While I know this isn't a popular band (around here), I hope there's one thing on which we can all agree:

The best path for a band is always forward - to grow, progress, experiment and develop until you either find perfection or disband entirely.

That said, Bring Me the Horizon is exactly on track with Sempiternal.

Upon first listen, you'll immediately notice they've replaced half of their breakdowns and bass drops with layers (upon layers) of texture and melody. You'll also find Oli Sykes' vocals have improved tenfold from There Is a Hell... and 100 fold from Suicide Season. In fact, their entire sound has changed so much from their origin that it would be difficult to play a track from Count Your Blessings alongside a track from Sempiternal - say, Hospital for Souls - and even recognize it's the same band.

This is a very good thing.

While the cleaner vocals don't always work (Seen it All Before gets pretty monotonous after the tenth chorus refrain), the blend he strikes in songs like Sleepwalking, Go to Hell for Heaven's Sake and Hospital for Souls strikes an almost perfect blend between post-hardcore and metalcore and is arguably the most defining element of Sempiternal.

The only track on the album that really stands out in a bad way is Anti-Vist, which is the "Anthem" of the release. Basically, it's a song to play on tour that will keep the angsty teenagers singing along and proud to be immature douchebags. "You can say I'm a fool who stands for nothing, but to that, I say you're a cunt." Cue bass drop, cue breakdown. Cue sigh.

Fortunately, there's not a lot of bad to dwell on with this release. From the lurching, dark opening of Can You Feel My Heart (which, oddly, reminded me a lot of A Perfect Circle) through the massive, haunting layers of Crooked Young and Hospital for Souls, Sempiternal is an enormous improvement from everything these guys have done in the past and outside of a few songs, it's the most cohesive release to date.

For anyone who liked songs like It Never Ends, Crucify Me and Visions, this is going to be a very welcome batch of new material. If you're looking for the next deathcore album, this is not it. Thank god.

Best tracks:
And the Snakes Start to Sing
Crooked Young
Hospital for Souls