Baptists – Bushcraft
Whilst it'll become almost immediately obvious that Baptists are big Converge fans, this is one of the best Converge-inspired albums I've heard in a while. Every song swells into an unstoppable rage of chaotic energy, with the occasional inclusion of those slower, trudging tracks such as Still Melt and Soiled Roots, akin to Converge's own Hell To Pay and You Fail Me. Whilst I understand that this kind of thing isn't for everyone, if you dig it then you'll do well to check out Baptists.
Coliseum – Sister Faith
Ok, so I struggled with whether to include this album on this list, as, honestly, Sister Faith is not a hardcore album. But Coliseum traditionally are a hardcore band. And this album is just too good to pass up. As Ryan Patterson, vocalist for the band, stated at a recent show of their's in Brighton, UK, Coliseum 'do their own thing', and this piece of work is a crowning example of that. Sister Faith is an unambiguously darkly themed album, with less in common with their previous crust sound and more with a stoner rock/rock 'n' roll sound of the early 90s, laden with some of the finest riffs you'll hear this year.
Shai Hulud – Reach Beyond the Sun
Pioneers of modern metalcore, Shai Hulud, return with another incredible album. The band's fourth studio album in their 18 year career, Reach Beyond the Sun had a lot to live up to, but with the teaser trailer of the title track released, fans became aware that they were in for something very special. With the return of New Found Glory's Chad Gilbert on vocals, Shai Hulud have brought their breed of misanthropic metalcore kicking and screaming into 2013. Songs such as the title track and The Mean Spirits, Breathing hark back to Shai Hulud's early albums, whilst songs such as To Suffer Fools are likely to be new crowd favourites with their gang-vocals and mosh-inducing beats.
Nails – Abandon All Life
I avoid any form of exaggeration when I state that Abandon All Life is one of the heaviest albums I've ever heard. At just over 17 minutes, it wastes absolutely no time in letting you know where it stands, as it opens with a guitar tone heavy enough to kill a whale, running straight through ten brutal tracks and ending in white noise. If you're not a fan of heavy music, this will do nothing to change your mind. For everyone else: enjoy the ride.
Grappler – Everything I've Ever Feared
Equal parts fast, heavy, emotional, harrowing, and powerful; yet all around brilliant. Grappler are relatively new on the UK scene, being supported by the fantastic Dog Knights Productions. Everything I've Ever Feared is their demonstration to the UK scene that they are ready to be noticed. A severely underrated band, this EP weaves its way between Defeater's melodic narratives and crushing emotional release seen from bands such as American Nightmare and Dead Swans. With a live show brimming with energy to boot, this band is giving 100% at the moment, and is one to watch.