Bring Me The Horizon’s rise to stardom has been a tricky one, with no other rock band in music’s forefront right now having a path quite like theirs. The Sheffield outfit have a history of metalcore and extremely aggressive music, but have since experimented more and with growing popularity have gone down more of a softer sounding rock. They’re now six albums deep into their varied discography, but what are their best songs?
20. heavy metal – from amo
This was surely the song Bring Me The Horizon were most worried about releasing, but the delivery is fantastic. Titling the track heavy metal was always intriguing, but when you realise that the lyrical content was a direct jab at people who criticise the group’s evolution to more pop-inspired sounds; the meaning takes an extra step of poignancy. I for one think the band are being very daring in their quest to create new sounds and break more boundaries, so a song like this sits well with me but probably won’t with diehard, day one fans.
19. Blacklist – from There is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven Let’s Keep it a Secret
This song is perhaps the most savage of the band’s career. It is written entirely about their former member Curtis Ward, who was kicked out after hostile relationships reached boiling point and the rest of the band accused him of having a lack of care and respect for the vision. The lyrics are full of sick burns, scathing attacks and revelations that they are far better without him involved; a personal highlight of mine being “we’re finished breaking our bones, carrying dead fucking weight.” OUCH.
18. It Never Ends – from There is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven Let’s Keep it a Secret
Newsflash guys: There is a Hell…’s lead single absolutely rips. Just listen to that riff from the get-go and it never once dips in terms of quality. It Never Ends was seen as the band’s first true exploration into electronics and modern day production, with some high-keyed electronic synths in the chorus intertwining with a gruesome Oli Sykes vocal performance and a gritty instrumental. Seriously, listen to Oli’s falsettos, listen to the pacing on the drums and listen to how violent those guitars sound.
17. sugar honey ice & tea – from amo
This song serves as an insight into societal perceptions on love and belief, stating that everyone fights for what they believe in but we are never willing to hear other people’s viewpoints. It contains plenty of the typical metal elements of the band’s roots in the instrumental but replaces scream-core vocals with choppy flows and more of a rock flavour. The choral sounding vocals in the chorus provide something fresh and unique in comparison to the rest of the song, with sugar honey ice & tea appearing to mould itself as a sing-a-long anthem above all else.
16. why you gotta kick me when i’m down? – from amo
This one is band member Jordan Fish’s favourite on amo thanks to the incredible variation of styles in the track. Where why you gotta kick me when i’m down? excels is in it’s layered production, chopping and changing between grime/rap influences and heavy rock sounds from modern bands like Twenty One Pilots. Much like heavy metal, this song is a lyrical challenge from Oli Sykes as he appears to directly address his fan base; adding a layer of personality to the song and giving it that extra desired punch. Also, that last 30 seconds. OH MY GOD.
15. i don’t know what to say – from amo
A song written to celebrate and remember the life of one of Oli’s close friends who lost his battle with cancer, i don’t know what to say serves as one of the group’s softest but most emotionally-driven songs to date. The orchestral vibe of the track makes for powerful listening while Oli’s lyrics are expectedly heavy but almost triumphant in the way he commemorates alongside his grieving. I love the guitar solo in the bridge and for me it is the perfect closer for amo.
14. Visions – from There is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven Let’s Keep it a Secret
Good lord this song is brutal. It sounds so maniacal and off-putting but the content itself dares to look at everlasting topics such as life and love, as opposed to the typical themes of addiction and loneliness that we see throughout There is a Hell… While it may not be the band’s most crisp example of sheer musical quality, there’s no denying how colossal a track it is and just how energetic and riled up it sounds, something which ticks all the boxes for this era of Bring Me The Horizon.
13. wonderful life (feat. Dani Filth) – from amo
The second single from amo and definitely the most traditional Bring Me The Horizon sounding of the tracklist, wonderful life absolutely rips. Featuring none other than Dani Filth from legendary extreme metal group Cradle of Filth says just about all you need to know about this track; hitting grinding chords and riffs to compliment Oli’s aggressive vocal delivery. It’s not the group’s finest lyrical showing but this song stands out for so much more than that; the chorus is catchy, the instrumental goes hard as fuck and the horn section in the bridge is absolutely mega.
12. Sleepwalking – from Sempiternal
Sleepwalking is a song that discusses the darkest days in Oli’s life, the moments he spent addicted to ketamine and on the verge of suicide with his depressive tendencies. It is, understandably, very gripping and distressing to hear but musically it has quite a commercial sound in comparison to previous work from the group; resulting in an absolute bop but also a song which can connect the fans to Oli Sykes even more.
11. Happy Song – from That’s The Spirit
“S-P-I-R-I-T, SPIRIT, LET’S HEAR IT” ranks pretty highly amongst the best ways the band have started a song; and well it just goes from strength to strength from there. The message of feeling low and unsure what to do with yourself, but cutting loose with the cathartic energy of music takes Happy Song the extra mile in terms of context. The chorus absolutely slaps, the riff is mega and those crashing drum cymbals go through you like a freight train; huge hit.
10. nihilist blues (feat. Grimes) – from amo
Oli Sykes’ dad absolutely loves eurotrance. Let that statement sink in and then you’ll fully understand why Oli is so proud of this song. What I love most about nihilist blues is the sheer audacity of it, the confidence to even attempt a song like this, let alone execute it; it is nothing short of admirable. The production is flashy but also dark and flowing with mystique, with the energy surging out of every single soundscape they craft. Grimes’ involvement is fantastic as she adds her typically strange but breathtaking aurora onto a song that is destined to divide opinion.
9. Throne – from That’s The Spirit
The band’s biggest song to date, it isn’t hard to see why Throne is so well-received across the board. It has an absolutely killer electronic beat that intertwines brilliantly with some heavy riff play and impassioned vocals from Oli Sykes. It serves as a huge moment in the group’s evolution and could be coined perhaps as their firs truly stadium rock anthem. It has a futuristic sound and works as the perfect soundtrack to a forward-thinking group who continually seek to push for better.
8. ouch – from amo
Yes it’s an interlude, yes it is less than two minutes, but just listen to the damn thing. Those trap snares and the explosive in-your-face production makes ouch an absolute must-listen. In their NME track-by-track breakdown, the band said that it was their way of experimenting with new sounds and it served almost as an excuse to do exactly that. The vocals are taken from a previously recorded demo from the band before being dubbed and sped up, creating this absolute belter; easily one of the highlights from amo.
7. Doomed – from That’s The Spirit
Being the opener of the group’s daunting crossover album was never going to be an easy task, but what Doomed does so well is set the audience up for their upcoming listening experience. It thrashes on the guitar very well indeed while also possessing hard-hitting lyrical content and strong production. The drums, for me at least, take centre stage here as Matt Nichols lifts the atmosphere and sets the precedent for the rest of the album.
6. And the Snakes Start to Sing – from Sempiternal
Oli Sykes stated that this song’s lyrics are “so personal that they will mean nothing to anyone but my parents and me”, but it doesn’t take anything away from the enchanting qualities of And the Snakes Start to Sing. It was the first song they started writing during Sempiternal recording sessions and the last song they finished, with that attention to detail displaying itself brilliantly through the way the track builds and keeps you hanging on from the edge of your seat. This is the kind of song that will truly announce you as a world class rock band.
5. Blessed With A Curse – from There is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven Let’s Keep it a Secret
Hands down the best song to spawn from Bring Me The Horizon’s early material, Blessed With A Curse is an emotionally-charged breakup anthem with really dark horror-core imagery. The fact that this song didn’t appear as the finale on There is a Hell… angers me, it possesses such a closing quality and feels like a big moment just listening to it; from the increasing instrumental build in the breakdown to Oli’s desperate vocals. It is one of the most personal songs Oli has ever written and you can tell that just from the way he delivers it. Mega.
4. Drown – from That’s The Spirit
While Drown is probably the most pop-punk the band have ever sounded, both instrumentally and vocally, it is an absolute banger. Oli’s vocals and lyrics are intense and heartfelt while the guitar strings, once isolated, sound absolutely beautiful. What sets this song apart from it’s contemporaries, however, is that chorus. Holy shit, that is how you write a chorus. It’s catchy, anthemic, joyous and vulnerable in all the right ways. The best song on That’s The Spirit, without a shadow of a doubt.
3. MANTRA – from amo
The band needed a comeback anthem, something to make the world stand up and notice that Bring Me The Horizon were back and back with a bang. Enter MANTRA. This song is an absolute face-melter, the guitar riffs are absolutely sublime while Oli’s vocals are very strong alongside a stellar instrumental. The inclusion of that Siri-styled voice to say the song’s title before breaking down into another huge guitar explosion is brilliant, working equally as well as Oli’s falsetto scream after the first chorus; something that the most loyal of fans wouldn’t have expected Oli to be able to deliver this far into his career.
2. Shadow Moses – from Sempiternal
As accessible rock tracks go, this is perhaps as rough around the edges as it gets. Shadow Moses is the lead single from the band’s fourth album Sempiternal thanks to it’s infectious chorus, something which truly juxtaposes the sound of the instrumental once the track kicks in. The verses are maniacal and frantic with Oli screaming and shouting his way through in such a way that makes the chorus that bit more special. I love the instrumental, love the chanting style of the chorus and love the lyrics, no matter how dark they often go.
1. Can You Feel My Heart – from Sempiternal
Look, “I can’t drown my demons they know how to swim” is probably the cheesiest line of all time, but you cannot deny how iconic it was for the group and their fanbase, which happened to hit an all-time high with the release of this song. Beyond that, Can You Feel My Heart is just fucking incredible from start to finish. That deafening siren-sounding synthesiser at the beginning puts you on full alert for what’s to come and serves as the catchiest material the band have ever made, while the vocals are perfect for both the purist BMTH fan and the modern one too. The ultimate crossover anthem of the band’s separate eras, this felt like a swan song to metal and a welcoming embrace to their new experimental sounds.