Simon Arinze

Post-Human Lore Deepens with the Much-Anticipated Release of BMTH's NeX GEn

Simon Arinze
Jun 9, 2024
5 min read

Much like the release of Bring Me The Horizon’s latest album, this review comes to you slightly delayed;  but, unfortunately, I suspect this will not quite break the internet in the same way that the surprise drop of POST HUMAN: NeX GEn had two weeks ago.

With all of the turmoil around the release of this record, inevitably, questions have arisen over what the quality of Bring Me The Horizon's seventh studio album would be. Originally promised for a late 2020 release, global events meant that it was pushed back to September 2023. A smattering of singles followed (“Die4U'' September 2021, “Strangers'' July 2022”, “LosT” May 2023, “AmEN!” June 2023 and “DArkSide'' October 2023); before the news broke of the sudden, yet seemingly amicable, departure of producer/keyboardist and arguably (from the release of 2013s Sempiternal onwards) the driving force behind the evolution of the bands sound from deathcore kids in their early days to the global metalcore/pop metal powerhouse that they are today. Things were looking decidedly ropey. Sixth single from the still unreleased album, “Kool Aid'', then dropped right as the band set out the UK leg of the NX_GN WRLD TOUR at which point the album was just listed as “coming soon”. The latest instalment in the band's futuristic POST HUMAN series is now finally with us. Courtesy of the disgruntled ‘AI’ character E.V.E. “leaking” the album as “the boys were taking the absolute piss” getting around to a firm release announcement; NEx GEn was dropped onto streaming platforms with just 12 hours notice.

Lyrically, this record feels like it may have been the most cathartic for frontman Oli Sykes, with themes of addiction, obvious references to rehab and therapy, and an exploration of self doubt all present in the 55 minute album.

Things kick off properly with the uplifting, pop-punk "YOUtopia", reminiscent of styles akin to Smashing Pumpkins, this is the closest thing to a love song on the album and has possibly the catchiest riff of the whole record. “There's a place I wanna take you. But I’m not quite there myself yet”. Finishing off with “It's like I walked into a dream. And stepped out of the coma”.

This transitions perfectly into one of the biggest bangers on the record, already a fan favourite arena anthem "Kool-Aid" where the foibles of the idealised paradise of track 1 are questioned. Set against the backdrop of a cult, how is the previously mentioned "YOUtopia" reached and at what cost. “Asphyxiating with a smile on your face. While they pull your teeth out one by one, Is this what you wanted? (No). Do you want some more? (Yes).”

The first post album release single "Top 10 staTues tHat CriEd bloOd" (the recently released pop culture reference riddled music video is worth a watch), then follows and leans into the futuristic with its electronic/glitchy sounds and technical prowess. “No ones gonna come and rescue me. I’m drowning in my sleep.”

Sadly, not featuring Billie Eilish, as was widely believed, "liMOusIne" instead features Norwegian electronic pop-folk singer/songwriter/producer AURORA, on a grungy Deftones-esq chug of a track. “I hope that you wrote all your songs for me” perhaps a tongue in cheek jab at the some of the more gate-keepy sections in the metal fan base who are often quick to criticise the evolving sounds within the scene shooting down anything “pop-like” or flirts with being “too mainstream.”

"A bulleT w/my namE On" featuring Underoath is metalcore through and through; with interlude track ‘[ost] (spi)ritual’ very much giving early Sleep Token meets lo-fi electro-house.

UK fans who managed to attend the arena tour back in January (this reviewer included), will be able to hear their “Hello Oli you fucking knobhead” contributions on a stripped back "n/A" (rapidly updates CV to now include recording artist…mum we’ve finally made it). Opening with “My names Oli and I’m an addict” again touches on Syke’s well documented past, set against a form of AA meeting and expressing that although that part of his life is seemingly behind him, it is not actually too far away, always there just over his shoulder. Narratively it seems as though the safe space becomes hostile as he again battles his demons, “Thinking I should drop dead, eat shit, go to hell. I could jump head first out the window. Dark thoughts keep on filling up in my mind.” 

This aptly transitions into the self aware pop-punk banger, "LoSt". With a music video set in a nightmarish rehab facility, is a deeper exploration of Syke’s troubles; “Why am I this way? Stupid medicine not doing anything. What the hell is fucking wrong with me?” “Maybe I don't belong on this planet”.

"sTraNgeRs" is a full lighters (or more aptly phone lights) in the air arena ballad, the guys have been playing a stripped back acoustic version of this on the recent tour that each night really felt like a “moment” for those in attendance, I for one am hoping for a proper release of the acoustic edition of this track. 

This album flows wonderfully well, with the inclusion of the odd [ost] suffixed interlude to build the narrative and bridge between tracks, the transitions in particular between emo-core "R.i.p. (duskCOre Remix)" and the face melting riff laden ‘AmEN!’ are just…chefs kiss. The prior ending with a eulogy from Sykes to *redacted* with the latter opening “I hope you have fun rotting in hell……Suck a dick, heretic, I hate you”.

Probably the most left field part of the record is an out and out jungle number, the transitional track "[ost] p.u.s.s.-e".

The record comes to an end with "DIg It". Continuing on the themes of self doubt and existentialism “I hate my fucking guts right now”, “Life is a grave, and I dig it”. Closing out with a minute's silence (well one minute and thirty-three seconds of dead air to be precise, yes we timed it) before the POST HUMAN lore building continues with us being briefly introduced to another ‘AI’ character, the malfunctioning M8.

Although fans will have heard a large proportion of the album via the singles released over the last two and a half years, there is definitely enough new content in here for fans to get excited about, we believe the album to be a great success continuing the bands musical evolution, seeing their now signature metalcore sound experimentally blending with other genres, merging with more electronic sounds alongside elements of pop-punk, grunge and nu-metal. 

It remains to be seen what the full impact of Jordan Fish’s departure from the band will mean moving forward, but with recently sold out worldwide arena shows, the bands first Brit Award, massive festival appearances alongside one of the best headline sets that Download Festival has seen for nearly a decade, surely the global domination of Bring Me The Horizon will continue.

Unfortunately, though, for fans of physical media, the wait continues until you can actually get your grubby little hands on a copy of NeX GEn with the release of Vinyl, CD and Tape editions currently set for September 2024.

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