A month or so ago, Metal Hammer magazine published a feature in which they listed the 100 greatest metal albums of the 21st Century. Whilst it was undoubtedly an interesting read with plenty of topics for discussion, one thing that the magazine noted on their website, was that there was only one album from a British band in their top 10 (which was Bring Me The Horizon’s Sempiternal). They then went on to explain this problem and why this is the case- which strikes me as rather odd as the magazine were responsible for creating the list and it was their decision to not feature any (essentially a problem of their own creation). So, in the interest of fairly representing UK bands, I thought I would offer up 10 albums from UK bands that I feel are worthy of being mentioned in the list.
1. Your Demise, The Kids Used We Used To Be… (2010)
Whilst the band may not be with us anymore (their farewell show was honestly the most emotional gig I’ve ever been to), Your Demise were at the time the UK’s premier hardcore band and their magnum opus was The Kids We Used To Be… . The album perfectly blended crunching riffs and breakdowns with pop-punk’s melodic sensibilities to brilliant effect. Long live Your Demise.
Key Track: “The Kids We Used To Be”
2. Evile, Enter The Grave (2007)
The UK has never really had a thrash scene to speak of, let alone one to rival the fabled Bay Area scene, but in Evile there was a rash outfit ready to go toe-to-toe with the best and the fastest. It didn’t hurt that the Huddersfield thrashers had the tightest guitar pairing in metal in brothers Matt and Ol Drake who could craft headbang worthy riffs at will.
Key Track: “Thrasher”
3. Sylosis, Conclusion Of An Age (2008)
Hot on the heels of Evile in the brief thrash revival was the shredding from Reading: Sylosis. With a greater emphasis on melody through frantic fret work and then vocalist Jamie Graham’s soaring vocals, the band created epic thrash odysseys that hit harder and heavier than their American counterparts at the time. The band were really helped in large part by lead guitarist Josh Middleton’s guitar wizardry, and he has really excelled as the band’s vocalist and lead guitarist.
Key Track: “After Lifeless Years”
4. Bury Tomorrow, The Union Of Crowns (2012)
Whilst metalcore may have garnered a bad reputation, particularly in the USA, British stalwarts Bury Tomorrow were sticking to the genre’s principles. Instead of resorting to using auto-tuning and electronics, the band stay true to a formula of top-notch riffs and quality choruses to keep themselves ahead of the pack. The Union Of Crowns marks the point where the band became stronger in every facet of their music, much to the delight of the UK metal scene.
Key Track: “Lionheart”
5. Brutality Will Prevail, Scatter The Ashes (2012)
Despite having been around for a fair while, Scatter The Ashes proved to be a landmark release for Brutality Will Prevail. By taking the standard hardcore template and infusing it with doomy guitars, dark melodies and furious drum work, Brutality Will Prevail breathed new life into their music and established themselves at the forefront of the Welsh music scene.
Key Track: “The Path”
6. Heart Of A Coward, Severance (2013)
With the release of Severance, Heart Of A Coward were no longer just ‘that band with the vocalist from Sylosis’ but were now an excellent and respectable band in their own right. Blending their thunderous djent rhythms with an acute delicacy for catchy ear-worms, the band produced an effort that showed they weren’t just Meshuggah worshippers but a monstrous force to be reckoned with.
Key Track: “Distance”
7. Malevolence, Reign Of Suffering (2013)
One of the most explosive debut albums from a UK band, Malevolence crafted a sublime melting pot of metal on Reign Of Suffering. Pantera grooves? Check. Dying Fetus style brutality? Present. Breakdowns that would make Hatebreed blush? Done and done. Malevolence took all of these reference points and concocted a work that was distinctly theirs.
Key Track: “Condemned To Misery”
8. Bleed From Within, Uprising (2013)
Although they were heralded in the British press as ‘the UK’s answer to Lamb Of God’, the moniker just doesn’t do the band justice. Their mastery of savage yet infectious riffs and a pounding and brutal rhythm section may owe a bit to the Virginia titans, but make no mistake this wasn’t a pale comparison. Uprising showcased a mature development of their deathcore template that was carefully pared with a mature grasp of melodies and lead work that ensured every song was a banger from start to end.
Key Track: “It Lives In Me”
9. TRC, Nation (2013)
If you’ve ever wondered what you get when you combine a heavy hardcore assault with East London swagger, then TRC are your answer. Despite once being described as ‘Danny Dyer-core’, these London lads are no gimmick and Nation amply proved that. The album showcased a little bit of everything; nu metal grooves, rapped sections, vicious vocals, sludgy riffs and a braggadocio belligerence that only these guys could manage.
Key Track: “We Bring War”
10. Dyscarnate, And So It Came To Pass (2012)
Whilst the inherent brutality in death metal has always been enjoyable, the genre has always had an issue with keeping songs memorable. Enter Dyscarnate. Sure, they can slam and grind with the best of them, but they don’t just deal in mindless chug-fests. This trio keep their sound fresh and invigorating with dual vocals (very similar to Dying Fetus) and rhythm work that hits harder and is meaner than any other band. Prepare to have your face grinded off.
Key Track: “In The Face Of Armageddon”
What do you think? Are there albums that I missed out? Or are the albums I’ve chosen not up to scratch? Feel free to leave a comment, like this blog post, like the Facebook page , follow the Pinterest page, and follow this blog for more content.