14th September 2015
On the 11th of this month, Bring Me The Horizon released their fifth studio album That's the Spirit, and my initial reaction was "this is unbelievable!" Three days of constant listening later and that opinion has yet to be changed. However, Bring Me The Horizon have gone in a slightly different direction with this album, with the addition of more electro and trance sounds, but still maintaining the heavy riffs and aggressive vocals of the Bring Me The Horizon of old.
The album starts up with the fantastic 'Doomed,' which I played to a friend of mine who is not into the hardcore scene. His thoughts were that, at the start, it sounded similar to Justin Bieber. Now take this how you will, but I have to agree with him! It may seem like a backhanded compliment, but realistically it shows the true levels of singing talent that Oli Sykes has to offer, switching with ease from beautifully melodic to full of fire, and this is a theme that continues throughout That's the Spirit.
Next up on the album is a string of three singles released during the run up to That's the Spirit, starting with 'Happy Song' which features cheerleader chants before erupting into classic Bring Me The Horizon that we know and love from Sempiternal. This is followed by the insane 'Throne,' giving hardcore an injection of electro music that just works brilliantly. Once again, this is a golden Bring Me The Horizon track to get you on your feet and moving, full of energy with a fantastic drop which will guarantee one hell of a mosh pit at live performances.
Halfway through That's the Spirit, we are treated, again, to the new Bring Me The Horizon sound that was introduced at the start with 'Doomed,' this time with the unusually calm 'Follow You' which is once again a showcase of Sykes' vocal talents, as well as featuring some of the more heartfelt lyrics of the album so far. The strange fusion of genres continues, with the next song 'What You Need' sounding like an indie-pop song, yet still holding its integrity as a heavy rock hit thanks to the down tuned guitars and an awesome riff towards the end.
For the people who got their hands on the deluxe version of Sempiternal, 8th track 'Run' is somewhat of a mix of 'Join the Club' and 'Deathbeds.' Fuelled full of emotion and power, it has the ability to be a tearjerker, but at the same time has enough structure to it to move stadiums. There is something brilliant behind 'Run;' something that is difficult to put a finger on, but it should quite easily feature on anybody's "best of..." compilation. Why it wasn't released as a single too is still a bit of a mystery, as it is one of the best songs on the whole album.
We now move on to the closing stages of That's the Spirit and, with it, to my favourite song of the record: 'Blasphemy.' It has everything a great Bring Me The Horizon song should have, from harsh to melodic vocals, calm sections to outright headbang heavy ones, and throughout the track there's a riff that is both oddly uplifting and melancholic at the same time. A masterpiece of a song that has all the qualities to silence any skeptics of the album.
As 'Blasphemy' fades away, That's the Spirit could have easily ended in a silencing grace. However, there is one last song, and with 'Oh No' we are brought back to the new Bring Me The Horizon direction that features throughout the album. The music is upbeat, has a summer feel to it, and could easily find its way on to a DJ's set list at a club night, but then the lyrics juxtapose all of this brilliantly with their downcast tone. It all fits together perfectly, even if it does confuse the emotions.
I can see why older Bring Me The Horizon fans might feel slightly dissatisfied with That's the Spirit as it is a very different album to 2006's Count Your Blessings. However, music is constantly changing with the times, and Bring Me The Horizon have matured as a band a great deal in the nine years since Count Your Blessings, and that is clearly evident with That's the Spirit. I for one one am already in love with this album; it has got everything any good album should have, and a hell of a lot more!
Track to check out: