It’s hard to believe that less than ten years after the release of their debut album ‘Count Your Blessings’, Sheffield’s Bring Me The Horizon would come out with an album like ‘That’s The Spirit’. The critical success off the back of 2013’s ‘Sempiternal’ certainly saw the band soar leaps and bounds with their continuing evolution, stripping anyway any shred of doubt that this band were more style than substance; a question that was often thrown their way back in their earlier days, which saw them being regularly bottled during a European run supporting Killswitch Engage. Now, we see a band who are undisputed modern elites in the genre, capable of not only headlining Wembley Arena, but selling it out too.
It wasn’t until the tail-end of last year in the run up to said Wembley Arena slot that we saw any peek into the next chapter of Bring Me The Horizon with their single ‘Drown’, a shift in sound towards a more alternative and arena rock, and stepping out of their traditional metalcore upbringing. As expected, this somewhat drastic shift in style brought feedback in both positive and negative lights, but in turn helped lead to the moulding of ‘That’s The Spirit’. Indeed, what we see here is a Bring Me The Horizon more fearless with experimentation than ever before, almost completely abandoning the metalcore blueprint they’d always worked from, and taking the next big step for their careers.
One of the biggest change in comforts here lies in frontman Oliver Sykes. The ratio of screams to clean singing found on ‘Sempiternal’ has completely flipped, with arguably two or three songs featuring any of the screams or roars Sykes has been well known and accredited for in the band’s back-catalogue to date. Instead, what Sykes has gone for almost all out singing; something that we wouldn’t even dream of seeing during the band’s ‘Suicide Season’ or ‘There Is A Hell…’ days. The fragile and timid cleans of their previous full-length have been bulked up, been nurtured to drastic improvements and, though undoubtedly not one to be bragged about for range, Sykes easily holds his own and then some, and instead of blow away talent opts for delivering some interesting vocal lines and melodies.
This all marries in with Jordan Fish‘s undoubtedly more fledged input and influence into the band. Though ‘Can You Feel My Heart?’ from ‘Sempiternal’ was our first look into the electronic aspects to be brought into the band, Fish has really pushed his presence in here forward, also aided greatly by his position sat in the producer chair. Alongside guitarist Lee Malia, who admittedly offers less technical but equally as prominent guitar lines, and the rhythm section of drummer Matt Nicholls and bassist Matt Kean, we’re presented with a band who have gone head first into a genre they’ve briefly tackled and hit the mark on the first attempt.
‘That’s The Spirit’ is, without a doubt, a big change for the band, but is a necessary change for them to ensure that they can keep filling arenas with ease, and climb up those festival line-ups to headline status. From the mammoth choruses of ‘Throne’ and ‘Avalanche’, the dub-trance laced hooks of ‘Doomed’, the love driven ‘Follow You’, and the ironically lyrically dark dance closer of ‘Oh No’, it’s evident now that ‘Sempiternal’ and Wembley Arena were merely small goals in their scope. This effort is a grandiose effort much like Bring Me The Horizon‘s goals: to dominate the world with both hands.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)