The Top 10 Metalcore Albums of The Decade
2010 - Parkway Drive - Deep Blue - The third installment in a series of 4 legendary albums that started Parkway Drive's career. The track listing is littered with some of the Aussie's best songs to date. I think it's fair to say that Deep Blue is the record that started to push Parkway Drive towards the upper-echelon of metalcore before their follow up, Atlas fully broke them through the stratosphere. Containing some of the greatest breakdowns in metalcore history, this record manages to still stick out in a year that was filled with great releases and it's hard to imagine it being supplanted from Parkway Drive's Mount Rushmore of albums.
2011 - Breakdown Of Sanity - Mirrors - Few bands have ever bridged the gap between metalcore and deathcore as well as Breakdown Of Sanity. The groups sophomore record Mirrors finds the perfect middle-ground between heavy deathcore chugging and sweet metalcore melo-death inspired riffs. One of their strongest traits is their ability to put their own signature twists on breakdowns never leaving them to feel stale or overused . Unfortunately Breakdown Of Sanity was never able to reach their full potential as far as popularity due to much of the American audience not discovering them. I can't envision a time where this album doesn't hold up as one of the best of the past 15 to 20 years.
2012 - Motionless In White - Infamous - While there were many great metalcore albums released in 2012, what makes Infamous stand out is how purely diverse it is. Mixing metalcore and industrial wasn't very common at this time and still really isn't. This original style of mixing influences ranging from Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails to Bleeding Through and As I Lay Dying made Motionless In White stand out in a very competitive and crowded field of bands. Infamous contains some of the decades most memorable metalcore tracks and would go on to propel the band into being one of the most successful of the generation.
2013 - August Burns Red - Rescue & Restore - While 2009's "Constellations" is often looked at as the groups golden standard, "Rescue & Restore" gives it a strong run for it's money as the progressive metalcore titans released their second masterpiece in a five year span. The record contains some of the most well written and intricate songs August Burns Red as ever penned. Every member of the band shines here and nothing ever gets boring or repetitive in the slightest. I think it can be argued that "Rescue & Restore" is the best the band has ever fired on all cylinders as a cohesive unit.
2014 - Fit For A King - Slave To Nothing - Despite their previous albums being great in their own right, 2014's "Slave To Nothing" is when Fit For A King truly arrived as players to be taken seriously in the metalcore scene. At a time where the number of heavy metalcore bands was dwindling more and more with each passing year, the Texas metalcore outfit showed there was still a place for metalcore with a heavy edge. This is the bands first effort with Ryan O'Leary taking on clean vocal responsibilities and it paid off for the band in spades making them one of the most vocally talented bands in metal instantly.
2015 - While She Sleeps - Brainwashed - This record captures a vibe very few others have ever been capable of in any genre. "Brainwashed" feels genuinely raw, dirty, real, and energetic. I'd make the argument that metalcore has never sounded more like it was meant to be performed in a small pub with audience members chanting a long. The track listing was wisely selected as well with each song flowing pleasantly into the next. It is a shame that this record didn't get bigger than it did, despite some moderate success, because it is a shining moment for this genre.
2016 - Fit For A King - Deathgrip - Here they are again. As the genre started to die down a little past the midway point of the decade, Fit For A King kept going strong helping bridge the gap between the old school and new school sound of metalcore. I would say this is the groups most hooks-driven album and they more than posses the vocal talent to pull it off with flying colors. The choruses are soaring and we don't lose any of their signature crushing moments making for a diverse listen with some of the bands most emotional tracks.
2017 - Oceans Ate Alaska - Hikari - Yes this album is full of breakdowns and chugs but it's done so well and with a fresh spin. One moment the band will be playing a progressive beautiful guitar melody and then the very next a Rings Of Saturn-esque technical assault hits out of nowhere with extreme proficient brutality. I doubt you will ever be bored for a single second listening to this record. Oceans Ate Alaska excels at re-working some of the genre's formula's to their advantage. This is one of the most technically skilled yet all out heavy records in metalcore history let alone the decade.
2018 - Crystal Lake - Helix - (Bonus spot goes to Fit For A King -Dark Skies) This was a difficult selection, not because it is undeserving of this list, but because "Helix" was released in 2018 in Japan and months later in 2019 in the rest of the world. We chose to go with its original release date making it our favorite metalcore record of 2018 and quite possibly flat out the best album of 2018. Crystal Lake has also been excellent at blending a wide variety of styles into their overall sound and here is just a further testament to their talents. Sometimes we get classic metalcore, sometimes we get beatdown hardcore, other times we hear industrial and nu-metal influences and somehow it all makes sense. Much like Fit For A King, Crystal Lake is one of the few bands holding down the fort for heavy metalcore, an ever fading style. This could prove to be the record that breaks Crystal Lake to the western audience, or so we hope.
2019 - Johnny Booth - Firsthand Accounts - Refreshing is the best way to describe this record. Johnny Booth makes what's old new again with a new spin on early 2000's raw metalcore. This album has so much energy packed into it that you can literally physically feel it in your soul, or at least we can and that's why it's here. The band brings back dissonant, chaotic core with one of the rawest vocal performances in quite some time. You'll be left wanting to re-listen to this record over and over again. To make an album this perfect when seemingly everything original has already been done is a testament to the abilities possessed by this band.
Overall Decade Rankings
1) Crystal Lake - Helix
2) Fit For A King - Slave To Nothing
3) Johnny Booth - Firsthand Accounts
4) Motionless In White - Infamous
5) While She Sleeps - Brainwashed
6) August Burns Red - Rescue & Restore
7) Fit For A King - Deathgrip
8) Oceans Ate Alaska - Hikari
9) Parkway Drive - Deep Blue
10) Breakdown Of Sanity - Mirrors