Soundoffs 23
Album Ratings 3016
Objectivity 71%

Last Active 03-25-20 9:04 pm
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12.29.20 Uzu’s Tops of 2020 12.25.20 Uzu’s Honorable Mentions of 2020
12.23.20 Uzu’s Top 25 EP’s of 202011.25.20 Core Homework: The Best of the Best
09.13.20 Anti-core?!? The Worst of the Worst07.06.20 L’arc~en~Ciel, Ranked
05.31.20 Core Homework #8: Digging Deeper05.12.20 Girügamesh, ranked
01.31.20 The GazettE, Ranked10.10.19 Death In The Eras of Excess and Lies
10.10.19 They say the number seven is lucky...09.23.19 Death, Ranked
09.14.19 Six! We have a sixth!09.05.19 The Number 5 Has A Nice Ring Of Finalit
07.26.19 Boom Boom Satellites Ranked07.16.19 Recent vinyl purchases
06.21.19 David Bowie, ranked06.10.19 My hardcore/post-hardcore/metalcore hom
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The Number 5 Has A Nice Ring Of Finality To It...
1Lamb of God
Ashes of the Wake

Whaddya know? This was better than AtPB; one of those rare instances where a metalcore band (of all things lol) in question gets better with their next direct release. The groove and melody here is fucking rock solid, hot damn, and the vocals sound stronger than before. It also can’t hurt that the production here sounded cleaner than on their AtPB (I believe I heard the OG and not the remaster), which simultaneously means that while the band is under a bigger microscope, it also means that the band has that much more opportunity to shine, and here Lamb of God does shine. Really good stuff.

2Lamb of God
As the Palaces Burn

You know, this was better than I expected it to be; it could be because of the groove aspect of the band or how everything meshes together quite well, but this was a solid album. I remember back when the band released their covers album under their original moniker, of listening to it and not being terribly impressed, but this kinda steers me away from my initial opinions of the band. As said before, I really dig the groove elements at play here and how the band spice things at the right moments with requisite -core breakdowns, and even though I’m not 100% sold on Randy Blythe’s vocals, he still turns in a good performance here with juuuust the right amount of variance between highs and lows. Not bad, not bad at all...

War All the Time

This was sad and beautiful all at the same time. Melding melancholy and lyrical insistency in the vein of emotional hardcore with very light post-hardcore trappings, Thursday dropped a bombshell on me with this. While the first half of the album is a bit aggressive in spots, the back half slows things down and really bring the whole affair home, track after track after track. Vocals and the musicianship were perfect, and the tone and flow was devastating, in the best possible sense of the word. This is almost too good.

Dear You

Another day, another band/album that crosses the boundaries separating the genres of post-hardcore, alternative and "emo"; Jawbreaker seamlessly combines elements of all three in a near perfect synergy that makes for an exceptional listening experience, with the only drawback in the aspect that much of the songs run in a similar rut, which is unfortunate to take into account. The vocals are well done, and the musicianship is solid overall, with several moments really switching things up and bringing a new energy to the proceedings. Tone and flow are good for what the album requires of it, and this would go well with similar bands like Farside, Jawbox and Quicksand's "Slip"

Fake History

As much as I liked listening to this overall, I can’t really point out anything as tremendously positive or unique here that caught my attention. I will say that I enjoyed this a HELL of a lot more than Jason Aalon Butler’s other project , “The Fever 333”, and now that I said that, I kinda wish he’d come back to letlive. and reboot it. As a post-hardcore album, this was very solid, but it wasn’t as vitriolic as their next album, “The Blackest Beautiful”, and while TBB opined on outside issues, Fake History felt like the lyrics were more aimed internally, which isn’t a criticism. Vocals were solid, with some nice range in those screams, and the musicianship is just as strong, with tone and flow balancing everything out.

Forever War

Solid, SOLID metallic hardcore at play here. Bringing to mind All Out War from list #3, Kickback brought the riffs here with a welcome sense of thrash and further complemented those guitars with kick ass drumming and bass holding the rhythms down. Tone and flow were good, and the small ambient section to close out the album was an inspired choice, albeit they didn’t need to stretch that track out for half an hour. Good album, and this’d be one to get hyped to.

7God Forbid

More metalcore than metal, God Forbid flip the script on their previous album and up the intensity in most regards. Keeping tone and flow from their previous album, God Forbid implement a more metalcore approach in their technical style of play, and it shows in spots, sometimes brilliantly (that breakdown in “War Of Attrition” tho!!!). I honestly liked this better than their previous, and this does fit the criteria for the list a bit better, and I’m happy with it.

8God Forbid
IV: Constitution of Treason

In a list previous, I listened to the band It Dies Today and remarked that they sounded like Bullet For My Valentine; well, on this list, God Forbid fits the bill. More metal than metalcore, God Forbid follow a very technical modus operandi, and in this specific context, it works for them well. For this list, and just like Trephine, I’m kinda scratching my head. I still enjoyed listening to this, and this is a fun album overall; no more, no less.

9The Chariot
Long Live

Not as angry, chaotic or singular as their next album, The Chariot still bring their focus and creative flame to bear here, with vastly satisfying results. Vocals and musicianship was A+, with both contrasting and complementing one another seamlessly, and the tone and flow was excellent; if anything, there was a hiccup here and there that pulled me out of it, but shouldn’t be regarded as a negative, it’s just me. Excellent album,

10I Have Dreams
Three Days 'Til Christmas

Tasty little slab of “screamo” here, I ultimately came around and liked both the production and vocals, despite not really liking it when I hit play. The production had that “raw” quality that ultimately brought the best out of the instrumentality, and while the vocals almost hit Fear Before-levels of tryhard, by the end I liked how they fit and complemented everything else. Mind, I’m not completely sold on them, but I appreciate them for the positive qualities they brought to the table here. Not bad, not bad at all...

The Mercury Lift

Yessss, it’s been a small while since I last heard this type of post-hardcore; feeling at times like a mix between A Lot Like Birds and La Dispute, Haste churn out a winner here with this entry. The resemblance to the two aforementioned bands comes in not only the vocals, in that they bring a plaintive insistence and a sense of raw emotion to the proceedings here, but also the instrumentality, in that it rarely veered into the aggressive side of the genre, rather opting to use that aggressiveness sparingly to help punctuate particular moments more effectively; even when the vocals brought in some lows in the uncleans, I was caught off guard that they did that, and made me appreciate the particular track and overall album even more than before.

12Ink and Dagger
Drive This Seven Inch Wooden Stake...

This was pretty good, definitely a unique take for post-hardcore; I can’t remember how Lexi (Moog bby) initially phrased it, but the vocalist does, at times, sound a bit like Gerard Way; partially tone, partially delivery. The musicianship and flow definitely has a “theatrical” quality in it that makes for an enjoyable experience, and the production quality is suitably “raw” for the music and the band, and therefore lends this album an extra sense of charm. Fun stuff.

13Ink and Dagger
Ink and Dagger

Damn, Ink & Dagger turned into Breach from the last list, where both bands got hella better with each successive release; this is the best release from Ink & Dagger out of the whole bunch, and it showcases the band in their best ways possible. Taking inspiration from outside sources, Ink & Dagger sprinkle in touches of indie and electronic ambient into and around their songs here, putting a strongly individual stamp on their particular brand of post-hardcore. Tone, flow, vocals and musicianship all work together in harmonious symbiosis, making for an excellent album and excellent experience.

14Ink and Dagger
The Fine Art of Original Sin

This was better than their previous album, on almost all fronts. Production is cleaner, the band sound tighter and the songs slicker, and the tone and flow are spot-on. This definitely feels like an expansion on the scope and type of music Ink & Dagger started on their debut. Another fun album.

The Color Clear

Now this, this was fucking delicious. Melding a progressive metalcore sense with solid vocal work that even touches on the fringes of deathcore, this was all sorts of yes to my ears. This release was fun to listen to in the fact that Reflections took a metalcore skeleton and added different tones and timbres to it, which made every track feel fresh and exciting, topping them off with outstanding vocal work, with the right balance of cleans uncleans, and then within the uncleans a balance between highs and lows, this was aces. My only quibble is that I wish this was slightly longer, as 25 minutes doesn’t feel like it would do the band justice. More please!

Stations of the Crass

Old school, first wave British punk? Yes please....

... just not this. I know punk is all about the “fuck you” mentality when it comes to politics, peers and the like, but this was limpid and uninspired to my ears. I was legitimately bored with this album by like the third track, and really nothing they did convinced my sensibilities otherwise. Musically, this is some solid punk with hints of reggae, but tone, flow and vocals all are just a big pile of nope for me. Sorry guys, I ain’t feeling this one.

Penis Envy

I’m sorry, but this just wasn’t for me at all. Like their other album here, “Stations of the Crass”, I enjoyed the punk/reggae stylings in the musicianship, but the vocals were tolerable at best and the delivery of them reminded me of early Velvet Revolver, which I can’t really stand. Add in “intellectual” lyrics that feel ham fisted more than anything, and this turned into a dud, dead on arrival.

18Rites of Spring
Rites of Spring

This was a nice slab of hardcore/borderline emotional hardcore right here. While the musicianship veered more closely to hardcore and punk, the vocals betrayed the intensity and transparency one would find in "emo", if you will, and transformed this album into something a cut above a regular hardcore album would be. It was funny for me to note that the vocalist (aurally) reminded me of the vocalist for the Young Rascals/The Rascals, and I think it's interesting to note the link between these guys and Fugazi... as if I need any more incentive to listen to more Fugazi lol. Really good album here.

19Portraits Of Past

And we're continuing along down the path of "emo" hardcore, this time with Portraits of Past; continuing the style and sound that bands like Saetia and Jerome's Dream et al. filled their discographies with, here Portraits of the Past bring their own take into the genre, with similar results. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and dynamics at play, and the musicianship was appreciable, but while I didn't mind the vocals overall, there were a few tracks where the vocalist was over screaming, and it sounded kinda like how an 8 year old would scream to get attention. I get where you're coming from, man, but you're overdoing it. Just as good as all the others in this particular vein.

20Policy of 3
Dead Dog Summer

For 1993, this wasn't bad, and definitely falls into the category from previous lists where the band(s) sound closer to alt and grunge than "truer" strains of post hardcore, but taken as a whole, this kind of ran together and didn't really garner enough attention. I didn't mind it for what it was, though. Vocals and musicianship were decent, tone was good and everything flowed as if one overarching track, but when something like that happens you run a high risk of blanking out and "taking a sonic bath", as it were. It happened to me the first time, and the second and third times I was able to pay enough attention to the whole affair, but nothing really jumped out at me and made me take much notice.

21The Pine
Days Slipping By

This was nice, a change of pace from other entries in the "emo" genre. Whereas other "emo" bands relied on screamed vocals and intense musicianship, The Pine take a more relaxed tone in both the instrumentals and vocals, aaaalmooooost bordering on post-rock levels, to get their point across, and this actually works rather well. I liked how the catharsis from the album felt smoother and better earned, with the tone and flow complementing the proceedings rather nicely. Well done.

22Pg. 99
Document #8

This was interesting; if Pg. 99’s “Document #5” was honest and earnest emotion, “Document #8” here is more moody and introspective, less reliant on cathartic outbursts, but smart enough to use those infrequent moments for better effect. I was better prepared this time for the type of vocals, and in response, I liked them better than before. Musicianship is tight, and I liked how they sprinkled in some ambiance here and there to better set the atmosphere. Tone and flow are both aces, and this was excellent.

23Pg. 99
Document #5

Loud, abrasive, cathartic — all the emotional equivalents of these words ran through my brain as I listened to this; Pg. 99 take their interpretation of screamo and inject it with such raw emotion and bleeding insistency that one would be hard pressed not to feel a sense of emotional catharsis when listening to this. Musicianship was very spasmodic and yet focused, tone and flow were excellent, and while the vocals fit the production like a glove, I wasn’t terribly crazy for it; they weren’t bad at all, just something I wasn’t expecting or aurally prepared for.

24One Last Wish

A fun little jam of post-punk here, at times this felt like a happier version of Joy Division, sans Ian Curtis. This still had elements of punk, what with a punchy tone, flow and rhythm section, but what sets this apart from true punk stylings is the clean vocal lines and the smooth guitars, which really take this LP to the next level...
I really liked this.

No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical

A funky take on post-hardcore, Showbread’s NS, NINP is a bop from start to finish. Mixing in light electronics with their sound and bringing a bounce and spring in their musical step, Showbread ensure that the flow of the album never gets boring at all. Tone and musicianship is really good and refreshing at times, and the vocals are solid, but the screams remind me of The Refused, which is kinda funny now that I think about it. I really enjoyed this album, and nice choice here, guys and gals.

26Moss Icon
Complete Discography

This reminded me a bit of Black Flag, where vocals in both switched between a normal style of singing and sometimes more of a spoken word tone, depending on atmosphere and song. This also demonstrated an appreciably wide swath of style and range, keeping things from becoming stale or overblown. All in all, not too shabby of a release, and I enjoyed it.

27Husker Du
Zen Arcade

This reminded me a lot of the punk I heard when I first began working my way through this respective genre, of X and The Clash and how early punk sounded so simultaneously raw and vibrant; Husker Du fit right in with these bands and I fucking loved it. However, “Zen Arcade” does share the same sin as The Clash’s “Sandinista”, in that this was a bit too long for its own good; the only divergence is that while “Sandinista” feels meandering, this felt finite and complete. I liked how the vocals sounded, strong and confident, and I really liked how the musicianship felt completely unfettered and limitless. A classic release, to be sure.

28The Human Abstract
Digital Veil

You know, this was kinda dope. Metalcore with healthy dashes of technicality and prog, ultimately sounding like the best Periphery cover band out there today. Lol.
There was quite a bit for me to like here, in particular those mentions above of prog and tech mixed in here; bonus points go to the vocals, which were absolutely pitch perfect for the instrumentality, and the tone, flow and production was absolutely delicious. Really good stuff on display here.

29Trophy Scars
Hospital Music for the Aesthetics of Language

Man, this was better than I expected, and before anyone thinks the worst of that statement I mean that in the best way possible. Another slice of emotional hardcore, and this stuck the landing for the emotional part. I really like how their style of playing/singing really pull one into the album and lean more towards the experience side of it, rather than a simple album. Everything worked well and in sync with one another, and this was a fun entry.

Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing

I must confess I actually listened to this once before, several months ago when I was interspersing my homework listening with other music to try and chip away at my monolithic music library. At the time, and even now, I was impressed with how heavy a tone and flow this album had for the time, certainly a bit different than other punk bands, and I was impressed with how vitriolic their lyrics were; even when I re-listened to this the other day I was still of an approving mindset about every aspect about this band and album, and I can only give it the due justice it deserves in this list.


Elder, mid-paced punk/hardcore here, and quite fun to listen to. Nothing earth-shattering, but a nice change up that’s needed from time to time. The vocalist mixed in a roughly equal mix of socio-political lyrics with some fun, good-timey stuff, the musicianship was well done, tone and flow were good as well and the production has that good old feeling that you notice with other albums released around this time. Good stuff here.

32Rudimentary Peni
Death Church

Some solid hardcore/punk going on here, but nothing going on to really distinguish it from myriad other bands in the genre; lyrics have a social/political bite to them, and at times the vocalist reminds me, aurally, of Johnny Rotten at times, so that’s interesting. Musicianship is competent, but the production leaves a lot to be desired... this’d be fun to mix into a punk playlist someday and re-jam.

Axe to Fall

What a difference cleaner production makes. Unlike Jane Doe, Axe To Fall was much easier to aurally distinguish, and therefore became a better overall experience in listening. I really enjoyed how sludgy the sound was, with the vocals providing a balanced counterpart to the whole affair; even the tone and flow were really good, with the final few tracks switching up and slowing down, and “Wretched World” as a closer was fantastic. Now if only I had started with this instead of Jane Doe, things might’ve been different...

34Jeromes Dream

This was interesting; stylistically within the same genre as You & I and Saetia, Jerome's Dream feels kind of like a discount version of Saetia, where the vocals have a remarkable amount of feeling and insistency but they don't quite nail the atmospherics and dynamism that Saetia do. I'm not trying to actively compare the two, but that's the first thing that comes to mind as I listened to this. A solid entry in the "screamo" genre, and definitely something I'll have to come back to in due time.

35City of Caterpillar
City of Caterpillar

This was a really, really good album. Bringing the insistency of emotional hardcore in the vocals and lyrics with the destructive catharsis that only exceptional post-hardcore can give, City of Caterpillar absolutely lay to waste any doubt in one's mind about how good this album, and by extension, this band, can be. I really have no quibbles, as everything worked flawlessly for my tastes.

36Dag Nasty
Can I Say

More punk! More punk! More punk! Another rock fucking solid punk album from early in the genre, and this has so much energy that you'd be hard pressed NOT to start a one man mosh pit in the middle of your living room. Musicianship, vocals, tone and flow all worked together seamlessly and this was a fucking fun time.

A Thought Crushed My Mind

Damn, this shit is good; probably the closest anything has come to sounding like The Refused, and it’s just as pissed and spasmodic as The Refused gets. I was not expecting this level of energy right from the get go and this just blew me away. Musicianship and vocals were top-notch, and the tone and flow was fantastic. Fucking loved it.

38As I Lay Dying
Frail Words Collapse

I don't know if it was intentional or not, but my brain was giving me massive All That Remains vibes with this album; I think it may have to do with the vocals sounding similar in several respects, but there's also the death metal/deathcore influences sprinkled in throughout this album and the ATR album I listened to before, "The Fall Of Ideals". Musicianship here is tasty, with those DM moments standing out, and the vocals are decent for what this album requires. Solid, but doesn't leave me gobsmacked.


Hell yes, classic punk/hardcore here from good ‘ol 1981. I honestly do have a soft spot for this kind of music, as several years ago I worked through as much punk as I could find at my local libraries, and Adolescents would fit right in with the other bands I listened to. Tone and flow are classic here, and the vocals and musicianship are all aces. Looking forward to all the other bands on this list that fall into this category; looking at you, Husker Dü and And Discharge!

40Die Kreuzen
Die Kreuzen

Some more classic punk, and surprise surprise, from my home state, no less. Die Kreuzen introduce another little slab of speed and pointed fury with this album, and things lean more towards hardcore here, with tone, flow, musicianship and most definitely vocals all showing their predispositions towards this particular genre. I liked how the vocals had an extra sense of vitriol to it, definitely satiating that intangible sense of my brain. Another good album.

A Sense of Coalition

Some solid hardcore right here, Codeseven take the brakes off this album and take it for as hard and fast as they can; this has an excellent sense of flow and tone to it all, with the instrumentality and vocals all lending quite seamlessly to the creative whole. “Hymn” was an absolute banger, and I did chuckle at their cover of Don Henley’s “Boys Of Summer”; almost as good as Fall Silent’s cover of the Sesame Street theme song lol.

42You and I
The Curtain Falls

Solid emotional hardcore here, You and I bring jam after jam here and never let up until the record ends and the lights go up. Tone was good, and I liked how they had an underlying jazz track playing, making all the separate tracks feel like one overarching suite. Vocals are actually pretty good, and the musicianship here works well. Only thing bugging me is I know that jazz vocalist who they sampled, but for the life of me I can’t recall her name.... Billie Holliday? Anyone know?

43The Hated
What Was Behind

Honestly, this felt overwhelmingly average, and I think that’s because of the vocals and flow of the album. There wasn’t anything there in both of those regards to really catch my ear and make me take notice, but then again, it’s not the worst thing to say by labeling it average... the flow of the album was nice and the musicianship was really good, at times touching on the punk/hardcore side of the spectrum, and I really dug the acoustic outro on the title track, but at the end of the day... *shoulder shrug* solid, but unmemorable.

44Hot Cross

Highly melodic emotional hardcore, Hot Cross hit all the right notes here to create an excellent album. Coming out of this, I noted that this band had members of Saetia in it as well, and it made sense as both there and here there is a high sense of dynamics, of loud and soft, at play in the compositions, and that sense of dynamics really set this album on another level of appreciation for me. Vocals were excellent, musicianship was tight and tone and flow were wonderful. This was s nice way to spend a half an hour of one’s time.

A Retrospective

My goodness, but this was interesting! Another entry into the “screamo” genre, and Saetia here demonstrate an incredible talent and grasp for the sense of dynamics within a song; truly, the way they weave both elements of harshness and tranquility is quite breathtaking in places. Musicianship is excellent, and the vocals by and large acquit themselves well. Tone and flow is good overall, but it does feel a little too “samey” in segments; “The Poet You Never Were” was absolutely fantastic.

46Native Nod
Today Puberty, Tomorrow the World

This was a really solid post-hardcore album. Just like others albums throughout the other lists, this would fit comfortably within the more “alternative” side of the post-hardcore genre, but still the hallmarks of the genre can easily be found here. Swelling to crescendos at times and other times feeling strongly insistent, the musicianship and vocals present acquit themselves admirably, while the tone and flow work well throughout, except for the track “Mr. President”, as that felt like a throwaway track and didn’t really bring anything at all to the proceedings; good album overall.

47Antioch Arrow
Gems of Masochism

This was very interesting; definitely an avant-garde take on some emo themes and sensibilities, Antioch Arrow manages to meld all this into a unique whole, crafting it in such a way that like it or hate it, you can’t deny that it’s attention grabbing. To that end, I kinda liked this, although I wasn’t ready for how spasmodic this turned out to be, to the point where I don’t know where my sensibilities align with something like this. I will say that this was arresting. and I’ll definitely come back to this again.

Between Two Unseens

Very melodic take on post-hardcore here, and I’m enjoying it. Very emotional and insistent in the vocal style, tone and timbre, and that sets everything that comes after it on a fucking solid foundation. The musicianship complement the vocals so very well, and the flow for the completed project is very smooth, making for an exceptionally enjoyable experience. I’ll have to check out Taken’s other material after all is said and done.


As an instrumental album, I really liked the prog overtones here and how they didn’t pressure the flow of the album into something unnecessarily faster, but as an entry do this list, and seeing Sput has TDEP as a relates band, I’m kinda left scratching my head; I really don’t hear it. Maybe I was expecting too much or something, I don’t know, but I liked this for what it is, and that’s good for something.

50Swarm of the Lotus
When White Becomes Black

Holy shit is this fantastic! Monolithic riffing, crushing, dense production and one HELL of a sludgy atmosphere combine forces to create this absolute monster of an album. Vocals are pissed off and strained, tone and flow is exquisitely delicious, and the musicianship is to die for. Fucking A, this is magnificent!
I love practically everything about this album!

The Relationship Between Music and Numbers

Little EP from Rosesdead, sounds a bit harder than their “Stages” LP. Solid musicianship and vocals, little bit more uncleans than what I remember from them. Not bad, but at three tracks total, not much else to say, really...

The Aftermath...

Yesssss, this was some fucking dope ass hardcore that's crusty and sludgy as fucking hell. In the best way possible, I wasn't prepared for how this would sound, and I was completely blown away by it; the tone and flow is just fucking ace and the musicianship and vocals are well done. Fuck yes to this one.

The Antagonist

Decent technical metalcore with some slightly unpolished vocal work that could’ve done with some practice and betterment. Not bad, but not exactly the brightest crayon in the box.

Ride The Fader

Another day, another really good post-hardcore album that flirts with the “alternative” tag here, Chavez decide to slow things down on their album here but garnish almost everything with subtle flourishes of post-hardcore, mainly in the guitars or percussion (not at the same time tho). Vocals are chill and laid-back, the tone and flow strike a nice little groove, and I really liked this one.

55U.S. Maple
Purple On Time

Huh. What do you know, another blissed out example of post-hardcore, only with this it’s as if Leonard Cohen was fronting it. Different tone and timbre, to be sure, but a very similar breathy, almost whispering, delivery, which oddly enough really elevated this album. The musicianship, while remaining in that slower range of playing, was varied enough to keep things interesting, and the tone and flow were really good. There’s even a knockout cover of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay”. I really liked this one, and you might too.

56Catharsis (US)

I loved how this sounded like two different albums on one album, you know? The first half is all anger and aggression, while the second half switches things up and slows things down while still maintaining that emotional intensity from the first half. I really liked how, in the vocal performance here, the vocalist really put himself out there, not only in terms of range and style, but also in terms of emotionality; the musicianship was excellent, complementing the vocals perfectly, and the tone and flow is perfect. Catharsis indeed.

57Love Lost But Not Forgotten
Love Lost but Not Forgotten

Damn, but this was quite a bit to take in! Frenetic screams, breakneck pacing, elements of math, metalcore and even grind seeping their way in and staining the “screamo” cloth this album is cut from.... this is a very singular experience. I really liked the musicianship, tone and flow here, even though the last two tracks were slightly odd, especially after what one has just been through, and the vocals.... lets just say that while many of you know this particular style and strain (emphasis on strain) of vocals isn’t exactly my cup of Oolong, as the album progressed I didn’t mind them as much as I found myself doing in the beginning of the album. I’m not saying that I’ve totally changed my mind on them, but it’s a long, hard road on the way to the land of toleration...

Insomniac Doze

So crushingly beautiful, Envy lean quite into the post-rock elements of their sound to produce an album with such peaks and valleys, such pain and catharsis that the feeling this produces within me is almost indescribable. Balancing out the harsh vocals that are immediately Envy with such quiet moments of clean singing, at times almost bordering on spoken word sections, is a complete master stroke and I loved the decision. The tone and flow is sublime in its directness and simplicity, and the vocals and musicianship on display is perfect.
Perfect; simply perfect.

In Streams

I... um.... it....
As an indie-ish record that holds trappings of 90’s sentimentality, this was decent, but as an album on this particular list, this was headscratching. This is very much a singular, almost to the point of being monotonous, album, filled with gentle ebbs and flows that provide a warmness to it, almost like being sonically hugged, but it honestly doesn’t tick any of the boxes I set up in my head in terms of criteria for being on this list. That’s not to say this is a bad album - no, not at all; if you want something to put on and slowly chill out, this would be nice - but I’m struggling here in trying to figure out this album’s connections here. Silently solid but meh.

60Shudder To Think
Get Your Goat

Not bad, not bad at all... STT bring a variety of musical styles to the post-hardcore table present in this album, with the end result containing more hits than misses here. Things do seem slightly odd in places as you wonder where the inspiration for x or y came from, but sonically everything works out. Vocals are good, musicianship is competent in the most positive way, and tone and flow work out. An interesting aside.

61Feign (BR)
False Hope

Yoooo, I can get down with this: heavier than molasses in the middle of January, Feign brings the downtempo jams here, infusing the tracks here with just enough technicality so that your neck knows when to nod aggressively back and forth in time. Tone and flow are A plus, and the vocal work is excellent. Damn good stuff right here...


Damn, but this was solid post-hardcore. Featuring members who would go on to play in or found other influential bands like Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu and Rocket From the Crypt, Pitchfork bring an infectious energy and drive to their style of playing, and it’s noticeable from the first note to the last. Vocals were excellent, musicianship was strong and the tone and flow was well done. Definitely recommend this one.

63Hot Snakes
Automatic Midnight

Now this was delicious. Post-hardcore with a sense of “new Millennium” modernity in having trace elements of electronics? I know it’s been done before, but to have this particular sound really hit a nostalgic note with me, and I fucking liked this! Vocals and musicianship was really good, and tone and flow was excellent. Not to stir the pot, but I’ll take this over Drive Like Jehu, and now I want to revisit that album lol.

Artificial Horizon

This was some mellow, blissed out post-hardcore right here, mixing in traces of noise rock to sweeten the deal, at times this almost felt like post-grunge even. Still a good time to be had sonically, the vocals are actually rather well done for my liking, with the instrumentals creating a lush tapestry behind the lyrics. Tone and flow work well here, and the end result is a good time.

Unifying Themes Redux

A fun compilation of rarities, B-sides and what-have-you, this release of Botch material really would only be for die-hard fans and not much anyone else... there are hints here of what they would go on to become, but a lot of this is straightforward, aggressive metalcore; I mean it’s Botch, so you kinda know what you’re getting into, but then again this is sort of like Botch-lite; fun, but not deathly essential. Still, give it a listen if you’re curious like I was.

An Anthology of Dead Ends

Ah yes. It feels so good to come back to Botch, and while they’ve NEVER disappointed me, it’s with a sense of sadness I listen to this, as this is the last proper release Botch gave us. The polyrhythms are here, the angst and vitriol are here, the sound slowed down and made more menacing... this was excellent. I really haven’t anything negative to say about this, except goodbye.

67Girls Against Boys
Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby

Another album to file away under “post-hardcore”, albeit with indie and alternative trappings threaded through it. If anything, these trappings help the album make it more accessible to one’s ears and make for an enjoyable experience. Tone and flow are fun, and the vocals and musicianship are pretty good. Not a bad album at all.

68Living Sacrifice
The Hammering Process

Wow, this was good. Fusing a more caustic interpretation to the term “metalcore”, Living Sacrifice bring everything they have to bear on this album, with the results being stellar. Musicianship is outstanding, with even some guitar solos thrown into the mix, making for a pleasantly surprising experience, and the vocals are anger personified, if just a little homogenous. Tone and flow are absolutely delicious, and this all added into a fucking fun time with this album.

69Killswitch Engage
Alive or Just Breathing

Killswitch Engage bring together a rock solid release here, actually surprising me a little bit with how good it was. By far, this is the best outing I’ve heard from Jesse (team Howard FTW), and I like the DM tinges he throws into his vocals, making his range sound a little more dynamic; the musicianship is tight as always, with props to the melodies and riffs that shine through the songs, and the tone and flow was quite nice; probably (re: more than likely) my second favorite KSE release here, even though I have this rated higher.

70All Else Failed

Difficult, devastating, depressive - take your pick; All Else Failed will chew you up and spit you out with their brand of metallic hardcore/metalcore. Crafting an album filled with darker than normal overtones, AEF deliver on all fronts here, with the vocals and musicianship working together seamlessly and the tone and flow never letting up on you for one minute. Not gonna lie, there’s a usage of an audio clip in here of a woman crying her eyes out, and when that played something broke inside me and I couldn’t recover from that for the rest of the album, that’s how plotted and note perfect the flow of this album was. Devastating, yet highly underrated.

71Blood Has Been Shed

Positively venomous, Blood Has Been Shed’s album “Spirals” brings a heavy interpretation of metalcore to the fore, and the results are almost jaw-dropping. Howard Jones is an absolute beast here, singing almost completely in uncleans throughout, pitting his work with KSE to shame. The musicianship is perfect, with the percussion reaching almost grind-levels of speed, and the tone and flow are absolutely perfect, with many a time signature akimbo. A damn fucking fine release here.

72Ion Dissonance
Breathing Is Irrelevant

Damn. Damndamndamn; this has got to be the closest anything in all the lists previous has gotten to the chaotic perfection that is The End’s “Transfer Trachea...” album, and I mean that with the utmost respect towards that album and this. This is so jagged, so mathematically precise, so bipolar in its time signatures and flirtatious with the musical concept of atonality that this is brilliant. This is incredible! Vocals fit oh so well and as a bonus they sit well with my inclinations, the musicianship is off the charts, and the tone and flow are so unique that it almost transcends the boundaries of good taste. Excellent music on display here!

So Pretty So Plastic

Jeez, this was dark. This was some really good deathcore here, with the musicianship being fast with a dollop of technicality thrown into the mix, and there were even some solos thrown in for good measure, as opposed to breakdowns. The vocals were pure death metal, straight up, and even cozied up to the black metal side of the spectrum at times, and the tone and flow were really good, with audio samples aplenty. While I didn’t mind the serial-killer type of lyrics throughout (which gave this hella atmosphere), the only sore thumb here is the song “If I Told You I Loved You Would I Get It Faster?”, which is pure degradation of women, reducing them to nothing more than sex objects, and I really DON’T need to hear that at all.

The Asphyxiation Process

A solid slab of metalcore, Nehemiah’s “The Asphyxiation Process” sets out with a singular vision to make bodies mosh and heads to bang backwards and forwards, and it accomplishes these goals soundly. Musicianship is good, with good atmosphere as set up by the guitar tone, and the vocals are decent. Tone and flow are smooth, and all in all, this wasn’t bad.

A Year Of Misery

I was not expecting such an amount of melody within the chugs here, but, there they were. Annalynn is a metalcore band out of Thailand, and their album here was quite the pleasant surprise for me, reminding me of KSE’s End Of Heartache and their levels of melody within their formulae. Vocals are actually decent here, with a nice hardcore style throughout and punctuated by some nice highs, and the musicianship is rock solid; tone and flow are good, and overall I liked this. Check it out!

76Infection (JPN)
The Armchair Theory

Whoa. Is that hardcore with metalcore influences, or is it metalcore with hardcore influences? Honestly, it doesn’t matter, because this album SLAPS. Big time. Musicianship is excellent and the vocals are rock solid, although aurally they sound similar to another Japanese band called Before My Life Fails, who I didn’t care for at first but now jam them hard every now and then. The tone is delicious and the flow is damn good (that breakdown on the track “Letters”! Oh so fucking tasty!), and this is fucking solid.

77Remembering Never
She Looks So Good In Red

Hell yes, this is the metalcore equivalent to the term “Chicken Soup for the Soul”; Remembering Never bring an indiscriminate aggression to their musicianship, filling it in such a way that sonically this album is set for maximum devastation; the track “Feathers In Heaven” in particular is an absolute beast. The vocals are really well done, combining ire and longing in an effective way, and the tone and flow are absolutely perfect. This is a bonafide classic.

78Kiss It Goodbye

This was absolutely vicious. Compared to their sole LP, this feels like a caustic devolution of a psyche through sheer anger and hatred. Vocals are a tad more manic, a tad more frayed and that actually lends this EP a lot of its bite and power. Musicianship is top notch, with equal parts winding up and down to suit the mood of the song, and tone and flow are done well for this release, as short as it is. Not as good as their LP, but a damn fine addition anyway.

Sleeping Beneath the Ashes of Creation

At times thrashy in its stylings, this was some really fun proto-deathcore on display here. Endthisday bring a really balanced sense of flow to the whole proceedings, and the guitar tone was to die for, it was that perfect. The musicianship was really good, and the vocals were strong and had a good “bite” to them. Good album.

80Capsule (US)

An interesting entry here, combining elements of prog with almost a “metalcore-lite” formula. I did enjoy these style choices, as they provided a light and positive counterpoint to what normal metalcore would’ve opted for. Musicianship and vocals are really good, and the tone and flow was delicious, especially with the changing time signatures weaving their way in and out of songs.

81This or the Apocalypse

Really nothing here in the vocals, musicianship, tone and flow to stand out and be noticeable, if at all. There’s interesting moments or tidbits that you hope turn into something good, but then those opportunities are squandered by overwhelming doses of generic mediocrity. That’s it; there’s no more to say on this. Keep the line moving, people....

82Misery Signals
Of Malice and the Magnum Heart

Well, it’s taken me two separate albums from Misery Signals, but I’ve finally found their one album I can totally throw in behind lol. More so than Controller and a step above Mirrors, this release from the band has a delightful amount of musical variation and a tasteful range and split between clean and unclean vocals. The tone and flow was actually pitch-perfect, and I honestly enjoyed this from start to finish. Good job, guys!

83Evergreen Terrace

This was a fun release, stylistically skewing towards a more streamlined, straightforward approach similar to what Johnny Truant did between “In the Library...” and “No Tears...”. The group’s metalcore Roots gratefully weren’t forsaken though, as one can hear throughout this album. Vocals and musicianship were still top notch, and the tone and flow were good. Again, a fun release.

84From Ashes Rise

Falling more on the side of hardcore than metalcore, FAR’s album here was still a solid standout release. Mixing the energy of punk with the oft-pointed vitriol of hardcore, From Ashes Rise channel all their angst and aggression into here, and it shows. Musicianship is good, the vocals are well done and the tone and flow are well executed. Good stuff.

85Sinai Beach
When Breath Escapes

Another solid, “meat and potatoes”-basic level metalcore release here, with a firm grasp on the fundamentals of aggression on display. Musicianship-wise, this has a nice level of melody to it all, and the uncleans are executed well; however, the cleans sound a little out of place, almost like “pretty boy” levels here. Minor quibble, and moving on... tone and flow are good and fucking heavy in spots, and in the end, this was fun.


Well then. Heavy and atmospheric in places, Paria bring a sweltering take on metalcore to the table here, with the end result making sure your tastes have been sated. Vocals work well here and the musicianship is really good. Tone and flow work overall, with a slight quibble being songs flow together a little too well in one or two spots, creating a slight risk of sameness in the album, but like I said, it’s minor at best; the hidden Primus cover was a welcome bonus as well.

Gold Becomes Sacrifice

Another solid slab of metalcore on display, Cannae bring a welcome sense of intensity usually found in hardcore and successfully transplant it to a metalcore formula; the lion’s share of praise belongs to the musicianship, bringing urgency and some bite to their performances, but the vocals really help to sell the songs, injecting an edge and tangible anger to them, more than what would be readily noticeable. Tone and flow are really well done, and this was a fun entry.

88From A Second Story Window
Not One Word Has Been Omitted

Holy shit, this was fucking good! Mixing elements of metalcore with light dashes of math unpredictability and technicality in the musicianship with elements of black metal in the vocals, this was a fucking beast to be reckoned with. This completely blew me away, I was completely unready for how good this was; tone and flow were fucking heavy as well, and this was fucking damn good.

89If Hope Dies
The Ground Is Rushing Up to Meet Us

Ticking all the metalcore boxes succinctly will score one a passing grade; ticking them with flourishes of creativity/originality will garner more points and praise from me.... IHD checks them succinctly enough. I enjoyed the aggression and unrelenting atmosphere in here, but the vocals were only decent when there were flashes here and there that they could’ve been something more; musicianship is dope though and the tone and flow worked well. Solid, if slightly unremarkable.

90As Hope Dies
Legions Bow to a Faceless God

This was some tasty, well-done metalcore right here, at times almost infringing on metallic hardcore territory even. There’s a similarity here between these guys and Undying, mainly in their sound and style, and I really dig that. The vocals are excellent, the musicianship is really nice, with the guitars bringing a thrash sensibility in places, and tone and flow are unrelenting, making everything fantastic. Love it.

91Still Remains
If Love Was Born to Die

Now this is some good stuff to get down to! It may be lacking a smidge in the variety and technical departments, but this is some top level “steak and eggs” basic metalcore to mosh the fuck out to. Vocals have a nice tone and sit well, musicianship is straightforward but has more force than a sledgehammer, and the overall tone and flow is good. Fuck, this was fun!

92Glass Casket
We Are Gathered Here Today...

Hell. Yes. Glass Casket’s album here is incredible, mixing a frenzy of technical proficiency with an overbearing sense of doom-like atmosphere to create one of the best -core albums I’ve heard yet. The vocals bring such an intensity to their performance, combining with the aforementioned proficiency of the instrumentals and adds up into one big dessert of “Wow.” Tone and flow are well done, with the tracks done in such a way that the album feels like one piece; that’s a particular strain of album flow done RIGHT, and I appreciate the hell out of that when pulled off correctly; loved this from start to finish.

93The Classic Struggle
Feel Like Hell

Damn. The Classic Struggle’s debut album, “Feel Like Hell”, feels, well... classic. It’s definitely a certain style of metalcore that I heard back when I was first getting into the genre and I’ve rarely heard for several years now; it’s actually quite refreshing to hear, to be honest. Just nonstop flow, heavy tone and aggressive musicianship and vocals with breakdowns aplenty, making the album’s runtime, almost an hour in length, move effortlessly and enjoyably. Sure, some of you may not care for this style anymore in this day and age, but if you ever get into a nostalgic mood, this’ll definitely put a smile on your face and set your head to bobbing and feet to tapping. Fun stuff to remember, to be sure.

94Gunmetal Grey

Another entry to file away under the “solid” section; Gunmetal Grey perform a serviceable metalcore job, but opting for more common stylistic choices hold this one back from being really good. The vocals are decent, with the highs of the uncleans abutting death/black territory, but the musicianship is just “OK”; it’s competent, but when no risks are taken, there’s really no reward in the end, you know? Taking the two previous factors into consideration, the tone and flow are decent as well, with some soloing thrown in as opposed to breakdowns. All in all, solid, but kinda too close to “meh” territory.

95Morning Again
As Tradition Dies Slowly

Damn, but this was some fucking heavy metallic hardcore right here now. I fucking loved (and missed) how hard and heavy this type of hardcore went, and this completely blew my socks off. The vocals were dripping with ferocity, the musicianship was absolute tops and the tone and flow were *chef's kiss* perfecto. An absolute must for any fan of the genre.

Three Humid Nights in the Cypress Trees

As far as final albums go, this is more of a whimper than a bang; Bloodlet jettison for the most part the sound and style of their previous two albums and streamline things here, with the end result sounding more and more like a pissed off post/alt-grunge act than anything else. There’s hardly anything here to link this Bloodlet with the Bloodlet from Entheogen and The Seraphim Fall, which is a damn shame (even though I didn’t rate the previous two very highly), although when the moments come where you can connect, ala the title track or maybe even Holy Rollin’ Homicide, you connect hard. Vocals are tolerable and I hate how the uncleans sounds like they were recorded in a box as opposed to the cleans; musicianship is competent as well, tone and flow were solid “meh”, and Bloodlet slowly fades from view...

97Scars of Tomorrow
All Things Change

Not bad, not bad... definitely feels just like what I got with their later release “Rope Tied...”, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Vocals and musicianship are pretty much just like I remember from their other album; the tone and flow were decent overall. Solid, middle-of-the-road metalcore.

98Heavy Heavy Low Low
Courtside Seats to the Greatest Fuck Of

In a way, I'm glad Lexi gave me all these recommendations above and I worked through them, because if I didn't, I honestly don't know what I'd think of this album and type of vocals, and I don't think I would be as favorable with my line of thinking as I'm feeling now. As it is, this was pretty good, and I appreciated the manic intensity found both in the vocals and the musicianship, and in a way, this (tangentially) reminded me of The Fourth Season Barrier. Tone was good, and the flow was delicious. Good album overall.

Sending you Strength

Well, this was kind of.... generic. There was balance between cleans and uncleans, requisite yet hollow feeling breakdowns, "classic" tone (i.e. sounding like stuff when I first got into the genre) and serviceable flow; nothing really out of the safe zone in terms of originality and in the end, kind of unmemorable. Ehh.

100Scary Kids Scaring Kids
The City Sleeps In Flames

You know, this was actually pretty good; me not knowing what this would sound like notwithstanding, SKSK bring a sound to post-hardcore that I haven't heard from in quite some time, and it was actually quite refreshing to my ears. Vocals were pretty good, with that higher register that I remember hearing from sooooooo many other bands back in the day, musicianship was tight and the tone and flow were good for this album. All in all, kind of a fun time to be had with this one.

101HORSE the band
R. Borlax

If I had to describe this album in one word, I would use the word "intense". To be upfront, I enjoyed this album, but there's so many aspects and individual snippets of genres being thrown at you pell-mell, one could be forgiven for feeling slightly bewildered after finishing listening to this. The instrumentals are absolutely off the wall, so varied and technical they were; the vocals were very unique, staying within a "hardcore" range most of the time, but occasionally dipping into "screamo" territory, what with those highs and shrieks. Really, the flow of the album is the hero, holding everything together just right, and the tone was certainly unique. I don't know if I'll revisit this terribly often, but daaaaammmmmnnnnn does this pop off...

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