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Film Review – Bring Me The Horizon: Live At Wembley

Bring Me The Horizon: Live At Wembley
Sony

 

The key to the survival of Bring Me The Horizon has always been their ability to progress their sound and change with the times. While many of their metalcore contemporaries from 2003 have since taken desk jobs, these Sheffield lads are merely expanding the size of the stadiums they play, adding more and more pop elements with each new record.

As the internet braces for their new release, That’s The Spirit – early cuts promise their least “metal” effort yet – the band have gifted fans with a live DVD, captured during a performance at the renowned Wembley Arena. The last show of the Sempiternal album cycle, it showcases a band in transition, straddling a strange line between palatable international rockstars and gritty local heroes.

The Bring Me The Horizon Wembley experience is akin to those previously provided by peers such as Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine. Frontman Oli Sykes commands a minimum of four circle pits early on in the proceedings and the crowd erupts accordingly during “The House Of Wolves”. Sing-a-longs are also the order of the day and every chorus gives the arena’s collective lungs a work out. All the classic metal band crowd interactions are wheeled out: the sit-on-the-floor-then-everyone-jump-up, the wall of death, and there’s pit calls for days.

But it’s not just a punk show. Knowing they’ve been tasked with providing a spectacle, the band are accompanied by an impressive light show and array of video screens, alternating between flashing up key lyrics and suitably demonic wolves, candles, crocodiles and the like. Air cannons get a solid work out, heralding the kick in of breakdown after breakdown, as band and crowd set about headbanging in a way that would make any chiropractor cry for a week… then start counting their piles of gold.

The audio mix is rich in every aspect; the guitars are very much in the foreground but Sykes’ impressive vocals are by no means hidden. The songs are fully fleshed out for the arena setting: big synths, big guitars, big backing vocals.

The band are open about how much they don’t want to play the old material but charge through the likes of “Pray For Plagues” from their debut, enlisting the help of their long-haired original guitarist Curtis Ward for a blistering few minutes. It stands in huge contrast to the likes of the synth-soaked, melody-rich “Sleepwalking”, showcasing how far they’ve come from the death-growling, serious shredding lads of the early 2000s.

At a solid hour-an-half, there’s only so many times you can be told to “make some fucking noise” or “get the fuck up” when you’re sitting on your couch watching a DVD. It does begin to grind at around the one-hour mark but that is by no means the fault of the band. People expect bang for their buck and there’s not much you can do when your raging popularity thrusts you into the kind of set you’re probably one album away from having the material for.

It does feel like the new tracks previewed so far will make a welcome addition to breaking up the relentless nature of the live set but as it stands, Live At Wembley acts as a great keepsake for those wanting to remember Bring Me The Horizon as they were and an exciting preview of what they’re soon to become.

Bring Me The Horizon: Live At Wembley is out now through Sony.

 

 

 

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