In post-hardcore, known for its unflinching rawness and emotional depth, Minnesota based Diegetic emerges as quite a unique voice. His latest EP, ‘Become the Ground,’ released on December 1st, epitomizes what he terms ‘POST HEART CORE,’ a fusion of emotive songwriting and tumultuous soundscapes.
This Minnesota-based artist draws profound inspiration from his northern surroundings, where the stark shift from summer’s warmth to winter’s chill mirrors the dynamic contrasts in his music: from tender melancholy to a cold, crushing force.
The EP balances raw, screaming vocals with sorrowful guitar melodies, creating a canvas of sound that is both new and nostalgically resonant.
Amidst the wall-of-sound-style distorted riffs and energetic drumming, there’s a palpable sense of vulnerability, a core element that Diegetic shares with a host of other post-hardcore acts.
The following list showcases the depth and diversity of post-hardcore and reflect a genre that’s unafraid to confront the deepest parts of the human experience, crafting soundscapes that are as emotionally resonant as they are sonically adventurous.
“These ten albums, in addition to presenting a modern standard for post hardcore, display songwriting and lyrics that seem to cut right to the writer’s core, baring their soul with as much raw emotion as the listener can take.” – comments Diegetic.
“Grief, regret, love, loss, wonder, no feeling is seemingly off limits as singer after singer on this list cuts themselves open for the listener, backed by an endless barrage of breakdowns, melodic riffs, distorted guitars, echoing drums, and the constant angst that defined the genre.”
Dreamwell – In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You
Lately, I’ve been wishing I could meet you again / Small cracks in my memories. Drain the life from these holes in my head.
The lead track from this album starts almost deceptively soft and loving, with lyrics perhaps expressing regret at a relationship gone. But less than a minute in, the mood and the story both rapidly shift, and we see the regret here cuts deeper than a bad breakup.
I see my face in the reflection of the blade and I whimper. I wish that I couldn’t see you under all this white. I wish I could undo this. I think the wrong one died.
On In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You Dreamwell offers the classic back and forth tension of soft, almost Midwest-emo style melodic riffs, into frenetic, screaming belting breakdowns. There won’t be a dry eye (or perhaps, even one that isn’t black) after moshing in the pit at a Dreamwell show
Frail Body – A Brief Memoriam
The endless and technically impressive onslaught presented by Frail Body on A Brief Memorium is as expressive as it is excessive. Clipped and distorted vocals layer over exchanges between extremely danceable riffs and weaving interplay between bass and guitar. Listening to the nearly-constant frenetic energy of the album, one quickly forgets that they are a three piece. Perhaps most impressive is the immediate intimacy one feels hearing these screamed-too-hard lyrics. On Your Death Makes Me Wish That Heaven Was Real, they practically beg:
Your death makes me wish that / That heaven was real
But I’m trying to believe that I’ll see you soon / In your new home
Chalk Hands – Don’t Think About Death
Every note from Chalk Hands feels like it weighs a thousand pounds as it washes over you. You can feel the contemplative reach in every space between notes. And with it, you can feel the raw, personal passion with which these words are sung/screamed.
A flaw is worth its weight That one fail
A shard, a splinter A second wind of hate
A shard, a splinter Of hope and dismay
If there is one thing that can be said about this album, it is that it feels absolutely soaked in the nostalgic, almost regretful feeling that so much of post hardcore reaches for.
kinda alright – The Esoteric Arts
Absolute, unstoppable energy spills out of this album at every corner. Every song seems to change tempos wildly, rapid guitar riffs layer over each other and dance intricately, and lyrics are sometimes sung, sometimes belted, sometimes screamed. Reflecting on love on organ divination (esoteric art no. – 1006), kinda alright screams:
open wide this abyssal chest of mine / see what’s left inside / this ravenous heart i call mine
Tinged heavily with Midwest emo influence, kinda alright makes sure to keep their edge throughout with frenetic, head-banging breakdowns placed liberally throughout.
Roman Candle – Discount Fireworks
I think I made you up inside my head / I close my eyes and the world drops dead
On Discount Fireworks, Roman Candle pays clear tribute to the grandparents of modern emo, screamo, and post-hardcore. The DNA of the early emo scene weaves between the fresh and overwhelming excitement of Roman Candle. Betl-your-heart-and-shake-your-fist style breakdowns trade quickly with clean-guitar-led, almost spoken word verses, creating an overwhelming sense of love lost, love wanted, and love regretted through every word eked out through clenched teeth on Discount Fireworks.
If I Die First – They Drew Blood
Is it obvious that im out of breath and out of touch / I’ll feel this weight till my heart stops beating
turn this pain to rest all that we have left is not enough / Try my best but its never enough
Heartbreak and loss punctuate this hook-laden and energetic post hardcore release, featuring cacophonic drum fills and dissonate guitar riffs. The entire album conjures the almost-metalcore riffs and clean/scream vocal interplay of early Underoath. On They Drew Blood, If I Die First knows to just let the foot off the gas long enough to get the listener to pause and ponder, before flooring it into frenetic wild riffing again.
Gatherers – (mutilator.)
Dark and brooding, the songs on (mutilator.) slowly build and swirl around the listener, almost lulling one into a false sense of, well, not insecurity, but perhaps unease, before spilling over into a loud and overwhelming release.
Between gasps for air, half-shouted, half-sung screeds on love and regret are laid over distorted bass, dark synths, and grizzled guitar lines. From Black Marigold:
I want you out, I want you out, I want you out now / I carved a line, can’t cut around to clean up my mess
I spill my body to canonize you / No worth in feeling it anymore
Actor Observer – Songs for the Newly Reclusive
Melodic guitar hooks and pop punk sensibilities give way to breakdowns and dissonance throughout Songs for the Newly Reclusive, and nothing gets more vulnerable than the track Man Enough, a personal callout track against toxic masculinity.
Tell me all the ways That I am not a man / Tell me all the ways So you can help me understand
The value in denying me My full humanity / Because if that’s what makes a man That’s not what I want to be
Vocal performances on this album extend beyond screams and punk singing to showcase the band’s talent at soft ballads with dynamic singing. The slow parts never last long, and act as appetizers for the main course of absolute wall-of-sound screaming breakdowns.
LIMBS – Coma Year
On Coma Year, LIMBS lean into their metalcore senses to present a heavy and devastating look inside their feelings of regret, failure, and despair. Elevated choruses are punctuated by head-banging breakdowns and aggressive riffs. This is all softened by the personal and vulnerable lyrics, like this reflection on grief, from Blood & Heel
Lonely pessimism, resurrect my endless grief / Carrying a skeptic’s rhythm
Drown me in the disbelief / It’s like the storm is never ending / So let me drift into the sea
Massa Nera – Derramar | Querer | Borrar
Derramar | Querer | Borrar by Massa Nera is rife with a diverse range of influences. Most obviously, of course, it is an excellent post hardcore album. But more interestingly, Massa Nera draw on black metal, post metal, and midwest emo to craft a wholly unique and impressive release. Filled with atmospheric darkness and discordant riffs, this album showcases the band’s doubt, fear, and hopelessness. From Adrift:
And so it seems that this is all there is / Lost faces, stolen moments
But maybe I deserve this / Maybe I deserve this
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