It's a question that many of us have been asking all year: Will Turnstile's success open the doors for more hardcore bands to break through? We still haven't seen any individual band get to the same popularity level as Turnstile, who are now selling out 6,000-person venues and gearing up to tour with blink-182 next year, but hardcore as an overall genre and scene has had more eyes on it this year than it maybe ever has. The 2022 editions of hardcore festivals like Sound & Fury and Outbreak have been widely referred to as the biggest fests this genre has ever seen, many hardcore bands started playing noticeably bigger venues this year, and hardcore bands constantly seem to be in-demand openers for larger bands and larger multi-genre festivals. In the landscape of music criticism, Soul Glo broke through this year with their new album Diaspora Problems (our #1 album of 2022), and as excellent as that album is, it was only the tip of the iceberg for hardcore in 2022. It's exciting to see all the attention that hardcore is getting right now, but it's not just that it's more popular than ever, it's also that we're in the midst of a very creative period for the genre. To quote Militarie Gun vocalist Ian Shelton, "We’re going towards the original intent of hardcore," when bands as musically diverse as Bad Brains and the Minutemen and Hüsker Dü all counted as hardcore, "instead of this formulaic thing.” In 2022, we saw hardcore bands embrace melody and flirt with indie/alternative rock, we saw hardcore bands go in heavy-as-fuck metal directions, we saw some bands reshape the sounds of the '80s and '90s and others set their sights on something a little more futuristic, we saw some bands combine hardcore with music from outside of the genre and we saw others stay firmly planted within it. There were so many different kinds of hardcore made this year, and if you've got even a passing interest in this style of music, I think you'll find at least one or two hardcore records from this year to love.

We've picked 20 hardcore releases from 2022 we love that are highlighted in the list below, unranked and in alphabetical order. Narrowing it down to 20 meant leaving off a lot of favorites, but these are the ones we most wanted to shine a light on as the year wraps up. Read on for the list, and let us know your favorite hardcore releases of 2022 in the comments...

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    Anklebiter - Demo 2022

    Sunday Drive

    The 2000s-hardcore revival is in full swing and one of the brightest new voices is Anklebiter, a new Northeast hardcore band (who share members with Broken Vow and Pummel) who channel the sounds of early/mid aughts Lockin Out Records bands like Mental, Righteous Jams, and RZL DZL. It's a sound that's still ripe for discovery, and still has room for new interpretations that don't sound rehashed and retro, and Anklebiter's debut demo puts a very fresh spin on the sound. It's only got four short, fast-paced songs, but that's all Anklebiter needed to leave an impact. Lead vocalist Rachael Braverman is exactly the kind of charismatic shouter that a good hardcore band needs, and these songs are strikingly memorable and fully-formed for a debut release.

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    Candy - Heaven Is Here

    Relapse

    At the end of Candy's 2018, Triple B Records-released debut album Good To Feel, they switched things up from their usual metallic hardcore for a shoegazy noise pop closer called "Bigger Than Yours." It was a send-off that suggested there would be no limits to what Candy would do next, but not even that song could've prepared you for sonic assault of their sophomore album (and Relapse debut) Heaven Is Here. Metallic hardcore is still in Candy's DNA on this album, but Heaven Is Here veers closer to genre-blurring labelmates Full of Hell than to most of the hardcore scene. Their metallic side is heavier and more abrasive; they'll break out into circle-pit-opening D-beat on one song and dish out industrial noisegrind on the next. The record was produced by Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Show Me The Body), who does some of his best work here, giving Heaven Is Here a finishing coat that makes it sound like something from a post-apocalyptic future. "Heaven is here" might by the title of the album, but on the song of the same name, vocalist Zak Quiram cries out, "The hell of myself/I'm burning in hell," and the utter despair in his voice is like a manifestation of the LP at large.

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    Drug Church - Hygiene

    Pure Noise

    The music world is still getting out all the pent-up energy from 18 months of no shows, and one of the bands that really seemed like a pipe bomb ready to blow this year was Drug Church. Their explosive Market Hotel set remains one of the best gigs I've seen all year, and they siphoned all of the energy of their live show into Hygiene, their fourth full-length album and best yet. Toeing the line between hardcore and alt-rock and unafraid of a little pop melody, the Drug Church of Hygiene churn out chords the size of small countries and rhythms that would make even the most cynical listeners bop their heads. The gravelly-voiced Patrick Kindlon tops it off with his razor-sharp wit, vivid imagery, and a wearied worldview that adds depth to the album's flat-out fun exterior. Few albums this year made you use and bang your head like this one did.

    Pick it up on limited marble vinyl.

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    End It - Unpleasant Living

    Flatspot

    Hailing from the hardcore hotbed of Baltimore, End It have internalized everything that makes a great hardcore band, and they just keep getting better and better. On their latest EP, Unpleasant Living, they've got unfiltered aggression, high-speed whiplash, bouncy two step riffs, and lyrics that give a voice to the voiceless, speaking up for the working class, those living in poverty, and victims of police brutality. End It don't reinvent the form, but they do what they do really well, and they've got a very charismatic vocalist in Akil Godsey that separates them from the pack.

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    Fixation - The Secrets We Keep

    WAR Records

    The Secrets We Keep is Philly hardcore band Fixation's first full-length with vocalist Wyatt Oberholzer (who's also the bassist of Chemical Fix and an in-demand producer/engineer), and Wyatt's impassioned shouts have helped point the band in a new direction. They make dark, heavy hardcore inspired by stuff that ranges from Samhain to '90s AFI to 2000s bands like American Nightmare and Blacklisted, and Wyatt's personal, introspective lyricism only makes things even darker.

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    Foreign Hands - Bleed The Dream & Lucid Noise

    DAZE & SharpTone

    As far as Y2K-style metalcore goes, there might not be a more promising band right now than Foreign Hands. They've been grinding for a few years (and vocalist Tyler Norris also plays in Wristmeetrazor), but 2022 has been their moment. They kicked the year off with their Bleed The Dream EP on DAZE, and it offers up five songs of raw, heavy, dramatic metalcore that sounds just like you remember it sounding in 2000, with a freshness that makes it sound better today than some of those now-dated records do. Later in the year, they signed to SharpTone and released the two-song Lucid Noise single, which found them embracing clearer production and huge-sounding, clean-sung choruses that make Foreign Hands sound more welcoming and more expansive without losing any of their original attack.

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    Inclination - Unaltered Perspective

    Pure Noise

    Louisville straightedge band Inclination have been grinding for a few years, but Unaltered Perspective is their first full-length and most expansive project yet. Vocalist Tyler Short goes beyond straightedge clichés with lyrics that look much deeper into a sober lifestyle, and the way that Tyler's personal life was affected by addiction after a close friend's life was lost. It's a lyrical triumph, and on top of that, Inclination (whose guitarist Isaac Hale is also in Knocked Loose) churn out some of the most badass metalcore riffs put to tape this year. Read our feature on this album by Hugo Reyes for more.

    Pick it up on limited orange/black vinyl.

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    Jivebomb - Primitive Desires

    Flatspot

    It's only five and a half minutes long, but Jivebomb's Primitive Desires EP established them as a force. It's a raw, fast, punky take on hardcore -- similar to anything from classic bands like Negative Approach to current bands like Jivebomb's recent tourmates Scowl -- and vocalist Kat has got some sneakily catchy melodies beneath those gnarly shouts. (The title track is one of the catchiest songs of its kind that I've heard all year.) Fingers crossed that we get more music from them soon, but for now, just play this EP on repeat and you'll see why the hardcore scene has embraced this band so quickly.

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    Life's Question - World Full Of...

    Triple B

    Life's Question had been honing their craft over the course of a couple EPs and other miscellaneous tracks since 2018, and they've really opened up their sound for their first full-length, World Full Of. They're a Chicago-based band but they channel classic New York Hardcore bands like Leeway and Cro-Mags, they've got a real knack for thrash riffs and wailing solos, and backing vocalist Abby Rhine's soaring clean vocals have a greater presence on this LP, making for a stunning contrast to lead vocalist Josh Haynes' gritty bark. It's an album that's tuneful and aggressive in equal measure, and they're not afraid to break out into the slower, longer songs that stretch beyond the traditional hardcore fare and really earn World Full Of its relatively longer runtime.

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    Mindforce - New Lords

    Triple B

    In 2022, the term "hardcore" has come to incorporate a vast array of bands that range from shoegaze to death metal, but if you're looking for a new album that gives you nothing but no-frills, ass-beating, bark-your-head-off mosh fuel, look no further than New Lords, the sophomore LP from Hudson Valley hardcore kings Mindforce. This record offers up 10 tracks in 17 and a half minutes, and not a second is wasted. Mindforce have built up a reputation as a must-see live band, and what you see live is what you get on New Lords. They're a razor-sharp band, and New Lords captures that, without any bells or whistles to distract from their pure fury. They've got an arsenal of '80s thrash and '90s metallic hardcore-inspired riffs, and each one is used as efficiently as possible -- no long solos, no patient interludes. And Jay Peta tops it off with tough, shouted mantras that are as aggressive as they are catchy. New Lords feels like a gift to the devoted hardcore scene that Mindforce have been part of for years, and I'd just as quickly recommend it to a metalhead or a hardcore-curious Turnstile fan. I don't think Mindforce are trying to appeal beyond their core fanbase, but when the music is this undeniable, it just might happen anyway.

    Pick up one of two color vinyl variants.

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    Praise - All In A Dream

    Revelation

    Hailing from the thriving Baltimore hardcore scene (and sharing drummer Daniel Fang with Turnstile and Angel Du$t), Praise returned this year with their first album in six years, All In A Dream. It embraces the Revolution Summer meets Twin Cities melodic hardcore vibes of their earlier material (and features a Hüsker Dü cover), but it's also got warmer, cleaner production and goes beyond reviving the sounds of a past era. Guest vocals from Anxious' Grady Allen and co-producer Brian McTernan (of Be Well, Battery, etc) are a nice touch too, but what really puts it over the edge are Andy Norton's lyrics. They're personal and creative and passionate, and they're a major part of what gives All In A Dream its urgency. Read our feature for more on this one.

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    Punitive Damage - This Is The Blackout

    Atomic Action

    For Punitive Damage's 13-song, 18-minute debut album, vocalist Steph Jerkova (who also plays bass in Regional Justice Center) "wrote a lot about what [she] saw and felt as the daughter of immigrants, and the resulting isolation, friction, and disapproval that came from being Mexican in a country with little next to no Mexican or Latin American community." It's full of raw, unfiltered anger, and she delivers it with throat-destroying growls that sound genuinely pissed off--there's not an ounce of posturing. It's fast, aggressive hardcore, but the band also have a love of classic rock (Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, and KISS are among their influences) that makes this album something you can really bop to. Read our recent feature for much more on the LP.

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    Regulate - Regulate

    Flatspot

    New York hardcore band Regulate severely leveled up this year. Their self-titled sophomore album is their most musically diverse yet, diving into radio-friendly alt-rock territory on "Hair" and "In the Moment," busting out a Latin rock jam on "Ugata," and still finding time for plenty of metallic hardcore fury. Sebastian Paba's vocal range is perfectly suited to the band's growing musical ambition; his percussive barks, throat-shredding screams, and soaring clean-sung hooks are all perfectly executed as he sheds light on racism, police brutality, gentrification, the oppressed working class, and other real-world issues. It's a hardcore record with purpose, energy, undeniable songs, and a complete disregard for typical genre barriers.

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    Soul Glo - Diaspora Problems

    Epitaph

    Having grinded in the underground hardcore and screamo scenes for nearly a decade, Soul Glo are ready for the world. They've leveled up in just about every way with Diaspora Problems, from their songwriting to their production to the record's truly awesome music videos; this is what it looks like when an already-great band manages to defy every high expectation that was set for them. Across the boundary-pushing, genre-defying Diaspora Problems, Soul Glo offer up the most life-affirming hardcore punk songs you'll hear all year, the controlled chaos of '90s screamo, industrial-rap that's loud and booming enough to fill a stadium, and chilled-out, permastoned boom bap. Often, they combine elements of three or more of these things in the same song. More than any prior Soul Glo release, the songs on Diaspora Problems are full of space and air, blaring through your speakers with the energy of Soul Glo's live show while maintaining the rounded edges of a well-produced rock record. (The album was produced in-house by Soul Glo bassist GG Guerra in the band's practice space, and later mixed and mastered by Turnstile/Code Orange/Title Fight collaborator Will Yip.) Pierce Jordan's lyrics are full of intent, dealing with internal issues like mental health and suicidal thoughts and external issues like the corrupt voting system and the left's reluctance to militarize with the same intense, personal passion. Guests like underground rappers Mother Maryrose, lojii, McKinley Dixon, and Zula Wildheart, and Kathryn Edwards of Nashville hardcore band Thirdface, add their own fire to the album, and help keep things even more unpredictable than it would've already been without them. It's a great punk record, a great rap record, and a great rock record. It's innovative, honest, purposeful, and as catchy as it is abrasive. And it's a record that really makes you feel something, from the moment that first snare hit strikes you like a bolt of lightning to the album's horn-fueled fade-out.

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    Spaced - Spaced Jams

    New Morality Zine

    Buffalo newcomers Spaced refer to their music as "far out hardcore," and they've got kaleidoscopic artwork and some psychedelic guitar effects that add fuel to the fire of that descriptor. They aren't totally out there, but they're clearly aiming to bring some new flavors to hardcore and it's been very exciting to watch them progress over the past year or so. Spaced Jams compiles their 2021 debut demo, the two songs they released late last year, and three entirely new songs. It more or less functions as the band's unofficial debut album, and it's a fine introduction that has us itching to hear what's next for Spaced.

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    Speed - Gang Called Speed

    Flatspot

    Before I even heard a note of Speed's music, I saw the video for "We See U" making the rounds on Twitter, and even with the sound off, you could tell that this is a tough-as-fuck band whose bad side you do not want to be on. This year brought more killer videos, the US debut of their instantly-legendary live show, and their new EP Gang Called Speed, which really delivers on the promise of this band's tough reputation. Vocalist Jem's percussive shouts are as hard as the band's image, and there's something so addictive about the way he delivers every word. The production is great, the rhythms are ass-kicking, the riffs are monstrous, and Speed have got some purposeful, anti-racist messages in their songs too.

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    Squint - Feel It & Wash Away

    Sunday Drive

    For fans of catchy, alternative rock-infused hardcore, you might not find a better new band this year than Squint. Formed by members of Soul Craft, Time and Pressure, and more, the St. Louis band have a Turning Point-meets-Seaweed formula that ends up recalling anything from Title Fight to Drug Church to Fiddlehead to Anxious. Influences and comparisons aside, Squint emerged as rookie of the year contenders because their music arrived so fully-formed and so addictive. Across two EPs, Squint blessed us with nine songs this year, and each one is a banger: walls of guitars, gritty hooks, and songs that beg to be played again and again and again.

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    Strange Joy - Five Tracks

    self-released

    Hardcore bands embracing shoegaze and college rock is nothing new, but Texas band Strange Joy's new 5 Tracks EP asks: what if a hardcore band embraced those sounds without softening up? Throughout the EP, they channel the guitar work of bands like Hum and Dinosaur Jr without taming vocalist Jonah Castillo's militant bark. On EP closer "Black Hole Love," they expand their sound even further, incorporating Title Fight-esque melodic singing and a quiet clean-guitar bridge, before exploring into one last burst of aggression.

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    Terror - Pain Into Power

    Pure Noise

    Sometimes you gotta go back to your roots in order to reinvent yourself, and that's exactly what hardcore veterans Terror have done on their eighth album Pain Into Power. They reunited with original guitarist (and Nails frontman) Todd Jones, who produced this album, sang on a track, and just in general played a big role in its creation. Vocalist Scott Vogel said in an interview with Eli Enis for Revolver that Todd's vision for the album was for it to be just ten short songs, and to tone down their groove side. "Zero groove, just all brutal, aggressive, go for the throat from the minute the record starts until the end." That's exactly what they did, and these lifers still play with the venom of a young, hungry hardcore band.

    Pick it up on limited color vinyl or as part of our new exclusive Terror bundle here.

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    Vein.fm - This World Is Going to Ruin You

    Closed Casket Activities

    Vein have evolved a lot in the four years since their debut LP errorzone solidified them amongst a new crop of bands redefining metalcore for a new generation. On their sophomore LP This World Is Going to Ruin You, they've toned down the twitchy nu metal vibes of their debut, beefed up and modernized their production, and leaned into their bludgeoning heavy side as well as their shoegazy side. World is both heavier than errorzone, and more melodic, thanks not just to Anthony DiDio's increasingly strong clean vocals but also a guest spot from Thursday's Geoff Rickly. It's an immersive listen that you can really lose yourself in, and it sounds as bleak as the title suggests it would.

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