Top 20 Best Hardcore/Mathcore & Post-Hardcore Albums of 2016

From Angel Du$t to Touché Amoré, from Super Unison to Thrice, it was again hard to pick just 20 albums, but here’s our Top 20 (in no specific order whatsoever) Hardcore/Mathcore & Post-Hardcore albums of 2016 along with our thoughts on them. Stay tuned, more lists are going to be unveiled in the following days… Enjoy!

Super Unison – Auto (Deathwish Inc.)

There’s no bullshit here and their music is meant to be frontal. Auto is their debut full-length and a great follow-up to the band’s EP. It’s raw and bold, everything is straightforward, creating songs coming in at the two minute mark. Meghan blends aggressive with melodic singing, speaking about real damn important social issues. Having producer Jack Shirley (Oathbreaker, Deafheaven, Loma Prieta) on board to record this album, it gave a consistency to the dynamics of the band, resulting in an incendiary and intelligently brutal album.

(Andreia Alves) // Listen at Bandcamp.

Norma Jean – Polar Similar (Solid State Records)


Getting close to Deftonian territory, Polar Similar is pretty rough, heavy and unsetting when it has to, but where it really seems to shine is in its very well-conceived melodic leaps. With no founding members still on board, Norma Jean set themselves to explore new territory without ever sacrificing the trademark of a sound they’ve been mastering for the last 19 years, and that’s why the name Polar Similar seems so appropriate. This one is definitely among our 2016 favorites.

(Ricardo Almeida) // Listen at Youtube.

Every Time I Die – Low Teens (Epitaph)


A band’s new album should always challenge and push beyond past accomplishments, and for Every Time I Die that’s always mandatory. Low Teens is intense, the Buffalo mob unleashed a monster, perhaps their most accomplished effort ever and this time around they’ve pushed the band into inexplicably heavier territories. Killer riffs and fully dynamic, where Keith’s screaming meets melodic vocals are sharper than ever, Low Teens have this menacing and raging attitude that really makes us feel that this album is a hardcore driven explosive cocktail of that which will explode in our hands at any time. It’s an exhausting and relentless experience, but this is a brilliant effort in any way.

(Fausto Casais) // Listen at Youtube.

Planes Mistaken For Stars – Prey (Deathwish Inc.)


On their fourth album, and first since their reunion in 2010, the quartet led by guitarist and vocalist Gared O’Donnell manages to deliver what’s arguably their most urgent and earthshaking effort. Starting with a noisy, aggressive, to-the-fucking-point, and chaotic “Dementia Americana” that throws a well needed “Wake Up!”, Prey is an extremely multi-layered effort that wanders through a multitude of territories that are pieced together by Planes Mistaken For Stars’ soulful, vulnerable, extremely emotional, and relentlessly complex approach. Prey is an album that celebrates the relevance and importance of honest rock and punk music.

(Tiago Moreira) // Listen at Bandcamp.

Hesitation Wounds – Awake For Everything (6131 Records)


Awake for Everything is a desperate cry, a middle finger raised at the snobbish and conservative right-wing and its culture of fear and ignorance, a thanks but no thanks to the bullshit media and an entire nation with a ‘broken of moral compass’. Fronted by Jeremy Bolm of Touché Amoré and featuring members of acts such as The Hope Conspiracy and Trap Them, Hesitation Wounds bring back the ‘food for thought’ that lacks in a culture ‘designed for assholes by assholes’. Where Touché Amoré deal with insecurity (which is perfectly fine), Hesitation Wounds are self-confident and incendiary, aggressive, yes, but insightful and aware.

(Ricardo Almeida) // Listen on Bandcamp.

Frameworks – Smother (Deathwish Inc.)


A deeply angry vocal, spitting lyrics in bursts of zealous rage over well oiled, beautifully crafted rock. Pacey, musical and full of heart. Smother is a burst of adrenaline into a scene devoid of character and colour. Opener “Fear Of Missing Out” sets pace and the album delivers track after track of furious noise. “Purge” changes pace but loses none of the viscera, and closing track “New Narcissistic American Dream” drags you screaming into a new horizon. The landscape remade by a band with idea, passion and drive to get the job done. Blistering stuff.

(Andi Chamberlain) // Listen at Bandcamp.

Capsize – A Reintroduction: The Essence of All That Surrounds Me (Rude Records)


The most striking thing about Capsize is their incredible sense of cathartic tension they display, finding rare harmony between their own intensity and aggression. A Reintroduction: The Essence of All That Surrounds Me represents a change in direction, now incorporating more clean vocals and blending catchy chorus with crushing heaviness. Daniel Wand’s vocal-diversity is outstanding and his lyrical approach comes from the heart, the way he shares his feelings is haunting, honest and emotionally heavy. Capsize’s new effort sees the band enter into this bold new territory, while remaining true to their roots, perhaps they’re also shaping what post-hardcore should sound in the future.

(Fausto Casais) // Listen at YouTube.

Casey – Love Is Not Enough (Hassle Records)


Casey’s debut album is an impressive burst of aggressive brevity, crushing emotional and creative atmospheric. Love Is Not Enough is brilliantly intense, vocalist Tom Weaver successfully channels all his frustration and pours is heart out, bringing a whole new dimension into their post-hardcore and almost everything groundbreaking effort. Somewhere between While She Sleeps heaviness, La Dispute’s frantic spoken word-esque and Being As An Ocean rawness, it’s fair to say that Casey are far from your “typical” post-hardcore band, they’re creatively intelligent, their sound is cathartic in every single way and their debut album is strongly good.

(Andreia Alves) // Listen at Spotify.

La Bella – Ides (Sombras del Progreso)


Ides will knock you out of your seat and you’ll enjoy the hell out of it – who said that violence couldn’t be effective or good? The debut full-length album by Los Angeles-based punk quartet spreads almost instantly like wildfire and in less than 20 minutes the 8 tracks recorded by Comadre’s Jack Shirley present an utterly exciting screamo/ post-hardcore band that has a hell of a groove and swing, provided by a clear jazz influence that they embrace all the way through. Ides’ frantic sound is often complemented with a dynamism – changes in tempo and mood – that avoids any kind of sonic suffocation, displaying the progressive approach in their songwriting process. La Bella have started with a big bang and their future couldn’t be more exciting

(Tiago Moreira) // Listen at Bandcamp.

Candiria – While They Were Sleeping (Metal Blade)


While They Were Sleeping is a conceptual masterpiece, telling the tale of a failed musician who rises up against a monarchy in New York City, portraying a sharp vision of the contemporary world and all its complexity. Everything flows and sounds natural, Candiria’s trademark signature is still hot as hell, again pushing the boundaries of experimentation over and over again with their explosive blend of hip-hop, free jazz, dub and hardcore. The band has gone through many issues in their career, but despite these huge setbacks they keep showing their perseverance and relentless, showing no signs of ever slowing down. Ambitious, challenging, defying expectations and remarkably good!

(Fausto Casais) // Listen at Bandcamp.

letlive. – If I’m The Devil… (Epitaph)


If I’m The Devil… succeeds in the task of not eliminating the individual out of the conversation and instead of merely pointing the finger tries to understand what’s behind. Political and social commentaries are often made in a black and white world. If I’m The Devil… exists in that grey area that we like to call reality. letlive. (fortunately) don’t stand alone, but they assured their place in a sky that’s filled with the brightest of stars.

(Tiago Moreira) // Listen at YouTube.

Vanna – All Hell (Pure Noise Records)


It’s fair to say that All Hell represents an exciting new chapter for the Boston lads and easily Muise’s most aggressive vocal delivery ever. They managed to take their sound even further, resulting in an overwhelmingly apocalyptic wave of pure and noisy punk rock. Impressively produced and engineered by Will Putney, All Hell blends new with old elements, sounds fresh and intense, something close of discordant cacophony of frantic and caustic musical energy.

(Fausto Casais) // Listen at Bandcamp.

Thrice – To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere (Vagrant)


How great is it to see Thrice back after an indefinite hiatus and with a brilliant take on their (comeback) ninth album? It’s just too much awesomeness in one review. Even being on an inactive time for quite a while, they didn’t lose their essence and just like that they make a massive return. For those with cold feet on what to expect from this comeback, just get over it and go listen to this amazingly written album. To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere is the band’s fiercer and bolder album to date, they go to their extremes and the outcome is something quite remarkable. Dustin’s lyrics are sharper and deeper, he didn’t hold anything back and he overcomes fear and hesitations through his words. The whole band feels reinvigorated with this new album and they’re stronger than ever, that’s for sure.

(Andreia Alves) // Listen at Spotify.

Angel Du$t – Rock The Fuck On Forever (Pop Wig)


Continuing to push boundaries can sometimes be a challenge for hardcore bands, especially when they are years ahead of their game already. Rock the Fuck On Forever was an impressive attempt, and it’s fair to say that Angel Du$t are not your average hardcore band. From Bad Brains to Lemonheads, from Cloud Nothings to Agnostic Front, it’s easy to immerse yourself into their unique blend of styles which results in an explosive cocktail of music. Angel Du$t show strength and depth within a genre which is in constant evolution and Rock The Fuck On Forever is definitely a record that will take the listener beyond the punk/hardcore scene into the deeper waters of rap metal, surf rock and alternative rock in general.

(Fausto Casais) // Listen at Bandcamp.

The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation (Party Smashers Inc.)


Dissociation is primal, crushing and rad, everything sounds frantic and perverse, it’s like a vicious ride full of euphoria that pushes the listener in the same intellectual and sonic direction. Greg Puciato is once again out of control and Ben Weinman is the maestro of this unfashionable yet brilliant masterpiece, showing a group of artists more focused than ever in their pursuit of musical innovation.

(Fausto Casais) // Listen at Spotify.

Heck – Instructions (NPAG Industries)

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Warning: You will spend a few seconds, perhaps a minute of your time reading a review about a band that doesn’t give a single fuck about slowing down, their almost terrorist hardcore attack is a complete in-your-face explosion of noise that will leave your ears bloody and a tangle of intestines spilling from your open stomach. Still interested? Good. Instructions is Heck’s loud and chaotic debut album, call it hardcore, mathcore, sludge or simply call it whatever you want, they are way too expansive and with that bullshit-free punk attitude that even punk lacks nowadays. Now that I have your full attention, yes, because if you are reading this means that you have spent a small portion of your time reading about your new favorite band.

(Fausto Casais) Listen at Spotify.

Black Peaks – Statues (Easy Life Records)


When that first song bursts through, when it arrests the heart, you will know that you’re in for a sublime adventure. The band that are responsible for the musical euphoria, are Black Peaks. Their music is loud and proper, never fondling the despairing, desperate act of clichés. It hits on all points, mastering the art and pampering the ears that succumb. That first track is called “Class Built Castles”, and it delivers everything you want. A blood rushing chorus and beautiful musicianship, vocals that descend like a meteor and then rise like a burning phoenix. Overall, it’s a wonderful record, an album named Statues, a debut that is perfection.

(Mark McConville) // Listen at Spotify.

Night Verses – Into The Vanishing Light (Equal Vision)


There’s an intensity that bubbles in the music of New York band Night Versus, and the man behind the microphone seems livid with life and the world. The bursting musical arrangements are wonderfully composed too on their new record Into The Vanishing Light, shaking the earth. The vocals also elevate and gain volatility and smash through like a bleeding knuckle, dismantling any real chance of subtlety. And who cares about softness, Night Versus certainly don’t, they’ve worked on a sound that fiercely unlocks the monster within you to cater for your torrid thoughts. They’re both hungry for exposure, crafted with expansive and dirty guitar lines as well as lyrics that tell a bludgeoned tale.

(Mark McConville) // Listen at YouTube.

 Dangers – The Band In The Break (Topshelf Records)


Has hardcore felt a little safe recently? A little too predictable perhaps? Well this might be the album to conquer back your faith in the genre. The Bend In The Break is raw and brutal, sounds old-fashion, but it’s terribly incisive and sharp, and that’s perhaps their big win. Dangers have certainly not created something experimental, expansive or game changing like Refused’s The Shape Of Punk To Come or Converge’s Jane Doe, but they know what they’re doing and they know what they’re good at. Embracing different influences within their sound, they don’t even know how far they went by simply pushing their own boundaries and walked directly into uncharted territories.

(Fausto Casais) // Listen at Bandcamp.

Touché Amoré – Stage Four (Epitaph)


Unfortunately, for the singer and lyricist Jeremy Bolm, life was a great provider of material for Amoré’s fourth album – Bolm’s mother was diagnosed with Stage Four cancer and passed away in 2014. And from there is born the most emotional, personal, and cathartic album of the band’s career thus far. Stage Four isn’t only a great work around acceptance and understanding from this one man, is also the alternative soundtrack for said subjects. An exquisite and delightfully detailed soundtrack for anyone that is willing to grow up with the band. Stage Four makes seem that there’s much more to come.

(Tiago Moreira) // Listen at YouTube.
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