Best of 2016 Playlist

September 10, 2015

Bring Me The Horizon - "That's the Spirit" Review

One of the most anticipated albums of 2015, Bring Me The Horizon released their 5th album on September 11. Fans everywhere were anticipating this album, unsure of what to expect. With one promotional single, and then lead single "Throne" kicking off the band's next era, we were introduced to a new side of BMTH. A more radio friendly version yes, but also a band who knew what they wanted to do (or thought they did) and created their ideal album. You can click these links to read our reviews of singles, "Happy Song", "Throne", and "True Friends". 

Bring Me The Horizon have embraced the world of electronic, alt. rock. Oli Sykes' vocals are still rough, but are not longer in the same category as the vocals he performed on the band's first two albums. The band started something in their 4th album, and they've decided to continue it here. Jordan Fish, who was brought into the band during the recording of their 4th album, has come into his own on this album. As a co-producer with Sykes, the two have helmed a great album. The production levels are astounding for a self produced album. Clearly the guys know what they're doing, because you'd never know it wasn't done in a big city studio. 

With full creative control, they spared nothing writing this masterpiece. Sykes is one of the best writers in the music business. His abilities to write a catchy tune, as well as songs that aren't so cut and dry in terms of content, grow with each album. Previous albums were full of songs that were taken straight from the pages of Sykes' diaries, where this album has a broader concept behind it. Post addiction Oli stops writing about pain and suffering, and writes songs about living life. Positivity has taken hold of him, and he aren't shy about sharing it. 

Musically the album doesn't break any new ground. But it does improve upon the foundations that were already there. Opener "Doomed" starts the album off with a heavily synthesized, electronic rock number. This a more mainstream version of "Can You Feel My Heart". With lyrics like "Just pull the plug, yeah I've had enough. Tear me to pieces, sell me for parts. You're all vampires so you can have my heart" you will get hooked by the chorus. 

But don't let this average opening song deter you from listening to the rest of the album, because the band does pay homage to their metal roots. Aside from "Happy Song" and "Throne", you can find the band's familiar hardcore touches on "What You Need" and "Avalanche" The band's new sound could be compared to Hands Like Houses in some aspects. While it's not hardcore, it's not typical alt. rock. Like HLH, BMTH adds in unclean vocals as an accent to the layers of vocals and instrumentals. It's a formula for success, and will still appeal to the band's hardcore fans. 

The new version of "Drown" doesn't stray to far from the original. To the untrained ear, they sound the same. But there are subtle production differences, a larger drum presence for one thing. It was probably added for the sake of reaching 11 tracks. And to the dread of some fans, the band utilizes more general styles of rock and pop in their latest album. The touches of mainstream music into songs to make it more accessible for new listeners, but unfortunately alienate those who had been hoping for more songs like "Alligator Blood" or "Chelsea Smile". 

The band's new R&B and pop influences are most evident in "Follow You", and it's definitely something you'll have to get used to. It's not the worst track, but it's... well listen to it for yourself. The chorus turns the volume from a safe 4 to 11 in about two seconds. Then back down to 4. It's a roller coaster of emotions and feelings for both the listener and Sykes. You may love this track, or hate it. I myself am in the middle somewhere. Perhaps the weirdest song is "Oh No". Overall it's nice, but then there's a jazz saxophone thrown into the bridge and we're like "WTF is this?". Another one you may or may not find appealing. 

Summary -

This is one album that's going to have fans who love it to pieces, and others who despise the band for changing their sound. Either way, BMTH have really upped the ante. But despite all their progress, the album isn't as good as "Sempiternal", which feels much more cohesive and directional. This album does a good job polishing what the band did right with their 4th album, but then throws in some bits that don't add up. At certain points the band seems to be forcing this new sound, and the experimenting wasn't thought through. Maybe they should have spent more time demoing before deciding what worked and what didn't. 

If you enjoyed We Came as Roman's self titled album you'll love this. Also for fans of PVRIS (who the band are touring with this fall), certain Hands Like Houses fans and maybe even Panic! at the Disco (if you're in the right mood). Even if you hate this album, or the band, you should still listen to it in its entirety at least once. It's an experience everyone should have. 

Favorite Tracks -
"Throne" is the top pick. Aside from the singles, check out "What You Need", "Avalanche" and "Blasphemy"

Rating -

7.5 to 8/10