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Converge - When Forever Comes Crashing

Top Metalcore Albums of All Time

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.

Kiss It Goodbye “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” 1997
Kiss It Goodbye - She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not
Kiss It Goodbye, I feel might be my biggest stretch from “metalcore”, but a hardcore band that makes 3-6 minute songs that carry some metal riffage was good enough for me to put in it. This album hasn’t left my digital device ever since I first heard it probably back in ’99/’00. Kiss It Goodbye featured Tim and Keith of Deadguy as well. “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” was a great album that to me started the new era genre.

Converge “When Forever Comes Crashing” 1998
Converge - When Forever Comes Crashing
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 “The Opposite of December” 199
Poison The Well - The Opposite of December
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.”
Botch “We Are The Romans” 2000
Botch - We Are The Romans
I actually didn’t get into Botch until they released “An Anthology of Dead Ends” in 2002, mainly because the song “Japam” has the greatest riff of all time. That aside, I decided to check out their 2000 full length “We Are The Romans” and was hooked. Each song remains on my playlist to this date. Dave Verellen is a great vocalist, and although Botch broke up, I would strongly recommend his new band Narrows as a solid follow-up to some of the best metalcore around. Keep in mind, in 2009 this is probably considered mathcore now, but I don’t care, it’s metal and hardcore.
Skycamefalling “10.21” 2001
Skycamefalling - 10.21
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 Engage “Alive Or Just Breathing” 2002
Killswitch Engage - Alive Or Just Breathing
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 “Frail Words Collapse” 2003
As I Lay Dying - Frail Words Collapse
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”
Unearth “The Oncoming Storm” 2004
Unearth - The Oncoming Storm
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.
Bloodlined Calligraphy “They Want You Silent” 2005
Bloodlined Calligraphy - They Want You Silent
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.”
All That Remains “The Fall of Ideals” 2006
All That Remains - The Fall of Ideals
Another Massachusetts band, do you smell bias? I hope not, but I do think New England is the capital of metalcore considering the amount of bands coming out of here. All That Remains unfortunately took a major step back with their latest effort “Overcome”, but 2006 marked one of the best releases in recent metal history with “The Fall of Ideals.” Phil leaving Shadows Fall ended up being a great thing since All That Remains formed and has produced 3 amazing albums, being topped off by “The Fall of Ideals.” This is a must for any collection.
Evergreen Terrace “Wolfbiker” 2007
Evergreen Terrace – Wolfbiker
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.
Walls of Jericho “The American Dream” 2008
Walls of Jericho - The American Dream
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!
August Burns Red “Constellations” 2009
August Burns Red - Constellations
I unfortunately never gave this band a chance until one of our reviewers gave them an amazing review. I was always told they were as preachy as The Devil’s Wear Prada and I figured I can’t take to many more Christian bands. Well first and foremost, that jack off was wrong, so I basically missed 5 years of amazing music, but thankfully I caught up. I haven’t decided is “Messengers” or “Constellations” is better, however when you release 23 songs without a bad one it’s not a bad thing. This album kicks you in the teeth from beginning to end and leaves you breathless. Of note, I will say “Messengers” is definitely more core than “Constellations” but this is also one of the few highlights from 2009 so it was a no brainer.

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