Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes: 10 albums that changed my life

Love them or hate them, it’s hard to deny Bring Me The Horizon are one of the biggest British bands on the planet right now. They may have transformed beyond recognition, but it’s important to remember that before the Steel City mob were global superstars, they were just a couple of metalheads playing deathcore in Sheffield. Here are the albums that changed the life of frontman, Oli Sykes

The first album I ever bought was…

Meat Loaf – Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell (1993)

“It was the big Meat Loaf one with I’d Do Anything For Love… on it. Me and my cousin fancied the woman in the video and I got my parents to buy me the album.”

The best album artwork is…

Zao – (Self-Titled) (2001)

“Every CD they did always had amazing artwork in it, and it always struck me because it wasn’t ‘typical’ metal artwork. I think it was (Self-Titled) that had a really cool booklet that came with it, and they did another one where the hole in the CD went all the way through.”

The album I wish I’d made is…

The Jealous Sound – Kill Them With Kindness (2003)

“It’s one of my favourite albums, and it’s not even something we’d make anyway – but if we could write it, it’d be amazing! It’s very soft, kinda post-rock, indie, American stuff. It was my favourite album when I was 14… in fact, it still is!”

The album I break the speed limit to is…

Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007)

“I wasn’t a big fan at the start. I went to school with them, and then I saw them on our local news, saying that they’d sold out Brixton Academy! I was a bit jealous, actually, ha ha ha! I’m not really an indie fan, but they’re one of my favourite bands now.”

The first album I had sex to was…

Hopesfall – The Satellite Years (2002)

“Well, when you first have sex you have to have no music on so you can hear when you’re better at something! I think it was Hopesfall. It was alright – I heard it about six times, ha ha ha!”

The most underrated album is…

Chasing Victory – Fiends (2007)

“I’m pretty sure that no one has any clue who Chasing Victory are. They’re a post- hardcore-kinda band from Camilla, Georgia, but they progressed a crazy amount from the first album to this, which is insane. It sounds like Muse and Every Time I Die – it goes from the heaviest shit ever to these really epic soundscapes.”

No one will believe I have a copy of…

Hilary Duff – Metamorphosis (2003)

“I think you can very loosely call this music. I used to be obsessed with Lindsey Lohan when I was 15, too – I just thought it was funny. Me and Matt [Nicholls, drums] used to listen to it all the time…”

A kid comes up to me and asks me what metal is. I give them…

Pantera – Vulgar Display Of Power

“I think I’d say a Pantera album – Vulgar Display Of Power. When we were doing Sempiternal with Terry Date [who also produced Vulgar…], we were listening to it a lot, and I think that that album seeped into our record.”

The album that broke my heart is…

Bury Your Dead – It’s Nothing Personal (2009)

“I was a big fan of Bury Your Dead until they did that album. They tried to go all ‘bar metal’ – Sevendust, Five Finger Death Punch… I think they were trying to go ‘big’. Even on the album before that, they tried to go a bit nu metal, but I liked that because they did it well. Then they did this.”

The album that reminds me of school is…

Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory (2000)

“I don’t like the album Living Things, but I think all the other stuff they’ve done is amazing. Hybrid Theory still sounds amazing to me. I’m not at all ashamed to say that the vocal style on Sempiternal is influenced by Chester Bennington.”

Originally published in Metal Hammer issue 245

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.