I don’t really have many true “favorites” when it comes to music, simply because there’s too much good stuff out there to single out particular bands or albums. That said, Despised Icon is far and away my favorite metalcore band. I’m only slowly coming around to the mixing of extreme metal and hardcore, but DI are basically an awesome death metal band who happen to use a bunch of “core” elements (gang vocals, breakdowns, pig squeals etc). They do it way better than any other metalcore band I’ve ever heard—their breakdowns in particular aren’t as predictable and extraneous as with most other bands of this style.
Sonar was the closest DI came to D.C. on their “Montreal Assault Tour,” which showcased four other metalcore bands from, you guessed it, Montreal. This was supposed to be a tour in support of a new DVD, but that DVD has been delayed and the dudes aren’t happy about it. In any case, of the four other bands, Neuraxis was some solid death metal and I also found Carnifex surprisingly enjoyable. But DI blew them all away, and it’s clear they haven’t lost a step despite the recent departure of guitarist Al Glassman.