Bring Me the Horizon, an alternative rock/metal band from the United Kingdom, released its fifth studio album “That’s the Spirit” on Sept. 11, and though it may not be what the band’s fans would expect, it is still a brilliant record.
The first track, “Doomed,” immediately draws the listener in, but not in its conventional way. Instead of the hard guitars and screaming vocals associated with the band’s sound, during the first minute of the song, one hears an introduction that can only be described as an ethereal, alternative feel, similar to that of an indie-pop or indie-pop-rock band. Once it reaches the chorus, the listener does encounter a return to many of the more stylistically rock/metal themes – such as unclean vocals and dispiriting lyrics. But this softer side of rock/metal is ever-present in this song, as well as in a decent portion of the album.
The band has released singles “Throne” and “Drown,” both of which highlight some of the best sounds from the album. The former showcases the indie sounds in this new alternative direction. Its vibrant lyrics are a self-empowering ode to receiving hate and judgment from others and using it to make you stronger: “So you can throw me to the wolves / Tomorrow I will come back / Leader of the whole pack.”
The record’s other single, “Drown,” is one of the strongest contenders for best song. Through pop-rock sounds (with an emphasis on the rock), catchy beats and emotional lyrics describing fears of the self and depression, this song is easily a favorite. Some of these brilliant lines read: “And I can’t take one more moment of this silence / The loneliness is haunting me / And the weight of the world is getting hard to hold up” and “Save me from myself / ’Cause you know that I can’t do this on my own.”
Other stand out tracks include “Run,” which talks about running away to save one’s self; “True Friends,” a song about a friend’s betrayal and being loath to forgive; and “Follow You,” an emotional love song about following someone through everything, especially heightened by the lyric “So dig two graves / ‘Cause when you die / I swear I’ll be leaving by your side” in a verse.
The final track, “Oh No,” however, sticks out like a sore thumb. Despite somewhat spirited lyrics, the sound does not mesh well with the rest of the album as a whole. Instead of alternative rock and indie rock sounds, it focuses on a sound that is borderline pop-rock, emphasis on the pop. It’s a very catchy song, but sounds odd when compared to the rest of the record, and it is not what one would consider a strong way to end an album.
Overall, “That’s the Spirit” is worth a listen. Though the rock/metal band has somewhat delineated from its roots, it has still been able to incorporate the unclean vocals and general emo themes into its new brand, showing that though its sound is evolving, Bring Me the Horizon is still a powerhouse for emotional lyrics, soul-clenching melodies and meaningful music.