bring me the horizon sempiternal
[Photo via YouTube]

In recent years, like it or not, Bring Me The Horizon haven’t sounded anywhere near as heavy as their first three albums. The likes of That’s The Spirit and amo have filtered in a lighter dose of synth and clean melodic singing, forging a new persona for the Southern U.K. game-changers. However, it’s only a matter of time until they journey back to the dark side.

Judging by the band’s teasers and by the sound of new single “Parasite Eve,” it looks like Bring Me’s heavy streak is making a much-anticipated comeback in 2020. In the wake of this unexpected turn, we’re throwing back to the heaviest moments of their early days to celebrate the vibes we may see returning for album No. 7.

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10. “Traitors Never Play Hang-man.”

As unpredictable as it is iconic, “Traitors Never Play Hang-man.” was the scene’s relentless introduction to the band it would later know as frontrunners and trendsetters. Chucking in as many towering gang vocals and tempo changes as it can squeeze into a chaotic mission statement, BMTH’s first EP, This Is What The Edge Of Your Seat Was Made For, gave rise to these Sheffield, U.K. boys’ future success. That said, this otherwise livid track closes on what could be perceived as a hint to the emotional side of BMTH yet to come as Oli Sykes belts the final lines: “I don’t want to kiss anyone but you/I fucking love you.”

9. “It Never Ends”

Cast aside its comical music video and “It Never Ends” is the perfect heavy transition into the Sempiternal era. Serenaded by phenomenal orchestral notes and a devastating scream-along chorus, BMTH’s There Is A Hell… kept their unstoppable spirit alive while testing out the addition of neatly produced atmospherics within their signature sound. What’s more, new single “Parasite Eve” draws a handful of sneaky parallels to this track. Both songs feature otherworldly choral backings, both lyrics mention “This is a war” and while “It Never Ends” owes its name to an eternal state, “Parasite Eve” suggests “The end has arrived.” Coincidence? We think not.

8. “Shadow Moses”

Sempiternal’s most memorable and quotable track “Shadow Moses” stood tall as the landmark that defined their post-deathcore incarnation. Uniting fans in the unrelenting rage that seeped from the album’s very pores, this anthemic scream-along takes a rightful place among the heaviest of Bring Me’s moments with its punishing breakdown, rousing gang vocals and a glorious return to Sykes’ There Is A Hell-esque tones. “Shadow Moses” not only heralded BMTH’s new sound but also launched a thousand memes with one of the most iconic misheard lyrics of all time—“This! Is! Sandpit Turtle!

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7. “Braille (For Stevie Wonder’s Eyes Only)”

Frenetic and boisterous, “Braille (For Stevie Wonder’s Eyes Only)” showcased a discourse between both ends of the vocal spectrum—Sykes’ screams and growls battling it out among themselves while a devastating riff guards a pit-starting breakdown. A track that should be a nightmare to perform live for any deathcore band regardless of experience, this menacing marvel showed Bring Me’s talents in typical Count Your Blessings style. Combined with the stereotypical tongue-in-cheek title that became synonymous with the deathcore scene in the early 2000s, “Braille” left no survivors.

6. “Antivist”

“Middle fingers up if you don’t give a fuck”—Sempiternal was BMTH’s prime era of spitting venom like their lives depended on it, and “Antivist” is one of the best examples of that. Instrumentally crushing with a dirty riff and a crisp breakdown, this track neatly pitted Suicide Season-esque vocals against the visceral tones of Sempiternal’s religious condemnations and produced organized chaos. A siren call to the pit, the moment those first distorted notes hit is when you know a BMTH show is about to get serious… We’re hoping we’ll feel its electric live energy again as soon as possible.

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5. “Chelsea Smile”

There was no chance of surviving the Suicide Season era without snapped necks, and the first culprit for that crime is “Chelsea Smile.” With its closely guarded secret and a malicious kind of sass that the British lads pull off effortlessly, this fan favorite throws us back to the glory days of pre-Sempiternal BMTH. Armed with a chaotically hedonistic 2009 throwback house-party video, “Chelsea Smile” gradually introduced their metalcore inclinations in their own inimitable fashion. Oh, and if you’re wondering who the pink monster costume is on the couch, that’s British children’s TV icon Mr. Blobby—the complete antithesis of Bring Me in all the best ways.

4. “(I Used To Make Out With) Medusa”

Good luck surviving screaming along to the malice-laden “Medusa” with your vocal cords intact. Full to the brim with gorgeous deathcore licks, this anthem to the Count Your Blessings days is the kind of no-holds-barred sound we may never see from BMTH again for the sake of Sykes’ vocal cords. However, its modern take on popular Greek mythology mixed with a venomous show of the frontman’s chops earns “Medusa” a prime spot in Bring Me’s history books and that of the scene in general. Let’s face it: There aren’t many bands who can pull off initiating a breakdown with a simple word—“Psych!”

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3. “Tell Slater Not To Wash His Dick”

BMTH taking deathcore to thrash-metal speeds? Well, at least for the first few seconds of “Tell Slater Not To Wash His Dick.” Dipping to devastating lows and reaching for impossible highs, this self-destructive Count Your Blessings classic pits Sykes’ range against a stunning guitar performance from axeman Lee Malia. Despite the 12 formative years between this lung-busting track and the likes of “MANTRA,” this unrecognizable transformation not only demonstrates Bring Me’s versatility but also their refusal to conform, following their instincts wherever they took them.

2. “Pray For Plagues”

As far as album openers go, “Pray For Plagues” is certainly among the heaviest. A vitriolic statement of BMTH’s intent throughout Count Your Blessings, this show-stopper presents Sykes’ most guttural performance ever and a dirty great breakdown nothing could prepare you for. Let’s not forget its throwback video showcasing old-school Sykes’ emo fringe and the dark aesthetic we’ve come to know and love from Bring Me. This album debut set the bar astonishingly high for the Brits, and it looks like 2020 may be the return of this heaviness.

1. “Diamonds Aren’t Forever”

The most quotable anthem to insomnia and desperation, “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” is by far the heaviest we’ve seen BMTH in many years. Defining their place in no-holds-barred deathcore back in 2009, it’s hard to believe the same band produced the likes of amo later in their career. “We will never sleep ’cause sleep is for the weak/No, we will never rest till we’re all fucking dead”—while Sykes’ Suicide Season-style vocals and Bring Me’s trademark blistering pace kept “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” on point, their lyrics made this classic track unforgettable.