The Top 10 Southern-Core Albums
Many of our readers may not remember a very weird trend to come along in the metalcore scene from roughly 2003-2010, that trend was southern style metalcore and post-hardcore. Why exactly this became a trend over a dozen bands decided to pursue, nobody is quite sure. A problem that arose with this new sub-genre is that it struggled to find a fan-base. Many core leaning fans did not take too kindly to the southern swagger and twang infused into the music and southern metal fans, aka fans Pantera, Down, Corrosion of Conformity, etc, did not enjoy the breakdowns that came from metalcore. In the grand scheme of things, this microscopic genre didn't find enough fans to sustain itself and faded away relatively quickly, however it left behind some very enjoyable albums, here are the top 10.
10) Catherine - Rumor Has It (2006) - While many may not remember them today, Catherine was one of the earliest metalcore bands signed to Rise Records. While hailing from California, they had a southern metal style of lyric writing. Sadly only several years after this strong debut album, with comparisons to As I Lay Dying and It Dies Today, lead vocalist Bryan Lemasters passed away from cancer.
9) Attila - Rage (2010) - There were strong southern metal influences on the first three releases from Georgia-based metalcore/deathcore band Attila. Despite the record's seemingly comical and laid back style, it is packed with amazing riffs and groovy breakdowns making it arguably still the bands best all-around effort to this day.
8) The Chariot - Long Live (2010) - Chaotic christian metaclore from former Norma Jean vocalist Josh Scogin. This record was recorded on analog not digitally which gives it a much more raw, dirty, swampy feel, fitting perfectly with this genre. The Chariot is sometimes called a christian The Dillinger Escape Plan or Norma Jean Jr. but with this record as well as their final release, they set themselves apart as something entirely different.
7) Every Time I Die - Hot Damn! (2003) - Another band not from the South (Buffalo, NY) that possessed a southern metal element to their music. Every Time I Die's sophomore album is packed with southern bravado and a self-aware sense of humor complimented by their math post-hardcore style. This album was made to be played in a dirty bar.
6) Showbread - No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical (2004) - Probably the most original record on this list. Showbread performs a nearly unheard of combination of screamo and rock n roll coined raw rock by the band. The bands stylish image and southern christian background makes for an extremely interesting and fun listen. One of the most unique and intriguing things about this record is that it sounds like a screamo album was made in the 70's.
5) He Is Legend - Suck Out The Poison (2006) - This is a rather difficult album to categorize. At times "Suck Out The Poison" sounds like southern hard rock, at others it sounds reminiscent of Avenged Sevenfold's metalcore leaning material. If you like riff -based metal this is a band for you. The music is made with a sense of confidence and grandiosity that rubs off on the listener, which isn't something metal makes you feel all that often.
4) Maylene and the Sons of Disaster - Maylene and the Sons of Disaster (2005) - Former Underoath vocalist, Dallas Taylor hit the ground running with his debut album with new band Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. Their first effort is by far their most metal containing dirty riffs straight from the Florida swamps and pounding breakdowns as well as the signature southern charm. While the band was never able to recapture what made this album special, it still stands as a great release, a favorite of Demi Lovato by the way.
3) The Holly Springs Disaster - Motion Sickness Love (2007) - A southern metalcore band from Canada. Yes that's correct, the southern style was often utilized by bands that had no connection to the American South, in large part thanks to the popularity of Pantera. This record is mostly a party album filled with groovy riffs and the unusual addition of death metal style vocals, which actually works quite well. On paper this album sounds like it may be disjointed or generic but the band pulls it off extraordinarily well.
2) The Showdown - A Chorus of Obliteration (2004) - This album really started the southern-core trend. Most of this record sounds like a blend of As I Lay Dying and Pantera and it works shockingly well. You can find everything from epic melodic death metal inspired riffs to stomping breakdowns. This style was brand new at the time and nothing else sounded quite like it. The Showdown would choose to pursue a more straight up metal sound after this but they left behind a truly great core album of the first half of the 2000's.
1) Once Nothing - First Came The Law (2008) - This record possesses an undeniable charming swagger from it's story telling lyrical style to it's dirty, raw musical approach. When a band cites as seemingly oil and water influences as Creedence Clearwater Revival and As I Lay Dying, you would not have very high hopes for the finished product yet somehow this all just makes sense. Not many albums have ever been able to give off the vibe of "First Came The Law" making it an infinitely re-listenable record.