Bring Me the Horizon
Bring Me the Horizon, often known by the acronym BMTH, are a British rock band from Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Formed in 2004, the group currently consists of vocalist Oliver Sykes, guitarist Lee Malia, bassist Matt Kean, drummer Matt Nicholls and keyboardist Jordan Fish. They are signed to RCA Records globally and Columbia Records exclusively in the United States. The style of their early work, including their debut album Count Your Blessings, has primarily been described as deathcore, but they started to adopt a more eclectic style of metalcore on subsequent albums. Furthermore, their latest two albums That's the Spirit and amo marked a shift in their sound to less aggressive rock music styles, and even towards pop rock.
Bring Me the Horizon's founding members came from diverse musical backgrounds within metal and rock. Matt Nicholls and Oliver Sykes had a common interest in American metalcore such as Norma Jean and Skycamefalling, and used to attend local hardcore punk shows. They later met Lee Malia, who spoke with them about thrash metal and melodic death metal bands like Metallica and At the Gates; Malia had also been part of a Metallica tribute band before meeting the pair. Bring Me the Horizon officially formed in March 2004, when the members were aged 15 to 17. Curtis Ward, who also lived in the Rotherham area, joined Sykes, Malia and Nicholls. Bassist Matt Kean, who was in other local bands, completed the line-up. Their name was taken from the line in the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, where Captain Jack Sparrow says "Now, bring me that horizon."
In the months following their formation, Bring Me the Horizon created a demo album titled Bedroom Sessions. They followed this by releasing their first EP, This Is What the Edge of Your Seat Was Made For in September 2004 through local UK label Thirty Days of Night Records. Bring Me the Horizon were the label's first signing. It was recorded at Pristine Studios in Nottingham over the course of two weekends, with drums and bass guitar laid down over the first weekend, and guitars and vocals completed a week later.
UK label Visible Noise noticed the band after the release of their EP, and signed them for a four-album deal, in addition to re-releasing the EP in January 2005. The re-release gained the band significant attention, eventually peaking at No. 41 on the UK album charts. The band was later awarded Best British Newcomer at the 2006 Kerrang! Awards ceremony.
The band's first tour was supporting The Red Chord across the United Kingdom. As with other early tours, they were able to get this slot by tricking venue promoters. Kean and Oliver's mother were the de facto managers of the band at this time, a role they continued to occupy until 2008. For The Red Chord support, Kean emailed promoters and pretended they were opening on all the dates, when they were supposed to play only at their local show. This led them to being booked for the whole tour. In another case, Sykes created an e-mail account in the name of Johnny Truant vocalist Oliver Mitchell, which he used to contact a promoter requesting Bring Me the Horizon on their tour. Alcohol consumption fuelled their live performances in their early history when the band would get so drunk they vomited on stage and damaged their 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. They rented a house in the country to write songs, but easily became distracted. They then recorded the album in inner-city Birmingham, a process which was infamous for their excessive and dangerous drinking. During this period drummer Nicholls summarised it saying "we were out every night, just being regular 18-year-olds". Critics panned the album adding to the strongly polarised responses the band were already seeing from the public.
Bring Me the Horizon recorded their second studio album, Suicide Season, in Sweden with producer Fredrik Nordström. He was unimpressed with their first album and was initially absent from the recording sessions unless he needed to be there. 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 before its release with the promotional tag line "September is Suicide Season."
During the Taste of Chaos tour in March of that year, guitarist Curtis Ward left the band. His relationship with the band had deteriorated as his stage performances were poor. He was abusive to audiences during the Taste of Chaos tour, and had contributed little to the writing of Suicide Season. Another reason for his departure was the worsening tinnitus in his one functioning ear. Ward was born deaf in one ear and admitted playing in the band worsened the ringing in his other ear to such a degree that he was unable to sleep at night. Ward offered to perform the rest of the tour dates, which the band rejected and instead asked their guitar technician, Dean Rowbotham, to substitute for him for the remaining performances. Lee Malia noted that Ward's departure helped improve everyone's mood as he had been very negative. Within a week of the tour finishing, Sykes began talking to Jona Weinhofen, at the time the guitarist of Bleeding Through. The band knew of him from his work with his former band I Killed the Prom Queen, and he was asked to join them. Ward has since worked on the TV show Top Gear, and has occasionally performed on stage with Bring Me The Horizon, playing "Pray For Plagues", most notably at Wembley Arena in 2015. In 2016, it was announced that Ward had joined the band Counting Days.
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 genres including: electronica, drum and bass, hip-hop and dubstep. The dubstep style of the record has been acknowledged in tracks by Tek-One and Skrillex while the hip-hop elements are found in Travis McCoy's remix of "Chelsea Smile".
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 United States, number 13 on the UK Album Chart, and number one on the Australian Albums Chart, the UK Rock Chart and the UK Indie Chart. Despite reaching number one in Australia, the album's sales were the lowest for a number one album in the history of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) charts.
Matt Nicholls describes the lyrical themes of There Is a Hell as being "repercussions of everything we were singing about on our last CD ," calling the music and lyrics a lot moodier and darker. Five singles were released from the album including: "It Never Ends", "Anthem", "Blessed with a Curse", "Visions", and "Alligator Blood", with music videos produced for each of the songs.
2011 ended 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 an "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 made available for download and purchase though Bring Me the Horizon's website, but the EP's release was cancelled due to the band's "current management and label situation".
After an intense touring schedule, Bring Me the Horizon finally completed their third album's promotion 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 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 revealed they were working with producer Terry Date for the recording and production of the album. On 30 July, the band announced they had left their label and signed with RCA, who would release their fourth album in 2013. In late October it was announced that the fourth album would be called Sempiternal with a tentative release in early 2013. On 22 November the band released the Draper collaborative album The Chill Out Sessions free of charge.
On 4 January 2013, Bring Me the Horizon released the first single from Sempiternal, "Shadow Moses". It was first played by radio presenter Daniel P. Carter on BBC's Radio 1. Due to popular demand, Epitaph released the music video for the song a week earlier than planned. In January, the band also saw a change in their line up. This began early in the month when Jordan Fish, Worship keyboardist and session musician for the band during the writing of Sempiternal, was announced as a full member. Then later in the month, Jona Weinhofen left the band. Despite the band denying speculation that Fish replaced Weinhofen, reviewers said that replacing a guitarist with a keyboardist better fit their style. The album was released the 1st of march, 2013. The album was supported by multiple music videos including "Go To Hell, For Heaven's Sake", "Sleepwalking" and "Can You Feel My Heart". The lyrics on Sempiternal mainly deal with Sykes' journey through rehabilitation from ketamine.
Later in 2014, the band released two new tracks titled "Drown" on 21 October, as a stand-alone single, and "Don't Look Down" on 29 October, as part of the re-score of Drive.
In late June, the band began to promote pictures of an umbrella symbol being used as a tattoo, and on stickers, and posters across England, the United States, Australia, and Europe; it was later used for a promotional cover for the band's first single. The band released a short video in early July where the words "that's the spirit" could be heard in reverse. On 13 July 2015, the promotional single "Happy Song" was released on the band's Vevo page, and on 21 July 2015, Sykes revealed the album's name was That's the Spirit. The band released the single and music video for "Throne" on 23 July 2015, and another promotional track from the album, titled "True Friends", was released on 24 August 2015. The album was released on 11 September 2015 to critical acclaim. It has led to several music videos including "Drown", "Throne", "True Friends", "Follow You", "Avalanche", and "Oh No".
On 22 April 2016, the band performed a live concert with an orchestra conducted by Simon Dobson at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The concert marked the first time the band had performed with a live orchestra. It was recorded, and the live album, Live at the Royal Albert Hall, was released on 2 December 2016 through the crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic on CD, DVD, and vinyl, with all proceeds donated to Teenage Cancer Trust.
In August 2018, cryptic posters appeared in major cities throughout the world with the message "do you wanna start a cult with me?". The posters were attributed by major media outlets to the band only by their use of the hexagram logo previously used by the band. During this time the band themselves have not acknowledged their involvement with the campaign publicly. Each poster provided a unique phone number and a website address. The website provided a brief message titled "An Invitation To Salvation" and shows the date of 21 August 2018. The phone lines placed fans on hold with lengthy, varied audio messages that changed frequently. Some of these messages reportedly end with a distorted audio clip of what was assumed to be new music from the band.
On 21 August, the band released the lead single "Mantra". The following day the band announced their new album Amo set for release on 11 January 2019 along with a new set of tour dates called the First Love World Tour. On 21 October, the band released their second single "Wonderful Life" featuring Dani Filth, along with the tracklist for Amo. That same day, the band announced that the album has been delayed and is now set for 25 January 2019. On 3 January 2019, the band released their third single "Medicine" and its corresponding music video.