Has any band attracted as much adoration and vitriol in equal measure as Bring Me The Horizon? In their original incarnation as gnarly deathcore pups, they were widely ridiculed by the press but still managed to build a fanbase that other bands would kill for. By the turn of this decade, they had reinvented themselves as arena-metal stars and the haters were forced to eat their words. More recently, they've stripped away the metal in their sound - 2019’s amo owes as much to electronic music as it does the guitar variety. But whatever you think of them, they’re nothing if not a talking point. Which is why we've sifted through their back catalogue and ranked it in order of greatness.
6) Count Your Blessings (2006)
If you want to hear five teenagers making a racket and being bw00tal then Count Your Blessings is for you. It’s not a crap record, but Count Your Blessings is a derivative affair possessing few of the hallmarks that made BMTH unique later on. Even Pray For Plagues, the album’s go-to track, follows a formula Carnifex would better the following year; the whole record is basically a load of beatdowns, Oli Sykes going “BWEEEEEEE!” and the Lee Malia/Curtis Ward At The Gates fanclub operating at a furious level. Silly, meaty deathcore that’s still a lot of fun.
5) amo (2019)
Bring Me’s sixth and most recent album has caused division among loyalists. Dunking on the scene that otracised them on the aptly titled Heavy Metal and straying into straight-up electronica and pop elsewhere, amo captures a band burning their past without thinking of where they’re going next. It’s disjointed, it doesn’t quite work, but hey, there’s some catchy songs. And a Dani Filth guest spot, if that’s your thing...
4) That’s The Spirit (2015)
Sempiternal saw BMTH shift further from the extremities of yore but That’s The Spirit is unrecognisable compared to Count Your Blessings. Keyboardist Jordan Fish, now a fully-fledged member, sinks his teeth into Throne and Blasphemy, transforming the band into an arena-ready, electro-rock behemoth. Sykes’ falsetto croon on Doomed is a shocker, as is his mostly-clean delivery throughout the record; Malia’s gnarled riffs seldom pop up but when Happy Song arrives, you’re gonna need a neck brace and a nappy. That’s The Spirit remains a good record with standout singles, but in retrospect True Friends’ lyrical delivery is painful and Oh No can get in the fucking bin. Nobody needs that.
3) Suicide Season (2008)
A complete reinvention was in order after Count Your Blessings, so BMTH flew to Sweden and recorded their second LP in relative isolation. The spasmodic digital effects synonymous with the band crept in alongside the usual gang vocals and beatdowns, as is evident straight off the bat with The Comedown – Matt Nicholls implements some of his most treacherous drum fills here, too. Count Your Blessings’ merciless noise is recalled through No Need For Introductions, I’ve Read About Girls Like You On The Backs Of Toilet Doors, but Suicide Season is better than that. Chelsea Smile’s vocal hook is a winner to this day and the title track’s eight minute duration is a sprawling display of sonic misery, establishing BMTH as forerunners in modern heavy music.
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2) Sempiternal (2013)
People finally caught up and started taking BMTH seriously, if only because Sempiternal’s Linkin Park-inspired choruses and Fish’s polished, earworm keys are too potent to ignore. Sykes’ yelling is tailored to the Terry Date production job, the likes of Shadow Moses and Antivist showcasing the vocalist’s tight-throated rage at its zenith but in a cleaner, more direct manner; Hospital For Souls takes his newfound melodies and pits them against luscious keys for an almost Deftones-esque seven minutes. Sempiternal’s main selling point sees relentless riffing bounce around delicate, dare we say radio-friendly sections, setting BMTH up for That’s The Spirit, arena tours and, er, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
1) There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret (2010)
Crucify Me: BMTH’s finest moment. Suicide Season’s glitching electronics smooth over into ambience amid the feral chugging and Sykes’ rallying cry: “I am an ocean, I am the sea. There is a world inside of me.” You still get your old-school brutality with Alligator Blood, Home Sweet Hole and The Fox And The Wolf, but it’s counteracted by Blessed With A Curse’s progressive leanings, Memorial’s low-key restraint and those delicate, beautifully plucked strings during Don’t Go. There Is A Hell… is the sound of an already-experimental group pushing themselves further than they’ve ever gone and straight out of the shitty, elitist scene that refused to accept them. The best thing to come from Sheffield since The Full Monty.