Deathcore

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Deathcore, which emerged in the early 2000s, is a sub-genre of metalcore that fuses elements of hardcore punk and death metal. Deathcore is similar to metalcore musically, except it is generally heavier, with a stronger emphasis on blast beats, death metal growling vocals, and more intense breakdowns. The genre has enjoyed moderate popularity in the extreme metal scene.

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VEIL OF MAYA Eclipse Album Cover Eclipse
VEIL OF MAYA
4.21 | 11 ratings
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WHITECHAPEL The Valley Album Cover The Valley
WHITECHAPEL
4.38 | 4 ratings
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BORN OF OSIRIS The Discovery Album Cover The Discovery
BORN OF OSIRIS
4.12 | 20 ratings
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WHITECHAPEL Our Endless War Album Cover Our Endless War
WHITECHAPEL
4.33 | 3 ratings
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ATTILA Rage Album Cover Rage
ATTILA
4.33 | 3 ratings
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THY ART IS MURDER Hate Album Cover Hate
THY ART IS MURDER
4.10 | 6 ratings
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JOB FOR A COWBOY Doom Album Cover Doom
JOB FOR A COWBOY
4.11 | 5 ratings
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VEIL OF MAYA The Common Man's Collapse Album Cover The Common Man's Collapse
VEIL OF MAYA
4.08 | 6 ratings
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WHITECHAPEL Whitechapel Album Cover Whitechapel
WHITECHAPEL
4.17 | 3 ratings
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WHITECHAPEL Kin Album Cover Kin
WHITECHAPEL
4.17 | 3 ratings
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ATTILA Outlawed Album Cover Outlawed
ATTILA
4.17 | 3 ratings
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THE CONTORTIONIST Intrinsic Album Cover Intrinsic
THE CONTORTIONIST
4.00 | 10 ratings
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ARCHOS
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ENTERPRISE EARTH
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The Last Ten Seconds Of Life
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THE LAST TEN SECONDS OF LIFE
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Hellbent
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deathcore Music Reviews

CARNIFEX Graveside Confessions

Album · 2021 · Deathcore
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Necrotica
Back in a 2010 interview with Noisecreep, when asked about being part of the deathcore scene, Carnifex vocalist Scott Lewis stated: "We're not one of those bands trying to escape the banner of deathcore. I know a lot of bands try and act like they have a big problem with that, but if you listen to their music, they are very 'deathcore.'” And that mentality has been incredibly important to the Carnifex sound over the years. Many bands have tried to escape deathcore’s large, infamous shadow to seek what a large constituent of the metal scene would consider more “respectable” genres of extreme music. Just think back to Job for a Cowboy’s eventual transformation into a progressive death metal act with Sun Eater, or Whitechapel’s excursion into more experimental territory with 2019’s The Valley. But Carnifex are a bit different. While they’ve added a nice helping of black metal influence and a menacing atmosphere to their music over the years, there’s something to be said for a group that stays in the same genre and tries to perfect it as much as they can.

With Graveside Confessions, this trend most certainly continues. While the lack of Jordan Lockrey’s solos continues to be felt, Cory Arford’s relatively diverse guitar leads fill in the cracks nicely. Something that immediately stands out about this record compared to past Carnifex albums is that the transitions are starting to become much smoother, whether it be the seamless fusion of melodic and groovy segments that make up “Carry Us Away” or the way the beautifully melancholic instrumental “January Nights” is followed up perfectly by the furious aggression of “Cemetery Wander”. The black metal elements are also on full display on Graveside Confessions, and they remain a welcome presence. “Countess of Perpetual Torment” (which already sounds like a Cradle of Filth song title as it is) is probably the biggest example of such, even combining its tremolo guitar riffs with a nice backdrop of symphonic keyboards to increase the spookiness factor.

But again, the band still haven’t strayed away from the beaten deathcore path they’ve trodden since their inception; instead, it’s all about the little tweaks they’ve made to their sound over time. Even the breakdowns themselves have become much more creative; while the end of “Cursed” sports a pretty simple chug, the strange out-of-tune guitar lead in the background immediately provides a more intriguing and haunted feel to the outro as a whole. Then you have “Talk to the Dead”, which has a recurring melodic riff that’s presented in different ways throughout the tune. It starts out in a black metal-influenced tremolo-picked manner, only for Arford to eventually fashion a harmonized guitar outro with the same melody. Little bits of diversity like this are what often separate Carnifex from the deathcore pack, and perhaps the best song to represent this would be the instrumental track “January Nights”. It’s worth noting that the band have already done a song like this before, with “Dead in My Eyes” and “Life Fades to a Funeral” immediately coming to mind. However, “January Nights” is like the culmination of their efforts with those tracks; this is the first time they’ve attempted a full-length non-interlude piece in this style, and it’s a fantastic way to break up the aggression the rest of the album exhibits.

Still, not all is perfect. I’m a bit baffled as to why the re-recorded songs weren’t just released as bonus tracks. Sure, it’s cool to hear these old Carnifex songs in a new light - and with better production, of course - just to see how far they’ve come. However, if you’re trying to listen to Graveside Confessions from front to back, just be aware that this one’s much more of a time sink than the band’s previous records because of these re-recorded cuts. Also, as is the case with just about every Carnifex album, the lyrics are still pretty damn shaky. Random f-bombs are still scattered about to remove the listener from a given song’s atmosphere, and stuff like “One of these souls has a shelf life/that fucker wanted me dead by 25/and every day since I’ve been restless/I know it’s just a matter of time” (from “Seven Souls”) is just as cringy as it’s ever been. Unfortunately, given the lack of progression found in the quality of Carnifex’s lyrics, I somehow doubt they’ll get much better in the future.

Regardless, Graveside Confessions stands as one of the band’s best works to date alongside Slow Death and Until I Feel Nothing. I feel as though they’ve finally settled into a pattern now, in the sense that you usually know what you’re going to get with a Carnifex record but it’s guaranteed to be a cut above your average deathcore act. They know what they’re about, and they’ll continue to strive for the best version of themselves with each passing release. Much like Cannibal Corpse before them, there’s a consistency in Carnifex’s output that’s admirable whether you enjoy their work or not; their brand is a reliable seal of quality, and Graveside Confessions is yet another feather in their cap.

BRAND OF SACRIFICE Lifeblood

Album · 2021 · Deathcore
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ssmarcus
Death and extreme metal acts and their fans are used to enduring ignorant plebs and establishment music critics shilling for a paycheck calling the genres "noise" unworthy of their respect, let alone attention. Of course most of these morons couldn't actually give you a working definition or heuristic for differentiating music from noise. When pressed to provide one, you'll usually hear an entirely non-musical explanation like, "yOu CaN'T EVen heAr thE LyRIcs!!!"

With that said, I would imagine it is less common for actual fans of death and extreme metal to level the noise accusation at acts within the genre no matter how much they may not like a specific act of record. But alas, here I am, perfectly confident in my assessment that Brand of Sacrafice and their latest record, Lifeblood is more noise than it is music.

The experience I had listening to this record is similar to what I experience when trying to tune my car radio to a specific station but, owing to my movement or location, find my sound oscillating back and forth between two clashing stations vying for dominance over the same frequency. One channel is playing generic deathcore circa 2011 while the other is running commercials or electronic music. The broadcasts fade in and out of each other creating an insufferable experience warranting turning off the radio altogether.

Most upsetting of all is this band's meteoric rise to prominence within the last 3 years. This trend is sure to spawn more clones and the proliferation of this unique brand of "noisecore." And in response, all I can do is stand ready with more 1 star reviews.

BEYOND DEVIATION Beyond Deviation 400 (400 Vocalist World Record Track)

EP · 2021 · Deathcore
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Vim Fuego
The whole idea of “Beyond Deviation 400” is a mad arsed thing at first sight. It’s a 37 minute deathcore track created by Canadian band Beyond Deviation. In making this epic track, the band pulled in favours from a few friends. Actually, make that a LOT of friends. About 400 friends. See, the 400 in “Beyond Deviation 400” indicates the number of vocalists on this song, which set a new world record for the most solo vocalists on a single track.

Now, deathcore isn’t to everyone’s tastes. A lot of death metal fans treat it like that annoying cousin who wants to borrow your Dying Fetus vinyls, and then scratches them. Yes, well intentioned, but an embarrassment to have around. A lot of gatekeepers and elitists go even further in their disdain for the genre, declaring it “not metal!” Why? Er… hardcore-style breakdowns? Nu-metal style downtuning? Daring to not be straightjacketed by what has come before? Who the fuck can tell. This matters not to the legions of deathcore fans the world over, who just get on with it and create their own glorious noise. And apparently Beyond Deviation play a variety of deathcore called downtempo.

So... 400 vocalists and 37 minutes of downtempo deathcore. What sort of sound do you get? It’s pretty obvious it’s not gonna be bright and breezy uplifting pop music. Nope, you get guttural, bowel-churning doom/death/sludge that’s mostly played on the big fat low strings rather than the twiddly, squeaky high ones. It’s mostly what would be considered breakdowns, except breakdowns are usually brief interludes in a song where the band kicks things into low gear, rather than being the majority of the song like they are here. One of the great benefits of playing so slowly is that it makes the overall sound absolutely fucking massive.

And if there's 400 vocalists, there must be lyrics, right? Yes, there are, and rather a lot of them. They cover weighty philosophical topics like life and existence, reality versus insanity, strength versus weakness, etcetera, etcetera, but are any of them understandable without a lyric sheet? No, not really. And it doesn’t matter. That’s not the point. The voice is an instrument here, a bestial, violent, aggressive roar of an instrument. And despite what you might think, there’s still range for variety in the vocals. It’s hard to tell where one person ends and the next starts, but the grunt/growl/screech flows surprisingly well through this lumbering hulk of a song.

Some metal purists will fucking hate this, but it’s not made for them. This is made for the fans, and by the fans. It also might appeal to the more open-minded and adventurous listeners of funeral doom, doom/death, atmospheric sludge, depressive black metal, or even just the plain curious. This ambitious and slightly crazed project united musicians the world over at a time when it would be easy to feel isolated and alone, and created quite the buzz in a number of extreme music scenes.

Congratulations on the world record Beyond Deviation, and more power to you for conceiving, composing, and executing such a monumental work of dark and deeply satisfying art.

COSMOPHOBE Aberrations

Album · 2020 · Deathcore
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UMUR
"Aberrations" is the debut full-length studio album by US, New Orleans based act Cosmophobe. The album was independently released in December 2020. Cosmophobe released the "Infinite Unreality" EP in October 2020. None of the three tracks from the EP are featured on "Aberrations".

The material on "Aberrations" is instrumental technical death metal/deathcore. With the absence of growling vocals, this probably shouldn´t be called death metal/deathcore, but the instrumental part of the music still points in that direction. It´s both fast-paced and mid-paced and groove laden, featuring heavy chugging riffs and groove heavy rhythms and breakdowns. There are also loads of more melodic moments, leads, and guitar solos, and also some atmospheric moments, so this is not a one-dimensional listen.

Cosmophobe is a one-man project, and that´s unfortunately apparent from the programmed drums. They are decent enough, but a real humam drummer would have made "Aberrations" a better release. There are just some sections on the album where the drums drag the quality of the music down, because it´s too obvious the drums are programmed (listen to the blastbeat section of opening track "Traumatized" about 25 seconds into the track, and tell me that snare drum sound doesn´t bother you just a little bit). The remaining part of the music is very well performed, and well produced too.

The songwriting is intriguing and varied, and there are both some nice brutal and powerful parts as well as some more melodic/atmospheric parts. The riffs and the lead guitar parts are the main attraction here, but if they weren´t placed in well constructed songs, they probably wouldn´t have worked as well as they do here. So the songwriting should be mentioned as an asset here. Upon conclusion "Aberrations" is a good quality debut album by Cosmophobe. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

SEED OF SORROW World Impaled

EP · 2017 · Deathcore
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siLLy puPPy
SEED OF SORROW comes from the land of Nessie, yeah the legendary Loch Ness Monster in the city of Inverness, a region not teeming with extreme metal bands. This band that consists of Lewis Goodwin (vocals), Mark Savage (guitar), Nick Laidlaw (guitar), Donald Tolmie (bass) and John Murray (drums) is determined to wake the dead with its savage brutal deathcore sounds that deliver an unrelenting bantering of extreme metal madness.

So far this band has only released this debut EP titled WORLD IMPALED which features five studio tracks and a bonus live closer. The totality is only just shy of 23 minutes but with an orotundity this determined to crank up the volume to the limit, this amount of time is just about right considering there’s not one little iota of breathing room on this one. The band’s style is typical deathcore with bantering twin guitar riffing, a bombastic bass and over-busy drumming workout. Goodwin’s vocal style is the typical frantic metalcore insanity with deathened growly overtones.

Deathcore is one of those subgenera that more often than not reeks of generic performances without much artistic input, a nook in the metal universe where newbie bands can just let off stream and make as much noise as humanly possible without having to focus on things like interesting songwriting structures, instrumental variation or some sort of inviting gimmick that sets the band apart from the legions of similar sounding bands. Unfortunately SEED OF SORROW falls into the generic as fuck section of the deathcore supermarket.

Yep, for every Born of Osiris or Rings of Saturn deathcore style that actually incorporates disparate elements to its bombastic fury, there are a million or more other bands that are content simply to jump on the bandwagon of a particular noisy metal style without adding a personal stamp. While WORLD IMPALED isn’t unlistenable, it’s not very inspired either. The five studio tracks showcase razor sharp musicianship but devoid of creative license. The most interesting track is actually the live one for some reason. OK but nothing special.

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