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My hardcore/post-hardcore/metalcore homework, pt.2

If you were around for the first one, you know the basic gist of how this list will go; 99% of this list is going to be made up of recommendations that I’ve been given by you all, the Sputnik community, and the remaining 1% is shit I’ve been meaning to listen to and never gotten around to it, or things that looked interesting to me and I’m adding it. Slightly expanding my scope here and adding some OG deathcore here, but the title won’t allow me to put more words in there. Phooey. Obviously there’s been more than enough to make a pt. 3 (and 4!), so if you wanna rec something that you’d think I’d like and you consider essential to my growth and appreciation for these genres, check the other lists first lol. MULLIGAN!!!
The Splinter Shards the Birth of Separation

Ahhh yes. By this time in my list, Zao is becoming the “fat pants” of my homework lists: a little bit older than you wanna acknowledge, comfy as fuck, and I can’t wait to put them on as soon as I’m free to do so. This is another solid entry into my dive through their discography, and a little bit of a change up, vocally, from what I remember of the other two, but it’s a welcome change up, to be sure; now that I’m enjoying them, I can be quite accommodating to changes like this. The production here sounds a bit cleaner than in the other two as well. A damn good time spent with this monster of an album.

Some Part Sorrow

This is some solid shit right here. Real nice, raw sounding hardcore where everything sounds balanced and the instrumentation is on point; guitars have nice tuning, bass sits comfortably in the mix, the drums sound punchy and the vocals sit well for my tastes and they have some nice vitriol to them.

3The Ghost Inside
Get What You Give

You know, it’s been awhile since I’ve listened to metalcore like this, where it’s crossed all its T’s and dotted the I’s, yet doesn’t feel better than “normal”. As an intro to The Ghost Inside, I enjoyed this quite a bit, but nothing really stood out and aurally grabbed me. I wanna lump it into the “solid meh” category but it’s sliiiiiiiightly better than that. What the hell: meh.


Dude... the fucking atmosphere on this thing is insane! It's incredible! I like how they speed it up AND slow it down, creating this atmosphere that just drags you into its embrace and doesn't let you go or let up for its entire running time. It's phenomenal. I was a little scared in the beginning because I wasn't exactly connecting with the "normal" unclean vocals, but then they added in cleans and added range to the uncleans, and I really got on board their train. Yush.

Master Killer

Man, but this was good. Solid metalcore with more riffs and killer vocals than you can shake a stick at. I really liked how everything flowed together well, along with the pluses listed above. A fun time listening to this, and I’ll have to come back to this again soon.

6Shai Hulud
A Profound Hatred Of Man

Yes. YES. YEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH. ShaiHuludisfantasticthatisall.
Even though this is termed an EP, this was a fucking banger from start to finish. I can totally understand how these guys are the inspiration for so many other bands who came after, by creating a template of aggression without sacrificing any sense of melody. Driving from work to my home, I was mini-moshing in my seat the entire way; that 1-2 punch of “Set Your Body Ablaze” and “Anesthesia” is monstrous. Love it, love it, love love love it.

7Burnt By the Sun
Soundtrack to the Personal Revolution

I had some time to kill, so I slipped this on... and I wasn’t prepared to be battered about so ruthlessly and with so much intensity. The first of a run of recs from TheMightyScoop (4-15, minus KSE), this record is fuckin’ NASTY in the best way possible, combining a sense of speed, aggression and a hint of sludge with outstanding technical proficiency. This was a banger from start to finish, and I fucking enjoyed every second, including the “kamehameha” at the end lol.

300 Percent Density

Interesting.... terribly interesting. I had to listen to this twice to really collect my thoughts on this, and I ultimately felt like I enjoyed this. It was interesting to note the progressive tendencies in the song structures here, and thinking hard, the only thing I could similarly equate it to was DEP’s “Under The Running Board”. I’m perfectly OK if you think I’m wrong, but that’s how my mental rolodex works. I greatly enjoyed the jazz-infused track “Constant Velocity Is as Natural as Being at Rest”, and everything sat well with me.

9Curl Up and Die
Unfortunately We're Not Robots

Lyric sheet. I need a lyric sheet here!
Jokes aside, I did like this album as a whole and I liked how they shook things up a bit with the two longer tracks (track 8 being a genius moment here), but when I can’t understand practically anything the vocalist is saying and it sounds like he’s angrily eating a bowl of hot soup. It kinda takes me out of it a little bit, you know?

The Lament Configuration

First and foremost, I want to say that I liked this and I enjoyed listening to it, but it took me a couple more spins than normal to get into this. For right now I’m chalking it up to me not quite being in the mood for this type of music today, but my mind was drawing parallels between this and American Nightmare in the fact that while solid, of you’re not careful enough you can zone out here, which is what I did (unfortunately) the first two spins around. Still good, and a slap on my wrist for not paying more attention.

11Killswitch Engage
The End of Heartache

This was fun, possibly the best KE album I've listened to yet, although that's not saying a whole lot... I did enjoy Howard's vocals here, and I think I like him better than Jesse. The flow was serviceable, but from time to time it did dip into the "samey" pool. "Rose of Sharyn" was a bop, but c'mon, we both know we were here for the t/t. This would probably be a good "starter" album for those who are just starting to dip their toes into the metalcore pool.

12Nostromo (CHE)
Ecce Lex

THIS. This was a fucking banger of an album! Mixing metalcore with what sounded to me like mathcore-esque time changes, this was fucking fantastic from start to finish! Not one quibble from me, no sir; I like this!

13Training for Utopia
Plastic Soul Impalement

Minus the ominous-sounding interludes, this sounded like a spiritual cousin to what Glassjaw were coagulating into. This was 42 minutes of pointed hate, hate without drawing lines or boundaries. Took me three spins, but it was worth it, as my brain began to dissect the time changes and understand the album as a whole with each successive listen. Good isht.

14The Secret

This was good. I wasn't expecting it to be so... "angry", if you will. I loved the omnipresent sense of aggression, and how they kept that sense up throughout the album, even when they slowed things down towards the end and went a llttle more atmospheric. Good stuff.

15East of the Wall
Redaction Artifacts

I see what you guys are doing here, you can't fool me. You noted my 5'ing of Amia Venera and wanted to go 2 for 2. Close, you guys were soooooo close...
I really liked this album, sounding as if Amia Venera and Steven Wilson had a baby, with sprinkles of TesseracT's Daniel Tompkins thrown in for good measure. On paper, all three of those elements on their own I greatly enjoy, and added together, you'd think that would be a musical wet dream for me; however, this didn't hit quite as hard as I expected, and initially hoped. That shouldn't be taken as a negative at all, though. This was stellar from start to finish, and I'll definitely dig through the rest of this band's discography when I have a moment away from these lists lol.
Fun Fact: I actually remember I downloaded their latest album earlier this year, but it got lost in the wash. I'll have to dig through my music library and find it again.

This Elegy, His Autopsy

Yeeeeesssssss, and we're back with some GOOOOOOD Beecher shit here. Not as fast and feral as BtFW, but worlds and away much better than their EP, this outing sees Beecher retain much of that spastic nature in their instrumentality and the speed and vitriol in the drumming (love it), but add an element of maturity to their sound, willingly slowing the tempo down here and there, for the betterment of the songs and atmosphere present. I liked this as much as their BtFW, and yet for diferent stylistic differences. Delicious.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

I said it before, but this list is the list that keeps on giving. Underrated, deep cuts - whatever you want to call it, this is some GOOOOOD shit. I loved how this mixed in electronic elements within all the instrumentation, and correct me if I’m wrong, but was that some grindcore elements in the percussion? Damn, this was good.

18The Postman Syndrome

This was simply splendid. Progressive styled post hardcore? Yes please and thank you very much! I loved how they kept switching up the styles and time signatures while maintaining a nice, light and clean vocal style throughout and punctuated it with uncleans at just the right moments. I really enjoyed every minute of this. Thanks!

Progression Through Unlearning

Pretty much the same thoughts as the one below it (#20). This was some good hardcore, and I actually liked it. I’ll have to sift through the rest of their discography if they have more.


[edit]: I already did listen to another of their albums, #87. Doink.

Fuuuuuck, this was a delicious slice of hardcore. The vocals were good and sat well with me, the guitars and bass were punchy, and the drums were tight. There really isn’t much more to say for me. I enjoyed the fuck outta this.


Once again, you guys come up with a fucking winner, with this being the latest to take the cake. Metalcore? Melodic Hardcore? Who cares, this was dope as fuck. I loved the strong sense of melody throughout every single song and how everything else was built off that melodic skeleton. This was a blast from start to finish, and I’m sad that this was their only LP. I’m gonna go smoke out there EP right now...

22Length of Time
Approach to the New World

This was an interesting slab of hardcore, in the fact that at times it felt more metallic and thrashy than hardcore. That’s not a bad thing, per se, but it threw an interesting wrench in my expectations. Overall, not bad, but the vocals are a bit of an acquired taste. In time, I think they’ll grow on me.

The Running

Sooooo..... apparently this EP was the bonus tracks in the reissue for “Failure On”. Oops. Taken on their own (and separated from “Failure On”), this was a fucking solid EP and continues my appreciation for Beloved.

Failure On

Melodic hardcore. Post-hardcore. I don’t care what this is termed, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. This would fall in line with what Casey did with their albums, but this was a smidge heavier with the uncleans and breakdowns. Maybe it’s because I listened to the reissue of this album, but it did feel a tad overlong once all was said and done. Minor quibble at most though.

[edit]: album alone, without bonus tracks: 4.1/5
Resention Is a Big Word in a Small Town

This was decent. A little more organic sounding than BTFW, I wasn’t as enthralled with this than I was sincerely hoping to be after hearing BTFW, but then again, when comparing this to that album, you realize that’s one fucking HUGE mountain to overcome. Still, this was a nice little bite-sized EP.

26The Chariot
One Wing

This was a vicious and delicious little album, just half an hour of pure vitriol being spat at you through your speakers. Throughout the entire album I kept asking myself where I’d heard the vocalist before because he sounded familiar. Turns out he’s the vocalist for the band ‘68, who I really enjoy, so that little nugget put a smile on my face. I really liked how the closer utilized Charlie Chaplin’s ending speech from “The Great Dictator” throughout its runtime. On its own it’s a powerful speech and to hear it Here was really nice.

Token Remedies Research

This. This was another good album slightly marred by an iffy vocal performance in my eyes. I swear I’m paying attention! I just cannot understand exactly what it is he’s trying to say, although my mind made parallels between this and the vocalist for Archspire, which DEFINITELY took 3-4 spins to even begin to understand what he was saying. I laud him for his rapid-fire delivery and a good tone; maybe it’s just me. Anyways, everything else was fucking A-1. The band as a whole sounded like they were firing on all cylinders, and is that drummer even human? Fuckin’ A, man, that drumming was phenomenal. I think I’m gonna have to come back to this after all is said and done and re-listen to this several more times.

28Cast From Eden
The Deafened Art Of Bleeding Secrets Automated On

This was pretty decent. I liked how everything flowed together and how the instrumentality and vocals all meshed together into an enjoyable whole. Minor quibble though, but the mix felt off; it felt like everything was sitting a little low and I had to turn this album waaaaaaaaaaaaaay up to properly hear it.

29Eleventh He Reaches London
Hollow Be My Name

All right, you asked for it; I listened to it. Aaaaaaaaaaaand.....
It sounds like a post hardcore version of Brand New... which means I liked it. Very emotive lyrics but overall a heavier sound than straight up alternative/indie rock, with just enough uncleans to highlight the emotiveness further, this was a decent album. Definitely not what I was initially expecting, but still a solid time all around.

Murder Within Sin

Daaaaaaamn but this is some good shit. Nailing down an overwhelming tone while making each song feel succinct despite the small runtimes, Deformity bring the jams here and it fucking delivers. Dunno if it’s just me, but I’m also detecting trace snippets of groove and thrash hiding under all this instrumentality. Whether that’s true or not, this is a fucking jam.

31Mortal Treason
Sunrise Over A Sea Of Blood

Back to back with #32, this was another good album to help achieve catharsis from stress, if you’re weird like me. Whereas The Red Chord strove to, for lack of a better word, showcase melody throughout their album, Mortal Treason here seem content to make the melodic overtures more subtle, opting instead to let the heaviness of the album to reign dominantly, with the end result being different depending on what your mindset is. Once again, a good album from start to finish.

32The Red Chord

Damn, this was nice. Just what I needed to de-stress a day at work away. I liked how melodic this album strives to be in places without sacrificing the heaviness that gallops rampantly throughout. The flow was really nice and all in all, I enjoyed it.

33The Eyes Of A Traitor
By Sunset

This release definitely brought an energy and aggression to the table, wrapping the whole experience in a tight, spiffy little 20 minute parcel. For the first time in a bit, I felt selfish in enjoying how clean and crisp the production was, and it really helped bring the band’s best side forward I thought. The instrumentation was tasty and the balance between the highs and lows of the uncleans was handled pretty well. Overall, a solid piece of work here.

We Are the Romans

I soooooo wanted to write a prank here and totally bash this album, just to get you all riled up, but the more I think about this album, the more I realize all there is to like about this album, and by the time I catch myself my mind is raving about it and I’m ready to listen to it again. Fucking A, folks, list number 2 is the one that just keeps pumping out 5’s, with Botch here the latest to join the group. A fucking banger of an album, I fucking enjoyed this one from start to finish, and then I started it again as soon as it finished. It makes sense that Sputnik lists DEP as a related artist, as I was getting DEP vibes when I was listening to it, along with some Deadguy bounce. Fuck yes, I’m ready to listen to this again.

35These Arms Are Snakes
Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home

Rolling in around 40~ mins., this was a taut little album, hitting quite a few good notes and slightly whiffing on others along the way. Having never heard anything from These Arms Are Snakes before, this was a pleasant surprise aurally, as going to lunch the other day I really wasn’t in the mood for uncleans and aggression, and this album provided the balance I needed. For post-hardcore These Arms... evoke the emotional quite well, wrapping everything succinctly in a nice little bow of instrumentals. My (itty bitty) quibble is while the songs suit the band, the two longer tracks (8+ mins.) here feel bloated and therefore somewhat unnecessary; if they shaved it down by 4 mins. then we’re definitely talking.
All in all, a nice, fairly solid album.

36Martyr AD
The Human Condition in Twelve Fractions

Damn, this hit harder than your abuelita’s sandalia when you’re in deep shit. I liked how this was a consistent level of heaviness throughout, and then the final track throws you for a loop and drops in a dollop of sludge to the whole proceedings, completely flipping the script and opening up new avenues for their sound. Nice job, peeps, and another good album.

377 Angels 7 Plagues
Jhazmyne's Lullaby

I knew I was gonna like this from the second I hit play. This was some good, solid metalcore/hardcore right here. Everything flowed well, the instrumentals were heavy and bouncy, the riffs were delicious and the vocals were well done. Me likee.

The Argument

Alright, I actually liked this better than their “13 Songs”, in that everything presented here flowed better than the aforementioned album, everything had a better sense of completeness to it all, and the overall product felt like a natural complement to each individual portion that went into its making. This would make a good 1-2 to At The Drive In, along with a nice, quiet and lazy afternoon.

39Every Time I Die
Hot Damn!

I liked this, but it kind of feels like it would get lumped into the same category as Hatebreed, where everything feels dynamic, and yet there's an underlying current of basic-ness to it all. That's not supposed to sound like or be a knock in any way, but it might just be because of how late to the game I am to all of this lol. For what it's worth, this was enjoyable from start to finish, and I did get a laugh out of the poppy handclaps in "Ebolarama", so at least the rec wasn't a bad one at all.


So... this was decent. My hopes were up that deathcore would come through and be 2 for 2 again, and for the most part this delivers, but those vocals.... blech. The uncleans were almost grating to my ears and stuck out like a sore thumb. The instrumentals on the other hand were done quite well and in that respect everything flowed quite nicely.

Embrace the Eternal

This was another good album, really nailing down the tone and aggression for the flow. I am finding it funny though that in my homework lists so far, the bands that carry Christian beliefs and/or messages into their albums (i.e. early Zao, Embodyment and early Underoath) have the most “extreme” vocal styles, like with Underoath’s vocal foray into death/black metal and also here with Embodyment utilizing a very singular style that wouldn’t sound out of place in some death metal. As I’m quite enjoying the novelty of it all, I kinda want to check out some more Embodyment because of it. Anyways, I had fun listening to this album and ultimately enjoyed it for what it was.


This was a good little EP, taking its time to fully immerse the listener in the soundscape it’s creating. I liked how sludgy Disembodied chose to go here, because the slower, more methodical nature on display effected a more favorable response within me than I thought otherwise. The vocals reminded me of what I’d said before about the vox for Fear Before, in that they sound like kids here trying REALLY hard, but unlike FB’s first album, the vox here fell juuust on this side of tolerable, and ultimately I know I won’t mind them terribly. Good stuff.

43Deadwater Drowning
Deadwater Drowning EP

This was delicious. Fucking good deathcore that grabs you in a chokehold and doesn’t let go the entire 22 minute runtime. I liked everything about this and only wished there was more.

44 Fall Silent
Nineteenhundredninetyseven EP

This was a fun little maxi, even if I have a bastardized version. Missing two alternate versions of their song “The Rulers” (seriously, I can’t find a complete version), everything else presented shows a snapshot of Fall Silent at the height of their powers, with their song “The Wheel of Pain” an absolute banger. I love how tight the snare sounds here, and how fucking low and dirty the bass is weaving in and out in the songs. The live songs here are probably the weakest link for me, but then again I’m absolutely stringent in regards to live recordings; the live version of “The Wheel Of Pain” rips just as much as the studio version, and the maxi closes out (for me) with them doing a 7 Seconds cover of “Clenched Fists, Black Eyes”. Overall, this was as good as their album “No Strength To Suffer”, and where else can you hear a hardcore cover of the Sesame Street theme?


I’m really enjoying how Fordirelifesake is combining the raw earnestness of emo in the lyrics and delivery while marrying that with the instrumentality of post-hardcore. I’m pleasantly surprised with how much I’m liking this entry. Excellent!


No sophomore slump here; "Oceanic" takes the entire foundation "Celestial" built for it and construct a monolithic release here, improving and amplifying on everything the first album got right. Once again, atmosphere/ambiance is the name of the game, and Isis bring it in spades. And wheelbarrows full. And sacks. And anything else they could get their hands on to fill with. This was damn near mesmeric from the moment you hit 'play', all the way through to the end. Minor quibble though, and that was I didn't care TOO highly for how up front they put the vocals in the mix; I know "every part equals a whole" and all, but there were moments where the vocals were a wee bit louder than the instruments around them, and that detracted a bit from the whole experience. The female vocals were a nice touch though in "Weight", and no lie I was getting low-key Pink Floyd "Meddle"-era vibes in the closer here, "Hym".


I loved how atmospheric this was, how it took the time to construct and immerse one in the sounds being put forth here, and I know that's one of the basic tenets of post rock/metal, but rarely do you come across a band who can do it as well as Isis can here. While it's also semi-rare to have vocals in a post rock/metal album, the vocals that were (sporadically) sprinkled throughout here did nothing to detract from the entire experience, and greatly aided and abetted the collective whole. This feels like a perfect "rainy day"-type of album.


... And here we are, the fucking best out of this little 3-run bunch. Defying logic, "Panopticon" improves on everything from Oceanic AND the vocals slide back down into a comfy niche in the mix. The atmosphere in here is incredible, with the run from "In Fiction" thru, well, frankly, all the way to the end being out-fucking-standing, with everything flowing together absolutely perfectly, with nary a drop in timing and quality. Fucking A, ladies and gents, I believe we have another 5'er on our hands.

49Norma Jean

Hot damn, but this is a major step up from their previous album "The Anti Mother". Relying less on the massive wall of sound and dizzying change-ups found in their earlier albums and beginning to implement a sense of melodicism, Norma Jean show here that just because even though maturity may take root in a band it doesn't make said band any less vitriolic than before. Indeed, maturity may even help focus a band and allow them to channel their focus and therefore elevate what it is they're expressing through their music, as we find here. This was a blast and I really enjoyed this.

Chaos is Me

This was interesting; interesting in the fact that at first blush it sounds very much like discordant variances of heaviness, but when you pay attention, you can hear razor sharp turns in tempo and style, ala EARLY DEP, although here Orchid is nowhere near as heavy as DEP were. With that being said, once I was able to understand what, musically, Orchid was trying to achieve, I was able to enjoy this more than the first time I listened to it. This was a nice shot in the arm of hardcore heavy, and ultimately I liked this release.

51The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower
Love in the Fascist Brothel

I’ll be honest: I was thrown off guard by the opener “Reichstag Rock”, but as soon as I recovered from that, I smiled to myself and got comfy. I really liked how mathy this whole thing was, and yet many of the tracks had a bouncy feel, a swing mentality to them, and that all fit together nicely with how everything was presented. Fun stuff here.

52On Broken Wings
Some Of Us May Never See The World

Hoo boy, we’re 2 for 2 so far for team deathcore, with On Broken Wings providing a scorcher of an album. I must say though, this was a bit more varied, vocally, and that helped my overall impression. I will say I had to laugh at the attempted highs right at the end of “Lazarus Envy” though; sounded like the vocalist was trying to push out a constipated E.

53The Blood Brothers
...Burn, Piano Island, Burn

I got a kick out of this album, as it was giving me heavy Plot To Blow Up the Eiffel Tower vibes, in the sense that this was a very math influenced album while simultaneously adhering to no set genres. The vocals were interesting, but they sat well with my tastes, and I liked this.

54Jane (GER)
A Doorway to Elsewhere

Well damn. This is deathcore. A little rough around the edges, to be sure, but fucking solid deathcore right here. I liked how relentless and furious it sounded, and really, what else can you ask of a deathcore album?

Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire

It’s kinda funny, but I liked how strong and full the guitars sounded and how the drums sounded punchy, and then mentally contrasted it with how basic the vocals/lyrics sounded, like “vocals and lyricism 101”. But then again, this was 1997, so the lyrics and aggression in the vocals must’ve been the bees knees, right? In a weird way, the vocals remind me a smidge as a mashup between Randy Blythe on a bad day and the vocalist from Godsmack. This is the slickest sounding release in recent recall that I can remember, and that was a nice little contrast as opposed to what one would expect with a hardcore/metalcore release.

56At the Drive-In
Acrobatic Tenement

I really liked how this sounded; how everything sounded and felt very indie, but had that edge of confidence. The instrumentation was excellent throughout, and the song structures were well done. If this is indicative of how the rest of their discography will be, I might just be a happy camper going through their other albums.

57Circle Jerks
Group Sex

All right, today we go with some straight up punk; technically not in the same genres as what the list is/was built for, but I really enjoy The Clash and I can always appreciate the granddaddies of what the genres would give birth to down the road. That being said, this seemed like by the numbers punk, equal parts immature and socially aware, and I was totally down for that. If there’s one thing I really love about OG punk, it’s the dirty production you hear in practically every punk LP around this time, and this had it in spades. Overall, not bad and I enjoyed my time here.

58Black Flag
My War

Listened to this today to round out the punk trifecta in this list. Now that all is said and done, I liked this better than Circle Jerks but not as much as Bad Brains, and I think the main reason is because for half the album it’s a straight up punk banger, one after the other, and then the second half is like Henry Rollins being like “OK, we’re gonna slow it down a little bit right now...” and he goes into a very impassioned poetry recital, the songs double in length, and the transition is just jarring. Overall, not bad, but takes a minute or two to let that transition sit properly with you.

59Bad Brains
Bad Brains

Ah, Bad Brains. The reggae infused punk godfather of the genre; sounding like what would happen if Bob Marley and Johnny Rotten has a love child, Bad Brains’ eponymous album is an excellent burst of energy, never quite letting up from beginning to end, except at the reggae interludes. I do seem to remember I’d heard “Pay to Cum” once before, in a compilation of early punk, post-punk and new wave bands entitled “Left of the Dial”. This compilation was actually my intro to bands like The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Echo and the Bunnymen and Bad Brains et al.

60The Hope Conspiracy

Continuing the trend of solid albums by singular bands, today we move from Zao to The Hope Conspiracy, and this particular outing left me absolutely satisfied. Much like their album “Death Knows Your Name” before it (on homework list pt. 1), “Endnote” was a heavy, unrelenting album from start to finish, birthing much of the aural hallmarks found later on the aforementioned album. Definitely recommend this album and this band.

Cries of the Past

You know, now that I know what to expect from early-era Underoath, I kind of enjoyed this after all was said and done. This was a bit heavier than their first album, “Act Of Depression” but the vocals sounded better and more confident, and the end result being this album being a bit better than their first and third album.


This was enjoyable. Not as spastic, as filled with manic energy as DTGL and better than what I remembered of LOTSOS, this felt more mature, more reserved in its dispensing of vitriol, and ultimately this is probably Underoath’s second best album. Rather lamentable now, seeing how good this album is, and comparing it to Erase Me and just seeing the drop off in quality. Damn.


Erra do here what Erra do best, and that’s playing technically proficient metalcore, filled with djenty time structures and peppered with breakdowns, ticking boxes, crossing t’s and dotting i’s along the way. Once again, the minor quibbles I had with previous Erra releases pop up here; while the uncleans sound better and a bit more varied in tone than previous outings, they pale in comparison to the cleans, which manage to emote and take the at times basic lyricism and make something out of them; basically, the uncleans do nothing for me at all, and this begs me to begin to call into question my initial listen of their latest release, which I distinctly remember liking quite a bit. Eh, I’ve got a little bit left in their discography, let’s see if things will change for me by then.

Love Is Not Enough

Okay, so.... I’m really digging Casey now. Even though I listened to their discography backwards, I really like both of their albums; for me, they’re hitting the same notes that Brand New and The Republic Of Wolves hit for me, filling their compositions with such unabashed emotion and smart wordplay. Unlike the aforementioned two, Casey likes to do all that with juuuust a pinch of uncleans, lending a more heart-wrenching immediacy to their songs. Fuck me, but I’m digging the hell out of this band.

65The Contortionist

You know, this was just... OK. Progressive leaning deathcore that didn't do anything to make it stand out, at least in my opinion, and sounded quite like similar nameless bands that fire the synapses in your brain as you're listening to this. Because I enjoyed their latest album, "Clairvoyant" and because one album (typically) does not a band make, I'm gonna give this a little upswing here and add another album onto my fourth list to see if they can convince me.


Okay, now it feels like Erra is finally beginning to coagulate as a band, with this being their most consistent and solid work so far ( I need to re-listen to their latest to finalize my feelings on them). With the cleans being solid and consistent, it allowed the uncleans to take the passenger seat instead of relegating them to the back seat, thusly allowing them to flourish as a complement and not duel with the cleans for dominance. As always, the instrumentality here is a high point and overall this album was the first Erra album from both homework lists I actively enjoyed and didn't catch myself "zoning" out to.

67Year of the Knife
Ultimate Aggression

Yush. Taking a no-frills, take-no-prisoners approach to their particular brand of hardcore/metalcore, YOTK craft an excellent release for 2019. After seeing people on another site I’m part of give this nothing but positive hype and reaction to this (not RYM, for context), I decided to bite the bullet and check it out for myself, and it delivers solidly. Nothing jumped out at me as an immediate earworm, but then again, you’ll be banging that head of yours too much to care. Between this and Church Tongue, modern hardcore/metalcore feels like it’s in good hands. Check it.


This... did absolutely nothing for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard so much similar material in the interim or better stuff, but aside from noting that this was technically proficient, all it did was remind me of how many vocalists sound so fucking similar to Johnny Craig and that this style of vocals can go fade away now.

All Else Failed

Not bad, not bad... as this is Zao’s first album I didn’t quite know just what to expect, and that ironically served me well here, as this flowed a bit differently than the other Zao albums that I’ve heard. This actually sounded like a “normal” rock/metal album, with little moments sprinkled throughout that would suggest the style and sound that they later adopted and Zao’s trademark vocals. I listened to the remastered version here, so the production is crystal clean here, so that may have helped play into my feelings of how this album sounded...
All in all, not a bad album, but probably one where I wouldn’t come back to it as often as several other albums of theirs.

Periphery IV: Hail Stan

I was slightly surprised by this release. When Periphery is mentioned, one automatically thinks of “djent” and of the hallmarks associated with it, and then after listening to this I was struck by the fact of how un-djenty this was. To be sure, there were moments where Periphery’s older djent stylings came to the fore, but I was refreshingly surprised at how more progressive leaning they were here, and ultimately I really enjoyed this release. The 1-2 combo of “Reptile” and the opening riffage of “Blood Eagle” is stupendous, and there’s nary a quibble from me.

71Cave In
Creative Eclipses

Wow... OK, this was absolutely unlike what I was expecting. Even though I knew this was an EP, I was expecting it to be a rager, full of fire, piss and vinegar. What was given to me though was the equivalent of a nice-sized campfire, gentle in its scope yet majestic in appearance and ambiance, if that makes any sense. And I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be sung entirely in clean vocals. As an intro to Cave In, I greatly enjoyed this.

72Cave In
Beyond Hypothermia

All right, I finally got around to listening to this, and I’ve gotta say.... I thought it was a solid “meh” on the meh-tric scale. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t dull by any means, but their sound and style here sounded like it was between “Creative Eclipses” and “Until Your Heart Stops” and nobody could figure out exactly which way to go, although the majority of this release tended to lean more towards “Until...” more than anything. Everything from the vocals and instruments all the way down to the production sounded rawer than what I was expecting, and ultimately I guess you could say this felt like the musical equivalent of a “proof of concept” pitch. I did get a kick out of the Metallica cover they pulled in the last 3 minutes of the album though.

73Cave In
Until Your Heart Stops

Oh. Oh my. This is incredible. Light years of difference separate this from their EP “Creative Eclipses”, and the direction they go here is as good as, if not better than the direction the EP took. The sound here is so immediate and crushing, and unlike other entries in this list, everything here sounds very well thought out, structured and orderly. This is fantastic. The opening to “The End Of Our Rope Is A Noose” just fucking blew me away. This will be the second album on this list to hit 5. Just simply incredible from start to finish. Thanks guys.


[edit]: this would be even more of a monster of an album to hear this on vinyl...
74Cave In

Here we go, another 5/5 for the list. Unlike their debut, “Until Your Heart Stops”, Cave In takes a musical left turn here, like it was said in the comments below, going in a more alternative direction that skews closer to their EP, “Creative Eclipses”. Personally, I really loved this. I was having a hard time equating this to other artists, but I can hear hallmarks that pop up in other artists’ works, namely Muse (c. Origin of Symmetry-Absolution), Monoral and even pinches of Radiohead. Everything presented here was excellent, the instrumentation was amazing, it flowed really well, and there wasn’t a weak spot anywhere. Bravo!

75Bleeding Through
Dust to Ashes

Fuuuuuuuuck yessssssssss, just what I needed to end my work week on. While for the most part of this past week I had deliberately avoided "angry" music so that it wouldn't influence my outlook for the day(s), today marked the return of a modicum of normality, so I took a gamble and spun this on lunch. While I was reticent about the possibilities, this actually did the opposite: it put me in a "fuck yeah, let's do this"-type of attitude, and I immediately re-listened to this upon getting home. I really, really liked how heavy this was, from beginning to end; this had the right amounts of anger to engage positively, and this gave everything it had. I'm impressed.

76At the Drive-In

... Run and get your quarters in.

I think I enjoyed this better than “Acrobatic Tenement” when all is said and done. All the positives listed in that review apply here as well, and the songwriting and lyricism here feel like a particular strongpoint. I’m gonna have to check more of these guys out now. Good pick, everybody.

77American Nightmare
Background Music

Solid, if particularly unspectacular hardcore being presented here. Vocals are decent and everything flows well, but the whole thing kinda smacks of sameness and if you’re not careful you could zone out whilst listening. Fun but nothing to write home about.


It looks like I’m working through the releases that can also be classified as “alternative rock” or “grunge”, this release being no exception. Nothing wrong with that at all, as it also satisfies the part of me that really enjoys listening to this kind of stuff more so than modern alternative, so there’s that. Unlike Jawbox, this had more of an intangible connection to the genres in review, but still fell solidly in that “alternative rock” camp. Not bad, but really nothing much else there.

79Drive Like Jehu
Yank Crime

This was another interesting and overall good album. It was loud without losing melody, it was bouncy without sounding abrasive, and it was confident and lightly complex without losing its sense of fun. A little bit on the long side, but that’s a minor quibble.

Fixation on a Coworker

Welp, this is interesting. It’s interesting to hear how Deadguy revert back and forth between a very bouncy feel to their songs, and then we segue into something like “Makeshift Atomsmasher” and they go HARD. Despite that contrast, it doesn’t detract from the whole, and this was a good album.

81Poison the Well
You Come Before You

Yuuuuuuuussssss. Much like visiting with an old friend after a long absence, it felt good to get back to Poison The Well and chalk another album of theirs off my list. Compared to what I remember of TOoD, this outing sounds more mature overall, and everything flows well together. This is as good as, if not better, than TOoD.

To Forever Embrace The Sun

I can’t remember everything I said here before, but I remember I liked this almost as much as their album “10.21”, and I liked how the changes in here kept everything fresh.

13 Songs

Not bad, although a lot of the songs felt like they had an incomplete flow, like they were building to something and finished before a catharsis could be reached. The second half of this album flowed better than the first, I thought. Decent.

84Have Heart
Songs to Scream at the Sun

This was good. Another band that scratches that “Rise Against” itch, mainly because of how the two vocalists from either band sound similar at times. Everything flowed rather well, and another solid outing.

Separation Anxiety

I really enjoyed this as well, and I know I lamented the fact that this flew under my radar for last year. I will have to listen to this again soon.

86Walls of Jericho
A Day and a Thousand Years

Damn, this was fun. Clocking in around 15 minutes, this was a nonstop assault from start to finish. I really liked the vocals here, mainly because they were female uncleans and you don’t hear those terribly often in metalcore; they reminded me of iwrestledabearonce’s “Hail Mary” in spots, and I ultimately enjoyed them. The instrumentation was solid as well, almost thrashy in places, and that upped the enjoyment factor as well.

Designs for Automotion

This was another good album, and one that was my own personal recommendation to myself; for the first time in a while, I didn’t regret the choice, lol. I can’t remember everything else here, what my thoughts exactly were, except that I liked it.

88Earth Crisis

This was a good EP/single/what-have-you: a good, heavy, 16 minute slab of metallic hardcore. I liked the tuning of the guitars and how they brought a little more “OOMPH” to the whole thing.

For Your Own Special Sweetheart

Not bad, but it felt more alternative rock than post-hardcore/hardcore if anything. Still a good album overall, but can someone tell me the relevancy of this band/album in relation to the genre(s) I’m sifting through? It’s more than likely just me, but I really didn’t hear anything that would/could be denoted as stylistic precursors of what would come, from any of these genres.

Full Collapse

Well, this was a nice change of pace to start out the week, coming from Saturday and “The Shape Of Punk To Come”. This is another excellent album, feeling more aligned with, say, “Tin Cans...” than Walls of Jericho, and that’s a good thing. Diversity is the spice of life, no? I really enjoy how this album, even though it has uncleans, manages to minimize them and utilize them tastefully, while opting for a quieter, melodic approach. Good stuff.

Humanity is the Devil

I remember saying I liked this album, all in all, and that if it wasn’t heavy, it was sludgy in its sound, and that added all up into an enjoyable whole. I also remember saying I thought the vocals were decent, but they weren’t exactly my thing on this release, like they worked fine for what you got, but they didn’t exactly grab your attention from the get-go.

Lost Ground

I really enjoyed this album, and how it was similar to Touché Amoré in that both had a heart-on-sleeve mentality when it came to the lyricism of the album, and how both vocalists’ performances were laced with emotional desperation. I’ll have to work this into a regular playlist after finishing all my homework lists.

93Touche Amore
Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me

This was a really, really good album. Boasting some raw, earnest vocals and pairing those with some real heart-on-sleeve lyricism, the end product was a well done album that made me wish it lasted longer than its 22-25 minute run time.

Remain Sedate / Protestant

OK, this was kind of the divisive one, where I didn’t realize that it was two albums blended into one release, and ended up enjoying the second half of the album (Protestant), better than the first half (Remain Sedate).

95State Faults

I remember I liked this one, and that even though I didn’t mind the vocals here, they weren’t the best in my opinion, and that the strong, melodic backbone of the instrumentation more than made up for it all.

Systems Overload

Huh. Funny enough, I can get behind the vocals for this release, as opposed to “Humanity Is The Devil.” Must be mixing/production. This’ll be interesting to keep tabs on as I work through the 1-2 other Integrity albums I have on my lists. This one felt a bit different than the other, in a good way, and as a result, I liked this one a bit more.
[edit:] hey, my 1,000th rating!

97Walls of Jericho
The Bound Feed The Gagged

Fuuuuuck yeah, they just keep getting better and better, becoming more spastic and thrashy without sounding mathy, and the vocals are a definite plus for me, this time reminding me of the uncleans on Flyleaf’s first album (for point of reference for you all.), yet these are more feral and pissed off. This is good shit, y’all; high point would be the track “Misanthropy”. This fucking slaps.

The Shape of Punk to Come

Hot damn, this was fantastic. Blending disparate elements of electronica and post hardcore to a beautiful mixture, pretty much predating Enter Shikari, this was an absolute blast to listen to. No qualms whatsoever from me, this is the first 5 of this list. Damn impressive and an excellent listen.

Tin Cans with Strings to You

This was fun; vocals were good and the instrumentation was fucking on point. I liked how the production sounded a little dirty, which lent itself well to the album. This would be fun to throw on alongside Presidents Of The United States Of America, Soundgarden’s “Superunknown” or maybe some Snot, depending on how your day is going.

100Misery Signals

Aaaaand we’re back with more Misery Signals. This one was more instrumentally varied than the previous effort I listened to, and I’m grateful for that. The vocals are still a little bit one-note, but I’m used to what Misery Signals has to offer here, and I don’t mind much this time around; the breakdowns are tastefully placed and executed as well. Good stuff.

The Catharsis Syntax Project

I... honestly don’t know exactly what to think of this. In a way, it reminds me of Underoath’s “Act Of Depression”, in how both have a very melodical sound that you’d lump into post-hardcore, but then the defining component is how both have very black metal-ish vocals over the top of the instrumentation, and this is what sets it apart from easy categorization. Maybe I just picked the wrong album to listen to. We’ll see how the other Comity album is when I get to it on pt.3. Last three tracks were bangin’ though.

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