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The Best Hardcore / Metalcore / Deathcore - Metal Storm Awards 2017





August Burns Red have come into their own as the new torchbearers of metalcore, keeping the flame alive. Surprisingly, their creative juices continue to flow and they manage to constantly mature their sound. Phantom Anthem is as melodic and technical as ever, filled with headbanging potential, sophisticated guitar work and enough variation to keep you interested from start to finish. It proves once again that August Burns Red are like a good friend you can always rely on.

Youtube
Body Count is in the house once again, throwing down the second album of their new era: an album free of skits and diversions, a steady assault of lean, efficient crossover thrash and hardcore brutality. Bloodlust takes Manslaughter and pushes it over the edge, going darker, heavier, and realer everywhere possible. This is an album that takes "all killer, no filler" to heart; even back in their first heyday, no one could have predicted that Body Count would become this savage.

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Code Orange know how to be aggressive and visceral without having to resort to being meat-and-potatoes-core. With Forever, they step more and more out of their comfort zone and bring us their most diverse album to date. Even though they let that throttle down once in a while, they only do so to build harrowing atmospheres and bring some alt influences, but when they push it, they hit hard.

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Few bands can come with such a dynamic and diverse album this late in their career, but Converge did just that. The Dusk In Us contains some of Converge's best works to date, including the post-rock-ish title track and every other track that is drenched in sludgecore and post-hardcore. Equally frenetically visceral and precisely calculated, the music packs a punch as much as the lyrics do.

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The German post-hardcore scene is a thriving one and Fjørt are definitely among those in the frontline. Fjørt already made a remarkable appearance at the Metal Storm Awards back in 2014 with their beautiful yet still potent debut. Now they are back with a vengeance with a third album as a culmination of their work that mixes aggression and heart. You won't be able to escape the blissful and raw feels that emanate from Couleur.

Youtube or Spotify
With their 11th(!) full-length in 30(!!!) years since their formation, Integrity is clearly old enough to be the father of every other band on this list. Just like any father would do, these pioneers demonstrate to their apprentices why they are still masters at what they do with their brand of hardcore punk mixed with metal. Ever the evolving band, Integrity takes a good dose of heavy metal leads to incorporate them into their tried-and-true formula. The product ends up being catchy, pummeling, and pretty damn dark.

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Nesseria's sound has evolved from blackened grindcore into an ocean of post-hardcore in which those old elements may still be heard, reconstituted into expansive journeys of reverberating, melancholy melody. Bouts of crude, unpolished shrieking and pounding carry on the punk spirit, but just as often Cette Erosion De Nous-Mêmes delivers calmer, atmospheric moments that get a lot of mileage out of the "post-" in "post-hardcore." Nesseria is way too heavy to be relaxing, although nothing's stopping it from being a thing of beauty.

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Nightbringers could have done well in the melodeath category, because this album is nothing if not melodic; sure, the tunes are volatile and delivered at breakneck speed with six tons of double bass and merciless screaming to hasten them along, but The Black Dahlia Murder have always been skilled at implementing creative turns within wicked metalcore. High production values and a super tight performance help put Nightbringers at the top of 2017's metalcore harvest.

Bandcamp
Ready! Action! Go! With brute force, TAIM plowed through Dear Desolation and didn't hold back compared to the predecessor Holy War; the Aussies came out swinging right off the bat. Their signature technical death sound with massive breakdowns still dominates their latest release and this is not a bad thing. Why fix something if it ain't broken?

YouTube
The D-Beat Crusty Core Swedes are back after a five-year hiatus with another high-speed, knuckle-dragging, 10-track, sub-30-minute D-Beat odyssey and invite you to Run With The Hunted. An energetic burst that will have those of Feral Blood tossing horns and thrashing about wildly.

Bandcamp