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

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'That's The Spirit' is Bring Me The Horizon like you've never heard them before. With everything from dance-infused beats, to pop-rock hooks, to skyrocketing, pummelling choruses, the Sheffield quintet's fifth studio album is genre-spanning and huge.

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Ten years ago, nobody would have imagined metalcore youngsters Bring Me The Horizon making a record like That’s The Spirit.

The band’s debut, 2006’s Count Your Blessings, was not exactly met with overwhelming critical acclaim. And despite moving away from their controversial deathcore beginnings over their next two studio releases – with 2010’s There Is A Hell… seeing the band rise to a much greater level of international fame – it wasn’t until 2013’s Sempiternal that Bring Me The Horizon really started making waves in the mainstream.

The quintet’s fifth studio album, That’s The Spirit, isn’t merely the next step from Sempiternal. It’s a huge leap – a long jump, even. And it’s a long jump that sees the band land triumphantly on two feet.

While miles away from their earliest releases, the same aggression and fierceness that has come to define Bring Me The Horizon is still present on That’s The Spirit, but the manner in which it’s conveyed is more complex, more ambitious.

Frontman Oli Skyes’ lyrics are acerbic and potent throughout, particularly on single ‘Happy Song’. Add this to a dark, gnarly guitar riff and some cheerleader chanting, and you’ve got a track that’s as bizarrely catchy as it is vicious and heavy. Then there’s the bass-driven ‘What You Need’ – seemingly a straight up rock heavyweight with a furious, raging chorus – but within those hooks you’ll find the twisted, grunge-infused lyrics that permeate the album and make it, thematically speaking, the heaviest album Bring Me The Horizon have ever made.

Elsewhere, the stadium-baiting ‘Throne’ is startlingly reminiscent of Linkin Park in the Meteora era, but there’s a certain rawness about it that differentiates the single from the polished nu-metal of the early 2000s. ‘Avalanche’ is another instant anthem, with a rousing, dramatic chorus that creates a spectacular, poignant moment. Lead single ‘Drown’ is simply stunning – soaring and epic, with the contrast of grit and palpable vulnerability in Sykes’ vocals making it particularly moving.

Emotional ballad ‘Follow You’ and closing track ‘Oh No’ are two of the most surprising moments of That’s The Spirit. The former is blissfully melodic and atmospheric, and the latter mingles skittering electronics with dance-infused pop, resulting in an intricately woven, delicate creation. It is an unexpected end to the album, certainly, but for precisely this reason it’s also the most appropriate. ‘Oh No’ is not the end; ‘Oh No’ is the start of a new era for Bring Me The Horizon.

Complicated, dark, and thrilling, yet instantly accessible, That’s The Spirit is the career-defining album that should establish Bring Me The Horizon as a genre-spanning institution.

That’s The Spirit is out now via Columbia Records.

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Final year English Literature student. Often found making lots of noise behind a drum kit. Also a writer of album & live reviews, features and news articles.

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