A little over two years ago, Bring Me The Horizon released an album that did a phenomenal job of shaking up the world of rock, plunging them out of the depths of metal and forging a sound that paid homage as much to their old ways as it did their new wave of refined enthusiasm. By anyone’s standards, Sempiternal was a hard act to follow, but earlier this month that’s what the Sheffield quintet set out to do with their fifth album, That’s The Spirit. After the much commended release of what was thought to be a stand alone single, Drown, followed by Don’t Look Down, written for Zane Lowe’s rescore of Drive last year, things have been looking promising for the northern lads.
Doomed kicks off proceedings and sets a theme for the album; contrast. Between the deft instrumental that eludes to a development in their sound, and the scent of autotune that laces through Oli Sykes’ vocals and throws back a retort of “boyband”, there’s a hint that this less aggressive style of rock was one slanted in the angle of radio. After smashing single Happy Song and BBC Radio 1 and fan favourite Throne comes memorable True Friends. If you take nothing else from the album, the repeated hook, “true friends stab you in the front”, is one you’re bound to remember for a long time to come. The track’s string work adds a commendable and unusual addition whilst delivering the same harsh climaxes that BMTH could almost wear as a brand.
Understated energy beckons the opening of Follow You, one that compels you with the expectation of an explosion set to be unleashed – but when the peak of the track comes, it’s somewhat underwhelming. Perhaps this is one of the best examples of how the band have changed – the same level of suspense, but often lacking the overpowering, rough energy. Again, contrast comes with the punchy, more expected opening in What You Need, despite the hooks feeling somewhat “made for radio”. Avalanche provides another interesting intro, before dropping into an album filler, a feeling which continues with Run.
In the midst of this, Drown feels like an incredible statement, and the chant along start of Blasphemy – bound to make it as a fan favourite – kicks the energy up again just in time for the finale. Closing Oh No makes it as a personal favourite for me, the simplicity in the opening sets things up for the almost dancey beat that pulses through the hooks of the chorus, again making contrast the album’s crowning joy.
The same way that Sempiternal was a parallel to There Is A Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven Let’s Keep It A Secret, That’s The Spirit has proved a jaunt in a new direction for the act. Though the radio slant is obvious on the album, the meaning behind the lyrics is still loud and clear, and it doesn’t outweigh the distinct BMTH spirit.
You can listen to Throne below.