Every track on Bring Me The Horizon's Sempiternal album ranked from worst to best

Bring Me The Horizon in 2013
(Image credit: Will Ireland/Metal Hammer Magazine/Future via Getty Images)

2013 was a year jam-packed with epic releases, memorable pop culture moments, internet meme mania and the relief of surviving the 2012 apocalypse (well, not really). Music found itself in quite an interesting place; riding from the explosive high of 00s metal that seemed to dim as quickly as it lit, the early 2010s became something of a cooling-off period for the rightfully exhausted metalcore genre. Once every band you could find on a Warped Tour lineup had played the same riff into its grave, a change was well overdue. 

Enter Sempiternal, released April 1 2013 by Sheffield five-piece Bring Me The Horizon. The expansive 13-track LP (if we’re counting deluxe editions, which we are) became a monumental release not only for the band’s career trajectory, but for what countless late-2010 metalcore bands would later example as their base for making music. Today, as the album's tenth anniversary draws near, we’re ranking every song on Sempiternal from start to finish.

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13. Seen It All Before 

Despite holding the lowest spot on this list, by no means is this song a poor Bring Me The Horizon composition. In typical BMTH fashion, it has a solid lyrical structure that can tug at your heartstrings, but what perhaps makes it a skippable track compared to others is the lack of momentum. Where the likes of Can You Feel My Heart and Shadow Moses deliver, Seen It All Before falls short on not delivering a truly climactic chorus to tie it together. 

12. Join The Club 

Join The Club is an easy-to-follow track, the repetitive chorus a call to the masses. And if you didn’t have “We are all 50 shades of fucked up” in your social media bio back then, you didn’t live. But Empire already establishes Sempiternal's “tear down the establishment” song, so this doesn’t add anything else as far as the actual album goes, but in isolation, this is still a top-tier track.

11. And The Snakes…

Bring Me The Horizon have never been shy about their love for Linkin Park. Oli Sykes paid tribute to Chester at the great man's 2017 memorial performance at the Hollywood Bowl, and on BMTH's most recent EP, Post Human Survival Horror, there’s an obvious nod to Hybrid Theory with Itch For The Cure (a play on words of Linkin Park’s Cure For The Itch). But a much earlier note of influence can be found in this track, keyboardist Jordan Fish sowing the seeds of LP influence with an audio backing that reminds you of an industrial 2000 nu-metal opening track.

10. Deathbeds

Often an underappreciated track due to its late arrival with Sempiternal's deluxe edition release, Deathbeds is full of heartfelt melody, yes, but we already get a serving of that with Hospital For Souls and Sleepwalking. Still an absolutely haunting track in its own right, it just feels out of place in this all-star lineup.

9. Empire

Empire is as an anger-fuelled, anti-establishment anthem that makes you want to unleash pure rage. When that opening line “Let 'em sing” hits, you know it’s time to pit. The track plays with an array of themes we find often across Sempiternal, using biblical references with the three pigs synonym and covering people who are misunderstood and suffering. 

8. Crooked Young 

The orchestral swell that kicks off Crooked Young is breathtaking, and while not entirely reinventing the wheel, it offers a refreshing burst into a genre that was stuck using the same old tricks. Religious themes are nothing new for the band, either; this track is spiritually similar to There Is A Hell... cut It Never Ends, discussing Sykes’ Ketamine rehabilitation and reflecting on the frontman's experience with religious connotations being projected onto his recovery. He said to Alternative Press “I got clean for my family, my friends and my band. I didn’t get clean for God.”

7. Antivist

Wherever Bring Me The Horizon go, gatekeepers follow. A large part of their career has been dedicated to thwarting online trolls who want them to return to their older sound - even though many of them complained about that same sound when they made it in the first place. After all the piss bottles thrown and nasty Reddit threads, Antivist felt like a necessary addition to their catalog. This song takes jabs at self-righteous, online know-it-alls who aren’t able to practice what they preach. And with the line “give me a break you deluded, ill-informed, self serving prick,” their point is pretty poignant.  

6. Can You Feel My Heart

When we talk about make-or-break moments for Bring Me The Horizon, this is the track. Widely controversial at the time for its heavy pop and dance influences, elitists would moan themselves to sleep while this song opened a floodgates of possibilities for where the band could go next. Its juxtaposition of dance and metal made it just friendly enough for mainstream radio stations while heavy enough for the rock world, soaring through charts that it would return to almost a decade later thanks to Tik Tok. 

The hallmark of a true hit? Sustainability, and Can You Feel My Heart lives on to be an even greater success in 2023 than it was in 2013. While not number one in the context of this album's very greatest songs, it still marks a great change of pace for a scene that desperately needed one. 

5. Go To Hell, For Heaven's Sake

This track is pretty on the nose when it comes to themes of frustration with religious messaging in recovery from addiction, and with self-righteous powers trying to dictate the behaviour of others. From the clever, evocative title to the unforgettable chorus, this track had the power to be a standalone single - which is why the band eventually decided to release it as one.

4. Sleepwalking

Back in 2015, Olie Sykes opened up to Alternative Press about the serious harm Ketamine brought him, calling it a “scummy drug” that made him want to kill himself. Sleepwalking is said to describe Sykes' experience with Ketamine, leaving him not quite feeling alive or dead. This track has amassed huge success in its own right, boasting 75 million views on Youtube and 171 million streams on Spotify, and is one of the most popular tracks from Sempiternal. The duality of a catchy chorus and a good breakdown makes it appealing to casual rock listeners as well as die hard fans, but most of all, it’s just bloody catchy, and a particularly well produced effort from the genius mind of Jordan Fish. 

3. The House Of Wolves

Forget a juice cleanse: there’s nothing a good anti-authority and organised religion track won’t fix. With guitiars that call back to their Suicide Season era, The House Of Wolves is absolutely vicious and examples the best of Sykes' unclean vocals. “Lyrically, it’s all about religion. It’s about [how] there’s no salvation, there’s no one that’s gonna save you. You’ve got to get better because you want it for yourself, your family or your friends, not because you believe there’s a man in the sky,” Sykes told MetalFuckingRocks

2. Hospital For Souls

In a 2019 interview with Annie Mac, Oli Sykes reflected on the lead-up to Sempiternal being a “make or break” period for the band. Struggling with addiction, never saying no or taking any rest, the suffering of that time boiled over into Sempiternal, and we see that in the brutal honesty of Hospital For Souls. The spoken word poem at the beginning of this track is what cuts the deepest; you can hear the sincerity and regret in Sykes' voice as he confronts the pain he’s endured and the pain it’s brought to those he loves. 

1. Shadow Moses

If you could pick only one song to encompass all the themes of this album, one track for someone to listen to so they get the gist of Sempiternal's greatness, it would have to be Shadow Moses. Other tracks might have waited longer for their shining moment, but this one was been an instant success as soon as it was released. It strikes the perfect balance of heavy enough for metal fans to love it, but still not too heavy for the mainstream to pick it up. A boiling pot of all the background themes of this album, Shadow Moses nicely rounds off the band's journey to this point: Sykes’ rehabilitation, Fish joining the band, and their gradual evolution of sound and interests. It has aged like fine wine, and still hits every bit as well as the first time you hear it. Sempiternal's greatest moment? Absolutely.