Paul Barclay

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

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Oliver Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon live on stage on day 2 at Download Festival on 14th June 2014 - Donington Park Photo by Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment/PA images

Oliver Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon live on stage on day 2 at Download Festival on 14th June 2014 – Donington Park
Photo by Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment/PA images

First things first. Up until 2013, I really disliked Bring Me The Horizon. Everything I had heard of them made me feel they were a really poor screamo/metalcore band, of which there were many at the time and their music had no effect on me whatsoever. But, in 2013, I heard a track of theirs called Shadow Moses, from their then new album Sempiternal, and I was pleasantly surprised. It still had metal elements, but they were clearly refining their sound and the song, much like the album was indicative of that. My thoughts on Sempiternal were that there was more to come from Bring Me The Horizon and I was interested, if not excited to find out where they went next.

Next is now and their new album That’s The Spirit has pushed them further away from their metalcore roots and closer to a pure rock sound with a electronic tinge to their sound. It makes the band a lot more accessible and could be argued, by those more cynical, that is purely a by-product of signing with bigger labels and selling out. That idea is very misguided. It is clear to any listener who heard their older stuff and now this album that is an album by a band who have grown and matured.

Opening track Doomed, with its slow, beat driven intro sets up the concept behind this album. Oli Sykes, the lead singer of the band, has said that album is a loose concept album that deals with life’s darker times, like depression. This theme is prevalent throughout the album. Second track Happy Song is clearly making light of these feelings, but also could be an attack on people who may just tell someone with depression to cheer up. It has a bouncy chorus, with a choir chanting That’s The Spirit.

The theme of the album continues with tracks such as Throne and True Friends, which has a chorus which attaches itself to your brain like a tick and does not let go. Further highlights are seventh track Avalanche, with its orchestral sound which actually has elements of a track from previous album Sempiternal called Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake. This is another song with a huge chorus, which is going to be sung loud and proud around arenas when the band play it live. Track nine Drown is another very solid effort and once again showcases the electronic sound the band are playing with but is also softer and adds another bow to their string. Album closer Oh No is another softer, electronic track, but not in the same way and is a solid way to close the album.

In terms of the personnel on the album, Sykes’ voice sounds fantastic and the production of the album, handled by Sykes and keyboardist Jordan Fish is perfect. It is crystal clear and adds definition to the sound the band were looking for.

Quite simply, That’s The Spirit is a phenomenal album. It is the sound of a band who have grown, matured and are better for it. From being a band that I genuinely did not like to being a band who produce this album is almost mind-blowing for me. I never thought I would say this, but Bring Me The Horizon have made, in my humble opinion, the album of the year. Stunning.

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