One of my current favourite bands hails from Sheffield, England, and has undergone a transition from unintelligible metalcore to a more “alternative” sound over their ten year history: Bring Me the Horizon. I can talk all I want about their style has changed, but it’s more powerful if you hear the change. Thus, I present you with a brief history of BMTH, featuring the first single from each of their albums.
Pray For Plagues, Count Your Blessings (2006)
Now, admittedly, I didn’t listen to BMTH when this album came out, so I don’t remember how it was received. I’ve heard this song live and I didn’t know what to make of it. So listen to it for yourself, I guess?
Chelsea Smile, Suicide Season (2008)
I tried to listen to BMTH when they were just making it big on this side of the Atlantic, sometime in 2009. I lasted one song on Suicide Season before I gave up, scared and confused. Why would anyone want to listen to this noise, I asked myself. I still don’t have an answer for that, but certain songs like this and “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” have grown on me, probably from hearing them live.
It Never Ends, There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret (2010)
I officially came into the BMTH fandom sometime around the release of “Alligator Blood”, and, honestly, I’m surprised “It Never Ends” was the first single they released. It’s so different from their previous stuff; in hindsight, it fits right alongside anything off of Sempiternal or That’s the Spirit, but in 2010 when this came out, people were probably very confused.
Shadow Moses, Sempiternal (2013)
I remember losing my mind when I heard the teaser clip for this song in late 2012. I had only been a casual listener of BMTH up until that point, but with the release of Sempiternal, it was a whole new ballgame – both in terms of their sound and in their reception in the scene. I think this album as a whole is a lot easier to listen to than anything off of Count Your Blessings, and it marked a shift in their audience: suddenly, they were reaching a lot more people.
Drown, That's the Spirit (2015)
If you want to get technical, "Throne" was the first official single from That's the Spirit, although "Happy Song" was dropped as a promotional single before that. But I consider "Drown" to be the song that really showed up what BMTH was striving for. The first time you hear this, you almost have a hard time believing that it is, in fact, Oli Sykes singing, since his clean vocals sound different from his usual throaty screams. It's hard to believe that this is the same band that released "Pray for Plagues", but it is, and it shows a huge maturity - both in their musicianship and their lyrical content.