Bring Me the Horizon
|Bring Me the Horizon|
Bring Me the Horizon in Germany in 2014. Oliver Sykes (left) and Matt Kean (center).
|Genres||Metalcore, deathcore (early)|
|Labels||Thirty Days of Night (2004)
Visible Noise (2004–2010)
|Past members||Curtis Ward
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 a deathcore style, they started to adopt a more eclectic style of metalcore on later releases. Furthermore, their latest singles ("Drown" and "Don't Look Down") marked a shift in their sound to less aggressive rock music styles. They have released four studio albums and two extended plays.
Bring Me the Horizon released their debut album Count Your Blessings in 2006. Upon release, the album was met with great polarisation amongst the public and critical disdain. The band began to break away from their controversial sound with Suicide Season (2008), which proved to be a creative, critical and commercial turning point for the band. Bring Me the Horizon then released their third album There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret. (2010) propelled them to greater international fame, whilst incorporating influences from classical, electronica and pop. Their major label debut, Sempiternal has been their most significant commercial achievement, achieving Gold certification in Australia (35,000) and Silver in the United Kingdom (60,000).
- 1 History
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Band members
- 4 Discography
- 5 Accolades and readers poll results
- 6 References
- 7 External links
While most of Bring Me the Horizon's founding members came from multiple musical backgrounds within metal and rock, both Matt Nicholls and Oliver Sykes both had a common interest in American metalcore such Norma Jean and Skycamefalling. They then used to attend local hardcore punk shows. The two later met Lee Malia, who spoke to the two about thrash metal and melodic death metal bands like Metallica and At The Gates, Malia also partook in a Metallica tribute band prior to meeting the pair. Bring Me the Horizon officially formed in March 2004, when the average age of the members was 15. It started with drummer Nicholls, Malia and Sykes and Curtis Ward who all live in the Rotherham area, then they finished the line up by inviting bassist Matt Kean, who was in other local bands.
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 extended play, This Is What the Edge of Your Seat Was Made For in 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.
Label changes and debut album Count Your Blessings (2004–07)
After the release of their EP, the band was noticed by local UK label Thirty Days of Night Records, who signed the band. Bring Me the Horizon was the first to be signed to the label. They then were put on a four album record deal complemented by the EP was then re-released on January 2005. The re-release of the EP gained the band a significant amount of attention, peaking at no. 41 on the UK album charts. At this time right up until 2008 Kean, and Oliver's mother Carol Sykes were the de facto managers of the band. The band was later awarded Best British Newcomer at the 2006 Kerrang! Awards ceremony. The band's first tour was in supporting The Red Chord across the United Kingdom. The band got a lot of early tours by tricking venue promoters. For The Red Chord support, Kean emailed promoters and pretended they were opening on all of the dates, when in reality they were supposed to only play at one of the shows on the tour (the venue that was local in their own home city), this led them to being booked for the whole tour. In another case, Sykes impersonated Oliver Mitchell (the singer of Johnny Truant) through creating an email account with his name and contacted a promoter to put Bring Me the Horizon on their tour. Their live performances in their early history were fueled by alcohol consumption where the band would get so drunk they would vomit on stage and would damage their own equipment.
The band released their debut album Count Your Blessings in October 2006 in the United Kingdom and in August 2007 in the United States. The band rented a house out in the countryside to write songs but became easily distracted. They then recorded the album in inner-city Birmingham- a process which was infamous for their excessive and dangerous alcohol consumption. During the period drummer Nicholls summarised it as "we were out every night, just being regular 18-year-olds". The album was critically panned by critics and developed the band a strong polarising public responses. They supported Count Your Blessings by going on a headline tour of the UK in November. They performed their first tour in its support 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. The band's presence on the tour was negatively received by fans of Killswitch Engage, as concert attendees regularly threw bottles at the band before they even started playing their set.
Suicide Season and Ward's departure (2008–9)
Bring Me the Horizon recorded their second studio album (Suicide Season) in Sweden with producer Fredrik Nordström. Initially absent from recording sessions unless he needed to be as he wasn't impressed with their first album, Nordström later heard the new sound they were experimenting with during a recording session and became very involved in the record. It was promoted virally in the weeks following up to its release, with the promotional tag line "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.[note 1] 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.
Suicide Season was released on 18 September 2008 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 after the Taste of Chaos and Warped Tour owner Kevin Lyman offered them the slot.[note 2]
During the Taste of Chaos tour in March of that year, guitarist Curtis Ward left the band. Ward relationship deteriorated with the band as he gave poor stage performance, was abusive to the audience during Taste of Chaos and contributed little to the writing of Suicide Season. Other reasons included Ward's worsening tinnitus in his one functioning ear. Ward was born deaf in one ear at birth and admitted playing in the band worsened the ringing in his ear to such a degree that he couldn't sleep at night. Regardless, Ward offered to perform the rest of the tour dates to which the band rejected and instead asked their guitar technician, Dean Rowbotham, to substitute for him over the coarse of the remaining performances. Lee Malia noted that his departure helped improve everyone else's mood as he was very negative. Within a week of the tour finishing Sykes started talking to Jona Weinhofen, at the time the guitarist of Bleeding Through and former member of I Killed the Prom Queen, which the band knew him through. He then was asked to join 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. (2010–11)
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.
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, 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. 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. 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 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.
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 and Empress AD.
In Support of Sempiternal the band toured Australia with Of Mice & Men and Crossfaith, a British tour with Pierce The Veil and Sights & Sounds. They then completed a North American "American Dream Tour". The American Dream Tour had featured support from Of Mice & Men, Issues, letlive. and Northlane. The band was announced as the main supporter for American band A Day to Remember on their Parks & Devastation Tour across America throughout September and October, along with support acts Motionless in White and Chiodos. The band are currently set to perform at Wembley Arena in London on 5 December with support acts Young Guns, Issues and Sleepwave.
Style and influences
Among Bring Me the Horizon's earliest influences were American metalcore bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, Skycamefalling and Poison the Well; and genres death metal, grindcore, and emo have been cited by Allmusic writer Steward Mason. However, as their sound developed the band started to take influences from progressive rock, post-rock, dubstep and electronica. Their expansion on influences grew to the point in which Sykes declared "we're a metal band who listen to everything but metal". Bring Me the Horizon has been playing mainly within the genres metalcore and- though they have since moved on from the genre- they were considered deathcore. Deathcore is a fusion genre that combines metalcore, hardcore punk and death metal. Across their career they have also been said to play within the genres hardcore punk, technical metal and emo.
Bring Me the Horizon have attempted to grow and change with each album, as they believe each album should be different. Raziq Rauf, when writing for Drowned In Sound, Described Count Your Blessings as possessing "Norma Jean-style thunderous riffs mixed with some dastardly sludgy doom moments and more breakdowns than your dad’s old Nissan Sunny." Suicide Season was described by Metal Hammer as a "creative, critical and commercial success" for the band as they started to adopt a more eclectic style, with its "crushingly heavy party deathcore". Leading up to its release Sykes described it as "100% different to Count Your Blessings" and that the album sounds "more rock than metal". Bring Me The Horizon became rejecting of their debut album Count Your Blessings and considered Suicide Season as their "Year Zero[...] [their] wipe-the-slate-clean time".
Bring Me the Horizon then moved even further away from deathcore in their third album There Is a Hell, 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). For the writing of Sempiternal, the band pooled far broader influences such as post-rock acts like This Will Destroy You and Explosions In The Sky and from pop music.
While at the Download Festival 2014, Oli revealed to Linkin Park that he attended some of their early shows, after watching them performed, he learned how to play music and eventually formed a band.
Vocals and lyrics
Oliver Sykes' lyrics has a strong feeling of catharsis for him, he mainly draws from personal experience and has likened the band's live performances to being therapeutic. In 2006, when asked about the lyrics of Count Your Blessings, as they had been criticised for their content solely fixated on heartbreak to other themes that were called "shallow and meaningless", he responded "My life’s never been that bad so I’ve not got that much to talk about".
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. The writing dynamic of Sempiternal, typically featured Sykes, Malia and newly introduced member Jordan Fish, Malia felt that with Fish's influence on the record he was pushed to create more inspired guitar riffs. As they all took a break before writing their fourth album they felt less of a need for an isolated writing environment.
Image and legacy
During the band's early years, they were praised for their business mindset for selling mail-order merchandise rather than relying on sales at live shows. Bring Me the Horizon's image has been characterised by the dominating personality of singer and front-man Oliver Sykes, and he has often been seen as the band's "Poster boy". And he bore a majority of the brunt of the band's controversial image. In their early years Bring Me the Horizon's image was infamously characterised by the members fashion sense and use of skinny-fit jeans, T-shirts with death metal band logos on the front and colored hair/straightened hair. The band's image was direct onto what is known as scene fashion. The effect of their fashion aesthetics showed people, in show promoter Iain Scott's perspective, that "you don't have to look like a diabolical metalhead to be into metal or play in a metal band." However their fashion conscious appearance had gained them a "style over substance" labeling.
Many controversies that occurred in their early growth greatly affected public perceptions of the band, particularly that on an incident in 2007 at Nottingham's Rock City venue, in which a female fan claimed that Oliver Sykes had urinated on her. However, all the charges were dropped for Sykes due to a lack of evidence as shown from CCTV footage in the area. There was several documented examples of violence against the band during their live shows, including Sykes being pepper spayed on stage; and people getting on stage to assault the band.
Their third album (2010's There Is a Hell...) was seen as a significant turning point in the altering public perception of the band.
Despite the controversy of their image, the band has been credited by various journalists as being one of the most forward thinking heavy bands in the UK. In 2012, just four years after the release of Suicide Season, the album was inducted into Rocksound's Hall Of Fame. Crediting it as a significant influence on the works of Asking Alexandria, The Ghost Inside and While She Sleeps and even credited it as an influence on metalcore contemporaries Architects and The Devil Wears Prada. With clear influence noted on Architects' Hollow Crown in their incorporation of keyboards and programming, and The Devil Wears Prada's Dead Throne for its more experimental and opinion-dividing sound.
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|
- Alternative Press
|2014||Bring Me the Horizon||Best International Band||Won|
- Readers Polls
- In a 2009 Rock Sound readers' poll, Bring Me the Horizon achieved both "Best British Band" and "Worst British Band".
- In 2011 The Guardian ran a poll for "Who should win the Mercury prize?" and used 50 albums, Bring Me The Horizon's third album "There Is a Hell" won with 37%.
- In a 2013 Sirius XM published poll, Bring Me The Horizon won "Best Song Discovery" for "Go To Hell For Heaven’s Sake" with the Octane radio station.
- In a 2013 Alternative Press readers poll, Bring Me the Horizon was nominated for four categories: "Best Vocalist" (Oliver Sykes; position 3), "Best Keyboardist" (Jordan Fish; position 1), "Single Of The Year" (Shadow Moses; position 2) and "Best Album Art" (Sempiternal; position 2).
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Fronted by a tattooed clothing designer and influenced by death metal, grindcore, and emo, Bring Me the Horizon aren't the average deathcore band.
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100% different" from "Count Your Blessings" [...] "More rock than metal. It's heavy though, and sounds a lot more fatter and beefier. We've also done some mellower tracks too.
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Yet, the album still includes the trademark elements that have become staples of the group’s sound since 2006 – precision guitar riffs, venomously dark lyrics, massive breakdowns and gang vocals destined to be chants at the band’s incendiary live shows. [...] We always thought ‘why should we stick to the two guitars, drums and bass format? Why can’t we have some production stuff brought into it and look at each song as a bigger picture?
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