Sound — 6
Bring Me The Horizon is a post-hardcore/deathcore (hard rock with this album) band from the UK. Their 5th record "That's The Spirit" released on September 11th and it comes with many changes. First, a drastic change in musical style and dynamics. Bring Me The Horizon's last record "Sempiternal" was definitely a change from their loud and sometimes messy vocal and instrumental approach to metalcore, but this time it completely takes away anything metal in this album. For example, tracks like "Doomed," "Follow You" and "Oh No" show that the band has left the metal genre entirely. Instead, it takes a more electronic/alternative route. Not that this is a bad thing, I am willing to hear Bring Me The Horizon's change. Unfortunately, the songs that do show more of an alternative sound do not cut it for me. I find them boring at times and not even Oli Sykes' vocals can make them better. Maybe this is just because I am used to their heavier sound and I just need time to adjust, but for now I have to stick to my opinion and say that I don't enjoy these tracks.
There is some hope on this record. Even though Bring Me The Horizon is taking things softer now, there are some songs that are a perfect blend of hard rock and their new sound. For example, the song "Throne" is probably my favorite song on this record. It incorporates the hard rock sound that Bring Me The Horizon has been showing off in these singles and also experiments with different instruments/sounds. There is a beautiful harp in the background that goes well with Sykes voice and the synth that plays during the chorus is infectious. The song "Happy Song" also catches my attention as well. It is definitely the heaviest song on this album and even though the guitar riff isn't that creative, it is still a catchy track that will have you humming along with it. "Drown," the first single from this album, is a song that I think is one of the best songs lyrically. The choir that sings along with Oli gives me chills and also shows a lot of passion from the band. It is a personal track, like a lot of songs on this record. Tracks like "True Friends," "Avalanche" and "Blasphemy" are also songs that I think are a perfect blend of new Bring Me The Horizon and hard rock.
Lyrics — 7
Oli's lyrics are very personal, but sometimes I feel like he can be generic. "That's The Spirit" is a very personal album for Oli Sykes and I really appreciate that he isn't making the album just to get fans to relate to him (or it seems like that). That being said, I really love the lyrics in "Avalanche," "Happy Song," and "Blasphemy." The sarcastic tone in "Happy Song" is what really makes me like the song. He talks a lot about if he sings a happy song, he'll be happy. My interpretation is that it's suppose to be sarcastic and that he doesn't really believe that, which I think is clever for Oli to do. "Blasphemy" deals a lot with religion. Specifically with people who say they believe in something but then do morally wrong things. "Ask no questions and you'll get no lies" Oli's lyrics are spot on here and I think go with the lyrics very well. There are some songs where I am not as crazy about the lyrics. Like in "Follow You," the lyrics seem to be kind of generic and not really that special or different. "Cross my heart and hope to die / Promise I'll never leave your side" It doesn't really excite me or make me want to listen to the song.
Overall, Oli's voice is good for what it can do. I have heard that Oli can not scream as much as he used to for medical reasons, so that is why the album is less heavy and does not have as much screaming as Sempiternal. Even so, Oli makes up for it by showing that he can sing just as well as he can scream.
Overall Impression — 6
Bring Me The Horizon have created a new sound for themselves, unfortunately the new sound can sound boring or unimaginative. The songs "Throne," "Avalanche" and "Drown" are the highlights of the album for me. I think this album was an attempt to find their new sound by trying to incorporate more electronics into the album. Since Oli can no longer scream like he used to in "Suicide Season," it is understandable that Bring Me The Horizon would go to a different sound but I do not enjoy a lot of the songs on this album. If someone stole this album from me, then I would probably get something else, but that is not to say this album is terrible. It has it's moments. Although to me, the songs that I find boring out weigh the moments that this album shines.