By Nick Garcia
Imagine the surprise of your average Bring Me the Horizon fan, when, after preparing themselves – both mentally and physically – for forty-five minutes of breakbeats and C-standard, they were instead greeted by some strange amalgamation of nu-metal and EDM. It’s always interesting when a tonal shift like this occurs, and sometimes a paradigm shift like this is crucial for a band’s development. However, for BMtH, it unfortunately does little for them.
If there is one overarching positive thing about this album is that Sykes provides a very good performance. Like him or not, he is a great singer with an impressive range. He maintains an electrifying presence throughout every verse and chorus, and if it was not for the despicable lyrics it may have been enough to carry this album through. The lyrics though, sound as if they came straight out of some angst-ridden teenager’s school notebook. The feelings of depression that Sykes claims to be exploring sounds much more like the kind of everyday high school melodrama that plagues the minds of what must be the band’s chief demographic. There is very little depth to them and it is difficult not to take them at anything more than face value.
Musically, the whole record sounds muddled. The guitar and bass take a backseat to the electronic beats that this band seems to be focusing on now. Their presence is still there, but it is in most cases overwhelmed by Sykes vocals and the electronica. It’s unfortunate, because the moments of non-distortion-ridden guitar and bass are actually quite catchy, and the electronic parts themselves are uninspired and unremarkable. They command such a large presence; the largest next to Sykes vocals, yet they do nothing with that powerful presence. They end up muddling themselves in, which ends up leaving a lot to be desired musically. That being said, Matthew Nicholls does a fine job on the drums. It almost leaves a desire for more instrumental moment in which Nicholls can show off his musical prowess.
That being said, “That’s the Spirit” had some moderate high points. “What You Need” and “Oh No” are both considerably decent tracks, but when you find yourself constantly shaking your head at the ridiculously melodramatic lyrics, wishing that Mr. Sykes would be singing literally anything else, the album becomes a chore to listen to. So unless you are a hot topic bedecked teen with more problems than buckles on your pants, “That’s the Spirit” may not be the album for you.
Nick Garcia is a Contributing Writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org