In their 24-year career Every Time I Die were nothing less than a whirlwind of limb-flailing, genre-hopping, game-changing excellence. Their nine albums set a high bar that few before or since have matched, their output effectively helping shape the post-millennial landscape of metallic hardcore, metalcore and just about every permutation therein. With the acrimonious split between vocalist Keith Buckley and the rest of the band in January 2022, we may never truly see their like again - but that won't stop us fervently hoping.
In the meantime, we look back on the band's exceptional career, assembling their albums in order of greatness. As it turns out, the band don't have a single duff release. It’s like choosing a favourite among nine children. Nine loud, unruly, hilarious, aggressive children.
9. Last Night In Town (2001)
With more words in the combined track titles (36) than the running time of the album (nearly 34 minutes), ETID’s 2001 debut album followed on from the wonderful chaos of their The Burial Plot Bidding War EP with some quite eloquent metalcore noise. A fine debut, but the band were to head on to better things. Opening track Emergency Broadcast Syndrome is one heck of a way to kick off your debut album.
8. New Junk Aesthetic (2009)
ETID’s first album on new label Epitaph after eight years and four albums on New Jersey’s Ferret Music, bears album art designed by guitarist Jordan Buckley and features something for everyone – even if you’re just on board for the guest appearances: The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato, Matt Caughtran of The Bronx and Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy tick many a box. Wanderlust showcases the band’s love of blending Southern Rock with the much more hardcore.
7. Gutter Phenomenon (2005)
The first ETiD album to break into the Billboard Top 200, it took the foundations of Hot Damn! (more on that in a minute) and spread the metalcore word to a wider audience through tracks like Kill the Music and The New Black. An album so relentless that the almost boyband-like whoa-whoas on Guitared and Feathered will make you crack up.
6. The Big Dirty (2007)
When an album title is a reference to Trailer Park Boys then you know you’re dealing with a band with an awesome sense of humour. No Son Of Mine kicks this LP off and has often been used as a live set opener, less a song and more a mission statement. From then on it's relentless all the way to closing track Imitation is the Sincerest Form Of Battery. Listening to this album when driving will cause you to lose your license.
- From Crossover To Metalcore: The Genesis Of A Genre
- Road Trippin': Every Time I Die
- Are Poison The Well the fathers of metalcore?
- Every Time I Die release C++ (Love Will Get You Killed)
5. Ex Lives (2012)
The four most recent ETID albums are all wonderful, a sign of a band hitting their creative peak. Ex Lives broke the top 30 on the Billboard 200, with a two and half year gap between albums making us all realise how much we missed the band. Keith Buckley screaming “We are the first of the fashionably late” on Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space remains one of the band's coolest lyrics (this coming from a band that has hundreds of brilliant, sardonic lines across nine albums).
3. Hot Damn! (2003)
A benchmark album in metalcore, ETiD’s second long player really announced them to the world and gave them the breakthrough that they needed. You can guarantee that 2003 didn’t produce a more blistering 27 minutes of music at any point. Tracks like Romeo A Go-Go, In The Event That Everything Should Go Terribly Wrong and Off Broadway showcase both the musical skill of the band and their intelligent humour perfectly.
3. From Parts Unknown (2014)
With a subtle wrestling reference in the title (rhythm guitarist Andy Williams is a trained wrestler, fact fans), ETiD’s seventh album shows one of the reasons that they’re so exciting as a band. With chart success and critical acclaim behind them they could have rested on their laurels, instead they decided to keep pushing themselves musically. The result was an album powered by the most awesome second wind, and tracks like Decayin’ With The Boys and The Great Secret take what the band had already been doing well and turn it up to eleven.
2. Radical (2021)
It's still hard to reconcile that the band that produced the utterly sublime Radical were on the cusp of implosion. The sheer unstoppable force of Radical is testament to just how hard ETID went with each and every release, the five-year wait entirely worth it when the band re-emerged with an album that combined their best attributes.
The hyperactive energy of early albums is recaptured on the likes of Planet Shit and Distress Rehearsal (the former in particular evoking The Bronx, who the band had scheduled a 2022 headline European/UK tour with), but ETID retained the enormous crowd-killing hooks they had honed to perfection on Low Teens. While Keith and the rest of the band have expressed an interest in creating new music, the idea that the two factions will no longer work together makes this an incredibly bittersweet swansong from one of the best bands to ever do it.
1. Low Teens (2016)
The apex of everything ETID had done and could be, Low Teens caught the band at their anthemic best, every song a muscle-bound behemoth that just begged to be screamed at full volume at clubs, bars and festivals across the planet. One gym session listening to this and you could feasibly compete in the World’s Strongest Man.
++ (Love Will Get You Killed), I Didn’t Want To Join Your Stupid Cult Anyway, and album closer Map Change were three of the very best songs released in 2016, easily justifying its position on the Hammer Albums Of The Year list. Stellar stuff from beginning to end, Low Teens is the breakout album every band hopes to achieve and can't quite grasp. But for five guys from Buffalo, nothing less than perfection would do.