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25 Best Metalcore Bands of All Time

December 28, 2023
metalcore bands

I’ve assembled a definitive list of the best metalcore bands of all time, showcasing groups that have masterfully blended elements of hardcore punk and extreme metal.

This collection is not just an ode to the genre’s intensity and technical prowess, but also a gateway to the most influential and groundbreaking metalcore bands that have left a lasting impact in the world of heavy music.

Top metalcore bands of all time

  • As I Lay Dying
  • Norma Jean
  • Caliban
  • Trivium
  • Killswitch Engage
  • Converge
  • August Burns Red
  • Architects
  • Bullet For My Valentine
  • All That Remains

1. As I Lay Dying

If you’re looking for some strong death metal, it doesn’t get better than this!

The band’s style of metalcore music is most prominent in their Grammy-nominated song of 2008, “Nothing Left.” 

They went on hiatus from 2014 until 2018 when they released a new studio album, Shaped by Fire.

Unfortunately, they started to crumble soon after, with one member leaving after the next.

2. Norma Jean

The band’s name, Norma Jean, was inspired from being Marilyn Monroe’s birth name. 

Every song by Norma Jean has an intense and unique music style, but it also stays true to classic metalcore.

Their second album O’ God, the Aftermath, received a Grammy nomination in 2006 for  Best Recording Package.

Some of the band’s top songs are “1,000,000 Watts,” “Forever Hurtling Towards Andromeda,” and “Synthetic Sun.” 

3. Caliban

Caliban is a German deathcore band that was formed in 1997 and has since released 13 studio albums.

They produce some of the most thrashing music, topped with aggressive rhythms and intense lyrics.

The band was named after a character in Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest.”

Their songs “Paralyzed,” “Memorial,” and “Before Later Becomes Never” are some fan-favorites.

4. Trivium

With over one million albums sold worldwide and a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance, Trivium is one of the most successful metalcore bands.

Their music is inspired by popular music groups such as Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, and Cannibal Corpse.

They have been referred to as one of the “big four” metalcore bands, along with Lamb of God, Avenged Sevenfold, and Slipknot.

5. Killswitch Engage

Killswitch Engage came to fame in 2004 with the release of their third album, The End of Heartache, which ranked no. 21 on the Billboard 200 charts.

They’ve been nominated for three Grammys and have won two Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards.

Their music is a combination of singing and screaming vocals, an explosive blend that’s sure to blast your eardrums.

“My Last Serenade,” “Rose of Sharyn,” and “My Curse” are some of the band’s most popular songs.

6. Converge

Converge is one of the oldest metalcore bands that helped shape the genre by combining innovative heavy metal music with aggressive punk styles and jazz melodies. 

They rose to fame with their 2001 album Jane Doe, considered one of the best metalcore albums ever released. 

So far, they have won many Boston Music Awards and have been nominated for several Heavy Music awards.

7. August Burns Red

August Burns Red is considered a melodic metalcore band for its distorted guitar tunes, stylized breakdowns, and clean singing.

Their music is written with compassion, care, and clarity, inspiring belief in thousands of fans.

Their best hit tracks, “Invisible Enemy” and “Identity,” were both nominated for Grammys.

8. Architects

Architects are a British metalcore band founded by twin brothers Dan and Tom Searle in 2002.

Known for their chaotic and complex music, the band’s aggressive and unhindered style is often compared to the British rock band, Enter Shikari.

The band eventually rose to fame in 2014 with the release of their sixth album Lost Forever // Lost Together.

Their most famous songs are “Doomsday,” “The Distant Blue,” and “A Match Made In Heaven.”

9. Bullet For My Valentine

Often referred to as BFMV, Bullet For My Valentine is a Welsh band that was formed in 1998 to become one of the most successful bands in the UK.

Although most of their albums have featured on the Billboard 200 charts, their second album, Scream Aim Fire, is what rose them to fame.

Their tracks are a perfect blend of heavy metal riffs and emo melodies that will completely drown you in their music.

10. All That Remains

Since its formation in 1998, All That Remains have released nine studio albums and have sold over a million records worldwide. 

Their music consists of crushing riffs, double bass drum patterns, and breakdowns, often featuring dark themes like death and pain.

Like most metalcore bands, their vocals include singing, screaming, and growls.

They are most known for the songs “This Calling,” “Two Weeks,” and “Six.”

11. Parkway Drive

Formed in 2003, Parkway Drive is one of Australia’s most successful metal bands.

The band’s last three albums, Ire, Reverence, and Darker Still, ranked no. 1 on the Australian ARIA Charts.

The band started with deathcore music before eventually switching to heavy metal.

Their popular songs include “Bottom Feeder,” “Wild Eyes,” and “Carrion.”

12. In Hearts Wake

In Hearts Wake is an Australian band known for its socially conscious lyrics, focusing on themes like global warming, environmentalism, etc.

Their second studio album Earthwalker ranked No. 5 on the official ARIA Charts and made them one of the most popular metalcore bands in Australia.

The band’s powerful lyrics express the need to recover and preserve the world we all live in.

13. Bring Me the Horizon

Bring Me the Horizon started as a deathcore band before switching to metal for later albums, incorporating different styles in their music like hip-hop, electronica, and classical music.

Many of their hit singles, like “Throne,” “Parasite Eve,” and “Mantra,”  topped the UK Rock & Metal Singles Chart. 

The band has sold over 4 million records worldwide and has two Grammy nominations.

14. Asking Alexandria

Asking Alexandria is an English rock band known for its innovative styles that change from album to album.

The band is famous for merging different elements of rock, like screamo, heavy metal, and electronic.

“Reckless & Relentless” and their self-titled album are their best releases.

Some of their popular songs are “The Final Episode (Let’s Change the Channel).” “A Prophecy,” and “Not the American Average.”

15. Heaven Shall Burn

Heaven Shall Burn is a German death metal band that fuses melodic death, deathcore, and metalcore to create a spectacular explosion of music.

Their lyrics often touch on political issues like fascism, oppression, and racism.

Since all the members are vegetarians or vegans, many of their songs spread awareness of animal cruelty.

Two of their albums, Veto and Of Truth or Sacrifice, topped the German album charts.

16. Unearth

Despite their seven released studio albums, Unearth is one of the lesser-known metalcore bands on this list.

The band made their mark in the metalcore scene of 2001 with their debut album, The Stings of Conscience.

Unearth further cemented its status while touring with other famous metalcore bands like Norma Jean, Lamb of God, and Killswitch Engine.

17. The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada is a Christian metalcore band that incorporates European melodic metal and American metal-core in their music to create a unique style.

Two of their albums, Dead Throne and With Roots Above and Branches Below, peaked at the Christian albums charts and Independent albums charts.

Despite its connection to the film of the same title, the band’s name is based on the group’s anti-materialistic mindset.

18. Northlane

Hailing from Sydney, Northlane quickly found success in 2011 through their debut album Discoveries.

Their debut was such a hit that it ranked No. 1 on the ARIA Hit Seekers Albums chart and received generally positive reviews.

Each of their albums, Node, Mesmer, and Alien has won the ARIA Music Award in the Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Album category.

19. Between the Buried and Me

Between the Buried and Me’s musical style is said to be a fusion of progressive metal, avant-garde metal, and technical death metal.

Some of their most popular albums are The Great Misdirect, The Parallax II: Future Sequence, and Colors.

Their songs “Monochrome,” “The Coma Machine,” and “Foam Born (A) The Backtrack” are fan favorites.

20. The Dillinger Escape Plan

The Dillinger Escape Plan is considered one of the most influential metalcore bands since the late 1990s.

Their unique music style won them an AIM Award for “Outstanding Contribution to Music” in 2017.

The band’s debut album, Calculating Infinity, is considered an important landmark in heavy metal music, selling over 100,000 records worldwide.

Many styles like electronic music, progressive rock, and jazz fusion influence the band’s music.

21. Poison The Well 

Although Poison The Well disbanded back in 2010, they occasionally return for reunion shows, the most recent being in 2020.

Their second album, Tear From The Red, ranked No. 23 on the Independent Albums chart.

Other popular albums include Temper Temper, The Poison, and Scream Aim Fire.

“The Opposite Of December,” “You Come Before You,” and “Tear From The Red” are some of their songs you can’t miss out on.

22. Periphery

Periphery pioneered the djent genre of metalcore that uses rhythmic complexity and distorted guitar chords.

Besides djent, their music also includes elements of progressive metal.

Their sixth studio album Periphery IV: Hail Stan, peaked at no.1 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart.

They also received a Grammy nomination for their hit single “The Price Is Wrong.”

23. Hatebreed

Hatebreed helped mainstream the metalcore genre in America with its fantastic fusion of hardcore and heavy metal music. 

The band’s rise to fame is owed to its hit debut album, Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire, which most critics consider a hardcore classic.

This album was also the beginning of a cult following.

24. God Forbid

God Forbid delved into the classical take on metalcore.

Their album, IV: Constitution of Treason, was their first album to enter the Billboard 200 charts and peaked at no. 118.

Though the group disbanded in 2013, they hold reunion shows every so often.

25. Memphis May Fire

Memphis May Fire is mostly known for its fourth album, Unconditional, which ranked No. 1 on the Alternative Albums chart.

After the success of Unconditional, the band’s following albums were also well-received, including This Light I Hold and Broken.

Best Metalcore Bands of All Time – Final Thoughts

Wrapping up our list of Metalcore genres, we’re pretty confident these songs will have you addicted to the genre in no time. 

There is nothing better than metalcore music done right, and all these bands have excelled in the genre.

If you are in the mood for a perfect mix of metal and hardcore punk, these bands will be a treat to your ears.

You may also: Best Metal Bands of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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