Shed some ‘teardrops’ with Bring Me The Horizon

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Yulia Shur

Bring Me The Horizon, a UK-based metalcore band, released “Teardrops” on Oct. 22. “Teardrops” is a painfully realistic song about mental illness, specifically depression, and the mental and physical tolls it can have on one’s body. The lyrics of the song focus on the idea of “solving” issues with substance abuse, leading to an emptiness that is “heavier than you think.”

Content Warning: This story contains themes of suicide and mental illness.

Most bands in the metalcore scene stick to the same sound throughout the course of their career. With a genre as intricate as metalcore, there is little room for experimentation.

Metalcore is a fusion genre that blends sounds from extreme metal and gritty punk to formulate songs that feature strained vocals and pounding instrumentals. The genre is believed to be founded by bands like Earth Crisis, Shai Hauld, and Integrity in the mid-80s. In the near 40 years the genre has been around, the sound has always remained static.

The lyrics of the song depict the feeling of truly losing hope in your life and succumbing to a pessimistic state of mind.”

— Op-ed Editor Rachel Laposka

Some bands have tried breaking the wall of the genre to incorporate different elements into their songs, but few of those bands have been successful in doing so.

Bring Me The Horizon, a UK-based metalcore band, has tackled the issue head-on, twisting the genre to their advantage. The band has incorporated genres such as screamo, alternative pop, and deathcore into their discography.

The band rarely strayed from their hardcore roots until the release of their 2019 album, “amo.” “Amo” is the band’s most experimental album to date, with an even blend of lighthearted alt-pop songs and rock songs with a darker meaning. 

Fans of Bring Me The Horizon were confused at the band’s sudden shift in sound, many left with concerns that this new sound would become the new normal. After their latest single, “Teardrops,” released Oct. 22, those concerns were washed away.

“Teardrops,” along with the other two singles Bring Me The Horizon released this year, has guided the band back to their metalcore origin. The experimental sound the band explored, while temporarily entertaining, does not hold a flame to that classic metalcore sound fans know and love.

I was astounded after my first listen to “Teardrops” — not only are the vocals and instrumentals unbelievable, but the lyrics of the song convey a message that few artists talk about. The lyrics of the song depict the feeling of truly losing hope in your life and succumbing to a pessimistic state of mind.

When I say that it is a message few artists talk about, I am referring to the depth at which Bring Me The Horizon goes. Each verse is detailed with talk about the day-to-day strife a person facing mental illness experiences. Most artists would acknowledge the struggle and call it a day. Bring Me The Horizon, on the other hand, goes into excruciating detail about how painful life can be when all hope feels lost.

[O]ne of the bandmate’s hands shoots into the water and grabs hold of Sykes’ hand, pulling him out and onto the ground…”

— Op-ed Editor Rachel Laposka

In the pre-chorus of the song, singer Oli Sykes talks about the fear and confusion surrounding mental illness, wondering where life went wrong, wondering if life will ever get better, and the true pain of being stuck inside your head with nothing but your thoughts.

The second verse of the song dives into a deeper subject matter revolving around the various self-destructive methods of dealing with mental illness. One of the methods discussed throughout the song is substance abuse, something that Sykes has personally suffered from in his past.

It can be inferred from the music video that “Teardrops” is a reflection of Sykes’ past, with visuals of the singer laying on the ground surrounded by various empty alcohol bottles, drugs, and knives while the lines “Suicidal, violent tragic state of mind,/ lost my halo, now I’m my own anti-christ” are repeated. 

The idea of losing your halo parallels the idea of losing your innocence after being exposed to a traumatic event, which is often a precursor to mental illness as a whole.

Throughout the music video, Sykes has a numbed expression, which is a telltale sign that someone has fallen into a deep depressive episode. At several points during the video, Sykes appears to be thrashing through water screaming — representing his depression and how easy it can be to drown in your own thoughts.

At the end of the video, one of the bandmate’s hands shoots into the water and grabs hold of Sykes’ hand, pulling him out and onto the ground, giving the implication that Bring Me The Horizon saved Oli Sykes’ life. 

“Teardrops” tells the traumatic story of overcoming a deep depression and how tempting the dark thoughts flooding one’s mind can be. No matter how bad the struggle, how heavy the emptiness may seem, life always has more to offer than what first appears on the surface.