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A Movement Immortal: The Latest and Greatest from Post-Hardcore

saviour
Saviour. Photo credit: Beau Maher.

If there is any lifetime achievement that should be awarded to the metal community, it should be our dedication to eroding the thesis that rock is dead. Like with all good things, even if they may not be on the front page of Spotify or YouTube, a little digging can take you to a universe that is far from necessitating life support. Offering more than a cheap aesthetic grab is ultimately the long-sought secret to longevity; without doubt, such is the case for post-hardcore.

While post-hardcore has a rich history over the decades, it saw mainstream success in the 2000s with bands like Underoath, and Thrice. While it may seem as though the movement flatlined in the 2010s, it has simply been pushed somewhat back underground. The levels of grandiosity and choices of haircuts in the scene may shift, but its accessibility ultimately makes it difficult to fall out of fashion. As for us listening, there will always be that craving for something with melody and mood that refrains from becoming another corny radio tune — and that is the value of post-hardcore.

While the roster of notable post-hardcore bands is still incredibly vast, check out this sample of albums that spans Canada to Australia.

SaviourLet Me Leave
January 13, 2017

Perth’s Saviour emerged in 2011 with their ferocious debut album Once We Were Lions, defying the seeming belief that post-hardcore was experiencing a decrescendo into the current decade. There is much to admire about the contributions of each member of the cohesive six-piece unit: the seamless back-and-forth of dual vocalists Shontay Snow (who also plays keyboards) and Bryant Best is surely a highlight, but the post-rock-flavored instrumentals should not be overlooked. The riffage on their latest album Let Me Leave pulls at the heartstrings in an invigorating fashion, making emotional appeals that ultimately uplift the soul instead of anchoring it down. These stories are told in their collection of captivating visuals that take you from sullen forests to secluded roads. As Saviour prepares to embark on an Australian run with Make Them Suffer and After The Burial, the troupe continues to offer modernity to their craft.

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The Danger of FallingSomewhere Between You and Home
May 3, 2019

From New England to the Midwest, post-hardcore managed to spawn from unlikely territories thanks to the timely proliferation of the Internet. The explosive force that is The Danger of Falling is juxtaposed by the quaint college town of Morgantown, West Virginia. The quintet first broke ground with a dynamic demo in 2014 before going on to release their can’t-miss single “Dead Eyes” and 2018 Hope/Well EP. Building momentum by coming back this year with Somewhere Between You and Home, The Danger of Falling proves that the best is yet to come. The spirit of traditional hardcore songwriting lives throughout their body of work, but an experimental wispiness brings a unique identity to the album’s title track. With a solid dose of crisp riffs and a touch of well-placed feedback, The Danger of Falling retains a sleekness in a melodic movement ripe with filigree.

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MayfieldCareless Love
March 22, 2019

Coloring outside the lines is all in a day’s work for Ottawa’s Mayfield. With a larger-than-life expertise, the five-piece provides a charm that is wild, visceral, and most of all, full of heart. Four short years have not been able to contain the proliferation of Mayfield’s work ethic, either: after a steady collection of EPs and singles, including 2018’s starry-eyed epic “Blossom,” Mayfield brings us satisfying tales of heartbreak in their full-length Careless Love. With balance refreshingly struck, spacey moments displayed in “Do You Miss Me?” and “The Missing Piece” prevent tonal stagnation without coming off too overly pop-flavored. But have no fear, the abrasive is still here: tracks like “Recovery” strike alternative-driven nostalgia that will make you want to put on a pair of slip-on Vans and bang your fists against your chest.

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AforethoughtAforethought
May 23, 2019

Fervent and forthcoming, Aforethought is no afterthought. The Indianapolis four-piece presents a driving explosion of sound that transcends their more consolidated lineup. First arriving on the scene in 2017 with their single “Enough is Enough,” Aforethought has very recently dropped their long-awaited self-titled EP. The group encompasses universal hardcore themes, such as the importance of paying your dues and never faltering; nevertheless, evidence of 2000s rearing can be spotted in notable places, such as in their cheekily named single “Because James Cameron is James Cameron,” as well as their flawless clean/growl vocal partnership. Seeing their debut project through until the end, they end the EP on a high note with “Innocent In A Sense” – a beachy, alt-rock tour-de-force in which you can practically hear the waves crashing. Aforethought will be joining Ziion on a North American tour this June, bringing their old-meets-new approach to fans of all ages.

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