Hardcore and metalcore have dominated the heavy music scene throughout many eras, from the early 2000s to the 2010s and even today. The early 2000s saw the boom of the new wave of American heavy metal and the emergence of metalcore as the primary subgenre to watch. However, hardcore bands were still laying down hard and heavy tracks that hold up today.
Everyone fondly brings up large acts such as Killswitch Engage, Every Time I Die or Hatebreed, as they persevered throughout the rise and fall of their collective movement. But there are plenty of groups who were killing it back then that many people have forgotten about.
Take a look below for 18 underrated hardcore and metalcore bands from the 2000s you should revisit today.
Canadian crew Cursed brought a sludgy tone to their metallic hardcore that stands strong as one of the gnarliest sounds to come from the early 2000s. The band only lasted a short seven years, but in their time, they managed to create three phenomenal records that are straight bangers from beginning to end.
The Carrier were a prominent member of Boston’s hardcore scene throughout the 2000s, crafting passionate lyrics and making their live shows memorable. They blasted out a handful of strong melodic hardcore records in their time together with plenty of energy, harsh tones and powerful melodies.
Embrace Today were champions of straight edge and the youth crew movement throughout the 2000s. They were vital to pushing the movement forward into the new millennium. Their brief stint together saw relentless touring to spread their message while their music still holds up today.
Pulling Teeth were explosive throughout their duration, and their fierce sound is still regarded as a high point in the mid-2000s hardcore scene. Bringing a mix of harsh metal into hardcore coupled with their gloomier-sounding tracks, it breathed life into the genre by offering a refreshing variety in their music.
Reach The Sky
Reach The Sky didn’t stick around for long, but they knew they weren’t ever going to. The Boston hardcore unit only created a handful of releases and amazed hardcore fans with their debut, So Far From Home, which became an instant classic and holds up two decades later.
The Suicide File
The Suicide File ripped through socio-political hardcore tracks built to last, but their career was so short-lived that if you blinked, you could have missed it. With just a handful of small releases and one full-length, they made a surprising effect on the genre with punchy riffs and lyrics capturing what the United States was like in a post-9/11 world.
Sinking Ships hit their stride right out of the gate with their debut and continued pumping out top-notch hardcore during their time together. They created a stepping stone for modern melodic hardcore acts to follow, and while they lasted just a few years, they’re still worth revisiting if you’re a fan of today’s bands within that subgenre.
Calico System formed through metal and hardcore with a variety of influences, including emo, groove and more, in the late ’90s but came to their peak in the 2000s. They caught attention through touring with bands such as Hatebreed and Poison The Well, leading to a few EPs and albums that helped bolster the rise of metalcore.
It Dies Today
By the mid-2000s, It Dies Today captured the attention of every metalcore fan, but their indefinite hiatus in 2010 halted their momentum. By then, many people started to forget how great they were. In early 2012, they played a reunion show. While recordings slowly cropped up over the years, nothing came to fruition, and fans are still waiting to see if they’ll ever return.
The First Step
The First Step were huge contributors to the 2000s youth crew movement and captured its sound well right from the get-go. They balanced speedy blasts of aggression with slow-churning, catchy hardcore grooves and gang vocals any hardcore fan could get behind.
Dead And Divine
Canadian post-hardcore crew Dead And Divine were always underscored by fellow Ontario contemporaries such as Silverstein or Cancer Bats but managed to bring heavy sounds and melodically tinged vocals. They pumped out a handful of strong albums before disbanding, but if you want to hear something similar, their vocalist has formed a band called RITUAL.
British metalcore act Johnny Truant were a staple supporting band for tours with bands such as Cancer Bats and Alexisonfire. Sadly, they disbanded after less than a decade together. Throughout their discography, they carved their own space with a sound that’s still relevant today.
Iron Age find a middle ground between creating their own sound and paying respect to hardcore veterans with a touch of metal and some old-school punk aggression. They went on an indefinite hiatus in 2011, but both bands and fans are still revisiting their tight-knit sound considering how timeless it is.
Killing The Dream
Killing The Dream made an explosive launch onto the hardcore scene, earning massive praise for their 2005 album, In Place Apart. They continued developing their mix of melodic sounds and hard-hitting aggression for a few more records but disbanded in 2011 while stating they never thought they would make it as far as they did.
Love Is Red
Love Is Red caught the attention of big-name hardcore acts such as Hatebreed and Agnostic Front. Their hard and heavy sounds mixed a touch of cleanliness with their melodic side. Though they were only active for a short five years, their album The Hardest Fight is a gem of 2000s hardcore, and based on their 2010 reunion show, no one would complain about a return.
With a no-nonsense approach to writing hardcore, Outbreak quickly garnered the attention of punks across the world in the 2000s. Their sound is jammed with a raspy vocals, punchy riffs and pent-up rage, unleashed across two records that are still bangers.
Life Long Tragedy
Life Long Tragedy carried brutality alongside melody perfectly, creating a sound that was equal parts Terror and Modern Life Is War. Couple that with their intense live shows, the band were a hallmark of the underground hardcore scene in the 2000s.
Go It Alone
Go It Alone steadily made a name for themselves beyond their hometown in Vancouver, with a straight-forward approach to hardcore. They struggled to keep a steady lineup together, but their sound stayed consistently good regardless. While the band aren’t interested in returning, their discography is worth revisiting.