Bring Me The Horizon - Count Your Blessings (Earache Records)
By: Darrin Cowan
Bring Me The Horizon is the newest band to sign to Earache Records. This five-piece hails from the United Kingdom but looks to its neighbors across the pond for inspiration; The Black Dahlia Murder is the band that immediately comes to mind. The dual-vocal attack and Swedish-flavored riffing make it apparent that BMTH has spent a few hours jamming on Black Dahlia. Although this influence is quite obvious, other styles come into the mix, such as metalcore and math metal. BMTH focuses heavily on breakdowns, using them for both accelerating and halting their speed. Guitarist Curtis Ward employs a variety of tricks to bridge the gap between each breakdown line.
Tracks like “Tell Slater Not To Wash His Dick” (great title) is a fine displays of catchy, fast rhythms. The later track features exquisite guitar fret work during a lengthy solo that shreds and keeps the quickening pace moving. “Count Your Blessings” also contains the instrumentals “Liquor & Lost Love” and “15 Fathoms, Counting.” These tracks represent a tranquil break from the abusive nature of the aforementioned songs. “15 Fathoms, Counting” could serve as the soundtrack to an early morning sunrise complete with an acoustic guitar juxtaposed over shimmering, blues-based electric guitar notes. “Liquor & Lost Love” also emphasizes subdued atmospheres. Short, rapid bursts of double-bass drumming follow ringing guitar chords and a subtle keyboard backdrop. The drums are perhaps the most impressive aspect of this album, as drummer Matt Nicholls' sound is thick and his double-bass work is exceptional.
“Count Your Blessing” has much to offer fans of modern metal. The style is in line with what's become increasingly popular; i.e., deathcore, metalcore and tech metal. Playing this style has already brought the band accolades, a massive MySpace following and a U.S. tour with Kittie and Silent Civilian. Yet its mainstream-accessible style is also a point of negativity. Breakdowns are becoming commonplace to the point of cliché, and Bring Me The Horizon's constant use of this technique disrupts the music's flow. Also, the vocals could use developing: Both the scream and death voices seem to emanate purely from the throat, therefore lacking power. Nevertheless, the group’s youth should play to its advantage in developing its identity and skills.