The award-winning band Bring Me the Horizon has done it again with their fifth studio album, “That’s the Spirit.” With melodic songs and incredibly touching lyrics – along with all the guitar riffs and drum beats needed in metalcore songs – this album follows in the footsteps of 2013’s “Sempiternal.” Topping the charts the day it was released, “That’s the Spirit” is one of the band’s best yet.
Formed in 2003, this British rock band’s first album, “Count Your Blessings,” was labeled as deathcore. However, their music has taken a turn toward the more canorous (not to mention more ear-friendly) metalcore genre, which is how “That’s the Spirit” is classified. Along with the addition of keyboardist Jordan Fish, lead vocalist Oli Sykes altered his style from screamo to a softer style of metal.
This album is definitely heavy handed when it comes to meaningful lyrics. Most of them relate to struggles in Sykes’s life and attempt to help listeners who may be struggling with the same issues. They touch on depression, lost friendship, drug addiction, lost love, and the overbearing pressures of society. In my opinion, some of the most powerful verses are from “Drown,” “Follow You,” “Throne,” “Doomed,” and “Blasphemy.” The prose of “Happy Song” is especially moving. Sykes sends a strong message about life in the song. On the commentary track, he states, “The way I see it, if we don’t laugh we’ll cry, so let’s poke some fun at the fact that we’re all [screwed].”
“Drown” made its debut as a single. It touches on the topics of depression and self-destruction, things that Sykes has struggled with. It resonated with fans and even won an award at the 2015 Alternative Press Music Awards. However, the song was reissued here because Sykes felt that it deserved its own place, rather than as a single sandwiched between two albums. It fits in excellently with the theme of the album, which he calls a “celebration of depression.” The fact that “Drown” resonated so well with fans affirmed its addition here.
Despite the successes of this album, some of the songs aren’t so great. “Run,” for example, is lyrically sub-par. In addition, “Oh No” isn’t a very strong closing track. The final song should have been much stronger or thought-provoking. I like the song, but it is in the wrong spot. It’s a mellow song about a betrayed lover.
On the other hand, there are songs I love. The moment I heard “Blasphemy,” I knew it would be one of my favorites. Both lyrically and musically, it resonated with me on a deep level. It speaks of believing something only because it is what you were taught. This is a feeling that I can relate to. “Follow You” is also a favorite. The lyrics hit me emotionally. The words “You could drag me through hell/if it meant I could hold your hand” and the opening line “My head is haunting me/and my heart feels like a ghost” are some prime examples. Then there’s “Drown.” It’s lyrically powerful with statements like “Save me from myself” and “What doesn’t kill you makes you wish you were dead.” This song is definitely my favorite.
“That’s the Spirit” encompasses toil and hardship in its powerful lyrics. It opens the listener up to past and present problems with society, with Sykes, and most importantly, with ourselves.
This is a thought-provoking album that draws listeners in with the emotion contained in each of the 11 songs. From “Happy Song” to “Blasphemy” to “Oh No,”
you’re definitely “Doomed” if you don’t give this album
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.