Clear some space, let your hair down, and keep your neck brace handy because these earth-shattering breakdowns sound just as powerful as they did 10 years ago. Each video is already queued up for your headbanging pleasure.
Caution: Listener may feel inclined to sporadically move about the room.
Read more: 10 best metal albums of 2017, so far
1. Parkway Drive — “Boneyards”
Ah yes, what better way to kick off this list than with the boys from down under. Parkway Drive's sophomore record Horizons features some of the heaviest sections the band has ever written, but no song packs a more solid punch than “Boneyards.” Aside from the galloping verses and groovy chugs, what makes this tune a long time fan-favorite is the harrowing throwdown occurring in the last 30 seconds. Building up with “there's blood in the water” while the gang exclaims “sinking, always sinking!” in response, Winston McCall channels some of his best isolated vocals to guide you into a delicious and frightening conclusion that'll keep you coming back for more.
2. Carnifex — “Slit Wrist Savior”
In the 10 years since Death In My Arms was released, Carnifex have been aboard the flagship deathcore vessel, continuously punishing listeners with their infectious contrast between bounce and blister. Their 2007 debut, however, carried a more gritty tone with less polished production than records that would follow, which enabled an even more chilling sound. And tracks like “Slit Wrist Savior” (which, for what it's worth, features an array of breakdowns throughout) couple violent lyricism with some of the deepest growls, guitar effects and drum patterns you could hope for. In this song, as the tempo begins to slow, it's almost as if you can see the gates of hell open before you.
3. August Burns Red — “Back Burner”
For fans of metalcore and breakdowns alike, Messengers provides one of the most prevalent examples of how to go big or go home. This particular album from August Burns Red is easily one of the heaviest metal records in recent memory, with the production essentially blowing you out of the water each time drummer Matt Greiner begins bashing his china cymbal. “Back Burner” may very well be one of the strongest jams the band has ever written, as Jake Luhrs' first recordings with the group showcase his intensity and range — which can't get much lower than his gutterals during the conclusion of this song, right?
4. The Devil Wears Prada — “Don't Dink And Drance”
The Devil Wears Prada stormed the scene with Mike Hranica and Jeremy DePoyster's contrasting harsh/sweet vocals, and with attention-grabbing, albeit loose production, another band with unique song titles managed to generate even quirkier breakdowns. “Don't Dink And Drance,” and Plagues as a whole, previewed what would become the group's increased usage of keyboards, but on this song, they serve as a disorienting force that feels as though a pixlated version of you is being summoned to another dimension. Although an outlier at the time, The Devil Wears Prada's avant-garde approach to breakdowns influenced much of what we hear in modern metalcore today.
5. Every Time I Die — “No Son Of Mine”
I'll begin by saying that, yes, I realize this is probably the “softest” song on the list, but there's something about Every Time I Die that is heavier by nature than some of the most “metal” bands. “No Son Of Mine” still remains a staple in the band's set 10 years on, and it's not really a question as to why. Your deadbeat stepfather scolding you for talking about “rock 'n' roll” under his roof? What better rebellion than to mold that very concept into a ferocious finale with a sweet heavy lick behind it? Ultimately, crafty riffing and tempo changes have been Every Time I Die's forte, and there's no better place to highlight this than during their ferocious breakdowns.