It doesn't feel like it, but Sheffield rock/metal heavyweights Bring Me The Horizon have been causing carnage in one way or another for more than a decade. Originally emerging as an extreme metal outfit that struggled to be taken seriously, before ascending into arguably Britain's biggest crossover band - BMTH are the epitome of growth in the music industry. Growling in pubs and clubs in 2004, singing to a sold out Wembley Arena in 2014 - whether you love or hate the direction the band has recently gone in; Bring Me The Horizon have never stood still, and have subsequently pushed boundaries every time they've stepped foot in a recording studio.
From deathcore to techno rock, Bring Me The Horizon has been a genre exploration project as much as anything else, but while the bands popularity has continued to soar in recent years - it wasn't always this way. Early BMTH years saw rejection from a large percentage of metal audiences and publications alike, it wasn't until the bands flame caught ablaze to unforeseen heights that everyone seemed to climb aboard a monstrous ship. Every record from the metallers has bought with it its own tale, and subsequently played a huge role in the foundations of the band we see today, so we did our best to rank their triumphs.
5. Count Your Blessings - 2006
Try imagining Bring Me The Horizon getting boo'ed and bottled in the current day and the idea seems blasphemous, however during the bands more formative years this happened on more than one occasion, most notably as supports to Killswitch Engage back in 2007. The world of metal had seemingly turned its back on BMTH, for, well there never really seemed to be a stand out reason. Their debut album while incredibly raw and pincer sharp around the edges, was also home to moments of genuine ingenuity, with songs like 'Pray For Plagues' and '(I Used To Make Out With) Medusa' still standing up as strong deathcore songs to this day.
While the production job is lackluster and the song structure rarely pushes past "Let's just make it really heavy" the record was generally a good place for an extreme metal band to start, especially considering this all took place in their teenage years. The rejection it seemed to face from fans and publications alike seemed to be less musically inclined and more along the lines of: "Look at us, we like REAL metal we do". Criticism of an album is fine, but outright obscurity that BMTH faced from the back of the record was far from necessary.
4. Suicide Season - 2008
There's an argument to be made that Suicide Season could be looked back at as possibly the most important record Bring Me The Horizon have ever released, it was the record where they understood their sound would need progression if they really wanted to make a mark in metal, and they did. While some still scoffed towards the band, those that went in with an open mind could surely be nothing but impressed at the improvements they were listening to.
Songs such as 'Chelsea Smile' and 'Diamonds Aren't Forever' kept the brutal, crushing tones that ran throughout Count Your Blessings but this time with more structure, much better production, and an ever so slight hint of melodic tone which gave the album an uncountable amount more interest as a result. Most notable from the album - 'The Sadness Will Never End' was the first emotive flurry that gave an example that Bring Me The Horizon would eventually be bold enough to go in a direction that, as this point - no one could have feasibly foreseen.
3. That's The Spirit - 2015
That aforementioned direction would eventually manifest itself into That's The Spirit, an album that no matter your stance on the band; would have to be admitted as a game changer for the quintet. Coming in at number 2 on both the UK and US album chart - That's The Spirit sees Bring Me The Horizon hit their most successful and admittedly lightest sound. A million miles away from a metalcore band that are looking to musically tear you apart - That's The Spirit is a techno collosal that sees frontman Oli Sykes sing and keyboardist Jordan Fish bought to the absolute forefront.
While fans of the bands' earlier, heavier work might have been tempted to turn their back here, it cannot be denied that as a musical project, the album is of an almost obnoxiously high quality. 'Doomed' 'Run' and 'Drown' are just three examples of songs that have very little edge, yet still enormous power and the song-writing prowess of the band has almost become unquestionable. Throw in club bangers such as 'Throne' and 'Happy Song' and what we're looking at is an album that is as far from metalcore as possible, but still - an album that has a shining light of ability, craftmanship, and heart.
2. Sempiternal - 2013
If the last seven years of BMTH's career up to this point was an uphill battle getting metal as a genre to believe in them - this record was where they gave the doubters no choice but to. The ability for the band to transition their music into a more rythmic sound while still retaining a roaring sense of power is a concept that still dazzles to this day. Sempiternal gave birth to 'Shadow Moses' 'Sleepwalking' and 'Can You Feel My Heart' songs that will live and be heard throughout metal for certainly the next generation. It bridged gaps while still remaining ditheringly heavy - which in effect is an achievement of the toughest stature.
More than just songs that you'll hear on rock radio stations for years to come though, Sempiternals deeper routes found tracks with full emphasis on a big chorus such as 'Crooked Young' and instead of just thrashing, head banging tones flowing throughout the record - there's also the consistent build to a climax that gave Bring Me The Horizon new life as a band that could now write a whole new type of song, with the same success. In brief - Sempiternal was the album that bought in a whole new fan-base to Bring Me The Horizon, while having the heavyness to retain the previous. An insane accomplishment.
1. There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret - 2010
Sometimes, heavy is more than just a bruising breakdown or growls over a pacing rhythm guitar. Lyrical content and song texture can play as big a role in how heavy a metal song is as anything else, with that in mind - it could be argued that There Is A Hell is the heaviest record Bring Me The Horizon have ever created. While heaviest doesn't always translate to best, here it does. But There Is A Hell is heavy so much more than just musically - the incredibly dark, sinister tone of the album when mixed in with the technical proficiency of guitarists Lee Malia and Jona Weinhofen make the album a truly pounding listen from start to finish. Add to that the anguished screams of Oli Sykes and There Is A Hell comes across as a modern masterpiece.
The three song punch of 'Crucify Me', 'Anthem' and 'It Never Ends' is 15 minutes of genuinely incredible songwriting, as all three songs bridge a gap into the other, it's impossible to not feel somewhat overwhelmed by the brutality of the synths, guitar tone, and lyrical content. The beat-down pace of 'Blacklist' and 'Alligator Blood' add extra snarl to a record full of palpable tension, while the stripped back, emotive 'Blessed With A Curse' and 'Don't Go' show a side to the band that had yet to be seen at this point - but was no less welcomed.
Exploring religion, death, love, life and hate in the confines of 40 minutes is quite the task, There Is A Hell manages to accomplish this while at the same time being musically diverse, interesting, and scathing. While the albums following There Is A Hell did more in terms of cementing BMTH as one of the biggest bands in Britain, this was their musical Everest flag, their greatest triumph and their defining moment.