaves.
Well, thankfully wonderful life sits more on the heavy side of things and is a vast improvement on Mantra. It is certainly not without it’s faults though. At 4 and a half minutes long, it is reasonably long. If this had been another Mantra, that would have amounted to torture but wonderful life is more enjoyable.
A few crackling noises start the song off before we jump into a groovy riff. The riff is good but why do bands feel the need to add little noises and stuff at the beginning. It adds nothing. You could of jumped straight into the riff and been a better song for it. Oli Sykes starts singing over the guitars about the deterioration of the mind. It’s cleanly sung but with a little drawl so sounds decent. It ends with a silly sounding line “I’ve forgotten what I’m on about” before a powerfully screamed “Yeah” kicks the song in with all instruments joining.
Credit where credit is due, aside from the last line of vocals, it is a neat intro. The guitars are slamming and the drums sound like they could be registering on the Richter scale somewhere. Unable to leave a good song alone, as the music progresses, a little synth starts creeping in, adding more layers. To be fair, it is much more restrained then on Mantra and therefore works okay. It seems unnecessary but doesn’t distract you from the solid riffing. The verses are cleanly sung but with a bit of nu metal rap attitude. While the guitars and everything are still there, they become fuzzier and a bit more effect heavy. The chorus is okay, pretty catchy but in truth I am just on the edge of my seat waiting to hear Dani comes in with his vocal style and rip out a verse.
That is where the song’s biggest failing is. While Dani does come in and have a section, it is short and he is way too restrained, going for a slightly creepy whisper over his powerful growls and screams. He also only gets about three lines before Oli is the main vocalist again and Dani is basically a little backing for him. Damn. What a disappointment. You get Dani Filth on your record and you use him for 3 restrained lines and backing? Wonderful life tries to salvage itself by chucking in breakdown after Dani is done which is pretty decent. It has bounce and meat to it. It also has squealing synth which i could do without. A bit more music follows before the chorus is hit up through to closing.
It was always going to be difficult to produce another song quite as bad as Mantra and thankfully, Bring Me the Horizon didn’t. Wonderful life is a huge improvement on that while not necessarily being good. Just better. The riff is simple but solid. There is a nice transition at the beginning that introduces the heavier music that I like. The chorus is catchy too and there is a proper, bang your head to this, breakdown. But. The band’s desire to get electronica into the mix actually worsens their songs. Adding layers on top of guitars where the guitars were enough. The lyrics are all over the place, occasionally making sense and occasionally seeming like the ramblings of a mad man. “I feel numb now, is that a feeling like a plastic boxed orange with no peeling”. Okaaaay!
The biggest mistake though for me, as a fan of Dani Filth, is that they got a powerful front man on their song and then barely used him. When they did use him, it was mostly as backing. That was not a good move.
Wonderful life is available now on all the usual streaming platforms, like Apple Music and Spotify. You can check out the comical video, mainly featuring Dani Filth, here. If you like what you hear so far, preorder “amo” from the band, here. Keep track of Bring Me the Horizon at their website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages by following the links.
wonderful life (feat. Dani Filth) by Bring Me the Horizon (amo)
The Final Score - 4/10