Bring Me the Horizon attempt to extract all of the band sound’s commercial appeal on new single medicine. But are fans of the one time metalcore group ready to accept this artistic direction?
Depending on who it is you ask, Bring Me the Horizon are, either one of the few remaining rock bands worthy of worldwide commercial appeal, or con artists willing to take on any guise in hopes of increasing their profile.
The fact of the matter is that BMTH’s profile is one that can hardly be ignored, with the band consistently enjoying radio hits and a large live following. And while there have always been rock bands capable of claiming mass appeal, in 2019 this is a rare thing. But is this a big deal?
The band’s journey is an uncommon one. BMTH was initially identified as belonging to the flourishing metalcore scene of the mid 2000’s. But while the hard edged sound of their peers, practically guaranteed them cult status at best, BMTH were a rare exception, gradually inching their way into the mainstream. By the time of their 2013 album Sempiternal, the band had transitioned to an alternative metal sound favored by legions of fans.
The group’s success has kept them busy. While they have been playing some of the largest festival stages in the world with consitency, all of the band’s recent efforts seem to have been geared towards converting BMTH into a standard pop rock band.
This is where the song medicine finds the quintet. A barrage of dance heavy synths camouflage the band, while Ollie Sykes’ processed pop vocals approximate the road and distance towards the charts. The lyrics tread familiar territory, surface level melancholy once more serving as the topic of choice. “Some people are a lot like clouds, you know/’Cause life’s so much brighter when they go.”
This is the band’s third single from the soon to be released album Amo. Have fans warmed up to the band’s pop direction? It seems the group is unlikely to lose many fans for now. While some have criticized the sound and songwriting of medicine, the video has already racked up more than 2.5 million views in merely five days since its release.
But would a fan of Bring Me the Horizon circa 2010 be able to tell this was one of the band’s compositions? Probably not. In fact he would be more likely inclined to speculate on it being a new Chainsmokers single. But this is certainly a calculated decision on behalf of the group.
Is a band’s decision to turn to pop music enough to warrant original fans changing their loyalty towards them? No, some bands have done well to turn to a more commercial sound. But BMTH’s medicine finds the band in full counterfeit pop mold, reaching for their fans’ cash wallets, and possibly, ultimately, losing their hearts.