Recently, I posted an entry that ranked the My Chemical Romance albums. That provided inspiration for this list, which is a personal ranking of what I consider to be the top five albums of the post-hardcore genre. I'll do more of these for other genres soon, but the high school memories made this one come first. I've included a key track from each for readers who might not know the band/cd.

5. Thrice: The Illusion of Safety 
Thrice has kept a touch of their post-hardcore roots throughout their entire career, but this album was played on repeat during my high school years and holds up nicely after all of this time. While it's not their best album (the art-rock Beggars is my favorite), Illusion is simply great and deserves to be on this list. The passion and raw nature here makes it a worthy addition.
Rating: ***3/4

4. Underoath: They're Only Chasing Safety 
Like number 4, this isn't the best album from Underoath. It is the best post-hardcore album of theirs, though and was a true game changer at the times. In fact, Underoath accidentally inspired a wave of soundalike bands who loved this cd simply because that's how good it was. If you enjoy the genre, I guarantee you owned this at some point.
Rating: ***3/4

3. Thursday: War All the Time
Thursday are not only pioneers, but they sincerely helped several bands get their start. Somehow, people seem to have forgotten about them, but they truly are one of the most important bands of the genre and I consider this their top release.
Rating: ***3/4

2. Chiodos: Bone Palace Ballet 
Yea, Owens may be a dick but the dude was an icon of the genre and the band perfected their take on post-hardcore with this release. Really, ever member of the group was on their a-game here, and the guests were well selected, too. This one seems to have been forgotten a bit over the years, but I promise that it's worth a listen.
Rating: ****

1. My Chemical Romance: The Black Parade
As I said in the MCR post that inspired this one, this was the band's best release. Three Cheers almost made the list, too, showing just how great the group is. The aura behind this one remains to this day for anyone familiar with the band, and I hope that angsty kids continue to discover it for years to come.
Rating: ****1/2