Before the release of Bring Me The Horizon‘s fifth full-length album, the Sheffield quartet were probably best known as ‘that tattoo-ridden, angst-fuelled, scream-core band only heavy metal fans dared to appreciate’. A sell-out arena at Wembley and a number two album later, That’s The Spirit has completed the transformation of the band into one of the most successful contemporary rock acts in the UK.
Much of this success owes to some killer singles on the latest record. ‘Happy Song’s hypnotic chanting, coupled with a catchy chorus and heavy riff is a definite stadium crowd pleaser. ‘Throne’ takes the electronic components of Linkin Park’s Minutes To Midnight and mashes it together with an empowering lead vocal you’d hear in Thirty Seconds To Mars’ The Kill. As a result, the band are creating tracks you’d happily have on repeat all day.
Determined vocalist, Oli Sykes, has revealed to NME magazine that the band see themselves headlining Reading and Leeds next year. After their ambitious and highly applauded performance at this years festival, it’s obvious the band are aiming to emulate a much more listenable sound. Unfortunately for metal-heads out there who’ve supported the band since their debut Count Your Blessings, the shift in the band’s sound may be a little bit too much to adjust to.
In order to achieve a much more listenable record, the band have lost a lot of their innovative and eclectic metal identity. Looking back to 2008’s Diamonds Aren’t Forever, Oli’s scorching mosh-pit inducing lyrics, “We will never sleep, ’cause sleep is for the weak” resonate much more powerfully with rebellion and fist-pumping action when played next to a comparably feeble, “You can drag me through hell if it meant I could hold your hand” in That’s The Spirit’s ‘What You Need’.
And it’s not just the fans that will have to adjust. It will be interesting to see how the screamer-turned-singer can achieve an increasingly dynamic vocal range seen on singles such as ‘Doomed’ and yet convincingly pull off the gnarling screams of Count Your Blessing’s ‘Pray For Plagues’ during the same set.
The album has been manufactured for success. The release of ‘Drown’ a year before the album anticipated a much more developed and sophisticated sound which you’d find yourself singing along to again and again – something that simply wasn’t possible before with Bring Me The Horizon. As a whole however, you can’t help but feel there’s something missing from That’s The Spirit. The slow placed and melancholic sounds of the last two numbers ‘Blasphemy’ and ‘Oh No’ seem to be crying out for that angsty spark the rock band captured perfectly in their previous albums.