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My hardcore/post-hardcore/metalcore homework pt. 1

Alright, the title kinda gives you the gist of what I'm trying to do here; a LOT of these albums have been recs from you guys, taken from my last list of metalcore I currently enjoy (still standing by it). As I go through this list, I'll come back and edit the respective albums I listened to with my thoughts about said album. Here's hoping I can get into these enough to like them, and a part 2 is only possible if y'all can rec me some more based off of this list! ahh, fuck it. I'll probably piss some people off regardless...
1The Hope Conspiracy
Cold Blue

Right from the start this album impressed me with its surprisingly accessible marriage between melody and aggression, melding the two without overly relying on either. And those breakdowns! Damn! So good and well placed! My only nitpick is with the vocals and how they sound a little forced here and there, but then again I’m just gonna chalk that up to my malleable opinions on vocals.
I’ll definitely revisit this again, and soon!

2The Hope Conspiracy
Death Knows Your Name

Sounding more mature than “Cold Blue” but retaining much of the ire and venom, this is a solid entry for the Hope Conspiracy and their discography, and in my mind, stands shoulder to shoulder with “Cold Blue”. This does feel slightly more melodic in places, and therefore just a smidge slower, but that’s not a deal-breaker. The comment in #1 about vocals applies here as well, but it’s not an insurmountable nitpick. I’ll gladly come back to this again as well.

3Church Tongue
Hell Is Empty

This album was a good way to start out my list. Dealing out 6 tracks of focused, unchecked aggression, Hell Is Empty was an auditory onslaught from start to finish, in the best sense possible. Instrumentality was on fucking point, and the uncleans were good, albeit they lacked an appreciable range. A strong EP, and I’ll be interested to hear where they go from here.

Act of Depression

WHAT. THE HECK. DID I JUST LISTEN TO??? Honestly, after I finished laughing my ass off (which was around track 3), this actually turned into an interesting album. I honestly wasn't expecting the black metal influences in the vocals, nor was I expecting this to be like longform post-hardcore. This was totally unlike what I knew of Underoath, and now that all is said and done, I'm kinda intrigued enough to give this another spin.

The Changing of Times

OK, I was prepared for this one this time around, and I actually enjoyed the shrill highs a bit this time around. The electronic samples littered throughout were really out of place and stupid, pulling me out of the moment and overall were a bit annoying. Musically, this is closer to They’re Only Chasing Safety than Act Of Depression, and overall it wasn’t bad.


I’m really digging this; being more in line with hardcore/screamo, Skycamefalling is pulling a Zao and not confining their sound to a singular genre. The vocals sit well with my tastes and preferences, and the instrumentals are on point. Damn good stuff.

Parade of Chaos

Once again, I sit down to listen to an album and I get thrown for a loop; thank goodness I listened to Underoath before these otherwise the vocals would've thrown me off very much (kinda joking here, kinda not...). Stylistically, I don't really know what to classify Zao as, because their sound doesn't fall neatly into any category, and that's what ultimately sold me on the album. This is different than everything I've been listening to on this homework list, and I think I'll slowly ease myself into the rest of Zao's discography. In a way, listening to Zao is like drinking coffee; you have to take it sip by sip to really enjoy the flavors.

8Fear Before
The Always Open Mouth

This was a MUCH better and much improved album from Fear Before than their first album (#30 for those who've forgotten). It was a more musically palatable choice to slow things down in here than before, and the vocals even sounded better than in their debut. I still didn't care too much for the higher uncleans, but considering the quantum leap in quality this album is, it's a minor nitpick at best. Overall, a solid album and a pleasant surprise.

9Johnny Truant
In the Library of Horrific Events

This was awesome. Once again, this is one of those albums where everything comes together perfectly; the vocals were perfectly pitched, the guitars had that delicious tone and sound, and the drums were tight. Fuck yeah, more like this, please!!!

10Wings Of Scarlet
Before The Great Collapse

I wasn’t expecting this. I’m picking albums randomly from this list, but it seems the ones I’m picking keep trending more and more melodical to my ears. Despite being heavy sounding and aggressive, it still had a solid melodical backbone with which they crafted their songs on. Uncleans were pretty good and that drumming was fucking tight. Nice job.

Where I Go When I Am Sleeping

There were points on this album where I was openly wondering why I added this album to the list, as almost all of this album would, and still possibly could, sit comfortably next to the likes of Brand New and Republic of Wolves, but then harsh vocals interject themselves sporadically into the mix, and I remember why. With all that being said, the harsh vocals aren’t a detriment to the whole, but they’re used rather sparingly, which help amplify the lyrical impact of the songs, such as on the track “The Funeral”. I really, really liked this album even though I didn’t know a thing about this band before going into it. Recommended.

12Misery Signals

Alright, it took me a little bit to wrap my head around this and judge it a bit more fairly than I originally thought (looking at you, JeetJeet :p), but I think at the end of the day, “Controller” was a solid, if sliiiightly unspectacular album, and I only say that because while it was good, there really wasn’t much variety in the sound or song structures to keep me engaged and interested. There were interesting riffs to open tracks, like “Labyrinthian”, but when the main part of the song kicked in it sounded like a return to safety and normalcy. A variation of that sentiment could also be said about the vocals, in that tonally it was a comfy fit in my wheelhouse, but the vocals sounded too safe and monotone to really make me interested. But, 2.5/3 ain’t bad, eh Jeet?

Cult America

This sounds like Caleb Shomo trying to do his best Jason Aalon Butler imitation while being backed by a very spastic take on metalcore.

I can dig this.

14Darkest Hour
Deliver Us

Damn, but this was fucking good. Maintaining a consistent level of quality in terms of the instruments, vocals, tempo and flow of the album, this was an almost un-fuckwithable beast of an album. I’ve got no immediate qualms with this album. Excellent.

15Forever Is Forgotten
The Architecture Is Still Burning

It took me two consecutive spins to really get this, but I’m glad I did. The first time, it sounded WAAAAY too chaotic and sonically dense for me to penetrate, but the vocals were at least decent, if a little one-note. The second time around, I was able to pick out the melodic backbone (there’s that phrase again...) in the songs, and through that realization, I was able to enjoy this album a lot more. With that being said, there isn’t too much else to say about the album; it was good, it was solid, the vocals complemented the music but the tone and range weren’t quite what I can normally appreciate. Not bad, peeps.

A Mile in Cold Water

To be quite honest, this didn’t exactly fit the template for this list, but just the same, it was a nice change of pace. It was quiet and earnest and didn’t have to rely on intensity or uncleans to get its point across. Kind of the perfect “mood” music for a day like today, overcast and brisk, technically springtime but with winter hanging on by the skin of its teeth.

Liberate Te Ex Inferis

Honestly, I think I like this better than "Parade of Chaos"; this had a better variety, better sound, and a better sense of aggression than the other one. Only tiny nitpick I have is that the times I can hear the vocals sounding processed, it reminds me of a Dalek from Dr. Who, and then I chuckle to myself thinking of a Dalek fronting a metalcore band. Less processed vocals please, gentlemen!

18The Bled
Pass the Flask

This was pretty good. Yeah, the vocals were in the upper ranges, but unlike previous efforts, they worked well for my tastes; it's hard to explain, but it's one of those intangible things, where the vocals can sound similar to other bands you've heard, but for some reason everything strikes you in the right way. For example, when I was juuuust getting into post-hardcore, I hated Sleeping With Sirens but I liked Pierce The Veil; vocally they are practically alike, but PTV just sat better with me than SWS. Anyhoo, the instrumentation was well done and the flow of the album was good; not much else to say.

19Poison the Well
The Opposite of December

This was really good, I was pleasantly surprised. The vocals were good and they sat well in my taste range; the flow here was excellent and everything went well together. Another excellent recommendation, all you ladies and gentlemen. Thank you!

20Scars of Tomorrow
Rope Tied to the Trigger

This was another really decent album; flow was good and the instrumentality and progression was good enough to keep things nice and fresh; vox were another solid part of the whole, so nothing felt lacking.

21Shai Hulud
That Within Blood Ill-Tempered

I’m getting heavy Rise Against vibes with this, both in how the vocals sound similar and how some of the songs carry the same amount of energy and rawness to it, just like in Rise Against’s earlier output, up to TSATW. Considering I really enjoy Rise Against, this is a good thing. Another solid album that I can definitely get behind, and another band I’ll have to work through over time. Good stuff.

The Dead Next Door

For once, I actually preferred the uncleans over the clean vocals. Huh. That’s not to say they were terrible, but the pitch and tone didn’t sound good in my ears. The uncleans though sounded raw and desperate, and therefore complimented the songs and instrumentality. The instruments tone and melody were decent, but I don’t think this’ll have as much a replay value over some of the others on this list. Decent overall, but not much else.

23This Day Forward
The Transient Effects of Light on Water

This was pretty good, even though it shared vocal similarities to #’s 30 and 32.
Interestingly enough, I didn’t find them to be overbearing or grating to my sensibilities, and it wasn’t a deciding factor but the instrumentation certainly helped, mixing things up and keeping the flow fresh throughout. I actually listened to this twice in as many days, only because I was exhausted the first time around and I (unintentionally!) fell asleep the first time around.

The Whispered Lies of Angels

This was good; I liked how everything felt raw and unfiltered. The vocals were decent and the instrumentality was on point. Very solid album, and I can see myself coming back to this in time.

25Eighteen Visions

Damn this is good. The uncleans are sitting on the border for me between “not terribly really...” and Daryl Palumbo, which I’m fine with; the tone and style of guitars are really pushing those uncleans in the favorable direction though. I’m really digging the flow and style this album went. Once again... damn, but this is good.

26Amia Venera Landscape
The Long Procession

Who knew blending metalcore with post rock would meld so fucking well? And it’s not like they contrast nicely, it’s how well the two complement one another. I fucking enjoyed this so much.

27As Cities Burn
Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest

I liked this. I like how the instrumentals aren’t sticking with a single tone, style or heaviness. This is post-hardcore/metalcore, to be sure, but this flows a bit more freely and confidently in my opinion. Similarly, the vocals bounce between cleans and uncleans quite well, and the tone for either style complement each other really nicely. This reminds me of previously long-forgotten music that I sifted through when I was just getting into all this stuff, bands whose names I’ve lost to my mental sands of time...


This was a nice step up, in my mind, from the previous albums of theirs on my list. Like the others, this album flowed really well and kept a nice mesh between the heavy and lighter aspects of the music, but here you could sense a palpable maturation in their craft, and I greatly appreciated that. I’ll have to revisit “Neon” again in the future, but for right now, and not counting “Neon”, I think this is their best work so far.


Not too shabby of a start for Erra. The technicality is on point and all the songs mesh well together, allowing for a breezy runtime. The uncleans are decent and have a nice range, but it feels like they could be better.

30Fear Before
Odd How People Shake

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. The vocals killed any positivity I had for this album; overall from an instrumental standpoint, this was well done and I liked the changeups here, veering slightly into math/prog-ish territory, but the vocalists sounded like two teenagers (which they most likely were) trying waaay to fucking hard; cleans were tolerable but the screams were horrible and it took me completely out of the experience.


Erra's first album, and a logical step forward for the band. The guitar noodling is still tasty, the vocals sound a bit more confident and polished than their first EP, and everything flows together well. Other than that, there's really nothing else that stood out to me.

32From Autumn To Ashes
Too Bad You're Beautiful

There seems to be a running theme here when compared with #30, except the vocals here were a little bit better than the latter. They still sounded like they were trying too hard in general, and to a point it pulled me out of the moment. Unlike #30, this was still a decent album overall once you got down to it, and it’ll have a slightly better replay value for me.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence

I finally got around to listening to this, after so many times of forgetting it/putting it off. Yay me, sorta. Ever since listening to their “Worship and Tribute” album several years ago, I’ve slowly but surely worked my way through Glassjaw’s discography, finally culminating with this album, their debut LP. Because of this process, I pretty much knew just what I was getting into, musically, from these guys, and listening to this album is like slipping on your favorite pair of shoes: they’re slightly worn but they’re hella comfy. I’ll listen to this again in the near future and really set a priority on the lyrics, but just going off of first impressions, this was damn good.

34Vision of Disorder
Vision of Disorder

I feel it necessary to preface this with the personal fact that I’ve never been able to cultivate an appreciation for (most) hardcore music; to appeal to me, it’s got to work twice as hard and capture my interest from the get-go. In 2017, it was Code Orange; last year Jesus Piece really stood out and made me take notice, and with 2019 just dawning over us, it’s this little slab of metallic hardcore, or proto-metalcore or what-have-you, from 1996 of all years, that has my head bobbing and both my feet tapping. Holy fucking fucking fuck, Batman; marrying the instrumentality and technicality of metal with the raw, dirty and thoroughly pissed vocal trappings of punk/hardcore, this is an incredible 40 minute debut statement from VOD, and I can’t get enough of it. The only nitpick I do have with it is I don’t particularly care for how the vocals were recorded, in that it sounds like they were done in an empty room, and the slight hollowness of their sound doesn’t mix terribly well.

35Vision of Disorder
For the Bleeders

A pretty good follow up to their previous work, the opener caught me off guard because it sounded slower and more deliberate than the “in your face, out of the gate” feeling their opener on their self-titled LP had. Afterwards, it was pretty much back to business for them, and I was able to really get into it and enjoy it. Vocals were mixed better, thank goodness.

...To Reduce the Choir to One Soloist

How much is too much? An unrelenting assault of aural aggression from start to finish, this didn’t hit me as hard as I hoped; before anyone goes nuts because of my statement, I just want to point out I’m not dismissing it (it would help a lot to have a lyric sheet while listening to it lol), I’m wont to give knee-jerk reactions, only to come back later and appreciate it better than I did before. For now though, this was alright, but really nothing more.

37Day Of Suffering
The Eternal Jihad

As opposed to #36, this was a more controlled slab of aggression, not sounding angry and chaotic for the hell of it. I still can’t understand the lyrics here (lol), but there was a consistent balance struck between all the intangibles that made me enjoy this. I’ll have to listen to it again to really cement my thoughts.

38Fall Silent
No Strength to Suffer

Damn, another good album. I’m having similar feelings toward this as I did with Sons of Abraham; chaotic, fast and raw... there’s a “your mom” joke there I’m not touching. Anyways, I liked the vocals here and they also fell into that category of that particular tone and style that I don’t really care for, but here they worked well and I could tolerate them.

39Sons Of Abraham
Termites In His Smile

Fuuuuuuuuuuck yeeeeeeeeeeeeah. That is all.

Seriously, this was excellent. The instruments were chaotic, angry and raw, the vocals sat really well with me, and I was sad this was only a half hour long. This was a fucking barn burner of a half hour though. Damn that was tight!

40Vision of Disorder

Damn, getting towards the end of the list, and some of the best stuff is popping up. I’m so happy right now. This album takes all the good things present in VOD’s debut and ratchets it up to 11, and mix the vocals better (THANK YOU!!!!!!!!). Fucking A, man. This album is an absolute monster and I’m digging this better than the debut. I love it.

41Norma Jean
Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child

Ah, Norma Jean; probably one of a rare handful of bands that’s taken me a long time to get into (Hello DEP...), but because it’s taken me a while, it’s allowed me to appreciate them over time a lot better than other bands that were easier for me to aurally absorb. BTMAKTC is a really good debut album for Norma Jean, and has many hallmark elements that I’ve come to notice from their future output. Sonically, this is at first blush almost as dense as their album “The Anti-Mother”, but on re-listening to this it feels more definable and ordered; the vocals were good, but I wish they were more up front and clearer in the mix instead of having the effect layered over it, making it sound restrained in a sense, almost like you were listening to the vocals through a transistor radio, for lack of a better example. Still, this was a fun experience of an album, and a solid jumping off point for what the band would later go on to accomplish.

Jane Doe

I listened to this 3 times, and I still don’t get the hype. Instrumentally, they’re really dope, swinging between melody and frantic, heavy math-like sections, ala Dillinger, but then Jacob Bannon begins to sing, and I lose quite a bit of interest. Sorry fellas, but I don’t really care for his uncleans. Overall, this was decent enough, but it has a low replay value for me. Maybe some of their other output is more vocally varied?

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