Back when I was working on a post called The Potential Of Artist Features (Collabs), I got to a point of serious contemplation about making a series out of it. Many of the artists I mentioned in that post (and others that I love but didn’t include) have a colourful history of interesting collaborations with other creators. I am still not sure if I should go on with this idea – I would appreciate any feedback, feel free to drop a comment with your thoughts.
The reason I am saying all of this is that today’s post could be consider a test run for it. It once again deals with musicians uniting forces to create something unexpected. The act taking the spotlight is no other than the British game-changers Bring Me The Horizon. It includes some of their most ingenious and ground-breaking joined efforts with noteworthy contributors.
Several factors motivated me to write this post. As a start, everyone who knows me or follows the page should be perfectly aware I have a soft spot for Bring Me The Horizon. I consider the band one of the most relevant acts in modern music. Their journey in the industry is nothing short of inspirational and, I dare to say, game-changing. Oliver Sykes and his bandmates are steadily proving the insignificance of genres and the importance of destroying boundaries and limitations when it comes to music creation.
The next reason is the on-going entrance into the new era for the band. Post Human was announced as a series of short albums united under the highly necessary concept of humanity’s destructive behaviour and negative metamorphosis. Releases like Parasite Eve and latest Obey clearly showcase what Post Human is all about – they definitely arrived at the right time to pinpoint the setbacks society has to clear out to prevent its own downfall.
The world doesn’t need light-hearted pop music right now – it needs anthems for angerOliver Sykes
Image belongs to NME, read the full interview from Bring Me The Horizon on Post Human.
I personally consider Ludens the start of Post Human
I see Post Human not only as an exciting album by a great band but as a movement with high importance for humanity. The current state of our world might be one of the worst in history – we cannot allow ourselves to keep ignoring problems that have been around for years.
Naming 2020 as a “year of disaster” is a pathetic excuse and a lame attempt to escape responsibilities for all the crises we have allowed to stack-up and lead to this turning point for our world. Post Human will certainly shed more light on many of today’s pressing issues as already hinted in the released material.
The final reason I am excited to put this post together is that Bring Me The Horizon is one of the bands with the most diverse collaborations with others. Starting as a deathcore formation has allowed the band to work with hardcore artists such as You Me At Six and Architects, for example. But as we all know, this was just the start of the band’s journey.
Their evolution reached a point of open-mindedness towards creativity as well as inextinguishable interest in various music movements. The artists the band has collaborated with so far have an intriguing range of styles drastically different from one another. This, combined with the musical genius and true passion of the British legends, has led to the creation of very interesting music, some of which I consider revolutionary.
So without further rambling let me present the list of my favourite Bring Me The Horizon collaborations.
Nihilist Blues featuring Grimes
Despite being quite different, the track has the very specific atmosphere which usually surrounds Bring Me The Horizon regardless of the genre they have decided to tap into.
The truth is I was very sceptical towards this song at first. It was my least favourite off Amo for a long time before it turned into one of the tracks I appreciate most.
Nihilist Blues has the structure of a trance song with bass-heavy beats and lots of electronic and synth-pop elements incorporated at its core. The sound is definitely interesting – standing out with the hypnotizing build-up gradually breaking into Oli’s mild-screams.
Grimes’ vocals certainly make it unique and give it a strong vibe of a dark rave anthem (something we didn’t know we need). As expected from the title, the main discussion is about the meaninglessness of life and the overwhelming force of some existential crises crushing us every once in a while.
Despite my initial scepticism I now consider Nihilist Blues one of Bring Me The Horizon’s most interesting releases. I easily got addicted to the sound and progression as well as the accessible and comforting presentation of overwhelmingly negative thoughts.
We’re big fans of Grimes and she loved the song. She actually sent it back with all these added elements which we weren’t expecting, but she’s super-creative and she’d completely gone to town on it. That elevated the song to a whole new level. She’s someone we respect, and not really someone you’d expect to find working with a metal band. Or a rock band. Or whatever it is we are…
Here is a solid cover as a bonus!
Obey featuring YUNGBLUD
The most recent release by the band also happens to be a long-awaited collaboration. Obey is a track with strong political focus calling out for a more responsible back-up of expressed views. It also deals heavy blows to the current political leaders and overall manipulative (and abusive) treatment of the masses.
Bring Me The Horizon and YUNGBLUD are both artists with very strong opinions on the current state of society. They often express them not only with their music but with their actions. That is, in fact, one of the reasons that the collaboration took place.
If you believe in something get out there and stand for it. Don’t just sit on the internet or just talk, go and do something about it or shut the fuck up. I saw Dom (YUNGBLUD) out there taking rubber bullets, and you got to be brave to do that. Dom does that everyday with his political statements, and he puts himself on the line and stands up for people that don’t have a voice.Oli Sykes in an interview with Forbes
Obey was sure to hit hard before we even heard a snippet of it – both formations have a unique sound and approach towards their music. The passion in their solo project is hard to miss. Also, considering there are both leading figures in the British scene, this collaboration was bound to happen sooner or later.
The sound of Obey unites the best of both worlds. It has the Yungblud energy and explosive remarks as well as many of the elements that Bring Me The Horizon have taken pride in during the years. The very start of the song indicates a heavier and more aggressive tone compared to the latest full-length Amo.
Those heavy elements rightfully fit the angry and provocative nature of the song – hardcore instrumentals and screams by both Oli and Dom contribute to making it a true modern-day anthem. The synergy between the artists involved in this project is beyond obvious, I really cannot find words to express how well this collaboration works out. I just hope to see more joined efforts by the two in one form or another.
Don’t Go featuring Lights / Crucify Me featuring Lights
Bring Me The Horizon and Lights is a combination I can definitely see happening today. However, those two examples go back to the deathcore days of the band.
The combination is unexpected but stunningly well-working. The hardcore screams, growls, and the deafening instrumentals are gently balanced out by Lights’ angelic vocals. Her contribution in both tracks is absolutely on-point with obvious passion and commitment to the subject each song explores.
Crucify Me being the opening track to 2010’s There Is Hell Believe Me I Have Seen It, There Is Heaven Let’s Keep It A Secret is a piece strongly focused on Oli’s struggle with ketamine addiction and the subsequent depression.
Loving or hating the sound none of us should deny the album’s powerful concept – claiming heaven and hell are not places we end up after we die but states of mind that exist inside of us while we are alive. There Is Hell… explores different situations purely empowered by Oli’s traumatizing experiences to show that people are complex creatures with sometimes too powerful emotions.
Don’t Go is one of the saddest and most emotionally distrusting songs I have heard to this day. The typical for that era of the band’s development raspy vocals and overwhelmingly emotional instrumental solos strike hard and show no mercy. To make it even harder to bear Lights adds up to the emotional value of the song with her touching vocals once again taking the spotlight of the chorus.
Don’t Go might seem like it can have many meanings but the true story behind it is devastating. It explores the brutal murder of Terry Hurst by three teenagers. one of which is Oli’s cousin. The terrors of the event are captured in the sound and lyrics of the song and have ensured that this story will never be forgotten.
Bonus remix which gives the track a completely new identity
The Sadness Will Never End featuring Sam Carter (Architects)
One more from the archive of old-school Bring Me The Horizon. The Sadness Will Never End is part of the Suicide Season album and features a contribution by an icon in the metalcore scene. Sam Carter from Architects perfectly syncs with Oli Sykes on several verses and the chorus of the song to make up for a true emo-inspired masterpiece.
The track is overwhelming with emotion and tells another personal story most people can relate to (going back to their teenage years, that is). Trust issues, mistakes, and lost desire to continue the struggle take flashing turns to illustrate the story supported by killer vocals from both artists in the prime of their deathcore years.
¿ featuring Halsey
Bring Me The Horizon have expressed their respect and appreciation towards Halsey on several occasions (classifying her as a true and responsible artist together with Yungblud). The two acts first collaborated on Halsey’s track for Birds of Prey – Experiment On Me where they joined efforts in writing and production.
You can feel the BMTH touch even if you don’t know they are involved
Another great example of the wonders the two music entities can achieve is ¿. The track is part of Bring Me’s most experimental and liberating project so far – Music To Listen To… ¿ has a strong resemblance to In The Dark from early 2019’s Amo as it features very similar beat and demo-like similarities in structure and lyrics.
However, Halsey’s addition takes the song to a completely different level. Her involvement in the song makes perfect sense as her whole artistic expression is the perfect match the Bring Me’s heartache-fueled type of tracks. ¿ dwells on a relationship ending badly and the inescapable after-effects.
Filled with passion, clearly expressed emotion, and perfect sync the song manages to convey a lot in terms of feelings and states of mind. The fragmented nature and trippy beat/instrumental breaks only make up for an extraordinary experience.
±ªþ³§ featuring Yonaka
Music To Listen To… is the record with the most guest appearances when it comes to Bring Me The Horizon. Naturally, each of them offers something special and unveils an unexplored side of the band.
Another one of my personal favourites is the collaboration with another British phenomenon – Yonaka. The band is exceptional and fits the Bring Me The Horizon vibe quite well (probably the reason they were chosen as a support for the First Love Tour).
Theresa Jarvis and Oli Sykes exchange lines in another distorted, electronics-infused, fragmented track dealing with external relationship and anxiety. Short but worthwhile, ±ªþ³§ has a very appealing feel and the trippy breaks add up to make it an irresistible banger.
I sincerely hope Yonaka will join the band for a full-fledged collab sometime soon as I think this particular track only hinted for the potential that the two bands have when they unite. Also, another tour with the two acts would be a dream come true (and I’m not missing it this time!!!).
I couldn’t resist adding honourable mentions and it easily got out of control. I almost listed each and every feature on a Bring Me The Horizon song. I had to go back and decide to limit myself to only the two very necessary additions I want to talk about.
Deathbeds featuring Hannah Snowdon
Let’s be honest, Hannah takes a central part in Oli’s life and earlier (Amo) music. Their relationship was passionate and headstrong despite ending badly for both parties.
Regardless of what happened, there is no denying that Deathbeds is an intoxicating, touching duet. Oli and his former partner take turns in expressing genuine emotion in the exceptionally well-done symbolic storytelling of a haunting love story. Hannah’s gentle voice adds the necessary touch of grace making the song 100% irresistible.
Heavy Metal featuring Rahzel (The Roots)
This is just a really, really good song in general. I think it is what people needed to hear for a long time – it talks about an issue within the Bring Me The Horizon fanbase that had to be addressed by the band.
Rahzel from The Roots makes this collaboration exceptional with the unique addition of well-blended beatbox breaks and unified vocals with Oli.
The song itself deals with people constantly judging and condemning the direction the band decided to take after their deathcore phase. The evolution and pioneering of genre-bending are generally frowned upon by hardcore “scene members” who believe that every band should stay in the same box just because they made something good while they were in there.
This is beyond ridiculous and Oli handled the situation quite well without any aggressive or rude remarks – the song is a great response to those who constantly criticize change and this goes not only for Bring Me The Horizon. Every band struggling with trying out different things because of losing fans probably feels the same way.
The lyrics of the song are bold, on-point, and final – in combination with the out-of-this-world instrumentals, beatbox, and electronics-inspired beats (plus the ironic deathcore scream at the end) Heavy Metal is easily one of the best songs not only in Amo but in Bring Me’s entire discography.
I do believe Bring Me The Horizon is one of the bands with the most interesting collaborations to look into. The way the formation keeps pushing boundaries, as well as their own limits and creativity, is seriously impressive.
I am eager to see what other unexpected moves they are going to perform next and who else is going to appear on their future releases.
There are many other artists involving great collaborators on their tracks, I am itching to explore some discographies. Should I continue and who do you think should be the next musician on the Artist Feature segment?
You can buy me a coffee if you like my content