10 Metal Bands Who Should Consider Retiring Their Older Music

Nergal: Someonein, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons / Chino Moreno: Ralph Arvesen, CC BY 2.0, Wikipedia / Will Ramos Photo by Katja Ogrin/Redferns (via Getty Images)
Published on:

Earlier this week, Tool singer Maynard James Keenan expressed that he can’t do a full set of the band’s older songs. Granted, while Tool has a lot of awesome songs in their older catalog, they’ve gone on to strengthen their craft and create even more impressive work in their later releases.

And this got us thinking… who are some other bands that may want to consider retiring their older material? Specifically, the bands who have not only outgrown their older songs but who have elevated their art, creating new tunes that represent a refined take on their artistry.

Without further ado, here are 10 metal bands we think should consider retiring their older music.


The Polish blackened death band has been delivering crushing metal since the beginning; that said, there came a noticeable shift in quality come the release of 2009’s Evangelion. Since the record’s release, Behemoth has been building upon their brutality with each new record, reaching a high that leaves those earlier releases in the dust. The four most recent records that Behemoth has released are easily the most standout and fully defined albums they’ve crafted.

The Devil Wears Prada

While The Devil Wears Prada continues to incorporate a multitude of metalcore elements into their music, they’ve also come to greatly refine their sound. With the release of 8:18, the band started to weave together more influences into their work (pulling from other heavy genres). In the following albums to come, The Devil Wears Prada would further expand their creative wings, offering a brand of metalcore that features a variety of styles and technical approaches.


Whitechapel’s first two records are straightforward deathcore, but after those records, the band starts to slowly build upon their style and stray away from generic deathcore. First, there are small touches in the self-titled record, even more changes in Our Endless War, and then comes Mark of the Blade – at this point, the band sounds very different compared to their earlier days. Their older deathcore material is great and all, but it certainly doesn’t compare to the incredible melody, groove, and songwriting abilities the band puts into their more recent material.

Lorna Shore

Speaking of bands who have undergone startling creative shifts – the Lorna Shore of old is nothing like the Lorna Shore of today. That isn’t just because of singer Will Ramos, it also has to do with the tremendous instrumental changes that have taken place in the band. Whereas Lorna Shore was once a generic deathcore act, they now incorporate many blackened and symphonic elements into their material. The band has become a far more creatively epic force since the release of …And I Return to Nothingness, and they’ve only gotten stronger as a band since.


Perhaps the most controversial shoutout on this list, it might be time for Deftones to consider letting go of some of their older material. Over time, the band has gone on to greatly elevate the qualities of their music, providing a more profound array of dreamy metal in their more recent records. Albums like Diamond Eyes still provide a great pounce of rock, whereas Gore provides a greater delivery of the shoegaze-like heaviness that is present on White Pony. From Diamond Eyes and onward, Deftones has gone on to become an even more sonically captivating band.


When we talk about Ghost retiring their older material, we’re primarily talking about their first two records – Opus Eponymous and Infestissumam. While these albums are fun in their own right, come the release of 2015’s Meliora, Ghost started to lean more into a pop-rock style that only further heightened their catchy appeal. Though it will always be neat to hear the band get a little creepy, Ghost has found an excellent balance in crafting rock songs with a pop mentality, providing a kickass presentation of exciting bangers.


As we mentioned in our 10 catchiest heavy metal bands of all time feature, Trivium has really abandoned their more aggressive metalcore roots. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not at all. In fact, since the release of In Waves, the band has delivered record after record of exhilarating heavy metal. While the likes of “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr” will always be a blast, we think it’s best that Trivium focuses on the cleaner, more refined heavy metal cuts they’ve been creating over the past decade.

Cattle Decapitation

For those who love extra grimy death-grind, there is always going to be love for Cattle Decapitation’s older material. But, when it comes to what the band has released over the past decade – from Monolith of Inhumanity and onward – Cattle Decapitation’s music makes for a far more theatrical and gripping display of abrasive death-grind. Since the release of Monolith of Inhumanity, the band has greatly built upon their creative qualities, providing a refreshing approach to grindcore and death metal that makes for some of the most crushing music in metal today.

Code Orange

Code Orange’s older material is awesome AF, but it is also somewhat shocking to listen to nowadays. Granted, the band is still greatly embracing a metalcore sound in their music, but they have also expanded their craft to become so much more. Rather than craft straightforward hard-hitting metalcore cuts, Code Orange has found a genius way of combining that style of music with industrial and electronic elements, creating a captivating form of heavy music. With the release of Forever and Underneath, Code Orange has gone through an astonishing evolution.

Bring Me the Horizon

Among some of the acts featured on this list, there’s a running theme of sorts regarding deathcore bands that started out creating generic deathcore, and then who went on to evolve their sound. Another one of those bands is Bring Me the Horizon who, with the release of Sempiternal, not only shifted away some from deathcore but brought together a great variety of other styles of music into their work – ultimately crafting musical experiences brimming with fascinating sonic layers. And since then, the band has only gotten more experimental and interesting.