Bring Me the Horizon are a British metalcore band from Sheffield, Yorkshire. Formed in 2004, the group currently consists of lead vocalist Oliver Sykes, lead guitarist Lee Malia, bassist Matt Kean, drummer Matt Nicholls and keyboardist Jordan Fish. They are currently signed to RCA Records globally and Epitaph Records exclusively in the US. While their earlier work is noted for deathcore style, they started to adopt a more eclectic style of metalcore in future releases. They have released four studio albums and two extended plays.
The band released their debut album Count Your Blessings on 30 October 2006 in the UK. Their second album, Suicide Season was released 29 September 2008, while a remix of the album titled Suicide Season: Cut Up! was released a year later in November. Prior to the release of the special edition of Suicide Season: Cut Up!, founding rhythm guitarist Curtis Ward left the band to pursue a different career path. He was later replaced with Jona Weinhofen of I Killed the Prom Queen. Bring Me the Horizon's third studio album There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret. was released on 4 October 2010, with the band winning the Best Video award at the 2012 Kerrang! Awards for their song "Alligator Blood". The band released their fourth album, Sempiternal, on 1 April 2013; their first for their new label, RCA Records.
Formation and "This Is What the Edge of Your Seat Was Made For" (2004-2005)
Bring Me the Horizon was formed in March 2004 after the founding members, who had all been part of several local and separately defunct bands were noticed by Thirty Days of Night Records, who formed and signed the band. The band was the first to be signed to the label. In the months following their formation, Bring Me the Horizon created a demo album titled Bedroom Sessions. The band's name is derived from the final line of the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, in which Captain Jack Sparrow says "Now, bring me that horizon."
The group released their first EP, This Is What the Edge of Your Seat Was Made For on 2 October 2004. The EP was recorded in Nottingham over the course of two weekends, recording the drums and bass guitar in the first weekend and then guitars and vocals in the second weekend at the studio. It was then re-released on 20 January 2005 through indie label Visible Noise. The re-release of the EP gained the band a significant amount of attention, peaking at no. 41 on the UK album charts. The band was later awarded Best British Newcomer at the 2006 Kerrang! Awards ceremony.
Count Your Blessings (2006-2007)
The band released their debut album Count Your Blessings in October 2006 in the United Kingdom and in August 2007 in the United States. They performed their first tour across late November and December 2006, accompanying Lostprophets and The Blackout in a UK tour. In January 2007 Bring Me the Horizon replaced Bury Your Dead on Killswitch Engage's European headline tour. The slot as a support was offered as Bury Your Dead withdrew from the tour because their vocalist, Mat Bruso, left the band.
Suicide Season and Ward's departure (2008–2009)
Bring Me the Horizon recorded their second studio album Suicide Season in Sweden with producer Fredrik Nordström. It was promoted virally in the weeks following up to its release, with the tagline "September is Suicide Season". In promotion of Suicide Season, the band embarked on their first headline tour of the United States, as well as appearing in the 2008 Warped Tour. In May 2008 Bring Me the Horizon was the main supporting band on I Killed the Prom Queen's farewell tour in Australia with The Ghost Inside and The Red Shore as extra supports.
On 18 September 2008 Suicide Season was released in the United States on Epitaph and 29 September in Europe through Visible Noise.
In 2009 Bring Me the Horizon attended the 2009 Kerrang! Tour alongside Black Tide, Dir En Grey, In Case of Fire and Mindless Self Indulgence. They also joined Thursday, Cancer Bats, Four Year Strong and Pierce the Veil on the North American leg of Taste of Chaos 2009 across February to April. In March 2009 during the Taste of Chaos tour, guitarist Curtis Ward left the band. The band's guitar technician, Dean Rowbotham, substituted for Ward on the remaining dates of Taste of Chaos, followed by Australian guitarist Jona Weinhofen, formerly of Bleeding Through and I Killed the Prom Queen, before being asked to join the group on a permanent basis.
In November 2009, Bring Me the Horizon released a remixed version of Suicide Season, titled Suicide Season: Cut Up! Musicians and producers featured on the album include Ben Weinman, Skrillex, L’Amour La Morgue, Utah Saints and Shawn Crahan. Musically, the album incorporates many different genres; including electronica, drum and bass, hip-hop and dubstep. The dubstep style of the record has been acknowledged in tracks from Tek-one and Skrillex while the hip-hop elements are found in Travis McCoy's remix of Chelsea Smile.
There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret. (2010-2011)
The band's third album and first with their new rhythm guitarist Jona Weinhofen, titled There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret., was released on 4 October 2010 and debuted at number 17 on the Billboard 200 in the US, number 13 on the UK Album Chart, and number 1 on the Australian Albums Chart, the UK Rock Chart and the UK Indie Chart. Despite reaching number 1 in Australia, the album's sales were the lowest for a number 1 album in the history of the ARIA charts.
Matt Nicholls describes the lyrical themes of There Is a Hell being "repercussions of everything we were singing about on our last CD [Suicide Season]", describing the music and lyrics as being a lot more moodier and darker. Five singles total were released from the album including: "It Never Ends", "Anthem", "Blessed with a Curse", "Visions", and "Alligator Blood", with music videos included for each of the songs. The band embarked on a headline tour in intimate venues across the United Kingdom with support from Cancer Bats and Tek-one. In December 2010, Bring Me the Horizon joined Bullet for My Valentine as the main support band, alongside Atreyu, in a short five date arena tour around the United Kingdom. To cope with high demand Live Nation released extra standing tickets to all dates. Rumours circled as to why Bring Me the Horizon sets were cut short at arenas, and this was cited mainly to do with the shows becoming more violent and less controllable. When asked about the shows, Matt Nicholls said that the band was told that they couldn't climb on any of the stage equipment or set or interact with the crowd. The band opposed these rules by initiating walls of death.
In April 2011 Bring Me the Horizon embarked on a European tour, starting in the United Kingdom. They toured with Parkway Drive and Architects as main support bands, with The Devil Wears Prada as the opening support for the UK and dubstep group Tek-one opening for the remainder of continental Europe. The tour gained much publicity and was considered their biggest headline tour ever and was even stated as the "tour of the year" by Rock Sound. The tour, however, was not without its hindrances. On 28 April Matt Nicholls broke his arm whilst playing football with members of Bring Me the Horizon, Parkway Drive and Architects, and instead of canceling the tour Architects' drummer Dan Searle filled in as the drummer, but this meant that Bring Me the Horizon's setlist was halved in length. And also on 28 April at the Bristol O2 Academy, there was a power cut before Parkway Drive's set. Bring Me the Horizon's reaction to the power cut was to do a short 4 track acoustic set featuring "The Sadness Will Never End", "It Never Ends", "Suicide Season" and "Chelsea Smile". The tour was extended with a North American leg from 13 August to 4 October, retaining Parkway Drive, Architects and Deez Nuts onto the line up. On 23 August they released the fourth music video and single, "Visions". On 31 October, the next music video for the song "Alligator Blood" was released.
In December 2011 Machine Head completed an arena tour across Europe with Bring Me the Horizon as the main support band as well as DevilDriver and Darkest Hour as supports. Oliver Sykes stated that these will be the last European dates they'll do before they start the writing and the recording of their fourth album. Bring Me the Horizon's presence on the tour was met with mixed reception from fans, Dave Bowes of The Fly with a live review of their performance at SECC in Glasgow as "simply in the wrong place at the wrong time but they choose to be the better men..."
2011 concluded with an announcement by the band on 29 December of a new extended play titled The Chill Out Sessions, a collaborative effort with British DJ Draper. Draper first released a "officially sanctioned" remix of the song "Blessed with a Curse" in May 2011. The EP was originally supposed to be released in time for New Year's Day and to be made available for download and purchase though Bring Me the Horizon's website, but the EP's release was canceled because of the band's "current management and label situation".
Sempiternal, The Chill Out Sessions and Weinhofen's departure (2012–present)
After the intense touring schedule, Bring Me the Horizon finally completed the promotion of their third album at the end of 2011. They returned to the UK for an extended break and eventually starting work on their next album. Much like their previous two albums, they wrote their fourth album in seclusion and isolation in order to stay focused. This time, they retreated to a house in the Lake District. In July the band started to publish images of themselves recording at a ‘Top Secret Studio Location’ and it was revealed that they are working with producer Terry Date for the recording and the production of the album. On July, 30, the band announced they had left their label and signed with RCA, through which their fourth album will be released in 2013. Bring Me The Horizon only played three shows in all of 2012: Warped Tour 2012 on 10 November at the Alexandra Palace in London, which they headlined and was initially believed to be their only show the BBC Radio 1's Radio 1 Rocks show on 22 October, where they played a six song set supporting Bullet For My Valentine and at a warm up show for Warped Tour in Sheffield the day before on 9 November. In late October it was announced that the fourth album will be called Sempiternal and it would be released tentatively in early 2013. On 22 November the band released the Draper collaborative album The Chill Out Sessions for free.
On 4 January 2013, Bring Me the Horizon released the first single from Sempiternal, "Shadow Moses". The song was first played by radio presenter Daniel P. Carter on Radio 1. Due to popular demand, Epitaph was forced to release the music video for the song a week earlier. In January the band also saw a change in their line up. This started early in the month when Jordan Fish, Worship keyboardist and session musician to the band during the writing of Sempiternal, was announced as a full member. Then later on in the month Jona Weinhofen left the band. Despite denied speculation that Fish replaced Weinhofen reviewers have said that replacing a guitarist with a keyboardist fit their style more. There was speculation that issues had arisen between Weinhoffen and the rest of the band, however in an interview with Rocksound magazine, he stated that "It felt like a bit of weight had been lifted, to be honest. My departure would allow me to focus on the band I'd built up from the ground up, I killed the Prom Queen. There are no hard feelings.".
The band was confirmed for several festival appearances in February with the Australian Soundwave festival, performing at all 5 dates in: Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, then at RAMFest in South Africa with Rise Against in March,Rock Am Ring and Rock im Park festivals in Germany in June and from June till August they are playing Warped Tour 2013 in the United States and Canada. To coincide with the 29 April release of Sempiternal the band have planned their first headline tour of the United Kingdom in 18 months with Crossfaith. Bring Me The Horizon played the Main Stage at Leeds and Reading Festival in 2013.
On Monday 27 January 2014, it was announced that the band would play Wembley Arena on the 5th of December 2014. The band are currently touring in North America with support acts Of Mice & Men, Issues and Letlive which started in February and will be finishing in late March. During the tour, actor Jay Baruchel sang on stage with the band in Montreal with song Antivist.
Characteristics and influences
Allmusic has claimed that the band is influenced by grindcore, death metal and emo and cites American metalcore bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Glassjaw, Norma Jean and Poison the Well as influences on their earlier music. Sykes said "we shared a stage with The Dillinger Escape Plan and Every Time I Die on Warped, and they’re probably the two bands who’ve influenced our band more than anyone in the world." But as their sound developed they took influence from heavy metal bands like At the Gates, Pantera and Orange Goblin, progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd and Dire Straits and from dubstep and other modern electronic music.
Bring Me the Horizon pooled more diverse influences in preparation for the writing of their fourth studio album. Jona Weinhofen spoke out about how both he and Lee Malia developed affection for post-rock bands such as Explosions in the Sky and This Will Destroy You. Weinhofen also once commented on how he would like to combine the heaviness of Bring Me the Horizon's typical work with the laid-back atmospherics of post-rock.
Bring Me the Horizon has been playing mainly within the genres metalcore and deathcore and have been said to be influenced by hardcore punk and technical metal. Common traits of Bring Me the Horizon's music is their use of technical guitar riffs, dark lyrics, heavy breakdowns and gang vocals. Bring Me the Horizon's first album, Count Your Blessings, was mainly regarded by critics as being a deathcore album. Deathcore is a fusion genre that combines metalcore and death metal. The band's own personal European melodic death metal influence and "slow-and-heavy" breakdowns and blast beats also define this album. The band then started to adopt a more eclectic style with their second studio album Suicide Season, which has been described by Oliver Sykes as "100% different to Count Your Blessings" and that the album sounds "more rock than metal".
Bring Me the Horizon then moved even further away from deathcore in their third album There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret., with the incorporation of electronica, classical music and pop into their metalcore style. This required more ambitious production feats, such as using a full choir, a synthesised orchestra and glitched out vocals and breakdowns (that were also toned down, favouring quiet atmospheric passages in song breaks). The fourth album Sempiternal drew even more extensive influences from genres outside metalcore, in particular electronica and post-rock, and featured Sykes performing clean vocals for the first time.
Oliver Sykes's lyrics have a strong feeling of catharsis for him; he mainly draws from personal experience and has likened the band's live performances to being therapeutic.
Songwriting and recording process
In all the band's album notes, all of Bring Me The Horizon's lyrics are said to be written by lead vocalist Oliver Sykes while all five members—as a band—were credited with writing the music. With the exception of Count Your Blessings, the band has always written in a secluded area to avoid being distracted. The members of the band have stated how the debut album was written in inner-city areas of Birmingham while being pressured to write and record songs in the deadlines given. This led to the band being unimpressed with the final product. However, for the writing process of Suicide Season, the band realised that they much preferred picking areas with less human contact in order to focus on the music, they wrote their second album in the Swedish countryside. During the writing of Suicide Season, former and founding rhythm guitarist Curtis Ward wrote only two riffs of his rhythm parts of the album, mostly relying on Lee Malia to write all of the guitar sections of the album.
Lee Malia has stated that the typical writing process involves Oliver Sykes writing the main structure of the songs and then Malia would individually write the main riff. From this they would collaborate with each other to structure their work better and then to later include the rest of the band in writing the rest of the song. Former rhythm guitarist Jona Weinhofen has said the band listens to electronica, ambient and classic rock music and applies the aesthetics and the song structures to Bring Me the Horizon's style.
Former touring members
- Studio albums
- Count Your Blessings (2006)
- Suicide Season (2008)
- There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret. (2010)
- Sempiternal (2013)
Accolades and readers poll results
- Kerrang! Awards
|2006||Bring Me the Horizon||Best British Newcomer||Won|
|2008||Bring Me the Horizon||Best British Band||Nominated|
|2009||Bring Me the Horizon||Best British Band||Nominated|
|2011||Blessed with a Curse||Best Single||Nominated|
|2011||Bring Me the Horizon||Best British Band||Nominated|
|2011||There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret.||Best Album||Won|
|2012||Alligator Blood||Best Video||Won|
|2013||Shadow Moses||Best Single||Nominated|
|2013||Shadow Moses||Best Video||Nominated|
|2013||Bring Me the Horizon||Best British Band||Won|
- AIM Independent Music Awards
|2011||Bring Me the Horizon||Best Live Act||Nominated|
|2011||Bring Me the Horizon||Hardest Working Band or Artist||Nominated|
|2011||Bring Me the Horizon||Independent Breakthrough of Year||Nominated|
- Rock Sound
- In a 2009 Rock Sound readers' poll, Bring Me the Horizon achieved both "Best British Band" and "Worst British Band".
Media related to Bring Me the Horizon at Wikimedia Commons