Fifteen years ago, Bring Me The Horizon dropped their debut album, Count Your Blessings. The critics hated it, listeners didn’t know what to make of it, and if they’d stuck steadfastly to the same sound for the rest of their career, they’d already be a footnote in history. They didn’t. Their next album, Suicide Season, was a critical success. Their third album, There Is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven Let’s Keep It a Secret, gave them their first taste of international success. And then along came Sempiternal, and after that, nothing was the same again. Six studio albums down the line, they’re one of the biggest bands in the universe. The pure deathcore has been replaced with electronica, pop, and even hip hop, the grubby clubs have given way to stadiums, and the critics have stopped roasting them and started worshipping them. Here, we look at 10 of the best Bring Me the Horizon songs of all time.
10. Diamonds Aren’t Forever
Bring Me the Horizon aren’t the same band today as they were in 2008. As Billboard says, anyone who’s only been on board the BMTH bandwagon for the last couple of albums is going to be taken aback by songs like Diamonds Aren’t Forever. There’s a major difference between their songwriting now and their songwriting then, and there’s a major difference between their sound pre- and post-Sempiternal. But differences don’t have to be bad, and here, they’re really not. With its monster choruses, pummeling drums, and razor-edged vocals, this is early BMTH at their best.
Released on the 2015 album That’s The Spirit, Doomed highlights the scale of the band’s ambition, incorporating elements of synth and pop with metal to create something wholly arresting. Syke’s performance is dynamite. The studio version is amazing enough, but check out the performance recorded for the band’s Live at the Royal Albert Hall concert film for the most electric rendition yet.
8. Can You Feel My Heart
When BMTH decided to replace guitarist Jona Weinhofen with keyboardist Jordan Fish in January 2013, it could all have gone horribly wrong. It didn’t. If anything, it was the reverse. Fish’s electronic influence was integral to the band shifting away from pure metalcore and embracing digital and orchestral experimentation. On Can you Feel My Heart, Sykes performance is as hypnotic as ever, but it’s Fish’s synth melody that sets the tone. The guitars barely get a look in, but you hardly notice their absence. From this point forward, nothing would be the same again.
7. Shadow Moses
Described by Kerrang! as Sempiternal’s standout track, Shadow Moses rages fast and rages loud. It’s raw and it’s thrilling, blending the electronica and orchestral arrangments that would be the band’s future with the jagged riffs and seismic percussion of their past.
6. Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake
The lead single of Sempiternal is as aggressive as anything in BMTH’s discography, but it’s also fun, with a catchy hook and an infectious chorus that see the band move one step further away from metalcore and one step closer to chart success. Fish’s atmospheric arrangements underpin the whole thing, counterbalancing the hammering riffs with enough gloss and studio wizardry to make the whole thing sing.
Throne is huge, ranking as the biggest hit of BMTH’s career to date (according to Billboard, it’s had 120 million plays on Spotify alone) and the biggest stadium filler in their catalog. After opening with a wave of skittish electronica, it crashes headlong into a pop-infused verse before giving way to a chorus so catchy, it’s impossible not to join in. If anyone was in any doubt about BMTH’s plans for global domination before Throne, there was no question afterward.
4. Crucify Me
Crucify Me doesn’t get a lot of attention, and that’s a travesty. The opener to There Is A Hell… is epic, thundering with distorted guitars and crashing symbols and Oli Sykes spitting out razors and bellowing about praying for the dead. But behind the sea of sound, there’s Jordan Fish adding a touch of celestial majesty with his angelic programming. Underappreciated it may be, but it’s still astonishing.
3. Chelsea Smile
Chelsea Smile came at a point where BMTH were just beginning to find success outside of a small but dedicated pit of moshers. But if the band were willing to sacrifice integrity for sales, there’s no hint of it here. Chelsea Smile might be incredibly catchy, but it’s nasty to the bone. Over distorted metallic riffs and thundering drums, Oli Sykes screams “Repent! Repent! The end is nigh!’ like the biggest, lairiest bruiser in town. It’s not nice and it’s definitely not one to play in front of your mother, but its deranged energy and huge hooks make it compulsory listening.
2. It Never Ends
It Never Ends was both the beginning and the end. This was where Bring Me the Horizon stopped being a straight-up metalcore band and embraced the full potential of electronica. It’s cleverer and more experimental than anything they’d done before, juxtaposing lush choral vocals with destructive riffs and a breakneck chorus. BMTH weren’t quite ready for mainstream radio play yet, but they were getting there.
1. The House Of Wolves
Bring Me The Horizon’s major-label debut, Sempiternal, is a great album, but even great albums have their high and low points. The House Of Wolves is its pinnacle. The choruses are monster-sized, the layers of vocals are mindblowing, and the distorted riffs are huge. It’s got one of the band’s best slogans (‘The house of wolves you built will burn just like a thousand suns / And when you die the only kingdom you’ll see is two feet wide and six feet deep’), one of its most memorable instrumental arrangements, and one of its most intelligent concepts. The whole thing is big and catchy and clever. If you haven’t listened to it already, don’t do another thing before you have.