The rise of Bring Me The Horizon has been a strange and unexpected one for all parties, including the band themselves. They’ve gone from a widely ridiculed and despised band to one of Britain’s biggest exports. They’ve gone from small clubs to headlining arenas (something the band said would never happen) and adding matinee performances to their shows due to huge demand. They are a band that has evolved through their career, from deathcore wildlings to a band that is constantly pushing and challenging their sound. Frontman Oli Sykes has gone from a controversial and hated figure to one who is now being labelled as the voice of a generation. Even though he may not be an angel (he recently told the crowd at this year’s Reading Festival to pull their tampons out), he is certainly developing a reputation as one of modern rock’s greatest frontmen.
That’s The Spirit is a not a metal album and is certainly not a metalcore album. It’s a rock album with heavy elements alongside new electronic parts. From opener ‘Doomed’ it was clear this is a different creation altogether, seeming more vulnerable and honest. BMTH have always been an honest band, but That’s The Spirit is a more open band who wear their heart on their sleeve. Second track ‘Happy Song,’ is a perfect example of their skill of writing an arena-sized rock song – catchy, bouncy and aggressive. ‘Throne’ may have been described as Linkin Park 2.0 but even that can’t take away the enjoyability of the song. The fact it’s already becoming a stable at rock clubs is a testament to how well-received the song has become. This is an album built for large arenas, festival headline slots and sing-a-longs. The likes of ‘Avalanche’ and the re-recording of ‘Drown’ (which has crispier guitars and backing vocals) were built for places like Wembley. ‘Avalanche’ is a contender for one of the songs of the year, incredibly likeable and passionate. The band are more grown up now and their confidence in themselves shows. Oli Sykes is also growing as a front man, That’s The Spirit shows he now delivers choruses with the power and charm of someone who has been doing it for a long time.
Nonetheless, this is album is not perfect. The single ‘True Friends’ is overrated while sixth track ‘What You Need’ falls into the filler section of the album. Yes, the album will alienate early fans of the band and the casual fan who enjoyed the heavier material, but bands change. Besides, a return to the Count Your Blessings days would most likely destroy Sykes’ vocals. While not as good as Sempiternal, this album should still be applauded for it’s scale, epic choruses and evolution in the band’s sound.
One listen shows why this is one of the most discussed releases of the year. A monumental achievement for the band, an album where any track could be a single. Bring Me The Horizon intended to make an album full of arena-sized anthems and they have succeeded with flying colours.
Best Tracks: ‘Doomed,’ ‘Happy Song,’ ‘Throne’ and ‘Avalanche.’
2. Happy Song
4. True Friends
5. Follow You
6. What You Need
11. Oh No