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shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Ben, please add the new Underoath album Voyeurist, along with their non-metal albums to bridge the gap:

They're Only Chasing Safety

Define the Great Line

Erase Me

(The former two of their non-metal albums I've been asking for ever since you starting adding non-metal albums but somehow they kept getting overlooked, but this is the perfect chance to add them in along with their two most recent albums, so please don't miss them. Thanks!)

51
PrincetteScarecrow

In my opinion Trance Metal fits much better in The Gateway because Alternative Metal is usually what's given as a catch-all to "Pop Metal," which is what Trance Metal is usually going for. I get the comparisons to Symphonic and Power Metal, as especially the Japanese strain of Trance Metal is heavily influenced by the styles, but I don't think Trance Metal at all fits aesthetically with The Guardians (not that I'm a kvltist or anything, but the name of the clan implies a sound closer to "original" Heavy Metal, and Trance Metal is anything but). Babymetal should for sure be in The Gateway as they are certainly Alternative Metal even when not doing Trance Metal. Just my two cents though.

Quoted SilentScream213

Interesting perspective. Do you have some examples of some Pop Metal records that have been lumped into The Gateway purely as a catch-all rather than because they possess an alternative inspired sound? It's not really my area of expertise so I'm interested to see exactly what you're talking about.

Quoted Daniel

Coldrain has a good example of a more poppy alt-metalcore sound.

20
Daniel

Ever since I started assembling the Revolution playlists, I've found a great amount of metalcore band discoveries! Here are 7 I've started listening to, from the regular melodic-ish metalcore:

To the more avant-prog-ish metalcore:

And the wild experimental mathcore:

And besides those 7 bands, I finally got the new Underoath album Voyeurist, a true return to this band's metalcore sound from the late 2000s, with some such highlights including the climax of this 7-minute epic:


86
Daniel

Ok, so I have to admit that I went into this record with a fairly skeptical mindset given the generally mediocre response that Bullet For My Valentine seem to draw from most dedicated metalheads. I'd only heard bits & pieces of the band previously through my time programming The Revolution playlists (mainly through Andi's track submissions) but had never made the commitment to explore a full album which is hardly surprising given my usual aversion to melodic metalcore (or melodic anything for that matter). This record has really surprised me though & I think it deserves to be given a chance as it's one heavy muthafucka! Don't get me wrong, you can still expect to hear a fair few Linkin Park style choruses but they're done very well for the most part with the hooks offering a bit more than your average pop metal schlock can muster. There are some guargantuan metal riffs included that bands like Judas Priest or Pantera would be proud of though & the production job is absolutely metal as fuck. Michael Paget's lead guitar tone may shred the paint off your walls actually.

To my great surprise I found that I quite like all of the ten tracks on offer here & can see myself returning to "Bullet For My Valentine" in the future too. I don't see where the links to alternative metal or the comparisons to Trivium are coming from because this is about twenty times as metal as those references would seem to indicate. In fact, there are significant thrash & groove metal influences here with album highlight "Shatter" being taken straight from Dimebag Darrel's old playbook. I certainly can do without the commercially angled gang vocal parts but this is a quality metal release that deserves more respect than it's received online to date. It may not be the most original metal record ever but when has that ever stopped metalheads from enjoying well executed & supremely heavy metal music.

4/5

2
Daniel

I'm doing my sneak peek submissions for the Revolution playlist again, but now 6 of them, slowly building back up to 7. If Theo-Wyoming decides to submit track suggestions again, I can remove one of my own and decide whether to save the one I take out for this playlist anyway or a different playlist. Anyway, here are my 6 sneak peek submissions for the February Revolution playlist:

Bleeding Through - "Dearly Demented" (5:22) from The Truth (2006)

Born of Osiris - "The New Reign" (2:22) from The New Reign (2007)

Demon Hunter - "Collapsing" (3:38) from The World is a Thorn (2010)

Make Them Suffer - "Neverbloom" (6:34) from Neverbloom (2012)

Parkway Drive - "Sleepwalker" (4:01) from Deep Blue (2010) (This was already in one of last year's playlists, but I'm submitting it anyway because my brother let it play in our family car's radio last week. You can't let a good song down!)

Trivium - "Amongst the Shadows & the Stones" (5:40) from What the Dead Men Say (2020)

Total length: 27:37

52
shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Similarly to last month's playlist, this one plays out like an epic hero story that could fit well in a movie or a video game, except after the final boss level during the 11-minute epic, a final soft track plays as en epilogue. This I think could make the playlist more interesting, along with more appealing based on the order, for anyone up to listening to a long 2-hour playlist, but that's just what I think. Enjoy! I'm gonna share with you my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Bullet for My Valentine - "Parasite" (from Bullet for My Valentine, 2021)

4.5/5. After a minute of half of distorted brief radio samples of BFMV's greatest hits from practically every album, the song itself (and the playlist) blasts through pure metal to have you fist-pumping and headbanging in no time.

Atreyu - "Doomsday" (from Lead Sails Paper Anchor, 2007)

5/5. One of the best songs I've discovered via playlist submissions! Thank you, Theo, you didn't have to delete your submissions out of shame, if that's what you felt. This one has a mix of metalcore and hard rock/metal, especially proven by Dan Jacobs' Halen-inspired guitar soloing. It's so great to find this band via a song from an album released in 2007. This underrated band has just become one of my favorites in metalcore!

Bleeding Through - "Love Lost in a Hail of Gun Fire" (from This is Love, This is Murderous, 2003)

5/5. This one opens with a sound sample from the movie The Boondock Saints (not to be confused with that comic strip The Boondocks). Then the band starts their attack of powerful riff energy and Brandan Schieppati's fueled-up harsh vocals. This song features one of only a few instances of clean vocals in this album, sounding not too tough and not at all nasal, but somewhere in between.

From Autumn to Ashes - "Daylight Slaving" (from Holding a Wolf by the Ears, 2007)

5/5. Another amazing banger! This is well known as one of the songs from the soundtrack for Madden NFL 08.

Trivium - "Feast of Fire" (from In the Court of the Dragon, 2021)

4.5/5. After those first 4 songs starting the playlist heavy, the radio anthem "Feast of Fire" has a different riff that spawned from an unknown demo. There's killer strength and maturity that levels this song up more than the similar mid-tempo songs from The Crusade. The balance between heaviness and melody continues to suit Trivium's latest album and makes sure it's not just a sequel to the one from last year.

Parkway Drive - "Boneyards" (from Horizons, 2007)

5/5. One of the first and best Parkway Drive songs I've listened to, indeed a brutal bruiser with urgent up-tempo bursts! A killer flashback to the heaviness of their debut! I love that killer metalcore monster.

Currents - "Better Days" (from The Way It Ends, 2020)

4.5/5. Another d*mn amazing song to strike my soul! This almost describes the current situation of the world. The lyrics never disappoint, they hit f***ing hard and motivate you to break out of these hard times ("Suffocating, can’t breathe but you’ve got a f***ing mouth to feed"). Unbelievable! I think this is like a more metal Rise Against.

Neon Graves - "Sanctuary" (from All That Brings Us Down, 2020)

4.5/5. This is the second song I've heard from this band, and it's still not even close to bad. Spread the sound! In a time when real life is in a sh*tty level, sick songs like this are worth hearing to escape reality. It is also useful for dealing with breakups. Great song, but not perfect enough to start a relationship with the band's music.

Every Time I Die - "Prom Song" (from The Burial Plot Bidding War, 2000)

4/5. Another cool headbanger! The intro sample is from the movie Event Horizon. This EP and their debut Last Night in Town are the most brutal start to this band's journey. This is bad-a** killer sh*t that we're gonna miss, especially since recently, Keith Buckley is having his hiatus from the band. Who knows what their fate might be...

Motionless in White - "Dragula" (from Creatures, 2010)

4.5/5. A friend of mine from the outside world showed me a Rob Zombie song, "Dragula", in which a remix version was used in the first Matrix movie. That song is industrial metal, but the kind of industrial metal I prefer is not the "alt-" kind heard in that song, but rather the more experimental industrial metal bands like Godflesh, Strapping Young Lad, Samael, and Motionless in White, the latter having done a cover of that song with a gothic-ish metalcore twist in style, as you can hear here. You can also find one of Motionless in White's industrial songs in this month's Sphere playlist.

Knocked Loose - "Where Light Divides the Holler" (from A Tear in the Fabric of Life, 2021)

5/5. I just found this band thanks to Daniel's suggestion. After a minute of someone driving their car while browsing through different radio channels, the driver ends up in a car crash at the one-minute mark, and the chaotic metalcore action begins. F*** YEAH!!!! I love this headbanger, especially the breakdown near the 3-minute mark. This song is clearly inspired by Meshuggah's Destroy Erase Improve, while going nowhere near djent and sticking to their metallic hardcore guns. Thanks for this, Daniel!

Unearth - "Letting Go" (from The March, 2008)

3.5/5. This ballad-ish track can be considered the negative of its album, though it adds some deep restraint to the album, enough for me to make that playlist submission and recommend it to any melodic metalcore fans out there.

Like Moths to Flames - "YOTM" (from No Eternity in Gold, 2020)

5/5. Sometimes discoveries can be made on my own, and I can't wait for more of this awesome band!

Inventure - "Renaissance" (from No Time to Waste, 2020)

4.5/5. I haven't listened to this band before, but wow, I'm impressed by some of the great aspects! Killer lyrics, screaming vocals, and unbelievable technicality. The cleans are brilliant too! I would pass this on to someone who likes the more brutal metalcore more than me if I were...me.

Anticline - "Headspinning Bias" (from Urgency, 2020)

4.5/5. I found another f***ing killer band who can perform incredible riffs, clear bass, and sick grooves. Hitting so g****mn HARD, especially the furious breakdown at the two-minute mark. The aggression follows through all the way until the end with barely any melody, with the chorus riffing being mainly heavy groove. This brings more variety than the emo sh*t that chicks dig. Again, that song's for the more brutal fans.

Spirit Breaker - "Pure Fury & Wonder" (from Cura Nata, 2021)

4/5. Almost incredible, though the fire is often too engulfing. Next!

Blueshift - "Voyager" (from Voyager, 2020)

4.5/5. There some grand prog-metalcore gold here, clearly inspired by the Australian scene of bands such as Polaris, Thornhill, and Northlane, despite this band and the similar-sounding Erra being from Alabama.

36 Crazyfists - "The Tide And Its Takers" (from The Tide And Its Takers, 2008)

5/5. An interesting submission from Theo, a beautiful semi-acoustic ballad to break up the playlist a bit. I've tried listening to 36 Crazyfists for a few attempts, but maybe this could be my gateway to listening to that band, despite being different from what they usually do. So emotion-inducing! It reminds of when I changed the tempo of My Dying Bride's "Two Winters Only" to be 2x faster. This can very well be one of my favorite songs from a metal band to not be metal! If people start a mosh pit when they perform this song live, that would be ridiculous. And this is the same band who made the song "Slit Wrist Theory". So lovely and poetic, I would pay for it if I could!

Polaris - "Landmine" (from The Death of Me, 2020)

5/5. One of the best songs here, slightly better than the Inventure one! First track from this band I've listened to, and I'll definitely pay more attention to them. That insane breakdown really crushes and revives my soul. This band's heaviness shall wipe out the fluffiness of the mainstream. This band can combine some of the nu metal of Stray From the Path and Slipknot with the metalcore of Architects and The Devil Wears Prada. Or just be Make Them Suffer without female singing and with Northlane-like riffing.

Amaranthe - "Director's Cut" (from Amaranthe, 2011)

5/5. This is the longest song ever by Amaranthe, an almost 5-minute progressive-ish epic! Man, they have got to make more songs like that. Seriously, I need to fill up the trancecore/trance metal space in these playlists!

Brand of Sacrifice - "God Hand" (from God Hand, 2019)

4.5/5. We are now entering the dangerous deathcore zone, so if you can't handle the brutality, lyrical gore, and a bit of nude cover art, stay out the Revolution Hell's Kitchen. I probably will, despite this song being killer.

Slaughter to Prevail - "Baba Yaga" (from Kostolom, 2021)

4/5. Once you're about 20 seconds in, you already enter the hellish mosh-pit of chaos in a good song worth headbanging to. Listen to this at school without headphones, I dare you to survive that dare!

Darko US - "Pale Tongue" (from Darko, 2021)

4/5. There's just so much heavy destruction in this song, heavier than the largest elephant and possibly anything in existence. What's a heavier word than "heavy" and a more brutal word than "brutal"? Heavy enough for my liking but not perfectly appealing.

Bound in Fear - "Penance" (from Penance, 2021)

4.5/5. Another brutal headbanger with downtempo breakdowns to let rip!

Attila - "Payback" (from Outlawed, 2011)

5/5. Wow, what a beautiful Christian love song...NOT!!! A perfect song for the heavier metalheads! I'm not ashamed to admit that I was brought to this song by a video from one of the YouTube animator channels I used to like. I love this song, so beautiful, but brutal all the way. This heavy metal/deathcore song shouldn't be forgotten. It'll blow your f***ing mind! This amazing sh*t's on fire! The next time someone says "metalcore sucks", use that song against them.

The Ghost Inside - "Dear Youth (Day 52)" (from Dear Youth, 2014)

5/5. Finally we reach the last of Theo's submissions, a mega mood-fitting song for me to love, with some similarities to Crystal Lake, especially the vocals. From the 2-and-a-half-minute-mark onward is an epic breakdown until the ending fade.

Botch - "Man the Ramparts" (from We are the Romans, 1999)

5/5. The 11-minute closer "Man the Ramparts" is the perfect way to end Botch's two-album career (other than the EP). Epic gigantic chords soar throughout its long duration. Soon there's a passage where a choir sings the album's title, "We are the Romans", in glorious grandeur before being overtaken by one more furious devastating riff as a proper farewell from the band members. A grand atmospheric outro to bring that album to a heavy epic end! However, there's one more track to end this playlist...

The Dillinger Escape Plan - "Dissociation" (from Dissociation, 2016)

4.5/5. The Dillinger Escape Plan wanted to really say farewell in their final album before their end-tour and split, with the final title track. It starts with melancholic strings before electronic beats come in and Greg Puciato starts singing in a truly tender voice. It's NOT as soft as an acoustic ballad but at the same time obviously NOT heavy. And finally, strings and organic drums and cymbals keep playing as Puciato repeatedly sings "Finding a way to die alone" as the mix fades and he sings that line a couple more times and...it's over, that album, the band's career, and this playlist.

Wow, I really dig this playlist! I don't have to feel bad about saying that myself because of a couple great helpers in making this playlist; Daniel and Theo-Wyoming. Great submissions, guys, I look forward to listening to more of those bands! I would recommend this to any metalcore fan and anyone who isn't into metalcore but wants to get into a great start in enjoying the genre. Thanks Daniel for accepting this, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

1
Daniel

Hi everyone.

With only one month to go until we announce our release of 2021 for each clan (which will once again be based on our site ratings), Ben & I thought it'd be worth highlighting five key releases contending for each title in order to give everyone the chance to investigate some (or all) of them this month if you wish to. These were some of the more highly regarded releases in the metalcore, deathcore & trance metal space last year:


Knocked Loose - "A Tear In The Fabric Of Life" E.P.  {US metalcore}

Poppy - "Eat (NXT Soundtrack)" E.P.  {US alternative metalcore}

Between The Buried & Me - "Colors II"  {US progressive metalcore}

Every Time I Die - "Radical"  {US metalcore}

Frontierer - "Oxidized"  {Scottish mathcore}

0
Daniel

January 2022

01. Bullet for My Valentine - "Parasite" (from Bullet for My Valentine, 2021) [Submitted by shadowdoom9 (Andi)]

02. Atreyu - "Doomsday" (from Lead Sails Paper Anchor, 2007) [Submitted by Theo-Wyoming]

03. Bleeding Through - "Love Lost in a Hail of Gun Fire" (from This is Love, This is Murderous, 2003) [Submitted by Theo-Wyoming]

04. From Autumn to Ashes - "Daylight Slaving" (from Holding a Wolf by the Ears, 2007) [Submitted by Theo-Wyoming]

05. Trivium - "Feast of Fire" (from In the Court of the Dragon, 2021)

06. Parkway Drive - "Boneyards" (from Horizons, 2007) [Submitted by shadowdoom9 (Andi)]

07. Currents - "Better Days" (from The Way It Ends, 2020)

08. Neon Graves - "Sanctuary" (from All That Brings Us Down, 2020)

09. Every Time I Die - "Prom Song" (from The Burial Plot Bidding War, 2000) [Submitted by shadowdoom9 (Andi)]

10. Motionless in White - "Dragula" (from Creatures, 2010)

11. Knocked Loose - "Where Light Divides the Holler" (from A Tear in the Fabric of Life, 2021) [Submitted by Daniel]

12. Unearth - "Letting Go" (from The March, 2008) [Submitted by shadowdoom9 (Andi)]

13. Like Moths to Flames - "YOTM" (from No Eternity in Gold, 2020)

14. Inventure - "Renaissance" (from No Time to Waste, 2020)

15. Anticline - "Headspinning Bias" (from Urgency, 2020)

16. Spirit Breaker - "Pure Fury & Wonder" (from Cura Nata, 2021)

17. Blueshift - "Voyager" (from Voyager, 2020)

18. 36 Crazyfists - "The Tide And Its Takers" (from The Tide And Its Takers, 2008) [Submitted by Theo-Wyoming]

19. Polaris - "Landmine" (from The Death of Me, 2020)

20. Amaranthe - "Director's Cut" (from Amaranthe, 2011)

21. Brand of Sacrifice - "God Hand" (from God Hand, 2019)

22. Slaughter to Prevail - "Baba Yaga" (from Kostolom, 2021)

23. Darko US - "Pale Tongue" (from Darko, 2021)

24. Bound in Fear - "Penance" (from Penance, 2021)

25. Attila - "Payback" (from Outlawed, 2011) [Submitted by shadowdoom9 (Andi)]

26. The Ghost Inside - "Dear Youth (Day 52)" (from Dear Youth, 2014) [Submitted by Theo-Wyoming]

27. Botch - "Man the Ramparts" (from We are the Romans, 1999)

28. The Dillinger Escape Plan - "Dissociation" (from Dissociation, 2016)

5
Daniel

Yeah, I don't mind this album. I've developed a taste for beatdown metalcore over the last couple of years & this example is suitably violent & in-your-face. The vocals are absolutely vicious & help to cater for some of the more generic instrumentation. The tracklisting is a bit top-heavy with highlight tracks like the short & brutal "Little From the World" & my personal favourite "All Alone" being wheeled out very early in the game with the quality petering out a touch at the end with two of the last three tracks being pretty flat. The kick drum is way up there in the mix. In fact, there are times when the double kick sounds almost like blast beats which just about sums up what you can expect from "Born To Land Hard". You won't find much in the way of subtlety here but that's not what a band like Cold As Life are trying to achieve now, is it? They're more about creating an aggressive whirlwind of energy that ticks all of the boxes you need when you're just fucking fed up with the world & want an outlet to help you vent.

For fans of Knocked Loose, Hatebreed & Sunami.

3.5/5

1
shadowdoom9 (Andi)

Similarly to last month's playlist, this one plays out like an epic hero story that could fit well in a movie or a video game, except for one final boss to defeat during the 11-minute epic, followed by a final uplifting trancecore track for an epilogue level in a treasure trove similar to that of Spiral Knights. This I think could make the playlist more interesting, along with more appealing based on the order, for anyone up to listening to a long 2-hour playlist, but that's just what I think. Enjoy! I'm gonna share with you my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

Darkest Hour - "Doomsayer (the Beginning of the End)" (from Deliver Us, 2007)

4.5/5. Time to begin with a great song from an underrated band! However, this is one of those bands I've abandoned with my death metal departure because of their other albums being in The Horde. Will I ever return to this band someday? You'll see in time!

Trivium - "Like a Sword Over Damocles" (from In the Court of the Dragon, 2021)

5/5. Another song from Trivium's new masterpiece album, showcasing the band's Nevermore influences in a prog-thrasher where Matt Heafy adds aggression to his singing then rises to the usual growling. The d*mn epic clean chorus should definitely get fists pumping in future live festivals. The title fits well with the perilously powerful pandemic and how our leaders are trying to prevent it from spreading further. Some more epic guitar fire in the dueling solo trade!

Unearth - "Lifetime in Ruins" (from Watchers of Rule, 2014)

4/5. Here the military-like breakdown really crucifies the song into headbanging territory without sounding too needless repetitive. Not the best Unearth song, but a good starter track for new fans.

Parkway Drive - "Crushed" (from Ire, 2015)

4.5/5. This is one of my brother's favorite Parkway Drive songs, and its album Ire's second single, starting with a monk-chanting intro before turning a groove track with heavy guitars and drums. The lyrics are political but used in a powerful way, especially in the first verse.

Mentally Blind - "One for No One" (from Stage Zero, 2021)

4.5/5. Another amazing song that I would recommend to anyone who likes their metalcore more brutal than mine. The awesome vocals flow through fantastic music worth gym works. Almost a sick entry into song of the year!

Convictions - "Thomas (feat. Matty Mullins)" (from I Am Nothing, 2012)

4/5. Good song with amazing lyrics. For anyone wanting to hear Matty Mullins from Memphis May Fire, his vocals start at the one and a half minute mark, you're welcome.

Currents - "Kill the Ache" (from The Way It Ends, 2020)

3.5/5. Another nicely song, with a cool contrast of clean and unclean vocals.

Annisokay - "Under Your Tattoos" (from Aurora, 2021)

4/5. Another great song to recommend to the more die-hard metalcore fans.

Aviana - "Retaliation" (from Retaliation, 2021)

4.5/5. Holy f***ing h*ll, some f***ing good fire burning from those intense vocals and lyrics! An amazing track to preserve and keep for the slightly more brutal metalcore fans than me. Enjoy the fury!

Silent Planet - "Trilogy" (from Iridescent, 2021)

5/5. I'm so happy to find this band recently. THIS is one of my favorite metalcore songs of the year, from a solid album this band has nailed. "It's always red, the static in my head", yep, not the Taylor Swift album that has been re-recorded. The new Silent Planet album Iridescent is what I prefer to hear instead. Amazing Tesseract and Oh Sleeper vibes to embrace with the very low guitar tone. Slightly rigid transitions here, but I digress.

Every Time I Die - "Dark Distance" (from Radical, 2021)

5/5. A blast right back into their discography that will stun you into stone. The band has delivered a furious frenzy in higher heights of heaviness. They took quite a tribute to their previous albums in this one, with that track putting a Daughters-like spin into the sound of their previous couple albums and first couple albums.

Between the Buried and Me - "Ad a dglgmut" (from The Silent Circus, 2003)

4.5/5. For one of the must brutal progressive metalcore songs, this band has sure made one of the most beautiful guitar solos in existence. I didn't get interested in this band until around 14 or 15 years after this album's release date. It's sad that I've ended up missing out on more of this beauty and power after giving up on this band earlier this year, but I'm glad to return. There are some awesome parts that give me chills every time. The softer mid-section, starting at the 3-minute mark, is a warm calm between two storms of chaotic rage. Incredible genius to enjoy! The last minute of this track is f***ing brutal, having already gone past that long soft section capable of beauty. They're just not as metalcore now as they were back then. Next stop, Alaska! (the album, not the US state, though I still wish to go there)

Neon Graves - "All That We've Become" (from All That Brings Us Down, 2020)

4.5/5. Holy f***, those vocals and instrumentation are just on f***ing fire here! The vocals especially give me chills.

Alpha Wolf - "#104" (from Mono, 2017)

5/5. If you know Pokemon, you know that "#104 in the Pokemon deck is Cubone. “Cubone lost its mother and wears the skull of its dead mother on its head. It is often said to cry loudly when it becomes lonesome, and weeps for it’s dead mother.” Hence the reference to the song lyrics about losing a loved one." Awesome and killer as f***!

Broken Youth - "Dis/connected" (from Suffering : Silence, Vol. 1, 2021)

4.5/5. H*ll yeah, some more good sh*t. The intro riff starts with Architects vibes, though sounding a bit lo-fi, and the rest of the song is worth playing Fortnite to (not that I ever have). An amazing song for our broken future, and maybe that future would bring back some touring. This song is an absolute f***ing banger, even at the clean parts. The song might remind some of ERRA...

LANDMVRKS - "Lost in a Wave" (from Lost in the Waves, 2021)

4/5. Some good pure melodic-ish brutal metalcore right here, though the music is too heavily focused on compared to the lyrics. Still there are killer surprises like that brief brutal breakdown before the final chorus.

Heliocentric - "Whispers" (from Ishmael, 2021)

3.5/5. This is a good one with some The Ocean-like ambience while still staying metalcore, evident in the great heavy screams. This dude (in a one-man band) has quite some passion. Garrett Russell from Silent Planet must've really inspired this guy in both the vocals and the lyrics, plus a bit of Crystal Lake-esque energy. However, I might not be completely ready for that next level...

Kingdom of Giants - "Runaway" (from All the Hell You've Got to Spare, 2017)

4/5. "I used to think that I could change the world, but now I'm afraid that I can't even change myself." Yeah, we're all there. This is quite a good headbanger, but it wasn't until the djenty bridge near the two and a half minute mark when things get easier for me, along with that ending groove riff. Quite some amazing progress here! 2017 was a great year for metalcore, with amazing album treats from While She Sleeps, August Burns Red, and Trivium. There were also sad times in other music areas, like Linkin Park's pop album and the subsequent suicide of Chester Bennington. Somewhere between these ups and downs is that Kingdom of Giants song.

Bring Me the Horizon - "A Lot Like Vegas" (from Count Your Blessings, 2006)

4.5/5. Here's where the darker, more brutal, deathcore part of the playlist begins. This is the kind of deathcore we need, with both guitar solos and breakdowns to allow the genre to rise away from the deep shame. Probably the best song of this album! Can you believe this band has recently been a pop group?! Still I wish albums like Count Your Blessings would have more success...

Ice Nine Kills - "Merry Axe-mas" (from The Silver Scream, 2018)

5/5. OK, this song is from a melodic metalcore album, but it's still brutal enough for this section of the playlist. This one is based on Silent Night, Deadly Night, and filled with jingling bells, hard fast music, growling vocals, and heavy guitar riffs, in contrast the upbeat melodic chorus, and a metal way of celebrating Christmas!

Bound in Fear - "Beyond the Mire" (from Penance, 2021)

4.5/5. G****mn it, these are merciless growls of a beast. Let the deathcore heat burn this f***ing sh*t down!

Slaughter to Prevail - "Misery Sermon" (from Misery Sermon, 2017)

4/5. Without a doubt a kick-A death metal/core headbanger, though I've struggled with the lyrics that are mostly Russian.

Darko US - "Splinter Cell" (from Darko, 2021)

4.5/5. The deathcore territory continues going nuts, as chaotic as Brand of Sacrifice. The heavier songs from the new alt-metalcore album from Spiritbox is still what I prefer, though this next song in the playlist would say otherwise...

Chelsea Grin - "Desolation of Eden" (from Desolation of Eden, 2020)

5/5. Now this is the deathcore I love that's so underrated! After a brutal one-minute intro buildup, the usual groove pace rolls in with vocals ranging from tortured-duck screams to yelling-frog growls.

The Dillinger Escape Plan - "Panasonic Youth" (from Miss Machine, 2004)

4.5/5. This one really blasts listeners in the face with punishing fury. There are many twists and turns with Greg Puciato's thunderous screaming, relentless guitars, quick passages, and tapping rhythms. The band slows down a bit for some grating bass and more pummeling drumming. The song picks up the sonic aggression again toward the end. Impressive for 2 and a half minute song!

Botch - "Saint Matthew Returns to the Womb" (from We Are the Romans, 1999)

4.5/5. This one will grab you by the throat and twist it with exotic changes and unrestrained riffs until you can't breathe. Not quite the best Botch song, but it certainly doesn't botch up its album or this playlist at all.

Converge - "Jane Doe" (Jane Doe, 2001)

5/5. Saving the absolute best for second-to-last, this 11 and a half minute title epic is probably the longest track by Converge. This is Converge's "Shogun"! It is the final piece of this metalcore puzzle that high-school hardcore fans would be blasting through their speakers. This is a brilliant incredible work of emotion! Bannon softly sings "I want out" in the chorus (much softer than Helloween's "I Want Out") to escape this nightmarish chaos. There's even a soloing section! At the 9-minute mark, Bannon screams the final lyrics, "RUN ON, GIRL, RUN ON!!!", as a riff makes an epic layering buildup going on until the fade-out. A terrific ending to a true metalcore closing epic!

Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas - "Journey to Aim High" (from Feeling of Unity, 2015)

4.5/5. Feeling tired out as sh*t after another two-hour Revolution marathon? Take it easy and enjoy this final uplifting song while resting in a sunny flowery field. Relax! Smell the flowers. Enjoy your day in the sun. You earned it!

Wow, I really dig this playlist! That opinion might seem bad form, but let me even it out by saying that I would recommend it to any metalcore fan and anyone who isn't into metalcore but wants to get into a great start in enjoying the genre. Thanks Daniel for accepting this, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

3
Daniel

Knocked Loose - "A Tear In The Fabric Of Life" E.P. (2021)

21 minutes of fairly brutal Kentucky metalcore featuring abrasive vocals, djenty breakdowns & a deathcore weight to some of the riffage. I'm not a huge fan of the vocals & those breakdowns can be pretty generic at times however the production & execution are very strong & there's a genuine consistency to the blemish-free tracklisting that sees me reaching a positive outcome.

For fans of Gulch, Year Of The Knife & Sanction.

3.5/5

10
Daniel

Thanks again for all these incredible recommendations, Daniel! Now it's my turn to recommend a Revolution album to you. The new Silent Planet album Iridescent is a real mind-blower and might surely please you with a more modern progressive-ish take on the slight ambient-infused metalcore of Skycamefalling and Hopesfall, given your good feelings about them. Please feel free to check this out and, once Ben adds it to the site, write a review for it.


31
Daniel

I don't much care for metalcore at all, but Trivium's previous feature release, In Waves, I actually found surprisingly listenable, so I was more than a little sceptical about Daniel's Nickelback jibe (I really don't like Nickelback). After listening to In the Court of the Dragon this evening though, I think he has a point. On several songs, but especially on Like a Sword Over Damocles, the shadow of Chad Kroeger is cast long. In fact, I swear a couple of tracks sound like Slipknot/Nickelback collaborations (no, this is unlikely to be a good thing!).

Anyway that aside, following the unexpectedly positive experience I had with In Waves I found this disappointing. It feels like an album that has been written by market researchers, the songs optimised to sell the maximum number of t-shirts. I don't hate it - it isn't offensive enough to generate that much emotion - but it just ploughs a completely different furrow to what I personally find interesting in metal.

2/5

7
Daniel

Story behind playlist order (so you know what to expect when going through the playlist):

The playlist order will help you visualize yourself as a warrior in a post-apocalyptic Earth on a mission to defeat the demonic forces of the underground. The more intense, brutal, and complex the music, the deeper down the underground you go and the stronger and more powerful the monsters are. You start your mission by fighting the monsters on the Earth's surface (the first 4 melodic metalcore tracks). After that you start heading down the caverns from whence they came and slaying more monsters along the way. The metalcore tracks 5-18 (including one mathcore track, one more melodic metalcore track, and a 9-minute soft intermission for a break from the action) signify the normal cavern layer where the monsters are more powerful than on the surface. Then when deathcore tracks arrive from track 19 onward, while the mostly clean yet still intense metalcore and mathcore remains up to track 22, you're in the more dangerous lava cavern layer, where there's lava all around and the monsters are even more powerful. The 4 "explicit" tracks in a row, tracks 23-26 (one metalcore, three deathcore) are for your battle with the first incarnation with the mighty powerful boss in the lava-covered pit at the earth's core. When you defeat the first incarnation, the boss would revive itself as a second incarnation beyond more powerful than any of the monsters you've fought before. It starts burning a hole up through the crust to travel up to the surface. You use a grappling hook to get a hold of its leg. You keep fighting the boss and some more monsters as you hold on travel at a fast speed (mathcore tracks 27-29). And finally, at the end of track 29, when you reach the surface, you deliver a final hit on the boss to defeat it once and for all. When the boss dies, the earth is restored back to its normal self, but you're still above the hole, and you fall right back in just before it closes up, and land in the lava below. You lose your life and end up in the "Astral Heaven" (track 30, the trancecore outro to the playlist) to remain there peacefully as a hero.

So basically I made this entire playlist play out like an epic hero story that could fit well in a movie or a video game, which I think could make the playlist more interesting, along with more appealing based on the order, for anyone up to listening to a long 2-hour playlist, but that's just what I think. Enjoy! Of course, since I'm the one who assembled this playlist, I'm gonna share with you my thoughts on all the selected tracks:

All That Remains - "This Calling" (from "The Fall of Ideals", 2006)

5/5. Let's start this album with a scream, literally! this song starts with a high menacing metalcore/close to black metal scream from Phil Labonte over chugging metalcore riffs. After a killer verse, the catchy chorus comes in, then another scream to continue the same path. After the second chorus, the duel guitars keep playing a melodic riff until a breakdown with Labonte's screaming. And finally, a pretty short guitar solo and the final chorus before the closing outro.

Bullet for My Valentine - "Scream Aim Fire" (from "Scream Aim Fire", 2008)

5/5. Then we go to the furious title track of BFMV's second album, containing pounding drums, fired-up screams in the breakdown ("Scream! Aim!! FIRE!!!"), and a signature guitar solo that's #1 in that album!

Unearth - "Watch It Burn" (from "Darkness in the Light", 2011)

4.5/5. Another great extreme starting track in this metalcore journey, containing lots of melody, plus clean vocals rarely heard from this band until the album the song is in. The punishing open-chord breakdown is the best breakdown in this album.

Trivium - "In the Court of the Dragon" (from "In the Court of the Dragon", 2021)

6/5 (not exaggerating). The furious title track of Trivium's latest album erupts with Matt Heafy's f***ing beastly growling vocals. The blast-beat onslaught carries on into the cleanly-sung chorus, occurring before a brutal breakdown. The shredding soloing makes you visualize a bad-a** battle with the dragon in the pit, with your weapon being that guitar soloing. A tune of heavy brilliance that might just be my ultimate favorite song since "In Waves"!

Attack Attack! - "Press F" (from "Press F", 2021)

5/5. And this might be one of my favorite songs from a band I haven't listened to yet (other than "Stick Stickly")! I press Enter to continue...

Invent Animate - "The Sun Sleeps" (from "The Sun Sleeps", 2021)

4.5/5. Another piece of headbanging talent, with guitar riffing and a chorus to love and stay alive! Though it doesn't really push my metalcore era further into including this band in my listen-list...

Lucrecia - "Sleeping Slaves of Fate" (from "Sleeping Slaves of Fate", 2021)

4/5. I'll be honest, I'm not really into anime-influenced female-fronted metalcore, though this song is quite killer. Next!

Iwrestledabearonce - "You Know That Aint Them Dogs' Real Voice" (from "Ruining It for Everybody", 2011)

5/5. Now this is the female-fronted metalcore/mathcore I prefer, influenced from Mr. Bungle and grindcore! Krysta Cameron has done a great job her superb mix of cleans and screams, though this would be her last album with the band. This is as delicious as the "ruined" cake on the album cover. Beyond amazing! I think the "skin-shedding" lyrics might've helped the metalcore-tattoo scene expand for all the right and wrong reasons. Nice beauty in f***ing awesome brutality! It is very impressive when a female does all the vocal work. Just like that cake, some things the unprepared might consider gross but turn out great when you're ready. Paramore would be blown away...

Void of Vision - "THE LONELY PEOPLE" (from "THE LONELY PEOPLE", 2021)

5/5. The Australian metalcore scene is really pulverizing everything in its path, and Void of Vision is doing a chaotic job cranking up the distorted destruction to 11. Anyone not in the same tolerance level as me, listen at your own risk!

Aviana - "Rage" (from "Rage", 2021)

4.5/5. A headbanger built up from a famous quote from a Dylan Thomas poem. Enough said!

Wage War - "High Horse" (from "Manic", 2021)

5/5. This song my brother was listening to, and why not? This is a catchy killer song to love, especially in lyrics such as "Caught the scent, took the bait, now the hunter is the prey". Definitely worth headbanging to!

August Burns Red - "Coordinates" (from "Phantom Anthem", 2017)

4.5/5. This one shows vocalist Jake Luhrs trying clean vocals for the first prominent time. The song itself has some twangy blues vibes, and while I'm not normally into those kinds of vibes, I know other fans of ABR's experimentation can enjoy it.

Skycamefalling - "10.21" (from "10.21", 2000)

5/5. Thanks Daniel for the idea of a soft intermission in this playlist! The instrumental title epic of the only Skycamefalling album contains 9 minutes of acoustic guitar, clean piano sounding a bit Eastern, and light percussion, leading to an ending crescendo. A soft break while you breathe in the flames of creativity!

We Came as Romans - "Darkbloom" (from "Darkbloom", 2021)

5.5/5 (not exaggerating). While assembling the playlist, I've been hooked by some of the bands I haven't listened to yet, and this song really struck out higher than the rest. A f***ing amazing banger in the heart of dark fire!

Structures - "Extinction" (from "Life Through a Window", 2014)

5/5. A more melodic song while staying heavy, compared to the heaviness of most of the previous songs. A better change of pace!

Sleep Waker - "Serenity" (from "Alias", 2021)

4.5/5. Another crazy progressive-ish metalcore song that deserves some recognition, despite the brutality. The 15-second section in the middle is all fired up and heavy as sh*t. The ending kinda gets me off-guard though. A modern headbanger that would surely surpass Korn!

Spirit Breaker - "The Mountain Between Us" (from "Cura Nata", 2021)

4/5. This might take time to get used to, at least for me anyway, but it does stir up nostalgic vibes of at least 10 years ago when prog-ish metalcore was being developed. A good exciting insane song to get you pumped with early In Hearts Wake vibes. I love the fantastic chorus that's just on fire, while the rest of the song is a d*mn good straight banger. Though the high screams I'm not so sure. Still a decently great song to love.

Caliban - "Army of Me" (from "The Undying Darkness", 2006)

4.5/5. This is an interesting one, a bad-a** metalcore cover of a Bjork song. Sensational beauty right here! Not entirely though, since the only slight flaw is the female voice who, while doing a good job imitating Bjork, lacks power.

Betraying the Martyrs - "Tapestry of Me" (from "Breathe in Life", 2011)

5/5. I love this band, with the best brutal growls from Aaron Matts, who would unfortunately leave the band recently. This is probably, for me, the best song of its album Breathe in Life with a f***ing amazing blend of heavy and clean. The chorus is the catchiest of that album, and everything else is awesome! I really love the perfect clean vocals. Unlike Born of Osiris and Periphery, they add a bit of orchestration in place of progressiveness for their metalcore/deathcore. So incredible! Let's see what else I can describe here... Some think they the instrumentation is so mixed up, but it's still wicked for me, a great improvement from their 5-song EP. That 30-second section starting at the one-minute mark is so f***ing bad-a** that I should be careful walking the streets when listening on an iPod, if I had one. This kind of music we should spread the word about! This is great soundtrack the virus apocalypse we're trapped in. For anyone feeling suicidal, the lyrics encourage to never give up.

Make Them Suffer - "Drown With Me" (from "How to Survive a Funeral", 2020)

4/5. This song I don't mind, a straight heavy song released as one of this album's in-advance singles. When I first heard it, I thought it was one of the most radical recent songs by the band, but now that I've heard the other wilder tracks in the album, it's now my d*mn least favorite song in the album. It just doesn't hold up! Booka Nile's chorus in that song is the weakest here. Still great for recent Make Them Suffer fans!

Shadow of Intent - "The Indexing" (from "Primordial", 2016)

4.5/5. Another dope song! Think of this like a killer blend of Betraying the Martyrs, At the Gates, and Yngwie Malmsteen.

Psyopus - "The Burning Halo" (from "Odd Senses", 2009)

5/5. Holy f***ing sh*t!!! I love this mathcore madness!! With a crazy riff! Things get epically insane at 0:42, then 42 more seconds later is where things get way better. The high-screeching riffs might annoy those who aren't in the same level as me, but it's a brilliant assault for my ears. Towards the end, a preacher who sounds like Marco Hietala from Nightwish yells "Demon...WHO ARE YOU??!" before a final pulverizing breakdown. I would say this track is math-death-cyber-grindcore. Truly chaotic!! Apparently, this is about Anneliese Michel, a victim to abusive exorcism by her religious parents. As an avant-garde mathcore band, Psyopus has done what their fans have expected, and that's what I like about this, though I'm not a fan...YET.

Defocus - "Disease" (from "Disease", 2021)

4.5/5. Another metalcore banger! Enough said...

Bound in Fear - "Saint of Sorrow" (from "The Hand of Violence", 2019)

3.5/5. This is more of an intro song to the album's original release, but it's a f***ing tough one that acts as the first part of the brutal deathcore trio. Even the strongest would be disturbed! Listen at your own risk, seriously!

Brand of Sacrifice - "The Branded" (from "God Hand", 2019)

4/5. Probably one of the heaviest deathcore bands on Planet f***ing Earth! Anyone listening to this might feel the urge to go berserk and slay as many demons as they can, ripping the demons' guts and shoving them up the demons' a**es.

Darko US - "(Devine Void)" (from "Pt. 1 Dethmask", 2020)

4.5/5. Another powerful deathcore track with big rhythm! What else is there to say?

Car Bomb - "Dissect Yourself" (from "Mordial", 2019)

5/5. Another perfect quantum-physical mathcore track that can shoot more powerful than planet-destroying laser beams! Think of this like Gaza, Gojira, and the more brutal Lamb of God all mixed in one cauldron.

The Dillinger Escape Plan - "Sandbox Magician" (from "Under the Running Board", 1998)

4.5/5. Still amazing mathcore/metalcore lovers since its release slightly before I was born, with a cool ending past the two-minute mark.

Converge - "Thaw" (from "Jane Doe", 2001)

5/5. Then it flows to this wonderful gem. You can feel the intense vocal emotion overpower you as he screams over the brutal instrumentation. I would've suggested the 11-minute title epic, but I wasn't up to taking up too much space. Maybe next time...

Crossfaith - "Astral Heaven" (from "Xeno", 2015)

4.5/5. And finally we end with a killer outro from the one Revolution subgenre I hadn't tackled yet, trancecore. Anyone having survived the rest of my playlist, enjoy the cool trance of this outro. You've earned it!

Wow, I really dig this playlist that I've made! That opinion might seem bad form, but let me even out by saying that I would recommend any metalcore fan and anyone who isn't into metalcore but wants to get into a great start in enjoy the genre. Thanks Daniel for accepting my playlist, and I hope the rest of you enjoy it like I've had!

1
Daniel

LATEST HEADLINES: Metalcore band in unintelligible lyrics scandal!! Fans shocked by references to violence in hardcore songs!


*Sorry. I couldn't help myself.*  :)

10
Daniel

My thoughts on some tracks:

All Out War – “Resist” (from “Truth In The Age Of Lies”, 1997)

4/5. Let's start the playlist with one of the more violent metallic hardcore bands that is a direct opposite of those suburban emo bands that wish for peace. Mike Score has sick vocal brutality going on. The first couple minutes play off almost like a slower "Hell Awaits", but after that, they don't need to go thrash, groove, or Swedish death metal. Instead this is OG metalcore that they've helped developed along with Integrity. F***ing great bad-a** sound, but the intensity is slightly overwhelming. This song would definitely be for old-school metalcore fans. War awaits...

Unearth – “Incinerate” (from “Extinction(s)”, 2018)

4.5/5. This one with a hardcore riff that, along with an awesome guitar interlude, can incinerate listeners face down.

Bullet For My Valentine – “The Last Fight” (from “Fever”, 2010)

4.5/5. Here's a glimpse of a driving fighter-attitude. It has the first ever guitar solo in the album. It's my personal favorite song in terms of vocals, most of which is clean singing with background shouting in the chorus, which is unlike the rest of the clan while keep the rebellious attitude. That's a simple but cool mature song.

Shadows Fall – “Destroyer Of Senses” (from “The Art Of Balance”, 2002)

4/5. This one keeps up the fast thrashy pace from the BFMV track, but a little simplistic and repetitive. Brain Fair does some guttural screaming in the slow sludgy part. I just picked this one as a starter for thrashy metalcore newcomers.

Misery Signals – “Five Years” (from “Of Malice & The Magnum Heart”, 2004)

5/5. One of my favorite Misery Signals songs! The line "Blood is forever" really smashes my heart and fixes it back up, restoring the blood that came out of it. And d*mn, what a f***ing amazing ending here!

Born Of Osiris – “Angel Or Alien” (from “Angel Or Alien”, 2021)

4.5/5. What you may hear in this track is a long-time-no-listen infectious hook, in which you can't deny its resemblance to the band's past material while moving the evolution forward. What a grand album that is!

Amaranthe – “Drop Dead Cynical” (from “Massive Addictive”, 2014)

3.5/5. This song I'm not really a big fan of. Their attempt to sound heavier ends coming out as more of an industrial-pop single. That marks the start of the overpowering trance infecting their later albums.

All That Remains – “Behind Silence & Solitude” (from “Behind Silence & Solitude”, 2002)

4/5. One of my favorite songs from All That Remains' melodeath-fueled debut, though not as the same height as songs from their later metalcore albums.

After The Burial – “Pendulum” (from “In Dreams”, 2010)

4.5/5. After the Burial is a f***ing passionate progressive metalcore band that I used to enjoy, but I kinda wish I hadn't given up on this band. This is a great song from them. Justin Lowe did amazing djenty rhythms. RIP...

Converge – “No Heroes” (from “No Heroes”, 2006)

5/5. This awesome killer Jane Doe leftover-ish track has crazy good lyrics ("NO MORE HEROES!! NO MORE!! NO MORE!! In my world of enemies I walk alone!!!").

Threat Signal – “One Last Breath” (from “Under Reprisal”, 2006)

4.5/5. Time for one last song, this one with one of the best choruses by this band that I've also left behind listening to, this time because of their melodeath mixed with metalcore. This can really pound more than coffee for me! Thankfully, this isn't a Creed cover at all, but instead a much better original track than that Creed song. Absolutely kick-A! I haven't heard this band in 5 or 6 months but, I still understand how underrated this band is. The chorus might remind some of a mix of Linkin Park and Fear Factory.

1
Daniel

I'm really glad I gave this one a second chance after letting it sit for a bit, because it really clicked compared to the first listen. I don't have too much to say about Mathcore in general since I'm grossly unfamiliar with it outside of the big names, so I'm not sure what else to say other than this is great. Converge in their Jane Doe era was always a bit too abrasive and chaotic for me, so Botch having a cleaner sound and more focused songwriting really helps them play to my preferences. Definitely going to be going back to this one, I can see why it's spoken of so highly. 

4.5/5

3
Daniel

Cheers for the rec, Daniel! Here's my review summary:

Hopesfall is an alt-hardcore band that had a more metalcore sound 20 years before this review. They were signed to Trustkill Records, an infamous record label that took their own name seriously. This EP, No Wings to Speak of acts as a bridge in the 3-year gap between their debut The Frailty of Words and The Satellite Years. The band's Christian-themed debut is an under-recorded under-promoted album that failed to spread through a greater audience. The EP No Wings to Speak of is a greater display of their earlier work with underground spirit dug into the surface. And when I finally got the chance to listen, it was indeed a jaw-dropping experience! Hopesfall were, besides Skycamefalling and Underoath, one of the earliest metalcore hybrid bands, mixing the genre with emo and post-hardcore, and slight hints at the indie rock that would dominate their sound in the mid-2000s and beyond, all in dense sound layers. Despite this hybrid, their main focus isn't on metalcore's moshing chaos, but rather on smooth beauty in their sound. These 4 songs are harmoniously written compositions while still using heavy grooves and breakdowns in the song structures. Heavy but mellow compared to what their previous record label Takehold Records had then. The band stays strong with emotional chords and beautiful riffs overlapped with harsh vocals in spiritual purity. The emotion in this album is especially proven in "The End of an Era", a 7-minute epic of beauty and fury, reaching its climax with a soft gentle instrumental passage, and if you have that part seamlessly repeat without any of the heavier ones, that would be excellent meditation music. No Wings to Speak of is more suitable for a night drive with yourself or friends than just a live show. With music filled with brilliance, beauty and a breakdown or a few, metalcore youngsters like myself would absolutely love it!

5/5

4
Daniel

First Revolution stinker in over a year! This is basically A7X's "My Immortal" that is a waste of space and time in this usually metalcore album:


10
Daniel

My thoughts on some tracks:

Shadows Fall – “Of One Blood” (from “Of One Blood”, 2000)

4.5/5. Let's kick off my playlist journey with one of my favorite songs of this album. It has a long, complicated solo that would've fit well in a DragonForce song.

Demon Hunter – “Sixteen” (from “Storming The Gates Of Hell”, 2007)

4/5. This one sounds more original, starting with a long experimental chamber cello/guitar one and a half minute intro before vocals come in, including edgy guest vocals by Bruce Fitzhugh of Living Sacrifice in the pre-chorus, in contrast to the clean chorus. The breakdown has interesting lyrics.

Underøath – “Paper Lung” (from “Ø (Disambiguation)”, 2010)

5/5. Like "Writing on the Walls" and "In Division", this song's music video is what ignited a slight spark of interest in Underoath 5 years ago that didn't fully began until halfway through that period of time when a different song from the band was used in a TheOdd1sOut video. This is closer to a sludgy metalcore mix a bit like the first 3 He Is Legend albums combined, especially in the intense last minute. I ain't sorry when I say this is much better than their recent pop rock sh*t.

Converge – “You Fail Me” (from “You Fail Me”, 2004)

5/5. For the title track one of the greatest metalcore/mathcore albums, any fan of shorter-length hardcore might find the length and mood boring, but it fits perfectly here. The song is a wall of sludge metal sound. Bass, guitars, and drums combine into a pounding mix while Bannon unleashes his shrieking vocal assault. Now this is a sludgy metalcore epic! Thanks for submitting this, Vinny!

Pupil Slicer – “Mirrors Are More Fun Than Television” (from “Mirrors”, 2021)

3.5/5. This is fun and all, but I'm not that into the brutal experimental kind of metalcore, OK?!

Born Of Osiris – “Recreate” (from “The Discovery”, 2011)

4.5/5. The guitar bit around the 30-second mark of this wicked song really shows what guitarist Lee McKinney can do.

Darkest Hour – “Beneath The Blackening Sky” (from “Darkest Hour”, 2014)

4.5/5. I was once a fan of Darkest Hour, but there were also one of the melodic death metal bands that I moved away from during my death metal departure. But I still enjoy a few songs from their more metalcore albums, like this one which was one of my favorite songs from their self-titled album. A killer kick-A thrashy metalcore instant classic despite its short but average 4-minute length. Their self-titled album marked a swift change out of the earlier melodeath sound the band had up to The Human Romance. In the iTunes deluxe edition, this song is surrounded by two bonus tracks while still before the last two regular tracks. Some might think of the self-titled album as a piece of unholy sh*t, but I say it's by far underrated!

Veil Of Maya – “Namaste” (from “[id]”, 2010)

5/5. This one apparently has a 20-second intro that didn't make the final cut, which is a shame because that intro sounds so awesome and it would've made the song closer to the 4-minute mark. But that song itself is still a sweet highlight!

The Dillinger Escape Plan – “The Running Board” (from “Calculating Infinity”, 1999)

4.5/5. Here's a song that probably works better in the Under the Running Board EP. After a chaotic minute, the song switches to a western noir theme that escalates into some more jazz fusion. Still there's no denying that the song is a hardcore anthem for metalheads.

1
Daniel

A timely piece for sure. I find less in common between Skycamefalling with Converge and Dillinger, but rather something that is closer related to post-hardcore like Botch or Hopesfall. This record feels a lot simpler than those albums; the breakdowns are monstrous, the vocals are ruthless and quite impressive, and the main melodic counterpoint in the guitar is short, but effective. However, for a "hardcore" album, it feels very predictable after a while, and for an album with twelve tracks and running over an hour, you start picking up very quickly on the repetitive motifs. Near the end, the title track and the closer "An Ocean Apart" really started to drag on and become monotonous. The outro deserves special recognition for being only four-and-a-half minutes, but returns with about a minute-and-a-half to spare, just to continue playing the same riff that faded out the first part! Not a great way to close out an album that's for sure.

Regardless, this brand of metalcore is close to my alley as opposed to the technical parts of mathcore. But for me, something about this record feels less developed than the bands mentioned earlier. While not metal by any stretch, I hear a lot of similarities between this record and a local hardcore output, Alexisonfire, especially that 2002 self titled debut. I don't know; the quality is there I'll give it that, but I am not feeling this the same way that I did We Are The Romans or No Wings To Speak Of.

7/10

4
Daniel

My thoughts on some tracks:

Ice Kills Nine – “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (from “Safe Is Just A Shadow”, 2010)

5/5. Do you like Ice Nine Kills? I sure do! Do you look forward to their second Silver Scream album coming this October?! For me, H*LL YEAH!! The album this song is in also very cool, and was the only one with bassist/vocalist Shane Bisnett who passed away on New Years Day 2019. RIP... This song indeed tells one of the greatest stories ever told, really in need of millions of YouTube views. Love a bit of vocal reverb! I should really use this song as my ringtone for when I ever get a smartphone. The remake of Safe is Just a Shadow is cleaner, but I enjoy the rawness of the original (this version). Those golden leads they really should've done more of in recent albums. If you include the first version ever in The Burning EP, there would actually be 3 official versions of this amazing song!!! HOLY SH*T!! I just love this awesome song, having a mix of vibes from the mid-2000s eras of Escape the Fate and Panic at the Disco, with a bit of Disney-like storytelling.

Protest The Hero – “Bloodmeat” (from “Fortress”, 2008)

4.5/5. This one crashes in with its Dillinger Escape Plan-like modern math-metalcore. The main riff appears surrounded by many of its chaotic moments to make me jump in joy. The inventive riffs go along with the catchy hooks that sing/scream about worshiping mythology in violent metaphors ("HEADS WILL ROLL!!!"). The fast pace often slows down for little epic moments of greatness. Too bad the bass is a little too turned down, I was looking forward to more awesome bass tapping.

All That Remains – “Down Through The Ages” (from “A War You Cannot Win”, 2012)

4/5. A great heavy thrash-driving metalcore opener! Not much more to say...

Shadows Fall – “Stepping Outside The Circle” (from “The Art Of Balance”, 2002)

5/5. One of the best songs of the playlist and its album, with lots of amazing thrash. Riffs, time changes, gang vocals, all nothing but pure 100% thrash, with a capital TH. But at least there's a nice clean part and nice soloing.

August Burns Red – “The Truth Of A Liar” (from Messengers”, 2007)

4.5/5. Happy August! This song opens with a small throwback to the past; a Black Sabbath-style riff with a vintage metal scream. After that, the band stays with their present-day sound for the rest of that song and its album.

The Devil Wears Prada – “Contagion” (from “ZII” E.P., 2021)

5/5. Ah yeah, one of the best songs of metalcore to be released this year! A comeback to the band's heaviness after their recent electronic-infused experiment. I'm absolutely up for more of this band!

Betraying The Martyrs – “The Sound Of Letting You Go” (from “Rapture”, 2019)

4.5/5. Though Betraying the Martyrs is memorable for their symphonic deathcore style, this song is an example of how melodic their recent album is. 2019 is one of the greatest years in the 2010s for metal, and this song almost seals that deal. One of the best songs from Rapture! The elderly should stay away so they wouldn't get heart-attacked. Nothing lasts forever, and this track teaches not to take it all for granted. The direction is h*lla different yet still has the band's signature heaviness. If this wasn't too heavy and filled with a bit of swearing, this song would fit well for the Frozen 2 soundtrack, especially since they covered "Let It Go" earlier. Awesomeness under my skin!

Starkweather – “Epiphany” (from “This Sheltering Night”, 2010)

3.5/5. A bit too long and experimental for metalcore standards, but has a bit of great potential.

Attila – “You Looked A Lot Better Last Night” (from “Soundtrack To A Party”, 2008)

4/5. Before Attila became a rap-metalcore monster, they had a party-themed death/metalcore sound, and even the lyrics sound more brutal than what they have now: "WHEN THE FIRE RAISES FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL!!!"

Coalesce – “A Safe Place” (from “In Tongues We Speak” split E.P. with Napalm Death, 1996)

5/5. The day of finding more metal to start enjoying continues with this early mathcore band with slower jams. Perfect! But that EP cover art though, is that supposed to be a tongue!? H*ll if I know...

Winds Of Plague – “Sewer Mouth” (from “Resistance”, 2013)

4.5/5. I just don't understand the lack of attention for this band. I mean it sounds sick and brutal with guest vocals by Vincent Bennett of The Acacia Strain, but this band, along with the metalcore/hardcore punk bands I've commented on need more attention in MTV or the radio, like WT*?! But you know what, I'm just asking for too much. After all, we have this playlist and this website now, do we?

1
Daniel

It looks like the last time Converge was in the MA spotlight was back in September of 2020 and I gotta say, I'm still in a tough spot with them. Converge is easily my most respected Metalcore band considering how genuine to the actual genre they are, but I still just don't know how to feel about them. All We Love We Leave Behind was an obvious winner for me, but this one puts me in a similar position that Jane Doe did where I think I get it, but I still can't form any meaningful opinions on how I feel about it. They've definitely cleaned a lot of things up to make it less of the relentless cluster that Jane Doe was an while to some people that may make You Fail Me a bit less heartfelt, it works to give the album a bit more structure for people with my listening biases. I think I prefer this one slightly over Jane Doe but at the same time it has a bit less of that shock factor. Still an impressive showing of what tried and true professionals of more classic sounding Metalcore can do, but man, I'm going to have to figure out a way to meaningfully collect my thoughts on a single Converge album to write out what I actually think about them instead of not really knowing what to say every 6 or so months. 

3.5/5

4
shadowdoom9 (Andi)

My list expanded to top 15:

15. Horse the Band - Desperate Living (2009)

14. God Forbid - IV: Constitution of Treason (2005)

13. Bleeding Through - Love Will Kill All (2018)

12. Within the Ruins - Elite (2013)

11. Botch - We are the Romans (1999)

10. Gaza - I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die (2006)

9. Ice Nine Kills - The Silver Scream (2018)

8. Bring Me the Horizon - Sempiternal (2013)

7. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Calculating Infinity (1999)

6. Converge - You Fail Me (2004)

5. Bullet for My Valentine - The Poison (2005)

4. Demon Hunter - The World is a Thorn (2010)

3. All That Remains - Overcome (2008)

2. August Burns Red - Constellations (2009)

1. Trivium - In Waves (2011)

3
Daniel

My thoughts on some tracks (including my suggested ones):

Structures – “Departure” (from “All Of The Above” E.P., 2010)

5/5. The ultimate sick intro to this song's EP, the band's discography, and this playlist! With a killer beginning like that, I should really listen to more of this band Structures and hear more of what they have in metalcore store.

August Burns Red – “The Frost” (from “Phantom Anthem”, 2017)

4.5/5. Heavy bass-lines in this song impressively soar all around while having an uplifting vibe.

Bullet For My Valentine – “Begging For Mercy” (from “Fever”, 2010)

4/5. Good choice, Vinny! This one is the heaviest beast in the BFMV album Fever. There are massive riffs and a clever chorus, though similar to the slightly less heavy songs' chorus while still monstrously heavy.

Fear, & Loathing In Las Vegas – “Return To Zero” (from “New Sunrise”, 2017)

4.5/5. Man, what a good song with incredible lyrics, as encouraging as the previous album's "Let Me Hear". It's a little hard for me to dance because I haven't done a proper dance since I was younger, but I feel up for dancing to this trancecore tune. I love it! RIP Kei...

The Dillinger Escape Plan with Mike Patton – “Pig Latin” (from “Irony Is A Dead Scene” E.P., 2002)

5/5. This amazing shocker starts calm. First a slow haunting guitar riff plays, then keyboard joins in, followed by Patton's soft singing. It sounds accessible at first but you know it's gonna build up to more chaos. The heavier chorus as guitars explode into heaviness. Patton starts singing deep vocals that sound almost gibberish surrounded by squeals of "Chinga". The guitars get really chaotic as the chords get forcefully wrung out. That and Patton's chaotic squealing causes the guitar to sound like you're bending a pipe around its neck to strangle it. The intensity returns as Patton yells "Speaking Pig Latin, kiss me goodnight" as the band blows the roof off this dump. After a few beeps, the song then sounds like a lounge band with the lead vocalist being a psychotic murderer. Those deep lounge vocals work well there! Then it's back to the beginning with the first verse and chorus, except in the chorus, only "Chinga" remains, then ends with one more incomprehensible gibberish line. One of the best TDEP songs!

Winds Of Plague – “Never Alone” (from “Blood Of My Enemy”, 2017)

5/5. Awesome, awesome, AWESOME!!! This is the coolest song I've heard in symphonic deathcore, a bit like a mix of the heavier Trivium, earlier Veil of Maya, and Wintersun all in one song! EPIC!!

Eighteen Visions – “She’s A Movie Produced Masterpiece” (from “Until The Ink Runs Out”, 2000)

5/5. Another one of the best songs in this playlist, making me wish I had listened to more metalcore in my high school-age years. In the second half, there's an unreal groove along with the most epic pick-up line possible, "BLONDE BOMBSHELL BLUE-EYED BEAUTY, YOU ROCK MY F***ING WORLD!!!!!" The heaviness of this f***ing masterpiece of a song would have you laughing maniacally. Their late bassist Mick Deth didn't join the band yet at that time, but still, RIP... The co-vocals by Brandan Schieppati are also great too, but what response do you expect from a Bleeding Through fan? Even Throwdown would be thrown down by this. Here comes another entry in my top 25 metalcore list...

Demon Hunter – “Artificial Light” (from “Extremist”, 2014)

4.5/5. The first song Demon Hunter fans would hear from Extremist when it was the album's lead single. Another heavy song!

Between The Buried & Me – “Alaska” (from “Alaska”, 2005)

4.5/5. I've remembered enjoying this fun brutal prog-death/metalcore song before recently dumping my interest for BTBAM during my death metal departure. I might make a one-off return a couple months later for their upcoming sequel album to the one after Alaska, Colors.

Unearth – “Survivalist” (from “Extinction(s)”, 2018)

4.5/5. This song continues the 7-string fury with screams that can boil the blood of listeners who survived the rest of this playlist. Then there's a brutal bone-crushing breakdown more intense than in other bands like Thy Art is Murder. Drummer Nick Pierce‘s work with Adam D. (Killswitch Engage) really paid off for more relentless chaos. The master trained his apprentice well!

Bleeding Through – “Anti-Hero” (from “Bleeding Through”, 2010)

4/5. Brandan's other band Bleeding Through the band time-travels back to 1995 Sweden for death metal bands At the Gates and Therion in that year to borrow their sound and add some punk lyrics ("I’ve heard enough of you, f***ing go away!”). The tremolo riffs are sprinkled in there. You've probably heard enough from me, so see ya next time!

1
Daniel

Well I certainly wasn't expecting this: A metalcore album with groove and sludge metal elements, depicting lyrical themes of isolation, self-loathing and even suicide, and goddamn does it not slap! The opening of this EP with "Heroine Fingers" is so well done, almost reminiscent of Jordan Dreyer of La Dispute, one of my favourite modern post-hardcore bands with the alternating between softer spoken word and harsh screams. The hooks are sparse, allowing for the words to be fully understood which I greatly appreciated, but they are produced incredibly well for a twenty-plus year old record; the bass is heavy and these slower grooves are pummeling. If this isn't my type of throwdown music then I need to reevaluate myself!

8/10

2
Daniel

My thoughts on some tracks (including my suggested ones):

After The Burial – “Your Troubles Will Cease & Fortune Will Smile Upon You” (from “In Dreams”, 2010)

4.5/5. Let's start this playlist with yet another band that I moved away from in my death metal departure. But why this band though? Deathcore isn't considered entirely a death metal subgenre, despite the "death" aspect. Either way, this song is still great!

All That Remains – “The Last Time” (from “…For We Are Many”, 2010)

5/5. Ah yeah, an awesome enjoyed by me and my brother! In fact, this is my second favorite by the band, behind "Two Weeks" from Overcome. It really brings their metalcore sound despite mostly clean vocals and the repetitive chorus.

Brand Of Sacrifice – “Animal” (from “Lifeblood”, 2021)

4/5. Great song, but too close on the experimental side at some points. Next!

Amaranthe – “Amaranthine” (from “Amaranthe”, 2011)

5.5/5 (not exaggerating). One of the most amazing songs from both this album and the band, and at the top of their ballads list in my opinion, which is why I felt a little hesitant about suggesting it at first. In fact, when I went with my friends from the outside world for a karaoke outing, I snuck in that song and sang it with two of my friends. Pretty rebellious, huh? When we sang it, I performed Andreas' screaming bridge.

Bullet For My Valentine – “The End” (from “The Promise”, 2005)

5/5. I really love the ending track to BFMV's highest pinnacle The Poison. It would work a great end to this metalcore playlist, but I'm fine with its position either way. More mellow and depressing but still stands out well. The guitar riff is so simple, Matt can focus on more emotion in his vocals in the cleaner verses. I wish he could keep doing that emotional technique but that would mean he would have to drop the guitar full-time. The song gets heavier but once again, there's no solo. Then it returns to the intro riff used as the outro with soft guitar harmony over it as it all fades out. Another personal favorite!

Converge – “Shingles” (from “Petitioning The Empty Sky”, 1996)

4.5/5. In an EP into a semi-studio album with all new tracks in the second side, that side starts with this track, marked by blazing tempo variations. A near-highlight to its release, Petitioning the Empty Sky!

Counterparts – “Only Anchors” (from “Prophets”, 2010)

5/5. "Whether you're stuck in the past, or lost in the future, this is for you", spoken from a lyrical metalcore master! This underrated band has just become another favorite of mine, and I need to listen to more of them. Such an incredible band, holy sh*t! It was only just now that I discovered the band's amazing awesomeness, having made me a new fan of theirs. I absolutely love it like a girlfriend, especially that breakdown. It has honestly continued sealing metalcore as the personal best genre for me, better than the post-hardcore of Silverstein that most people seem to know. An amazing life-saving metalcore band in chill progress! It's awesome to hear these unique sounds like the harmonic sweeps. The vocalist has more power (but less brutality) than Suicide Silence vocalist Mitch Lucker (RIP). This is grand modern melodic metallic hardcore right here in this song. F***ing sick (as in awesome), man! Thank you for including this, Daniel...

Crossfaith – “Catastrophe” (from “EX_MACHINA”, 2018)

5/5. I became interested in the Japanese metalcore scene thanks to a friend from the outside world, and this band Crossfaith a more recent example. This is really nice god-awesome heaviness. I love it so much!

Woe, Is Me – “(&) Deliquents” (from “Number(s)”, 2010)

5/5. The lead singer of this band sounds so beautiful, while the screaming vocalist sounds as brutal as he can be. Awesome song with nice lyrics, and that 30-second ending is probably one of the most touching sections of a metalcore song I've ever heard.

Underøath – “The Last” (from “Cries Of The Past”, 2000)

4.5/5. This is back in the older times when Underoath had a progressive black/death metal-influenced metalcore sound going on, and I love this song, though it's the first song of the album Cries of the Past, not the last. Sadly this year, guitarist Corey Steger passed away following a car accident. RIP

The Dillinger Escape Plan – “Fix Your Face” (from “Ire Works”, 2007)

5/5. This one commences the third Dillinger Escape Plan album in a brutal bang, an intense track of destructive perfection with guest vocals by original vocalist Dimitri Minakakis. What's more hardcore than that for TDEP??

Born Of Osiris – “Now Arise” (from “A Higher Place”, 2009)

5/5. Here there are some perfect heavy riffs, along with a black metal-like section with evil-sounding synths and blast beats, which makes the song another fun one to listen to, and similar to The Faceless while straying away from that kind of sound.

Abiotic – “Grief Eater, Tear Drinker” (from “Ikigai”, 2021)

3.5/5. This is a little too close to the technical death metal I've sworn away from. Let's move on...

Loathe – “Heavy Is the Head That Falls With the Weight of a Thousand Thoughts” (from “I Let It In & It Took Everything”, 2020)

5/5. The last song I'm gonna comment here is a f***ing killer track that starts with black metal hatred blending early Enslaved with Deafheaven, before the usual metalcore riff stomp. Loathe keeps twisting things up with technical-ish grooves with dynamic drama that are rare to happen in any other song.

1
Daniel

Underrated:


Born Of Osiris - "The Discovery" (2011)

High quality djenty progressive deathcore from Chicago. For fans of After The Burial, Veil of Maya & Within The Ruins.

2
Daniel

Here's my review:


I came kinda late to the deathcore subgenre. It wasn’t really a thing during my 1980’s/90’s heyday & would only start to develop as I found myself losing interest in the scene & defecting to electronic music around 1998/99. The first I heard of it wasn’t until my return to metal in 2009 & I have to admit that I was more open to it than most extreme metal fans at the time. Despite the generic elements at play on most releases, I found it hard not to enjoy the high-quality musicianship & clear & precise production jobs &, when you added in the progressive approach of some of the more expansive outfits, I found myself kinda digging it. Not to the same extent as your more traditional death metal mind you, but enjoyment was had nonetheless. Fast forward another twelve or so years & you’ll find that not a lot has changed for me in this regard. I don’t find myself racing out to track down the latest deathcore release but, when the opportunity arises, I’m up for the task & can see the merit when the subgenre is done well (as it is here).

My first experience with Chicago-based six-piece Born Of Osiris wouldn’t come until shortly after the 2011 release of this album “The Discovery” which was the band’s third full-length & is generally regarded as the pinnacle of the band’s career to date as far as I can tell. And it’s not very hard to see why either to tell you the truth because this is one outstandingly well composed & executed piece of deathly metalcore with a penchant for the more spacey & progressive end of extreme art. I wouldn’t say that it ever transcends the subgenre because all of the signature deathcore elements are at play for most of the album but there’s been a strong push for expansion & development of that sound too. For this reason, I find “The Discovery” to stretch the boundaries of my taste palate a little further than I’m entirely comfortable with but to somehow manage to keep from ever bursting out. Let’s start with the positives because there are plenty for your more open-minded metalhead to enjoy.

As is so commonly the case with US deathcore outfits, Born Of Osiris are a shit-hot group of musicians. I mean these guys can all really shred like bastards & their performances here are outstanding. They occasionally hint at crossing over into self-indulgence but I think they actually do a really great job of reining themselves in just before that occurs. Guitarists Lee McKinney & Jason Richardson are particularly skilled & show themselves to not only have the chops to match most high class shredders on the market today but also to have an impressive sense of exotic melody with some of the lead work pushing Born Of Osiris out further into progressive metal territory than they already were. In fact, I’d be very surprised if the boys haven’t been influenced by early Cynic because they’ve taken a similar approach to much of the melodic content & this is a real feather in their cap as I love a more expansive & exploratory style of guitar solo. Drummer Cameron Losch proves himself to be extremely capable with his powerful & high-precision double-kick work keeping the band sounding punchy & tight at all times. The continued use of spacey synthesizers from full-time keyboardist Joe Buras is also worth mentioning as Joe’s contribution sees “The Discovery” sporting somewhat of a sci-fi atmosphere & his short interlude pieces serve to break the album up really well without ever sacrificing on its overall heaviness. In saying that, I do think that the occasional electronic beat could be hard to stomach for some of the more traditional members of the metal audience & in truth I don’t think they add a lot to the album. You won’t be able to fault the production job as “The Discovery” ticks all of the boxes in that regard. If anything, you may be tempted to say that it’s over-produced however I think that would be a harsh assessment as I think the result generally highlights the best elements of Born Of Osiris’ sound.

Now for the album’s challenges & we’ll start with the djent component. As with many of the more progressive deathcore outfits, there’s very little doubt that Born Of Osiris have been influenced by Meshuggah or bands that Meshuggah have influenced. Now that’s not a bad thing in itself because I fucking love Meshuggah as they really are in a league of their own when it comes to the whole djent thing. It’s just that a lot of the band’s they’ve influenced do sound very samey due to the continued use of high-precision & purely rhythmic off-beat single-note riffs & you get a whole shit-tonne of those here. Thankfully they’ve been filed down to the sharpest point imaginable so as to ensure that they hit as hard as possible but they still do sound pretty generic at times. As do the trademark deathcore breakdowns which still permeate “The Discovery”. The band try to disguise them through the use of progressive colouring & they’ve had a reasonable amount of success to be fair but I still think I could generally do without them. And lastly, the most challenging part of the album for me is the dual vocal delivery which is over-used & continuously thrust down the listeners throat. As far as I can tell, front man Ronnie Canizaro employs the deep guttural death growls while keyboardist Joe Buras regularly chimes in with silly metalcore screams in support. These vocal lines have been brought right to the front of the mix & are used so consistently that they can sound fairly monotonous a while. To be fair, I don’t really like that vocal style to begin with but this is more of a comment on the overall genre than it is about Born Of Osiris in general.

Regardless of these flaws, I can’t really fault the tracklisting which includes fifteen tracks ranging from good to excellent. Unsurprisingly, it’s the more deathly tracks that float my boat the most along with the synth-driven interludes which are particularly well done. It’s kinda difficult to explain but, even though I struggle with some of the elements I mentioned above, the overall class of Born Of Osiris somehow seems to transcend my misgivings & sees me throwing myself in head first after the first few tracks. I guess I’m just a sucker for well-produced & precisely executed extreme metal so I can’t help but see through the more generic elements so that I can grab on to the more expansive ones & this sees me finding it very hard to be too critical of Born Of Osiris who are unquestionably at the peak of their subgenre. I mean if you like high quality US deathcore then I can’t see that you won’t love “The Discovery” because it ticks all of the boxes while adding in some of its own for good measure & in doing so has created the strongest & most interesting example of the djenty progressive deathcore sound that I’ve ever experienced.

For fans of After The Burial, Veil Of Maya & Within The Ruins.

2
Daniel

My thoughts on some tracks (including my suggested ones):

Amaranthe – “Helix” (from “Helix”, 2018)

4/5. Interesting how I started with a song that reminds of a band that is now gone from my metal interest along with the rest of the you-know-what genre from my playlist. This track sounds more related to mid-2000s In Flames. I like that a bit!

Converge – “Hell To Pay” (from “Jane Doe”, 2001)

4.5/5. What's also interesting is how I spiced up the Revolution playlist with something really slow, with the thick bass to help give it a sludgy vibe and a great suiting tone. One of the best songs in the album to not be part of the greater highlights! (see review)

Unearth – “The Chosen” (from “The March”, 2008)

4.5/5. This one shows some tasty leads, and was chosen as part of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters soundtrack, recorded a year before the rest of the album this song was in, The March.

The Dillinger Escape Plan – “Crossburner” (from “One Of Us Is The Killer”, 2013)

4/5. I guess you call this sludgy track "Phone Home" Part 2!! Moody bass and mechanical distortion scatter over guitars while making the song more violent than a deadly earthquake. The madness would have a good grip on you and shake you hard. This is one of the best songs that don't make my top 5 favorites in this album.

Demon Hunter – “My Destiny” (from “True Defiance”, 2012)

4/5. This one has passionate beautiful choruses surrounding chaotic verses. Good song for any Demon Hunter newcomer fans!

Memphis May Fire – “Alive In The Lights” (from “Challenger”, 2012)

4.5/5. Theo Wyoming, I applaud your decision to contribute to the Revolution playlists. This song is brilliant killer face-blasting metalcore. I might not feel too up to listening to more of this band, but thanks for this suggestion, Theo!

Underøath – “In Division” (from “Ø (Disambiguation)”, 2010)

5/5. Now this is superb! Aaron Gillespie was absent for this album in both the drums and clean vocals, but Spencer's cleans that he uses with his usual screams keep the manliness factor going. No lie, I watched the music video for this song on TV at least 5 years ago during my earlier epic metal taste, but it was until in the center between then and now when I became fully interested in this band during my current modern heavier era. While I enjoy this exciting sound, I love the band in the albums where Aaron is around, though their older stuff. This album is, similar to the previous 3 songs in this playlist, brilliant killer face-blasting metalcore, though it hasn't reached the epic height of Lost in the Sound of Separation. They should definitely have more success than Tool. Christian metalcore for the win (though I'm a Muslim)!

Shadows Fall – “The Light That Blinds” (from “The War Within”, 2004)

5/5. This song comes to a perfect start with a short acoustic intro, then the song itself follows with heavy, pounding rhythms, awesome guitar work, and a memorable catchy chorus. One of the best songs by the band!

God Forbid – “Wicked” (from “Determination”, 2001)

4.5/5. The amazing 6-song winning streak in this playlist continues beautifully in this wicked track, which mixes metalcore rhythms with melodeath leads.

Winds Of Plague – “Approach The Podium” (from “The Great Stone War”, 2009)

5/5. After going through all those down-tuned pieces of metalcore art, the last one I'm commenting on is in standard E, and it sounds so brutal (but in a way I like)! The album's concept about an apocalyptic war in a devolving future should be made into a book or a movie. How much I love this album is probably much more than their later albums. The keyboard riff towards the end is f***ing sick (as in awesome) in this immense song! This song clearly establishes Winds of Plague as one of the heaviest metal bands around, especially the verse that surrounds the one-minute mark. This wouldn't probably be a band I would listen when I was around 14, but the leeway had pushed slowly until at least 5 years later when I became interested in them. You can go into a World War battle zone with this song blaring from your stereo. I'm so speechless by the message the song is conveying. Their first two albums, Decimate the Weak and The Great Stone War at the best by the band!

1
Daniel

I have cross referenced Dillinger Escape Plan many times in mathcore adjacent album reviews over the last year, most notably in my two Converge reviews for Jane Doe and All We Love We Leave Behind. Both bands played into two different branches of mathcore around the turn of the century and they both turned out to be equally influential to the genre, even if Converge became the more critically adored. I have always stood by the DEP was the better of the two for their songwriting that was equal parts frenetic energy and aggression, as well as well controlled and thought out melodies and hooks.

Now this album, One of Us is the Killer, can be viewed as one of the heaviest albums in the groups discography. The hectic songwriting, complete with very complex time signatures and unison riffage, is truly a marvel to behold. The way in which this group is able to make these sound good instead of as a technical wank break is commendable for sure. But what makes this album stand out is how it fits in remarkably well with tracks like "Hero of the Soviet Union", "Paranoia Shields" and "Crossburner". That is, how these sections are complimented by their more melodic influenced hardcore sections.

Now this album is remarkably loud and one of the poor examples of an album that fell victim to the loudness war. Quite a shame for a handful of reasons, but the main reason is the guitar riffing being so incredibly close to the front of the mix. Despite having some decent hooks at times, this is still math rock at its core, so leads are sparse, and I don't need to hear the chugging breakdown riffs at the same volume/intensity as I do during the melodic choruses. What's worse is how both the kick drum in the percussion, as well as Greg Puciato's vocals are blasted as compensation! It really is muddy and it hurts the album as a whole.

To be honest, I was hoping that the first DEP album to be featured would be Miss Machine or their fantastic swansong Dissociation from 2016, but those will have to wait for another day. As it is, One of Us is the Killer is a fantastic display of how one can make hook driven hardcore music without falling into already oversaturated pool that is melodic hardcore. But the production holds this album back from higher marks. I really enjoy how this sound has been taken and refined in recent years by a group such as Rolo Tomassi, and they owe a lot of that success to this album

7/10

3
Daniel

My thoughts on some tracks (including my suggested ones):

Within The Ruins – “Ataxia II” (from “Elite”, 2013)

5/5. While this isn't the first song of the playlist, it's a good intro for the selected amount of songs I'm commenting. Within the Ruins are known for their Ataxia instrumentals that they've had in every album except Creature, and this part continues that killer streak. An incredible technical death/metalcore instrumental attack!

Amaranthe – “Maximize” (from “Maximalism”, 2016)

4.5/5. This is one of the better highlights of the album Maximalism, a fantastic synth-rocker with some of the best vocals from Elize Ryd while varying with the other two vocalists. I'm glad that this song was chosen instead of one of the weak poppy songs later on in the album.

Underøath – “Emergency Broadcast / The End Is Near” (from “Lost In The Sound Of Separation”, 2008)

5.5/5. (not exaggerating) This is a heavy song, one of the heaviest songs in the metalcore scene! The bassline at the one-minute mark builds up until unleashing the chaos. This album is my personal favorite along with Define the Great Line (which I still think it's metalcore, so Ben, please add that album in so I can add my judgement submission, along with They're Only Chasing Safety to bridge the gap). This is probably the most epic song of Lost in the Sound of Separation, especially that 45-second moment with shiver-inducing guitar, one minute after that bassline. The singing by drummer Aaron Gillespie helps level up the song, though that album without him after this one is great too. F***ing amazing! And my true like for Underoath all started because TheOdd1sOut used another song from Lost in the Sound of Separation in one of his videos. The Cult of Luna influence that they had in Define the Great Line can definitely be found in this sick song. Well done, guys!

Bullet For My Valentine – “Your Betrayal” (from “Fever”, 2010)

4.5/5. Simple yet killer! It starts with a military marching drum intro for soldiers to prepare for war with a mood similar to a song from The Poison. The simple elements continue on including drop-C tuned guitars, screams and whispers. After the second chorus, the middle section is different from your typical BFMV song. No guitar solo, just siren-like wailing vocals over heavy guitar. It does show some maturity, but it would've been better if the guitar solo does the siren-like wailing.

Trivium – “In Waves” (from “In Waves”, 2011)

6/5 (not exaggerating). Sonny suggested this one as his submission for this month's playlist, and even though I already submitted that one as part of the first ever Revolution playlist, I won't argue here. It's my favorite song from this album and possibly of metalcore in general. It starts off with an Ascendancy-like metalcore breakdown with Matt Heafy repeatedly screaming the name of the song, then it leads to a melodic Crusade-like chorus. There's also a complicated solo in the middle, but other than that, the riffs are simple yet catchy. That's what I like! During my original epic power metal taste a few years ago, I found the music video for the song "In Waves" on TV, then about a year later, the friend I told you about in my first forum thread introduced me to a heavier modern side of metal starting with this band. For that, I owe him big-time!

Demon Hunter – “Not Ready To Die” (from “Summer Of Darkness”, 2004)

4.5/5. Exploding right into the metalcore action of Summer of Darkness after their self-titled nu metal debut, Ryan Clark does his screaming/growling in the verses before moving to the melodic chanting chorus. The song has dark lyrics about what life is like before the end and the music has almost everything the band has in one song. "If only 33 years can save my life, I have 23 more to make things right..." Was Ryan 10 years old when he wrote those anti-optimistic lyrics?!

Born Of Osiris – “Empires Erased” (from “The New Reign”, 2007)

4/5. A good song to listen to, not the best but still good for anyone starting their technical deathcore interest anew. It has a catchy main riff, along with harmonized guitar and speedy bass. The groovier parts are the best, but what really hits the spot is the epic video game-like keyboarding.

Parkway Drive – “Sleepwalker” (from “Deep Blue”, 2010)

4/5. This single is nothing like most of the other songs I've commented above, or songs from the previous album Horizons like "Boneyards", but it still has a great amount of excellent riffing and amazing ending soloing.

Converge – “The High Cost Of Playing God” (from “When Forever Comes Crashing”, 1998)

4.5/5. You'll find a huge heap of berserk metalcore until it ends with strange melodic chords with vocalist Jacob Bannon's whining cries. It's not my favorite song of the album, but it's still a prime example of 90s metalcore.

God Forbid – “Article I: The Twilight of Civilization, Section I: The End of the World” (from “IV: Constitution of Treason”, 2005)

5/5. We've come to the end of my commenting section with "The End of the World" that happens to be the epic beginning of a metalcore concept album. The song begins with an epic acoustic rising to electric intro as a sign of everyone first hearing of a deadly virus that's spreading all over the world. As the actual heaviness begins, everyone outside panics and begins running to their respective homes, unaware that the virus has caught up with most of them. Yeah, I was a little scared of the virus when it started hitting my country and we were gonna be put in lockdown. Check out my review for this album for the scenario I made: https://metal.academy/reviews/5715/6250

1
Daniel

This one has really tested me. It's taken me much further outside of my musical comfort zone than even some of the recent European power metal feature releases have to be honest. I mean I'd certainly heard the odd Trivium track here & there previously (particularly during "The Revolution" Spotify playlist creation process) but I never quite realized just how commercially accessible their sound was until now. Let's be completely transparent here.... a fair chunk of "In Waves" is a lot closer to Linkin Park than it is to "Master Of Puppets" & I even found myself making comparisons to Nickelback at times which isn't something that any self-respecting metal band would usually be comfortable with. But having said that, there's certainly a place for a poppier brand of metal when it's done well & it's done well here.

Colin Richardson's production job really is the player of the match for "In Waves" because he gives a lot of this material more grunt than it actually deserves. The performances & execution are outstanding but if you analyze many of these tracks in detail you'll find that there's not all that much substance. There's definitely a case for some of these tracks having been needlessly extended (see the last minute & a half of the title track for example) but in general everything seems to be in the appropriate place. It's a real credit to Richardson that he's managed to take such simple & accessible song-writing & make it into a fairly decent metal record.

For a release that's generally regarded as melodic metalcore, there's actually not very much hardcore on offer here. It's much more of a combination of commercial heavy metal & melodic death metal in my opinion but the vocals & breakdowns see it hanging onto its -core tag for dear life. I'm just not so sure that too many punks are gonna be jumping onboard the Trivium train based on this offering. Despite the screamy vocals & occasional blast beat, Disturbed & Metallica's "Black Album" seem like more appropriate counterparts so no one should really be claiming "In Waves" under the extreme metal banner. In fact, the vocals are probably the weakest part of the album for me as I'm not all that big on the generic nature of the screamed delivery & the clean stuff tends to be... welll... pretty Linkin Park like really (no offence to Linkin Park who are sitting in my playlist for the coming week) which only exacerbates the pre-existing feeling that I'm listening to a Stock, Aitken & Waterman version of modern metal.

At the end of the day though, I rate releases on how much I enjoy listening to them & I'd be lying if I said that I didn't find a fair bit of enjoyment in the majority of "In Waves". Sure there are a few duds thrown in here & there (see "A Skyline's Severance", "Built To Fall" & particularly the radio-friendly closer "Of All These Yesterdays") & there aren't really all that many genuine highlight tracks but there's enough high quality metal here to keep me interested even if I don't find my head bopping up & down all that often.  Thankfully I just love a well produced & tightly performed metal record & can look past Trivium's failings for the most part.

For fans of Bullet For My Valentine, As I Lay Dying & Shadows Fall.

3.5/5

5
Daniel

My thoughts on some tracks (including my suggested ones):

August Burns Red – “Meddler” (from “Constellations”, 2009)

5/5. Another perfect start of a playlist, an epic-sounding metalcore song with lyrics of hopeless rationalism. This can very well get my hopes up for a sweet playlist, though they shouldn't be too high up, of course...

All That Remains – “Tru-Kvlt-Metal” (from “The Order Of Things”, 2015)

3.5/5. This song makes you want to face palm over the oddly spelled title. The track itself is cool with all this metal aggression, but the momentum is a little lost and out of place. This song would work better in their earlier albums, not this one. But this is still a great song with their brutal metalcore sound and is one of their heaviest songs.

Betraying The Martyrs – “The Great Disillusion” (from “The Resilient”, 2017)

4.5/5. A great killer symphonic/progressive death/metalcore song. Enough said!

Botch – “Hives” (from ‘American Nervoso”, 1998)

4/5. Another killer song closing a good album of mathcore madness, but I wish it would have a more interesting ending like a much better piano melody than the one in "Oma" after the rest of the instrumentation fades, but that didn't happen. Oh well...

The Dillinger Escape Plan – “Limerent Death” (from “Dissociation”, 2016)

4.5/5. Another standard mathcore banger of a song filled with complete manic insanity, plus some yelling and screaming from both guitar and vocals. The violent blast beats and complex time signatures are far beyond how much your brain can handle.

Converge – “Dark Horse” (from “Axe To Fall”, 2009)

4.5/5. Probably the most accessible song by the band while having the usual monstrous metalcore fury. It has a fast technical riff that plays many times in the song, while in the middle there's a crushing breakdown with Jacob Bannon's powerful shrieking.

God Forbid – “Antihero” (from “Gone Forever”, 2004)

5/5. This is one of my favorite songs from this band. Melodic guitar leads cuts through my eardrums to the point of breaking them until it makes way for shattering mid-tempo moshing riffs with sweet angry vocals. Then it's back to the Arch Enemy-like melodeath/thrash mayhem!

Trivium – “What The Dead Men Say” (from “What The Dead Men Say”, 2020)

5.5/5 (not exaggerating). The title track of the newest Trivium album might take a few listens to fully grasp it, but the end result is this song becoming possibly my favorite Trivium song since the In Waves title track! The catchy chorus is a bit repetitive yet something I would never change. I say it has the fury of The Sin and the Sentence and the technicality of Shogun mixed into a hard-written song that's been missing from the band for many years until now. A total destroyer I profusely love!

Misery Signals – “River King” (from “Ultraviolet”, 2020)

5/5. Speaking of kings, "River King" is an amazing song from Misery Signals, the kings of Wisconsin (my grandparents' state) metalcore! We really need them to perform live after the virus clears out so they can shatter the earth, especially the heavy breakdown at the last minute. The exciting noise assault definitely brings back ABR memories.

Unearth – “One With The Sun” (from “Extinctions(s)”, 2018)

4.5/5. A great standout, featuring some of the most catchy guitar leads in the album while the lyrics warn you about the final extinction, hopefully not the virus. After all that intense energy, it lightens up to an uplifting mood as the song closes in calm symphonic melody.

Veil Of Maya – “Dark Passenger” (from “[id]”, 2010)

4/5. This one continues the technical veracity with some more headbanging breakdowns along with beautiful ambient riffs. Probably would've been better, but a decent introductory song for anyone stumbling upon Veil of Maya for the first time.

1
Daniel

Thanks Daniel, but the album is still too far beyond my mostly melodic metalcore league, not to mention a title that would offend people with autism and their parents. Again I'm not into the ultra-grind-metalcore of this band and others such as Gulch and Fawn Limbs (Gaza is still OK for me though). I'm not gonna write a summary, I'm just gonna say the link to my review: https://metal.academy/reviews/19991/26049

3/5

2
Daniel

My thoughts on some of the tracks (including my suggested songs):

Amaranthe – “Fearless” (from “Manifest”, 2020)

4.5/5. Not the Amaranthe song I suggested, but I'll take it! This is one of the most killer songs by Amaranthe I've heard since Massive Addictive, where the band fearlessly slays through their trance-metalcore sound like a sci-fi dystopian battle.

August Burns Red – “Spirit Breaker” (from “Rescue & Restore”, 2013)

4/5. Another nice metalcore song! This one starts with an intro similar to some Darkest Hour song intros but with rising and falling strings before starting the standard August Burns Red attack. That song also has a soft break with emotive spoken reading.

Converge – “Aimless Arrow” (from “All We Love We Leave Behind”, 2012)

4.5/5. I used to think those two bands mentioned above (Amaranthe and August Burns Red) were some of the best Revolution bands around, but when Converge entered my playlist, now I realize that sometimes it's more about aggression than melody. This track drops the extreme bomb into an explosion of math-metalcore backed up by vocalist Jacob Bannon sounding more semi-melodic than his earlier atonal screaming.

Trivium – “Kirisute Gomen” (from “Shogun”, 2008)

5/5. The track title is a Japanese saying meaning "authorization to cut and leave". The song itself is pretty effective. It begins with an acoustic Japanese guitar intro that is the same melody as the chorus for the epic title track. Then a gong is hit, followed by taiko drums kicking in, and I was amazed by the guitar build-up leading to the song itself drilling in some killer thrashy verses with vocals alternating between clean and growling, and a memorable chorus. Now that its album Shogun is finally in The Pit despite not concluding its hall voting, I might have to ask Ben in another thread to cancel the Hall submissions for that one and Vengeance Falls (the latter because I just realized it's not that thrashy) if possible.

Norma Jean – “Landslide Defeater” (from “All Hail”, 2019)

5/5. Now this is fantastic! I may have changed my mind about enjoying that Architects song from last month's playlist, but this song makes up for that by improving on those Architects influences to a new level. This brutal heavy song has one of the most chaotic breakdowns I've heard recently. Between the heaviness and catchiness, the vocals release mind-blowing energy from the infinite. The chaotic energy is mixed with fragments of melody. Some might think of old The Devil Wears Prada, but I say it has super-mega chaos far beyond that level. Forget what I said about August Burns Red being one of my favorite Revolution bands, Norma Jean takes the reign!

Unearth – “Endless” (from “The Oncoming Storm”, 2004)

4.5/5. A killer song with a bit of a Hatebreed vibe, re-recorded from the Endless EP. The lyrics are notable for being inspired and inspiring; the first verse lyrics inspired the name of symphonic deathcore band Winds of Plague, and the "ENDLESS FIGHT!!" breakdown, was inspired by Endless Fight Records, the label that released Unearth's demo EP Above the Fall of Man.

Cursed – “God & Country (Some Folks Inherit Star-Spangled Eyes)” (from “One”, 2003)

5/5. Remember yesterday when Daniel and I established that I wasn't really into the doomy hardcore sludge metal? I just changed my mind with this song! This is probably the best song to mix metallic hardcore with sludge, and those screams would be tough to imitate. "Final frontier falls to decay, last of hope rotting away... ROTTING AWAY!!!"

The Dillinger Escape Plan with Mike Patton – “Hollywood Squares” (from “Irony Is A Dead Scene” E.P., 2002)

5/5. The chaos starts right at the press of the play button, with legendary session vocalist Mike Patton screaming "GAME OVER! I WIN!! GAME OVER! YOU WIN!!!" Intensity never stops and instead keeps twisting and turning through all this variety. As the fast pace speeds on, Patton shows off his astonishing vocals ranging from blood-curdling yelling and creepy whispering. What a great maniac! Things get quieter in the second half where Patton sounds closer to his more accessible time in Faith No More. There's still some more amazing creative talent! The furious extreme noisecore rages on once more as Patton snarls "We're Hollywood squares, going nowhere".

Botch – “John Woo” (from “American Nervoso”, 1998)

4.5/5. This one has prime usage of the heavy-mild technique. The song starts with maximized mathcore noise that would fit well in a demolition derby, but eventually starts weaving back and forth between an easy guitar groove and a technical riff. Then there's a simple breakdown before a chaotic ending. That song pretty much proves the unrestrained hysteria of its album in intelligent progress and unique contrast.

Underøath – “And I Dreamt Of You” (from “Cries From The Past”, 2000)

5.5/5 (not exaggerated). Probably the longest song to ever reach one of the Revolution playlists! When this song came to my mind, I thought it was a great one to choose because I've been thinking about submitting a real 10+ minute metalcore epic, the ones I was thinking of, like the title tracks of Trivium's Shogun and Converge's Jane Doe were far longer than the other songs of their respective albums, and it doesn't quite make sense to choose a song that's far longer anything else in album. However, the first two Underoath albums are progressive black/death-influenced metalcore songs that are longer at 7-8 minutes on average, so I finally got the chance to include this 11-minute epic! And I gotta say, this is my favorite Underoath song from that era. The melodic guitar playing far near the 4 and a half minute mark is so sick and cool with leads playing over breakdowns that would otherwise be too fast for a breakdown. Some of the lyrics can be very poetic. Now that's a black/death-ish metalcore epic like no other!

Parkway Drive – “Smoke ‘Em If Ya Got ‘Em” (from “Killing With A Smile”, 2005)

4.5/5. This Parkway Drive fan-favorite was re-recorded from the Don't Close Your Eyes EP, now with better production and more intense sound. Once again, it sums up everything the band has; crushing riffs, heavy breakdowns, melodic leads, technical drums, and emotional intensity, the latter especially in the ending lead and riff.

After The Burial – “A Vicious Reforming Of Features” (from “Rareform”, 2009)

5/5. A great djent-core ending to its original album, it might sound like a copy of Meshuggah, but there are a few unique variations. The high-hat can really stand out in the incredible precise drumming which, by the way, is programmed, even in the remastered version. Also, the sound might be a bit scratchy, but it gives a cold feeling, like a more audibly distorted Necrophagist. A viciously awesome closer! There's another song from this album in this month's Infinite playlist, which I'll talk about later...

1
Daniel

For my track thoughts here, I originally commented on a massive 20 of the 32 tracks here because there are so many bands I like and songs from bands that I might like. However, I realized that I tried so hard to enjoy the some of the songs from bands I haven't listened to before when really I didn't like them, and my comments on some of the songs from bands that I do listen to were outdated, most of which were copied from my own reviews and my opinions on those songs have changed since then. I might even give them up and sacrifice their discographies to make room for newer bands eventually if I feel like it, God forbid (NOT one of those bands). So I cut my amount of reviewed tracks to just 14 and rearranged the order of songs here to sound more complete. Here they are:

Hatebreed – “Instinctive (Slaughterlust)” (from “Weight Of The False Self”, 2020)

8/10. If Trivium could rip the heart from your hate, Hatebreed does just that then keeps stomping the heart hard while your hate bleeds to death. This is f***ing brutal old-school-inspired metalcore that would keep your wild bullhorns up. Though I still don't feel up to metalcore that brutal...

Gulch – “Self-Inflicted Mental Terror” (from “Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress”, 2020)

7/10. After the November playlist had the demo version, this newer version appears in their album Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress. It does fit well with the title, sounding too much like it was written by a mentally ill terrorist. I still can't handle this brutal grind-metalcore...

Chamber – “Numb (Transfuse)” (from “Cost Of Sacrifice”, 2020)

9/10. A heavy start to this playlist, one of the hardest metalcore songs I've heard so far, more than the heaviest hamburger! The drumming is so g****mn insane, pushing the boundaries of metalcore drumming and reminding me of Gojira's Mario Duplantier. Some listeners might pick up Code Orange and Norma Jean vibes from the chaotic mathy metalcore inspired from the late 90s. Then there's a 30-second unexpected beautiful ending. The two-minute breakdown has excellent hellfire. However, the chaos might be a little too spicy for me to handle as much as Zao. If the new Predator film could feature a Suicide Silence song, then the next one should have this song. Some listeners might also be reminds of a less technical Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza. Chamber has made a metal hardcore extravaganza that's a little out of my bounds!

Bleed From Within – “Alive” (from “Era”, 2018)

8/10. Another killer song, but not enough to get more of this band. Enough said!

The Dillinger Escape Plan – “Prancer” (from “One Of Us Is The Killer”, 2013)

9/10. This smashing hit continues The Dillinger Escape Plan's tradition of swinging straight into action. Off beat melodies shine in a considerate pace. This band sure knows how to prance around with more chaos than grace!

Trivium – “Pillars Of Serpents” (from “Ember To Inferno”, 2003)

10/10. Ah yeah, "Pillars of Serpents", the first full song I talked about in my first Metal Academy album review, Trivium's Ember to Inferno! Not just that, I also suggested this song in the playlist in memory of former bassist Brent Young (RIP). The song itself is a chugging churning example of heavy metalcore, still audible enough for the ears. In fact you can hear a bit of the bass clearly in the mix. I personally like the original (the version used in this playlist) better than the 2017/2019 re-recorded version, not sure why, maybe I just wasn't into the scream and the F-word at the end of the re-recording.

Amaranthe – “The Nexus” (from “The Nexus”, 2013)

9/10. Some of the most crushing music helped out by a diverse vocal trio. It really sets apart from any music you hear nowadays. The top-notch lyrics have a positive tone of never giving up. An energetic song of metal heaven on pop earth!

Converge – “Last Light” (from “You Fail Me”, 2004)

10/10. 3 and a half minutes of mayhem are the result from probably the most impressively unique song in the album. The screaming vocal attack of Jacob Bannon ranges from manic to emotional through the lyrics. The song is indeed emotional and you already know what's going on just by listening to it.

Botch – “Transitions From Persona To Object” (from “We Are The Romans”, 1999)

9/10. This song greatly represents the organic nature of the album We are the Romans. Every riff is played naturally, never forced, as if the riffs are inventing themselves. After an eerie intro melody, the song continues into its awesomeness, riff after riff, all in a perfect groove mood. The heavy riffs lead to high dissonance in a passage that brings back the lower riffs and vocals. The song ends with frantic discord fading out to a drumbeat.

HORSE The Band – “Lord Gold Throneroom” (from “The Mechanical Hand”, 2005)

10/10. One of the most amazing songs from Nintendocore masters Horse the Band! I can definitely say that this song could be used in a Nintendo video game battle. Other than that, I got no other words to do this killer piece justice!

August Burns Red – “Your Little Suburbia Is In Ruins” (from “Thrill Seeker”, 2005)

9/10. A blazing brutal song from August Burns Red BEFORE Jake Luhrs! The opening has a catchy riff and fast drums, leading into an earth-shattering breakdown. That's a fast song with interesting riffs that are never cliché.

The Contortionist – “Flourish” (from “Exoplanet”, 2010)

8/10. This song is a good heavier one, sounding closer to progressive deathcore/djent, with beautiful moments like the instrumental breakdown and that shoegaze-like solo. After that, close to the 5-minute point, they turn back to the sharper djent sound. Its album Exoplanet was remastered in 2015, and even though the remaster caused some mixed reactions, I still think this song has cool djent on both versions.

Veil Of Maya – “Crawl Back” (from “The Common Man’s Collapse”, 2008)

9/10. And here's another deathcore band that I enjoy, Veil of Maya. This song immediately introduces the band's second vocalist Brandon Butler with some semi-memorable lyrics. That's the deathcore I can tolerate!

Venom Prison – “Slayer Of Holofernes” (from “Primeval”, 2020)

8/10. And the third's time not the charm for deathcore... Vocalist Larissa Stupar does her attempt to do Cattle Decapitation-like vocals along with background cleans, but that's just too much and too spine-chilling. Still this song is somewhat amazing. I mean a female death-screamer must be quite a phenomenon, isn't it? Those are some sick killer screams that stay consistent and drag you through f***ing extreme Hell, if you're up for that challenge. D*mn, it's brutal! Larissa is one of the brightest shining stars of harsh vocals nowadays, in a pulverizing range from death to hardcore. So insanely killer! Her beautiful yet beastly vocals can pound f***ing harder than a gorilla's fists. Yep, those vocals are awesome, but it's just too chaotic, along with the rest of the song. I've reached my deathcore limit!

Despite the massive cutdown, that's quite a lot for me to review in this playlist! It hasn't beaten the original high score of December's playlist, but it came close. Thanks again Daniel for including my suggestions and many more songs for me to enjoy!

3
Daniel

It's pretty amazing that a band like Converge can release Jane Doe in September of 2001 and be heralded as the GOAT of mathcore, yet Botch can come along just over a year later with this EP and invoke the same critical reception.

As I have mentioned many times before, mathcore is not my specialty. Something about the irrationality of it all and how none of it sticks together just leaves me feeling empty after hearing it. But some groups can make it work: Converge from Axe to Fall and beyond, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Rolo Tomassi and Botch would probably fall into that category. The guitars are given prominent roles as a melodic instrument throughout as Dave Verellen's vocals are allowed to be as punishing and relentless as possible. The compositions are fluent as well; "Japam" and "Vietmam" are structured well and do not fee like an amalgamation of four/five ideas lumped together without a through line. 

I will say that the cathartic release that I felt following the buildup from "Afghamistam" into the first half of "Miciragua" was impressive, but the song "Afghamistam" on its own doesn't feel like it belongs here. It's a decent cut and a great way to show off the groups capability to play slow and atmospheric, but the runtime is a detriment and is not as developed as the albums heavier moments.

I feel like this EP is much more in the realm of mathcore that I can appreciate for its songwriting prowess alone. The production does help also, but it is the overall connectivity that makes these tunes resonate as actual pieces of music that I can listen to and enjoy rather than as a mosh pit anthem. An Anthology of Dead Ends is hardly my favourite in this niche subsect of mathcore, but there was an effort put forward and it did pay off.

7/10

3
Daniel

I'm a big fan of hardcore punk like Sick of it All and Minor Threat and the first Suicidal Tendencies album is one of my all-time favourites, so I quite enjoyed this - far better than almost any metalcore I've heard before. Benefits, as most hardcore-based releases do, from it's short runtime as that level of intensity is hard to maintain for extended periods. 3.5/5

3
Daniel

The new single from Buffalo-based metalcore outfit Every Time I Die.

18
Daniel

For my track thoughts here, I originally commented on a massive 23 of the 29 tracks here because there are so many bands I like and songs from bands that I might like. However, I realized that I tried so hard to enjoy the some of the songs from bands I haven't listened to before when really I didn't like them, and my comments on some of the songs from bands that I do listen to were outdated, most of which were copied from my own reviews and my opinions on those songs have changed since then. I might even give them up and sacrifice their discographies to make room for newer bands eventually if I feel like it, God forbid (NOT one of those bands). So I cut my amount of reviewed tracks to half of the amount and added a song from last month's playlist to make it seem more complete. Here they are!

Alpha Wolf – “Akudama” (from “A Quiet Place To Die”, 2020)

9/10. This playlist starts with 2 songs, each from a nu metalcore band that used to be deathcore. Even though I'm not entirely a fan of bands like that (except Attila), there are some killer moments like the breakdown teleporting you like a Magic the Gathering wizard into the asteroid explosion killing the dinosaurs. A great angry song that would never disappoint, though to be honest, it wouldn't go into my shelf of Revolution history.

Within Destruction – “Hate Me” (from “Yōkai”, 2020)

8/10. The second song of the nu-metalcore-after-deathcore style, and even though it's as great as the Alpha track, I would give it fewer points for being too heavily brutal and experimental with the oriental sitar. Let's move on to the next song...

The Hirsch Effekt – “Torka” (from “Kollaps”, 2020)

9/10. Another interestingly different song. This one mixes some Steven Wilson vibes with cool mathcore instrumentation. That's some great creativity to blow your mind! This is a similar kind of sound to Strawberry Hospital, but done with transcendent passion and incredible talent. It's a really cool song with awesome sound put into by their heart and soul, but I'm still not totally digging this kind of experimentation.

God Forbid – “Article II: In the Darkest Hour, There Was One, Section 7: To the Fallen Hero” (from “IV: Constitution of Treason”, 2005)

10/10. Now this is what I like! An anthem with crushing guitar tones and a sing-along chorus. In the review that I've written right when the virus started hitting my country, and I came up with a scenario combining the album's original with my fearful predictions of what if the virus couldn't be stopped and wipes out the earth, this is for the fallen government who tried their best to stop the virus but were overpowered by the virus and were infected and killed, leading to the downfall of the entire country and later the world. Fortunately, that never happened to us because we all worked hard for the virus to hopefully be stopped.

HORSE The Band – “Shapeshift” (from “Desperate Living”, 2009)

10/10. Indeed a shape-shifting song, not just in the instrumentation, but also the usual harsh vocals switching to the softer ones by Jamie Stewart from Xiu Xiu. While this is one of the best songs of the album Desperate Living, the album itself wasn't great enough to get me fully interested in this band, but thanks to the boost given by Protest the Hero and Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (the next two bands here), I now see this band as a great underrated group that needs more credit. And now they're back with their new EP Your Fault released the other day to get us through these dark COVID times. Glad to finally listen to the rest of their discography!

Protest The Hero – “Blindfolds Aside” (from “Kezia”, 2006)

9/10. In this catchy song, the guitar work isn't super impressive but it gets put aside for the amazing vocals soaring into an emotional climax. The solo and the bridge that follows are beautiful. You already know how profound Protest the Hero were thinking when composing. Similar to the first act, it's the third and last song in the act that's has filled with an emotional climax of power. There's even a beautiful acoustic ending with female singing by Jadea Kelly. The song is set in the same place as an earlier track "Divinity Within"; the execution. I'll not try to spoil the concept too much, but a prison guard feels some post-ranting sympathy towards a girl named Kezia who's sentenced to death. Kezia gives the guard a choice of fates; kill her and feel guilt for the rest of his life or abort the execution and let himself control his life. The execution's about to start, and what does the guard to choose? Find out in the album Kezia. That's part of only the second act, but it's the best track of that act!

Fear, & Loathing In Las Vegas – “Twilight” (from “Dance & Scream”, 2010)

10/10. Now here's better experimentation! This is one of the best Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas songs, far better than the Twilight movie, proving that they're symphonic electronic metalcore legends. One of the vocalists does a killer 10-second scream shortly after the 2-minute mark. Excellent song!

August Burns Red – “Carol Of The Bells” (from “Sleddin’ Hill: A Holiday Album”, 2012)

10/10. The perfect Christmas metalcore song! Enough said. Have a metal Christmas!!

After The Burial – “Berzerker” (from “Rareform”, 2009)

9/10. A prime starter for the band's sound, especially in that berserk intro filled with tasteful technical shredding and heavy groove. The odd time changes are never forced and the Meshuggah-like groove is played like it was meant to be played and not to show off. The ending breakdown has great vocal moments. Oh I almost forgot to tell you, I'm reviewing the remastered version with vocals by Anthony Notormaso, instead of the original vocalist Grant Luoma whom I guess people didn't like because the newer version is the one used in this playlist.

Trivium – “Like Light To The Flies” (from “Ascendancy”, 2005) (from the November playlist because I thought the Revolution playlist looked incomplete without a song from my ultimate favorite band)

10/10. Yet another classic from Trivium's breakthrough album Ascendancy, and one of my personal favorite songs in the album, once again showing how good this band can possibly be. I wish I have my own iPod so I can listen to this song anytime, anywhere.

The Dillinger Escape Plan with Mike Patton – “When Good Dogs Do Bad Things” (from “Irony Is A Dead Scene” E.P., 2002)

10/10. A much greater mathcore song, this is one of my all-time favorites from this band! Everything's in the right place, and it would be a great song to perform live, though if they ever did, it would be with vocalist Greg Puciato. It begins with Patton yelling "I'm the best you've ever had!!" This song has the most intensity and variety in this EP. The riffs go all over the place in perfect sense. Pure genius!! After some strange gibbering, he starts chanting "mommy" similar to a Gregorian choir. It pauses a few times then his voice rises to screaming as if he was a little kid crying for his mommy. The riffs and vocal abilities get better as the song progresses. More screaming insanity! This song once again proves that Mike Patton is one of the best vocalists in the whole wide world amen. Then suddenly the wild intensity is interrupted by a sudden ambient section with good drumming and haunting vocals. Then it gets much cooler. The guitar sounds darker and more restrained as Patton sings some very low vocals. Then suddenly the crazy screams and mad guitars return again. Then it switches back to the low singing then back to the high screaming. The drums throughout those sections are amazing. Then the song fades out with a film reel, and you think it's all over. Then PSYCH!!! The song returns unexpectedly for one more heavy reprise, like an abrupt jump-scare! One of the most incredible songs by the band.

Between The Buried & Me – “Selkies: The Endless Obsession” (from “Alaska”, 2005)

9/10. This progressive metalcore epic comes in with a keyboard riff, before exploding into a great progressive death metal song with some blast beat drumming coming in. After all that heavy metalcore assault, the Cynic-like robotic clean vocals come in a stoner-like section. Then it switches to plain progressive rock with Rogers' clean vocals followed by a clean blues guitar solo and great piano work. Then the song ends with two minutes of uplifting progressive metal soloing.

Within The Ruins – “Versus” (from “Invade”, 2010)

9/10. This song is a prime example of the battle between progressive and metalcore. You don't know which side wins, but it ain't about who wins, it's all about the journey! Fantastic progressive metalcore that you can't resist!

Despite the massive cutdown, this has still been my biggest playlist feedback journey yet! Thanks again Daniel for including my suggestions and many more songs for me to enjoy!

1
Daniel

My thought on one more track:

Gaza – “Hospital Fat Bags” (from “I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die”, 2006)

11/10 (not exaggerating). This song charges through dissonant rhythmic guitar that often ascend to harmony then is dragged back down by chaos but keeps climbing to create tension. Then everything slows down for a melodic punk-influenced sludge section as a nice parallel. Probably the most killer mathcore song I've heard in ages!

2
Daniel

I finished my review, here's its summary:

I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die is an intense, dissonant, and unpleasant album...for some people. But for me, this is awesome! This 2006 release contains some crazy brutal music but in a way that blesses my ears and has got me hooked. Now I plan on fetching their other two albums, and maybe they would cause destructive chaos just like this one did. For this album, after two short grindcore tracks, the album charges through 8 more mathcore songs of brutal chaos and wild intensity with occasional melodic sludge sections. I don't care if people think this album sucks garbage because it's too intense for them, I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die passes this mathcore/grindcore test for finding what I think is the right balance of enjoyment. Hello, Gaza!

5/5

3
Daniel

My thoughts on some of the tracks (including my suggested songs):

Amaranthe – “Invincible” (from “The Nexus”, 2013)

9/10. Another killer track from the awesome yet over-hated Amaranthe album The Nexus, displaying the band's Nightwish influences while mixing them with the trance metal sounds from other bands like Crossfaith and Blood Stain Child. An interesting example of such a genre! That chorus would make you scream "ONE MORE TIME!!!", which is what Andreas screams between the two parts of each chorus.

Strawberry Hospital – “A Confession, A Cadaver” (from “Strawberry Hospital” E.P., 2020)

8/10. Again it's hard for me to digest the overly experimental mix of electro-trance with ambient black/metalcore/screamo. It does sound somewhat enjoyable for anyone who wants to get in on this experimental action.

Trivium – “Like Light To The Flies” (from “Ascendancy”, 2005)

10/10. Yet another classic from Trivium's breakthrough album Ascendancy, and one of my personal favorite songs in the album, once again showing how good this band can possibly be. I wish I have my own iPod so I can listen to this song anytime, anywhere.

Between The Buried & Me – “Aspirations” (from “Between The Buried & Me”, 2002)

10/10. Another metalcore hit, this one from a band that would later fully switch to progressive metal. There's some fantastic performance from the two guitarists. Once again, despite starting out with some brutality, there's another melodic section that sounds like something you could hear in an Iron Maiden. At one point, there's a falsetto verse performed by... I think it was Tommy Rogers, because he performed it perfectly when the band was playing that song in the Colors Live DVD. That song is definitely one of the best in the album.

Prayer For Cleansing – “Feinbhas a Ghabhail” (from “Rain In Endless Fall”, 1999)

9/10. Right after commenting on a Between the Buried and Me song, I'm now commenting on a track by a band that had BTBAM members before that band's formation, Prayer for Cleansing! I love this song and album, though I wish it could have higher quality.

God Forbid – “Better Days” (from “Gone Forever”, 2004)

9/10. This song, originally released in its eponymous EP released a year earlier, has more prominent cleaning in the chorus than other songs in that God Forbid album and their earlier ones. That song has such an upbeat riff. Nice!

Threat Signal – “Rational Eyes” (from “Under Reprisal”, 2006)

8/10. I picked this song because this was the first one ever made by Threat Signal with a demo of the track first released on the internet. The song received many awards and the success created a following for the band even before playing live. Cool, right? It's a great starting point for anyone new to listening to this band. Same for me almost two years ago when I started listened to them, but now, not so much. The Demanufacture-era Fear Factory-like sound with more melody has recently become flat for me.

Gulch – “Self-Inflicted Mental Terror” (from “2019 Promo”, 2019)

7/10. Again with that band Gulch! This is a demo version of the song that appears in their album Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress. It does fit well with the title, sounding too much like it was written by a mentally ill terrorist. I'm sorry, but I just can't handle this brutal grind-metalcore...

Bleeding Through – “Rise” (from “Portrait Of The Goddess”, 2002)

9/10. Now this track I love much more. Like that Gulch track, it's really short at two minutes long, but it's basically the head-banging melodeath-influenced metalcore action I can stand, with John Pettibone of Himsa on guest vocals.

Winds Of Plague – “Drop The Match” (from “Against the World”, 2011)

10/10. An awesome brutal symphonic deathcore song! I can imagine this scenario; after graduating from college, a few arsonists decide to torch down their high school while playing this song on their stereo at maximum volume. Then when a cop shows up to try to stop them, he hears the music and says, "Ooh, is that Winds of Plague?! I'm a big fan of that band! Mind if I borrow this CD and return it to you later?", and the arsonist leader replies, "H*ll yeah you can." After the cop receives the CD, he drives away blasting the album on his radio, while the arsonists carry on with the school-burning. An unlikely but interesting scenario to fit with this killer song.

Holy cr*p, this is probably the biggest amount of tracks I've commented in any playlist so far (10), probably big enough to make a good little compilation album, and 8 of them are my suggestions new and leftover! Thanks Daniel for allowing all those songs into the playlist! I don't mean to look like I'm dominating your playlists, but seeing that I'm the only Revolution member who's currently active, I just want people who look for playlists like this to know that The Revolution is not a deserted clan, you don't have to find too many tracks that you might or might not enjoy, and someone in that clan (yours truly) is really passionate and wants to make the playlist more organic. I would probably suggest 8 more tracks for December, but I don't wanna push my luck, so maybe the usual 7. And of course, one of them will be a Christmas-y song, for the holidays!

1
Daniel

I agree with Daniel with his assessment of Converge's All We Love We Leave Behind. I found this record to be far more enjoyable than the bands more critically successful Jane Doe from 2001.

And given my opinion on that record to be quite controversial, Converge fixed the production significantly from that record, and created a throwback album that is more refined, melodic and well thought out than any in their entire discography. It's still ruthless and aggressive as hell, but in a more developed and intentional way. One that I greatly appreciate and marks the turning point (at least for me) where I start to "get" Converge. Mathcore is not a genre I take lightly, but Converge deliver here.

8/10 

4
Daniel

My thoughts on a few other tracks:

Misery Signals – “Sunlifter” (from “Ultraviolet”, 2020)

10/10. I made the right choice of choosing this song to listen to. Misery Signals is the exact band this generation needs for a great impact of heart-shedding emotion. This song, "Sunlifter" has just became my favorite song of this year! It's amazing how a band that disappeared for a few years came back just in time to deliver a new album with awesome material like this song. Welcome back, Misery Signals, I'll be listening to more of you...

Strawberry Hospital – “Chimera” (from “Grave Chimera”, 2018)

8/10. Strawberry Hospital is an interesting project, mixing electro-trance with ambient black/metalcore/screamo. It's pretty great, but I don't think it's enough to consider more listens than just one. Too experimental, I guess.

HORSE The Band – “Cutsman” (from “R. Borlax”, 2003)

9/10. As some of you already know, I've reviewed HORSE the Band's recent album Desperate Living as part of The Revolution Melodic Metalcore clan challenge, and it was never really the best in that challenge. Now after getting interested in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, it was time to make another attempt on a synth-metalcore band which is, you guessed it, HORSE the Band! This is a good song to jam to, especially the "CUT CUT CUT" breakdown in the middle. You might think synth-metalcore is a dead genre since this band went on a hiatus, but NOPE, it was reborn by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I also heard that the video game Borderlands 3 has a gun named after this song with its description being part of the song. Now that's genius! Still not feeling up to HORSE the band, though...

So far, those first 7 tracks really hit the mark with their playing order; two over 6-minute early-2000s melodeath-ish metalcore short epics surrounding 5 different-sounding 3-4 minute more recent tracks of different metalcore styles; symphonic deathcore, progressive metalcore, ambient black/trance-metalcore, synth-metalcore, and multi-vocalist trance-metalcore. A great collective overture of metalcore styles before the rest of the playlist. Nicely placed, Daniel!

4
Daniel

Going to post my review for BABYMETAL'S Metal Galaxy here since it echos a lot of the short points I'll make about this one.

https://metal.academy/reviews/14061/14278

Surprisingly, Metal Galaxy is much better put together than this debut, with a lot of the songs on here being EXTREMELY erratic and silly, with most of the choruses being completely different songs than the verses. There's a surprising amount of harsh vocals in this one too and even though they're not the greatest thing ever, the fact that they stick around for a pretty long time does speak volumes for BABYMETAL'S attempt to really bring as much Metal as they could into their performance. 

At the end of the day though, BABYMETAL is very much just a performance, with their history being rooted in some Japanese idol group manager who happened to love Metal deciding to take the chance on a new act. It obviously went over very well, with them becoming a household name just because of how strange and different it was. I'm not going to lie, I absolutely rolled my eyes whenever someone told me that "BABYMETAL goes hard af" or anything like that since I was already starting to dive into the more extreme sides of Metal in 2013/2014. Like Saxy said, they certainly have a place in the mainstream Metal community to try and ease people into harsh vocals and Death Metal riffage. It was always eerily similar to Rammstein when "Du Hast" made its rounds thanks to Rock Band 3. Everyone knew the weird German song with the "NEIN" shouts and the heavy as hell riff, and it was the same sort of story with BABYMETAL'S "Gimme Chocolate!!" and "Megitsune".  

I think the newer albums do a way better job of incorporating the girls' voices and general wackiness that they have, but this debut certainly had a lot of...ideas. A lot of them aren't very good, but a few do work. The crazy rhythm game synths and Eurobeat are pretty good in some tracks, some of the solos rip pretty hard, and there's a ton of variety, but there are just way too many things that make me roll my eyes. It's just all over the place, with "Megitsune" being the only track that I legitimately think is pretty great. It does have its place in the Alternative Metal scene and I'd love to hear more bands experiment with this sort of sound without being so pandering and off-the-wall, like an even more Metal version of Wagakki Band. Look them up, their songs "Tengaku" and "Senbozakura" are massively popular (127m views? Jeez I didn't know they were THAT popular) and I'd love to see a middle ground between that and BABYMETAL. It probably exists somewhere out there, especially since we have that Vengeful Spectre release from this year. 

2/5

2
Daniel

My thoughts on some of the tracks (including my suggested ones):

Amaranthe – “Afterlife” (from “The Nexus”, 2013)

8/10. I love Amaranthe, and this song exemplifies everything you want from the band. Sharp guitars and massive drums are taken to different levels by trance keys. What really stands out is the triple-vocal approach. The combination of the female singing of Elize Ryd, the male singing of Jake E. Lundberg, and the screaming of Andreas Solveström are something you would never hear from another band. This cyclone of sound makes you want to turn into Sonic and beat up Dr. Eggman's robots through the wind and light.

Bullet For My Valentine – “Tears Don’t Fall” (from “The Poison”, 2005)

10/10. A definite highlight for a couple reasons. First off, my brother was listening to this song during the beginning of my heavier modern metal phase and it reminded me of "Riot" (from Temper Temper), NOT similarly, but made me think of that song I was watching its music video about a year prior. The other reason is the instrumentation; very good riffs and great lyrics like in previous songs. The bridge gets much faster and worth headbanging, then in comes the blazing solo. Best song by the band ever!

Trivium – “In Waves” (from “In Waves”, 2011)

12/10 (not exaggerating). My favorite one from this album and possibly of metalcore in general. It starts off with an Ascendancy-like metalcore breakdown with Matt Heafy repeatedly screaming the name of the song, then it leads to a melodic Crusade-like chorus. There's also a complicated solo in the middle, but other than that, the riffs are simple yet catchy. That's what I like! During my original epic power metal taste a few years ago, I found the music video for the song "In Waves" on TV, then about a year later, the friend I told you about in my first forum thread introduced me to a heavier modern side of metal starting with this band. For that, I owe him big-time!

Darkest Hour - “For The Soul Of The Savior” (from “The Mark Of The Judas”, 2000)

7/10. This song begins their first album in a vicious bang. The hardcore-like breakdown rules, but nothing worth a twist. I chose this one because it's one of their most popular songs from that era and an easy one for listeners to get interested in the band. I probably should've added the re-recorded version with the guitar solo by Kris Norris.

Converge – “My Great Devastator (from The Poacher Diaries” split album with Agoraphobic Nosebleed, 1999)

8/10. A great devastating math/metalcore hit. The big problem is, I'm not a fan of split albums because then one of my favorite bands get paired up with a different band, and that other band is either relatively unknown or a band that is known but I'm trying to avoid it. This other band fits the latter category, grindcore grinders Agoraphobic Nosebleed. I just wish Converge would release their own half of The Poacher Diaries as a separate EP with a less explicit album cover.

August Burns Red – “Defender” (from “Guardians”, 2020)

9/10. One of my favorite metalcore songs of this year! It has fantastic drumming charisma. When that song was released as the first single of the album, people found different stuff that might end up in the album, such as a couple brutal breakdowns in the second half of the song. That shows August Burns Red's wild side, I love it!

Betraying The Martyrs – “Take Me Back” (from “The Resilient”, 2017)

8/10. A killer song from the album where Betraying the Martyrs was moving their sound from symphonic deathcore to progressive metalcore. This has the brutality of ABR's "Defender", yet also has powerful clean vocals and epic orchestral background. Though their change of style compared to previous albums is a little overly drastic.

Attila – “Middle Fingers Up” (from “About That Life”, 2013)

7/10. Interesting song you chose there, Daniel! This marks the beginning of their rap-infused metalcore phase, which I don't mind as long as they know what they're doing with their rapping, unlike say, Machine Head's Catharsis. And with a song title like "Middle Fingers Up", you know there's gonna quite some rapping and swearing going on. Personally if I were to choose an Attila song, it would probably be "Payback".

Fear, & Loathing In Las Vegas – “Virtue & Vice” (from “PHASE 2”, 2014)

10/10. I'm no fan of the Japanese techno-style of metalcore, but I decided to check out this song because someone from the outside world shared with a song by this band, Fear, & Loathing In Las Vegas. And lemme tell you, this one is PERFECT!!! Excellent smooth techno-metalcore gold!! I gotta get more of that band!

2
Daniel

Botch - "We Are The Romans" (1999)

Most of our regulars would be aware that I don't dish out the full five stars very often at all. A release has to be absolutely perfectly in tune with my personal taste & also be impeccably performed & executed with an unparalleled level of creative ambition even to be considered. But 1999's sophomore album from Washington-based mathcore outfit Botch is not only an amazing release for the subgenre but it may well be the best mathcore record I've ever experienced. I honestly didn't know that this style of music could reach these heights. This is truly superior metal music that thumbs its nose at the competition. For fans of Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan & Gaza.

5/5

2

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