Album Review: Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spirit
That’s The Spirit is the fifth studio release from British rockers Bring Me The Horizon and I’m going to be honest here: there will be a lot of people who will absolutely hate this album. This release marks a dominant evolution in the sound of BMTH. Gone are the days of hard-core screamo with riffs so intense that it invokes anger, instead this release favors more elements of rock incorporated with punk that isn’t all that heavy. While musically you’re not struck by pounding instrumentals you’re instead struck by the content: it’s a raw collection of tracks that are ultimately a celebration of the strength required to battle depression. Each track within the album has a marriage of elements from surrounding genres to encapsulate the mood, meaning there’s plenty of intricate riffs, thumping beats and raw as hell vocals.
Some like hype track Happy Song, equipped with it’s own backing cheer style vocals and Oliver Sykes dubbing that “That’s the Spirit” as well as second single Throne are reminiscent of the songs on Sempiternal and feature loud instruments and scream-like vocals throughout. The other buzz track True Friends is another catchy, albeit emo inspired track with punchy beats and of course the prominent angst filled line “True friends stab you in the front”. Although the fresh tracks pack a punch too, Avalanche and Blasphemy are two that are full of attitude, insanely good guitar hooks that play with a strong rock vibe, while the lyrics are full of grit and soul with the music doing nothing but hype it up.
Other tracks like What You Need tend to blend the rock, faintly pop verses with a heavier chorus and a slight vocal strain. A song like this might fool you into thinking that BMTH have gone soft but with lyrics quipping “you make me want to slit my wrists and play in my own blood” / “you make me want to kill myself just for the fucking fun” you’ll be severely mistaken.
Another standout from That’s The Spirit is Follow You; it’s a wildcard in the sense that it leans more towards punk pop than heavy rock. But that’s because it’s much lighter than the rest, inspired from real emotion and ultimately it’s a love letter sung to a simple melody. “So you can drag me through hell if it meant I could hold your hand” / “’ll be your gravity, you be my oxygen. So dig two graves cause when you die, I swear I’ll be leaving by your side”.
While it might not be the Bring Me The Horizon you’re accustomed to, you’ve got to look beyond the past and appreciate the bold statement the lads have chosen to make with That’s The Spirit. From the utterly sarcastic title to the refined riffs and rhythmic beats that emphasize the emotion behind the lyrics perfectly, this album is kind of like Oliver Skyes’ diary. And it takes a lot of guts to pick yourself up from rock bottom and not only make it out alive but to turn it into something of greatness and that’s what That’s The Spirit is. But if you’re one of the discouraged I strongly urge you to go back and give it another go, look beyond the song structure and delve into the lyrics that are going to resonate with you long after each listen.