Release Date: Sep 11, 2015
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, Grindcore
Bring Me The Horizon's 'That's The Spirit' is out now and hopefully hitting #1 tomorrow. Here's the ultimate review. Rock is dead.That’s all we keep hearing from the outside world. We’re told that modern rock isn’t breeding superstars or festival headliners any more, that things were better in “The Good Old Days”.According to them, rock is a dull, archaic niche.
The reinvention of the year from the Sheffield ragers. Even from their earliest days as surprisingly heavily tattooed teenagers whipping up metalcore fury, Bring Me The Horizon have always been unapologetically ambitious..
The 2013 release Sempiternal saw the English decibel pushers more or less obliterating their deathcore past with a soaring set of aggro-alt-rock anthems that were as darkly lush as they were emotionally punishing. That's the Spirit, Bring Me the Horizon's fifth studio long-player, completes that sea change by incorporating more electronic elements into the mix and moving even closer to the mainstream via a bevy of meaty, melodic hooks and fist-pumping, stadium-ready choruses that invoke names like Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold, 30 Seconds to Mars, and even late-'90s Metallica. What they haven't left behind is the generalist angst, as evidenced by second-hand embarrassment-inducing gems like "True friends stab you in the front" and "My heart's a hieroglyph, it talks in tongues," but Bring Me the Horizon's penchant for wallowing in social dystopia is tempered by their newfound proclivity for dabbling in big, unabashed pop pageantry.
While many of deathcore's practitioners have folded, it's really only those who evolved beyond brutality that have continued to succeed. Bring Me the Horizon only waited one full-length to move away from the maligned subgenre, and since then they've been moving away from metal, too. Now, on That's the Spirit, they've transcended it entirely.Here, the British quintet ride electronic flourishes, especially on opener "Doomed," closer to heaven than the hell they'd previously evoked.
Over the last decade, Bring Me The Horizon have managed to do the impossible: they’ve transformed themselves from the rough-around-the-edges youngsters of metalcore and overcome every obstacle that’s been thrown their way. Despite what some would call a dubious start - with their youthful efforts seeing them rise to the pack of mid-noughties scene metallers – the past decade has seen them gradually refining their craft. It was with their previous effort ‘Sempiternal’, however, that the group began bridging the gap between the heavy genre they had once dominated and the mainstream spheres which were finally beginning to take notice.
[a]Bring Me The Horizon[/a] are unashamedly ambitious. Speaking in a recent interview with NME, frontman Oli Sykes said his band could headline Reading and Leeds Festival next year and there is no mistaking that they want to be as big as possible. It’s easy to say that you want these things, getting them often proves trickier. However in ‘That’s The Spirit’ the Sheffield band have crafted an album that should see them not just seated at rock’s top table, but putting their feet up and getting comfortable.The release of 2013 album ‘Sempiternal’ did the legwork in establishing BMTH as a band with the ability to flit between the Radio 1 playlist and the moshpit.
Bring Me the Horizon started as a metalcore group (think Converge, all black attire and leg tattoos), but have morphed into modern purveyors of shouty, I’m-mad-at-you-mom nu-metal. Lead singer Oli Sykes has talked about how That’s the Spirit is a “celebration of depression”, but tellingly he’s also discussed the importance of writing “bangers”; using a term more usually associated with EDM makes sense for a band who use electronics and a sound that mixes metal with modern dance music’s loud, clean, crunching impact. Lead single Drown epitomises their approach, coming in with an eardrum-perforating wall of sound, while Happy Song is anything but, with its blunt ruminations on depression (“We’re all fucked in the head”) layered over riffs and children’s chanting.
If you’re going to reinvent yourself, you may as well go all in. When Bring Me The Horizon added keyboard player and studio whiz Jordan Fish to their ranks in 2012, they abandoned deathcore for a more immediate, synth-based sound on 2013’s Sempiternal. It was the first step in a process that has culminated in the breathtaking That’s The Spirit.