EP Review Bring Me The Horizon - Music To Listen To…

Love it or hate it, Bring Me The Horizon are hellbent on rapidly pushing forward.

Bring Me The Horizon - Music To Listen To...

Christmas; a time for celebration, family, friends, mild excess, and – if you’re Bring Me The Horizon – blindsiding fans with the surprise release of the largely unclassifiable EP-come-opus ‘Music To Listen To…’ (to give it a more pronounceable title). With its unashamed foray into dense electronics and coming in at a staggering hour and fifteen minutes across just eight tracks, it proved enough to have fans of the band’s heavier material choking on their leftover turkey, the band disposing of their metal hallmark alongside the flimsy, torn Christmas hats.

Yes, the internet raged with the unavoidable backlash from genre purists, but let’s put aside the misconception that bands aren’t allowed to wander from the confines of their usual sound. Even as an interlude to Bring Me The Horizon’s catalogue of increasingly expansive studio albums, ‘Music To Listen To’ feels inevitable, building on the electronic creativity that has dotted the band’s work since 2008’s ‘Suicide Season’ and that came to a head on last year’s ‘amo’. A conscious effort to give this side of their sound room to breathe, ‘Music To Listen To’ is another jump for a band who have thrived off leaping into new ventures, overtly chipping away at their deathcore roots and actively encouraging all-out destruction of musical boundaries.

Mostly, it works. The Halsey featuring ‘¿’ delivers heavy bass lines and cleverly washes the pop star’s vocals with waves of synth, while the brilliantly ominous 10 minute ‘Steal Something’ unfolds as an expanded version of ‘amo’’s opener ‘i apologise if you feel something’. The record’s focal point, the indulgent 24-minute ‘Underground Big {HEADFULOFHYENA}’, proves the most divisive, intentionally pairing the EP’s spoken-word mantra with the most challenging, atypical sound the band have released in years.

The result is jarring, as disconnected as its full title would suggest, released as an accompaniment to the band’s main catalogue to allow for unabridged creative freedom. Love it or hate it, Bring Me The Horizon are hellbent on rapidly pushing forward, embracing the often challenging possibilities of music, and avoiding the stagnant at all costs. With some self-editing, there’s no telling where this could lead.