In 2006, five teenagers from Sheffield in the UK got together and made a lot of noise. The result was Count Your Blessings, Bring Me the Horizon’s debut album. As debuts go, it wasn’t the most promising. It may have made them heroes to a small band of deathcore devotees, but it failed to make ripples beyond the scene. But Bring Me the Horizon had ambitions bigger than anyone released, ambitions that began to show on their second album and which were in full bloom by their third. Today, Bring Me the Horizon are one of the biggest and best genre-bending bands around, dabbling in everything from electronica and pop to hip hop and metalcore. Here’s how we rank all the Bring Me the Horizon albums from worst to best.
6. Count Your Blessings
Two years after launching their career with the scrappy EP This Is What The Edge Of Your Seat Was Made For, Bring Me the Horizon returned in 2006 with their proper album debut, Count Your Blessings. It was a step up from its predecessor, but not a huge one. It may have been instrumental in the rise of deathcore in the mid-2000s, but listening back, it simply sounds like a bunch of teenagers making a noise… which, essentially, is exactly what it is. It’s not a terrible album, but it’s aged badly. Opener Pray For Plagues is still a banger, but the rest of the album is best played for nostalgia only. Released in October 2006, it debuted at No. 93 on the UK Albums Chart and peaked at No. 9 on the UK Rock & Metal Albums Chart.
Of all the albums in Bring Me the Horizon’s catalog, Amo has stirred up the most division amongst fans. As killyourstereo.com says, this is a very weird, very confused record that people staunchly defend but also vehemently despise. The track Heavy Metal groans with big guitars and tight throated screams, but seems purposely designed to antagonize the deathcore scene. Elsewhere, the band dishes up hefty servings of pop and straight-up electronica. When the album works (as it does on tracks like Nihilist Blues and the incredibly infectious Sugar Honey Ice & Tea), it’s epic. But it’s inconsistent, with the band pulling in so many different artistic directions, the result sounds frayed. BMTH seems intent on burning their past without having a clear idea of where they’re headed. An interesting album, definitely, but the jury’s still out on whether it’s a successful one. Regardless of the verdict, it was a hit in the charts, propelling the band to No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 14 on the US Billboard 200.
4. That’s The Spirit
As Louder Sound writes, while Sempiternal saw BMTH shift further from the extremities of their early days, That’s The Spirit is almost completely unrecognizable compared to their debut. Sykes’ clean vocals are a far cry from the old days – on Croon, he even breaks into a falsetto. The promotion of Jordan Fish to a fully-fledged member has the biggest impact, resulting in arena-ready, radio-friendly tracks like Happy Song and Throne. It’s not a faultless album (tracks like oh No and True Friends put paid to any idea that it could be), and the band are still some way away from perfecting their new melodic direction. But this is the album that helped transform BMTH into an electro-rock juggernaut, and for that, it deserves both your respect and your attention (unless you never moved past their deathcore stage, in which case, skip it).
3. Suicide Season
Suicide Season might not be best BMTH album, but it’s certainly the most pivotal. After the miserable critical reception to Count Your Blessings, a complete shake-up was needed. So the band decamped to Sweden, where, inspired by the frigid winter landscape, they recorded their second album in almost compile isolation. They dumped the merciless cacophony, added a peppering of digital effects, and, most shockingly of all, even flirted with melody. The beatdowns and gang vocals of their debut are still there, but they’ve been refined and polished, giving a little hint about the band’s future direction. Key standouts include Chelsea Smile (which still ranks as one of the band’s best-ever songs, not to mention biggest vocals hooks), the sprawling title track, and the staggering The Sadness Will Never End. Released on 29 September 2008, the album reached No. 47 in the UK and No. 107 on the US Billboard 200.
2. There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret
As NME says, Bring Me the Horizon’s symphonic, staggeringly intelligent third full-length album remains one of modern British metal’s most ambitious releases. There’s still plenty of raw brutality (check out Alligator Blood, Home Sweet Hole and The Fox And The Wolf if that’s your bag) but it’s fused with prog ambitions, orchestral passages, pop breakdowns, and actual restraint. That the same band that gave us Count Your Blessings even knows the meaning of restraint is staggering enough; that they can employ it with such skill is frankly miraculous. Closed-minded metal fans may have ostracized them because of it, but BMTH were always too good for them anyway, and this is the album that proves it. Released in October 2010, it was a commercial and critical success, with the critics praising its musicianship, lyrical content, experimentation, and maturity, and the fans buying enough copies to send it to No. 17 on the Billboard 200 and No. 13 on the UK Albums Chart.
If There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret is what got people interested in BMTH, Sempiternal is what held that interest. It was their first record to feature Jordan Fish on electronics, and his influence is stamped large over this masterclass in genre-bending rock. The ambition is huge, jumping from relentless riffs to radio-friendly melodies with more bounce than Trigger. It’s not timid, but neither is it scary enough to frighten parents. Sykes’ vocals, meanwhile, have rarely sounded cleaner. Released in 2013, it soared to No. 11 on the Billboard 200 (their highest charting position in the US until That’s the Spirit in 2015) and No. 3 on the UK Albums Chart.