I have decided to compile a list. I also decided, that after I found my top 10, I realized that from 1997-2009 I was only missing 3 years and never repeated one, so I decided to do a best of each year (I only had to research 2005, 2008 and 2009. When I say metalcore as well, I am not referring to early 90’s crossover, which essentially is metalcore, but that is another story for another day. Consider the below a best of/essentials list for all your modern metalcore fans out there. I also noticed I am using the term more loosely towards the beginning, since I feel the genre was really more open at that point in time (’95-’02). Towards the end it pretty much becomes strictly metalcore though. Leave feedback and let me know the hate/love you have for the list. This list is done by year, not a best list, since each album I feel is essential to the metalcore genre.
Yaya, it isn’t “Jane Doe.” Well, first and foremost I have a harder time classifying “Jane Doe” as metalcore than I do with “When Forever Comes Crashing,” but modern metalcore to me was born with this album. Not as chaotic as “Jane Doe” and a lot more crossover than some of their more modern albums, you pretty much can’t go wrong with anything Converge.
Poison The Well will always have a place in my heart since they pretty much saved me from my grunge funk I was in. To set the record straight, I was a Pearl Jam guy, not a Nirvana one. To get on with it, “The Opposite of December” is metalcore/post-hardcore but this is a great album. Poison The Well have grown into a great (not really metalcore band), but this is what got them on the map. Some great tunes include: “Nerdy”, “Slice Paper Wrists” and “A Wish For Wings That Work.”
This is a sometimes forgotten album, even by me, but whenever I remember I have it, I listen to it from beginning to end. The production quality isn’t stellar, but the album is above amazing and exactly what metalcore is. Favorite track, “An Ocean Apart.”
Killswitch are a fun act live (some of the best shows around), a solid band but have never released an album to contend with my favorite from them, “Alive Or Just Breathing” in 2002. Howard is a great vocalist, but doesn’t hold a dime to Jesse Leach (there, I said it). Go back to Blood Has Been Shed damn it, I miss them. Jesse has one of the best clean to scream voices I have ever heard. This is possibly my favorite metalcore album of all time as well, if not it’s a close second to Unearth’s “The Oncoming Storm.”
As I Lay Dying have been putting out album after album since signing to Metal Blade. Don’t get me wrong there new stuff is ok, but “Frail Words Collapse” was a definition in the metalcore scene when it, to me was reaching its boiling point. Each song is complete with solid screams, mild singing and killer breakdowns. Song solid songs are: “Forever” and “94 Hours”
This is probably my favorite album. Although Unearth’s first album was an amazing work of art, “The Oncoming Storm” truly showed what Unearth was capable of. Since “The Oncoming Storm” no other band, in my eyes have released a better metalcore album, including Unearth themselves (although “III” and “The March” are straighter up metal now). Every song on this album is amazing, and if you don’t know who Unearth is you probably live under a rock anyways or listen to the Jonas Brothers.
Ally French was one angry sounding woman. Unfortunately she has since left Bloodlined Calligraphy, but this is one of the best metalcore releases. It is simple but right on target. The breakdowns from track 1 – 10 punch you in the face and never leave you saying “what the hell was that?” They have since reformed with a new front woman, but unless Nina is one crazy chick, nothing will touch the Ally days. And I quote “And now the time has come for us to rise again, too bad it came to this… settle the score.”
I have been a fan of Evergreen Terrace since 2001’s “Losing All Hope Is Freedom,” but clearly “Wolfbiker” in 2007 took them to a new level. Every song is vicious, powerful and moving, with great breakdowns and sing-a-longs. There new effort is another step forward as well, I just happened to like August Burns Red’s album better, so this fit in place.
Angry women doing what men only wish they could. Candace Kucsulain is one of the best hardcore/metalcore vocalists around. Walls of Jericho also put on one hell of a violent club show (only challenged by Converge and maybe Blood For Blood). Either way, “The American Dream” is everything the title is not. This is a stab at life, reality and how shitty the world is. “Fuck the American Dream” she screams during the title tracks breakdowns. Must own for angry driving!