Smash Magazine Album Reviews

January/February 2021 Album Reviews

Check out my album reviews for issue 104 of Smash Magazine, including grandson and Bring Me the Horizon.

grandsonDeath of an Optimist Album Review

This album may be titled Death of an Optimist but it’s the rise of a superstar, mark my words. Beautifully crafted, this concept album explores the duality of identity many of us are experiencing in our torn society by pitting grandson against his other half, simply called X. From the opening intro title track to the closing outro, each of the twelve genre-blending songs explores the struggle to do good at a time where it can feel futile. “Identity,” “The Ballad of G and X // Interlude,” and “WWIII” are morose and guttural while “Dirty” and “Riptide” may just trick you into dancing. A mix of rock, hip-hop, and electronic overlaid with poignant and clever lyrics, this full-length debut from grandson is only the beginning.

Bring Me the Horizon Post Human: Survival Horror Album Review

Bring Me the Horizon’s latest release is the ultimate clap back at all the fans that said the band would never go hard again, unleashing BMTH memes of shock and delight into hardcore social media circles post-release. The torrential “Kingslayer” featuring BABYMETAL in particular really got people hot in all the right places.  At nine tracks, Post Human runs the gamut of early to mid-career BMTH styles from Suicide Silence through That’s the Spirit, and it brings in a slew of collaborators to do it. From YUNGBLUD on “Obey,” to the Nova Twins on the standout “1×1,” and the aforementioned BABYMETAL track, every guest melds seamlessly into each song. The only collaboration that feels forced is the closing ballad “One Day the Only Butterflies Left Will Be in Your Chest as You March Towards Your Death” featuring Amy Lee of Evanescence—her beautiful voice just too great a contrast to Sykes to work. Overall, though, Post Human is a straight win for BMTH.

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