NEWS: Kerrang! Publish their “21 Best U.S. Metalcore Albums of All Time”…. Here are 10 glaring omissions!

The Metalcore sound appeared in the post-Nu-Metal World as the fusion of Metal and Harcore, taking the breakdowns that we know and love and adding them to the layered guitar work of the more traditional Metal sound. Kerrang! Magazine have published an article detailing their “21 Best U.S. Metalcore Albums of All Time” – you can click here to read that article in full. Lists are always controversial in their nature, their are always going to be missing favourites and genre miss-steps – “Colors” by Between The Buried And Me is an absolute joy – but it’s a progressive death metal album and not Metalcore at all. So we thought it would be fun to go through 10 that have been missed from Kerrangs! list.

“The Caitiff Choir” by It Dies Today

Buffalo, New York’s It Dies Today’s album appeared on the now defunct Trustkill Records and remains one of the labels most successful releases. The 2004 release, the bands full debut following their “Forever Scorned” EP (which appears in full on the later released deluxe version of the album) gained much praise for Nick Brooks vocals and Mike Hatalak’s guitar work. Singles “A Threnody for Modern Romance” and “Severed Ties Yield Severed Heads” are stand outs but the album as a whole has great style and flow, a classy all killer, no filler release. The band went on to release two further albums before going on extended hiatus, however “The Caitiff Choir” remains a mainstay in any Metalcore collection.

“Vanity” by Eighteen Visions

Orange County, California has produced many quality bands over the years and none more so than the newly reformed Eighteen Visions. 2002’s “Vanity” was also a Trustkill Records release and it’s controversial neon pink cover certainly caused a stir, but the album remains a blood and thunder Metalcore classic. It was the last album to feature guitarist Brandan Schieppati who left after it’s recording to form Bleeding Through and become their frontman. As with most Eighteen Visions material, the album is full of movie quotes and frontman James Hart’s incredible vocal range in full force.

“This Is Love, This Is Murderous” by Bleeding Through

2001 saw Bleeding Through appear on the Metalcore scene for the first time with “Dust To Ashes” but is was the bands more mature third album in 2003 “This Is Love, This Is Murderous” that really captured our attention. From lead single “Love Lost In A Hail Of Gunfire” through to album closer “Revenge I Seek”, it’s a wall to wall banger of an album. Ulrich Wilds production is incredibly tight, giving the band a clean, crisp and sharp sound to match up with the musicianship on display. The band went on hiatus in 2016 with bassist Ryan Wombacher joining former Killswitch Engage and Blood Has Been Shed frontman Howard Jones in Light The Torch (formerly known as Devil You Know), though fans have often clamoured for a reunion.

“Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses” by Atreyu

The 2002 Victory Records debut from Atreyu, started the meteoric rise of another Orange County Metalcore scene band to the World stage. “Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses” was the album that started that all off with the brilliant, brutal and epic “Lip Gloss and Black” being the classiest cut of the Eric Rachel produced affair. Originally entitled “The Death Rock Diaries”, the 10 track affair is both short and sweet and managing to get Death by Stereo’s Efrem Schulz to appear with guest vocals on “At Least I Know I’m a Sinner” was a coup.

“Bitterness The Start” by 36 Crazyfists

Originally hailing from Alaska and latterly from Portland, Oregon, 36 Crazyfists major label debut on Roadrunner Records (and second full length release) is another one that deserves a mention here. Probably most famous for single “Slit Writs Theory” but also featuring the crushing “Bury Me Where I Fall” featuring Steev Esquivel of Bay Area Thrashers Skinlab (who have recently done recording sessions with ‘fists guitarist Steve Holt in the production chair), the album is a masterclass. So much so in fact that frontman Brock Lindow declared in a 2007 interview with Kerrang! Magazine that it will remain his favourite of their releases no matter what.

“For Those Who Have Heart” by A Day To Remember

Probably our favourite release from ADTR, 2007 saw the then Victory signed band release a Metalcore banger of an album before they started their later year pop-punk transition and the one that launched the bands career into the stratosphere following their much heavier debut release “And Their Name Was Treason” (latterly re-recorded and re-released as “Old Record”). Recorded and mixed at Zing Studios by producer Eric Arena with pre-production at The Wade Studios in Ocala by Andrew Wade and original demos recorded by Matt Finch at 318 Studios, it’s that triple phased approach that really pays off here. In our opinion.”The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle” is probably the best song among many good songs the band have released.

“The Impossibility of Reason” by Chimaira

Arguably Cleveland, Ohio bruisers Chimaira’s finest hour, “The Impossibility of Reason” was light years away from any of their previously released material. Hailed as part of a New Wave of American Heavy Metal, the album not only raised the bar for the band, but also for the genre. While lead single “Down Again” has a glorious Alice In Chains chorus with frontman Mark Hunter doing his best Layne Stanley, songs like “Power Trip” inject an energy that the band rarely previously showed. Mark Hunter was even nicknamed “Metal Moses” for his dreadlocks and mid-set wall of death requests, parting fans down the middle of venues like Moses parted the Red Sea before having them smash into each other as the chorus of choice kicked in.

“Beauty And The Breakdown” by Bury Your Dead

The first full album to be lyrically entirely written by Mat Bruso,  Boston, Massachusetts Bury Your Dead we’re already a “going places” band by the time their Jason Suecof produced effort appeared via Victory Records in 2006. Song titled inspired by children’s fairy tales and the concept of a woman and her abuser running throughout, it’s a stunning effort. “Beauty And The Breakdown” marked Bury Your Dead’s first and only use of buried electronics to good effect on one of their albums as Aaron “Bubble” Patrick took over bass duties from Rich Casey. While Mat Bruso would go on to take a 4 year, 2 album hiatus from the band before returning for 2011’s “Mosh n’ Roll”, the band did go on a 10th Anniversary run for the effort.

“Vendetta” by Throwdown

Recorded in 2005 at Planet Z Studios with uber producer Zeuss, “Vendetta” marked Throwdown’s transition from Hardcore to Metalcore. The Orange County straight crew had previously been extensively known for their crushing breakdowns and frontman Dave Peters vicious bark. However, shortly before the band began the album recording process, guitarist Mark Choiniere joined the band which sparked a change in the bands style. While he doesn’t appear in the video for lead single “Burn”, after the first tour for the album, 2nd guitarist Matt Mentley switched to bass with Chioniere handling all the live guitars. The album was a door opener for the previously pigeon-holed Throwdown to appear with other Metalcore scene bands in the live arena.

“Of Love And Lunacy” by Still Remains

Named after a song from the Stone Temple Pilots album “Purple”, Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Still Remains major label debut with Roadrunner Records is an undoubted masterpiece. Produced by GGGarth and Mixed by Josh Wilbur, they elevated the bands talent and gave it that extra something special on this album. Frontman T.J. Miller’s incredible vocal range is matched perfectly by guitarist Mike Church’s clean vocals and Jordan Whelan’s brilliant guitar work. It’s an album that showcases the contrast between melody and heaviness and how to blend to the pair to get the best results.

“The Opposite From Within” by Caliban

Though it doesn’t count on this list as it’s strictly U.S. Metalcore, German Metalcore mainstays Caliban are deserving of an honourable mention. Our personal choice of album would probably be “The Underlying Darkness” but it’s “Opposite From Within” that took Caliban from being European road warriors to the Global stage. The bands fourth studio effort in a career now spanning nearly 20 years in Metal highlights the play off between frontman Andreas Dörner’s brutal uncleans against a backdrop of rhythm guitarist Denis Schmidt’s beautiful cleans. Melody and Brutality going band in hand.

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