It was an excellent and pivotal year for metalcore in 2004, but which albums rank best?

The year would prove to be a major turning point for metalcore's future viability as a genre. During its development in the mid-'90s, metalcore was largely an underground endeavor. Progenitors of the genre such as Integrity and Rorschach were less than interested in achieving huge marquee success, focusing instead on pushing the boundaries of hardcore to more extreme territories.

As the genre evolved, bands such as Hatebreed wrote the playbook on heaviness, while Poison the Well explored melodic possibilities. By 2004, metalcore reached a critical juncture. Major labels, seeing an opportunity for broad appeal as nu-metal waned, began to invest heavily in metalcore's future.

READ MORE: Metalcore Fans Debate Which Bands Have Gotten Better + Worse Over Time 

That year witnessed bands taking diverse approaches. On one end of the spectrum, bands were pushing how extreme the genre could get, with bands The Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge pushing forth chaos. On the other end, groups such as Underoath and Killswitch Engage showed the wide-ranging appeal possible, with the start of clean singing as a major building block for the genre. It would prove to be one of the most crucial years for the genre, paving the way for bands twenty years later to make their mark. 

Here are the 10 best metalcore albums of 2004.

The 10 Best Metalcore Albums of 2004

It was a pivotal year for metalcore and these are the 10 albums that rank as the best from 2004.

Gallery Credit: John Hill

10 Best Riff Writers in Metalcore, by Darkest Hour's Mike Schleibaum

Darkest Hour guitarist Mike Schleibaum names the 10 best riff writers in metalcore!

Gallery Credit: Mike Schleibaum, Darkest Hour

More From 97.9 WGRD