Saturday, 24 October 2015

Bring Me The Horizon "That's The Spirit" (2015)

So here we have the fifth and latest full length from English band "Bring Me The Horizon" hailing from Sheffield. The five piece Rock / Metal outfit have been together for over ten years now with a couple of line up changes on the second guitar, the four friends have stuck together from their formation when they were still in school. The band are now completely unrecognizable from their Deathcore roots. Since there inception they have managed to keep themselves in the lime light while shifting their sound from Deathcore, to edgy Metalcore, to some form of Eletronic-core, and now Pop Rock. The transition has been a big one, yet somehow through the shifts in sound they've kept an old audience happy while attracting more and more fans.

This latest sound is a shinny, bright and over polished, squeaky clean affair, fusing dense tonal guitars with gleaming electronics in a wall of sensual oozy delight. Compressed drums kick, punch and pound through the rich and airy sounds of layered synths racing with the guitar leads that range from Nu Metal to Alternate Rock and arrive with a Post-Metal sense of space. Vocalist Oli Sykes is impressive, showing a range of melody in well delivered cleans alongside his screams which were once quite gnarly and rough in the Deathcore days. The aesthetic is quite the achievement, and the music behind it is a mixed bag of fruits. There's a strong slice of cheap pop that coarses through this record in the form of hooks, lyrics and leads and the balance is a matter of taste and tolerance.

The record starts of strong with a bouncy grooving throw back to Nu Metal riffs that take charge on tracks like "Happy", its lyrics a sarcastic pun towards pop music which in the later stages becomes the focus. On "True Friends" the lyrics start with the teenage angst "twists" and cringing play on words "True friends stab you in the front". A lot of the lyrics on this record felt a little lack luster and hollow, not a lot of food for thought, but simple sentiments wrapped up in catchy word play. Its a double edged sword that works when the music does. "Follow you" delivering a delightful vocal hook that the lyrics do justice, but at other times it didn't quite come off as well.

"That's The Spirit" is a record that's challenged me. On first listen I could barely stand it, but a lot of the "pop" elements and catchy hook writing does deserve a lot of merit because its fantastically composed for a gorgeous aesthetic. Not a lot of whats on offer feels special or original and the second half drags a fair bit for me as the guitars get lighter and lighter with a bigger focus on the softer side of their sound. It leaves me with mixed feelings but there's songs here to be enjoyed and where they have progressed they've certainly lost what made them unique but the direction there heading in is a positive and potentially exciting one.

Favorite Songs: Happy Song, Throne, Follow You
Rating: 7/10