Published Dec 12, 2017Anger is always in vogue, but this was an especially momentous year for punk and hardcore, bearing witness to some of the most boundary pushing work to come from the scene in a very long time. Canada had no shortage of enraged voices to add to the mix, including the long-awaited return of one of the genre's pioneers.
Torture Culture (Last Gang)
This legendary Toronto hardcore unit rose from the grave and offered up the spiritual successor to their game-changing 2002 offering Ill Blood. The influence of their work from 15 years ago can't be overstated, but Torture Culture could be the new high point — more focused, diverse and punishingly heavy than ever before.
You're Not You Anymore (Pure Noise/New Damage)
Hamilton unit Counterparts (pictured) have kept up a steady output of melodic hardcore over the years. While You're Not You Anymore finds vocalist Brendan Murphy as the last remaining original member, their sound favours that of their earlier years, albeit more fleshed-out and technical than ever before.
Outsider (New Damage)
They've been together for almost two decades, yet Comeback Kid proved that they're still full of genre-challenging ideas and interesting song structures on Outsider. Blending melodic elements flawlessly with the breakneck riffing they are best known for, they've concocted a compelling medley that serves as a breath of fresh air.
Victory Lap (Epitaph)
The storied Winnipeg unit's latest offering comes as a much-needed reality check, packed with poignant and politically charged anthems that also sonically reflect the band's maturity. Not only do Propagandhi maintain the energy and aggression of their earlier work, but with each release comes additional layers of depth.
No Cure For Death (Southern Lord)
Fronting hardcore supergroup SECT is Chris Colohan, bringing his unmistakable gnarled vocals — which fans of Cursed know and love — to the crushing vegan straight-edge beatdown of No Cure For Death. Few records come as close to this in terms of sheer aggression, in no small part due to Colohan's stellar delivery across this dense and absolutely feral set.