Album Review : Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spirit

11960003_10153584810873658_2350164693885521871_nBring Me The Horizon aren’t one of those bands to rest on their laurels. If they’ve been extremely successful lately with their last record ‘Sempiternal’, it was certainly not just thanks to their lucky stars but rather thanks to their ability and will to stay off the beaten tracks. They push boundaries to the furthest and dare doing whatever their peers wouldn’t. After over 10 years of being a band, the Sheffield kids have grown up and acquired serious experience. This allows them not to overthink and be confident.

“That’s The spirit” is the result of years of experience, ups and downs and ultimately growth. If you take a look (a listen) at this record, you could either love it or hate it. Most of all, if you’ve been a long-term Bring Me The Horizon follower, you might be very surprised, even disturbed and let down by the changes it brings. Before going any further, it should be pointed out that this is a shift that had already been initiated a while ago. Not foreseeing or at least not accepting that Bring Me The Horizon will never be the band you once fell in love with again, is basically closing your eyes to the facts. Keyboardist and album producer Jordan Fish once stated in this regard; “If ‘heaviness’ is all someone cares about, they should have bailed on this band a long time ago.” 

While this isn’t exactly what we will call our favorite album ever, it has to be said that this effort is a good piece of work, creatively speaking, and in terms of challenge as well. It is a smart product that can get Bring Me The Horizon exactly where they want to, which is obviously conquering more than “just metalheads’. Bring me The Horizon had already surpassed their own limits with ‘Sempiternal’ and went on top of the alternative rock world; what they are doing now is therefore nothing but the logical continuation to this path. It’s not about pleasing only the fans anymore, but also conquering new ones and expanding to other-types-of-music-listeners.

“That’s The Spirit” kicks off with a murky Bring Me The Horizon-style introductive track that sounds like it gives you a taste of what’s yet to come, when really it does not. What particularly caught our attention first in this record is the grandiose atmosphere it reveals (as in Run, for instance), as well as a powerful drumming that  can leave no one unmoved. Without giving out too much, let’s roam a little bit through this record and see what all the fuss is about.

By now, you’ve had time to make your own mind about previously released tracks, Happy Song being one of them. The least we can say is that the later caused a stir, as the first excerpt of “That’s The Spirit’, for obvious reasons. Vocally, the shift is clear, it’s still rock oriented but it has that infectious chorus that turns out to be annoyingly good. It’s still heavy and still Bring Me The Horizon.
Throne came out next, as the official first single off ‘That’s The Spirit’, which apparently reassured many disconcerted fans and brought them back to the safety of alternative rock grounds everyone’s familiar with. The main criticism it has gotten is that it’s basically Linkin Park…Which isn’t so bad, or is it? It was also the first song where we could hear Oliver Sykes properly singing…It seems however that the live vocal rendition isn’t 100% on point yet despite its performance being huge as a whole (see Reading 2015.) After all, That’s The Spirit Tour is coming soon; we’ll see for ourselves.
There is True Friends, which oddly enough preserves various metal(core) influences, balancing between post-hardcore sounds and stirring choruses.
Avalanche is the closest you can get to Drown, which ended up being generally accepted, even widely appreciated by everyone, with its laid-back introduction and powerful drumming. It’s however not the most relevant track of the record in our opinion, but the epic atmosphere it provides, enhanced by arousing guitar riffs is interesting. What You Need, for instance, is in the same vein, although a little more uplifting and especially catchy. Speaking of Drown, you’ll be able to enjoy, on this album, the re-recorded version of the song.
Blasphemy is a favorite of ours on this record, probably because of the hooks that wouldn’t leave your mind so easily. You will also find in Follow You a great representative of the change Bring Me The Horizon has operated in being a band that can please a wide range of listeners without abandoning their roots whatsoever. It dares doing some exploring, it’s still poppy, but we can particularly identify the band’s musicianship, which isn’t a bad sign.

Some will say Bring Me The Horizon is becoming “mainstream”. Fair, especially when hearing tracks such as Oh No, which might indeed inspire you nothing but actual “Oh Nos”, so much is could have been any summer party song (please note that there’s a cool saxophone solo emerging at the end of this song that is surprisingly efficient.) We’d say, however, that it’s just becoming accessible to a wider audience, while it still hustles both rock and so-called mainstream cultures.
Besides, “That’s The Spirit” isn’t even out yet, but it earns a lot of attention already, which is inevitably playing in the band’s benefit. The album seems however to be trying to bring everything possible into the mix, without really being structured, and it makes a disjointed product, while lyrically, it occasionally felt like some kind of a let down. At the same time, ‘That’s The Spirit’ might drop strong hints of pop-rock, dance, electronica, indie, heavy metal, post-hardcore –whatever you want to see in it – it still holds , as a whole, the Bring Me The Horizon trademark, which certainly doesn’t sound like any other. We’re not sure how they manage to do this, but thing is that they do and this is probably where one of their major strengths resides.

In sum, the picture is a mixed one to us, but we also do realize that these are contagious sounds that started growing on us with each listening. So maybe this new offering isn’t exactly what we were all expecting from the band, it’s fairly smart and daring nonetheless, and it kindles curiosity. Most of all, it clearly says “f*ck you anyway”, because Bring Me The Horizon will always do what they want … and it works!

‘That’s The Spirit’ will be released on September 11th, 2015 on  RCA Records. Plus That’s The Spirit Euro tour is already starting to sell out! More info : HERE.

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7.5/10

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Mary
I have a tendency to seek for new sounds and humbly contribute to its living. I'm a dreamer, I live for today and take the time to appreciate every single thing that life has to offer.

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