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.

deathcore top albums

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BORN OF OSIRIS The Discovery Album Cover The Discovery
BORN OF OSIRIS
4.12 | 17 ratings
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VEIL OF MAYA Eclipse Album Cover Eclipse
VEIL OF MAYA
4.15 | 7 ratings
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THE CONTORTIONIST Intrinsic Album Cover Intrinsic
THE CONTORTIONIST
4.09 | 8 ratings
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BORN OF OSIRIS A Higher Place Album Cover A Higher Place
BORN OF OSIRIS
3.95 | 11 ratings
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RINGS OF SATURN Embryonic Anomaly Album Cover Embryonic Anomaly
RINGS OF SATURN
4.12 | 4 ratings
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THY ART IS MURDER Hate Album Cover Hate
THY ART IS MURDER
4.00 | 5 ratings
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THE CONTORTIONIST Exoplanet Album Cover Exoplanet
THE CONTORTIONIST
3.80 | 6 ratings
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ALL SHALL PERISH Awaken the Dreamers Album Cover Awaken the Dreamers
ALL SHALL PERISH
3.80 | 5 ratings
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VEIL OF MAYA [id] Album Cover [id]
VEIL OF MAYA
3.75 | 4 ratings
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WHITECHAPEL A New Era of Corruption Album Cover A New Era of Corruption
WHITECHAPEL
3.67 | 5 ratings
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AUCKENROSE Physis Album Cover Physis
AUCKENROSE
3.45 | 9 ratings
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ALL SHALL PERISH The Price of Existence Album Cover The Price of Existence
ALL SHALL PERISH
3.38 | 4 ratings
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deathcore Music Reviews

CARNIFEX World War X

Album · 2019 · Deathcore
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Necrotica
For anyone who’s been listening to Carnifex since the Dead in My Arms, it’s crazy how much they’ve evolved over the years. Back in 2007, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t lump them in with either Suicide Silence or Job for a Cowboy… or basically any big deathcore band from the Myspace era. But the way the first wave of deathcore splintered off into so many offshoots is fascinating in and of itself. Job for a Cowboy now makes progressive death metal in the vein of The Faceless or Rivers of Nihil, while Suicide Silence spent their last album making “TEE-HEE”-ridden nu-metal rip-offs. Meanwhile, you have bands like Shadow of Intent bringing more credibility to the genre than ever. But Carnifex is in a bit of an interesting place as far as the deathcore scene goes.

They’re probably one of the most well-respected deathcore bands around, mostly because they’ve had such a notable evolution over the years. As every album passed, there was more of an emphasis on black metal and traditional death metal elements rather than the pure deathcore they were once known for. Sure, the deathcore is still there, but I often find that the more they stray from that genre, the better they get. So here we are at World War X, another suitably punishing and brutal effort that also experiments with a lot of the same textures and dark atmospheres that permeate the band’s later work. Not only does the finished product sound hellish and uncompromising throughout its 35-minute run, but the vibe is also incredibly depressing and hopeless as well.

For instance, you have the beautiful classical piano sections in “This Infernal Darkness,” which manage to be both unsettling and downcast at the same time. They provide a perfect contrast to the heavy riffs, which is something I can also say about Alyssa White-Gluz’s clean vocals that are scattered about “No Light Shall Save Us.” There’s something apocalyptic about the way her singing is combined with the throat-shredding growls of Scott Lewis; mix that in with some doomy melodies and chugging, and it’s all very effective in sucking you into its unique world. In general though, the melodic moments have just gotten much better than before. “Brushed by the Wings of Demons” boasts a beautiful Anata-esque harmonized guitar solo in the midst of its crushing death metal, while guest guitarist Angel Vivaldi brings a nice neoclassical touch to “All Roads Lead to Hell.”

Of course, the metal itself is still just as chaotic and intense as ever. But every album boasts more of a technical slant than the previous one, and World War X is no exception. Jordan Lockrey’s lead guitar work is getting more and more intricate - especially in regards to his solos - and Shawn Cameron continues to incorporate more elaborate tricks into his drumming. This is probably the largest amount of tempo shifts he’s ever had to plow through on a Carnifex album, and he’s absolutely up to the task. On “Eyes of the Executioner,” the musicians are called upon to switch tempos and moods almost constantly, such as immediately switching from a breakdown to an onslaught of blastbeat-ridden black metal riffs. Stuff like that is great when it comes to adding more variety into the mix. “All Roads to Hell” also taps into this nicely by getting faster and faster with every few measures to constantly ratchet up the tension before finally resorting to blast beats and thrash riffs to make their point.

However, the one downside here is that there’s still not quite enough innovation here to mark the album as a huge step forward. There’s a temptation to label the album as “just another Carnifex record” despite the abundance of great music we’ve got here. Plus, the lyrics - while dark and suitably creepy - are starting to get a bit tired and played out by this point. They fit the atmosphere, yes, but a little more effort thrown into the imagery and themes wouldn’t hurt. But hey, at least it’s better than the near-constant stream of F-bombs we were greeted with on 2014’s Die Without Hope! So I suppose that’s a good thing. Anyway, I do highly recommend World War X. Is it a huge leap forward in terms of stylistic innovation? No. But it’s just an incredibly solid slab of death metal that implements its deathcore and black metal elements in all the right places. And when you get down to it, these guys are still leaving about 90% of their deathcore contemporaries in the dust, so you enjoy the genre, you shouldn’t be disappointed in any way by this record.

AWAKEN ANTAGONIST Awaken Antagonist

EP · 2013 · Deathcore
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siLLy puPPy
AWAKEN ANTAGONIST is a band that formed in 2011 in Fairbanks, Alaska and has only so far released this one 2013 self-titled EP and a full-length follow up in 2017 titled “Shepherd of Plagues.” The lineup of Tyler Martin (vocals), Kris Larson (drums), Jesse Gill (guitar), Sean Pederson (guitar), Jacob Marcy (bass, vocals) and Mark Redinius (bass) has remained steady ever since.

This band skirts and often blurs the line between deathcore and melodic death metal. On the deathcore side of the equation, the bombastic focus is on the breakdowns and blastbeats and on the melodic death metal side there are beautiful guitar harmonies with melodic flows that keep the whole thing accessible. Lots of guitar chugging as well that has some thrash elements at times. Lyrics are grunted, shouted, spoken and also are growled in the typical death metal fashion.

Along with the core and death elements, there is also a groove element and an occasional atmospheric backdrop that adds some contrast. Basically AWAKEN ANTAGONIST is a little more varied than the average deathcore artist and this eponymous EP debut is quite the catchy little compilation of four tracks. The band makes use of staccato patterns, palm muting and while the melodic elements provide a hook, they are buried beneath the frenetic barbarity of the heavier aspects.

Deathcore is a style of metal that is very hit and miss for me but AWAKEN ANTAGONIST certainly found the right recipe for an interesting mix of different strains of extreme metal. While often debut EPs only serve as a mere demo for the full-album to follow, this one is a completely different set of tracks and is the perfect gateway drug into this rare example of an extreme metal band coming from the frosty northern regions of the US in the Alaskan city of Fairbanks.

ÆNIMUS Dreamcatcher

Album · 2019 · Deathcore
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Kev Rowland
This is the second album from Bay Area tech-metallers Aenimus, but from what I can see, they have had some real issues with personnel and there is only person left in the band who actually played on the independently released ‘Transcend Reality’ in 2013. But here they been picked up by the mighty Nuclear Blast and consequently are touring with Hypocrisy and Fleshgod Apocalypse. To say this is an album of multiple parts is somewhat understating it, as there are times when they come across as Meshuggah crossed with Black Dahlia Society, but there are others where the music is dreamy and reflective keyboards with nary a guitar in sight. This makes for quite a fractured listening experience, which is obviously by design, as when they come back at pace with venom then it really does hit very hard indeed due to the contrast.

The album itself is a concept which draws inspiration from horror novels and movies, such as ‘It’, ‘The Shining’, ‘Hannibal Lecter’, and ‘The Dead Zone’ (not the first band to be heavily influenced by Steven King). The album was recorded by the band while mixing and mastering were handled by Jamie King (BTBAM, The Contortionist). The album features guest appearances from Mike Semesky (Intervals, The Haarp Machine), Jamie Hanks (I Declare War), Brian James (Fallujah) Sims Cashion and Leonardo Guzman. It is the sheer intensity which makes this such a compelling album, yet if it was like this all the way through it probably would not have made such an impact, as it is the gentleness which brings the hammer back with such mighty force. Their debut may not have made much of an impact, and they have been through the wringer in terms of personnel, but this release is going to make many within the extreme metal scene stand up and pay attention. Deathcore and tech metal rarely combine with progressive tendencies to make something as powerful as this.

BORN OF OSIRIS The Simulation

Album · 2019 · Deathcore
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Necrotica
Back in 2011, Born of Osiris performed an admirable feat: they brought a heightened sense of futurism and adventure to a then-stagnant genre. The Discovery was an incredibly welcome breath of fresh air that, unfortunately, will always cast a shadow over the band’s subsequent work because of its ambition. Still, they certainly keep trying and trying to recapture the spark that The Discovery gave off and Tomorrow We Die Alive regrettably lost. After all, the concept of taking deathcore into more experimental and adventurous avenues is something that I’ll always be behind. By all means, let’s take the genre somewhere that forces it outside of its comfort zone! And besides, many of these substantially “djentier” deathcore and modern metalcore bands have usually been the ones who continue to push the boundaries, stemming from artists such as After the Burial and Veil of Maya. Well, luckily, Born of Osiris’ new effort The Simulation sees them back in action with their best album since The Discovery. Granted, there’s really no more death metal in there. For that matter, many of the songs ride a low groove that sees them moving even further into djent territory than before. So why does The Simulation work so well?

Because it has a runtime of only 25 minutes, which means it has less time to pack in all of its exciting riffs and experimentations before quickly getting the fuck out. As such, you’re greeted by enough twists and turns to make your head spin. There are a few quiet moments of atmosphere throughout, such as the frantic little symphonic intro of “Disconnectome” or the entirely of interlude “Recursion,” but for the most part, these moments of space and contemplation are constantly butting heads with the meaty riffs underneath. By far, the best section to feature this conflict comes from the outro of “Silence of the Echo,” whose melodic solo lends the heavy chugs and power chords with a beautifully spacy counterpoint. It actually reminds me of The Faceless’ Planetary Duality days, and that’s not the only moment that made me think of that album. Every time “Disconnectome” breaks into a melodic solo or goes through a hyper-fast blastbeat section, it really does sound reminiscent of the sci-fi tech-death from that era of The Faceless.

Thankfully, Born of Osiris don’t forget their roots on The Simulation, paying plenty of homage to what made them a household name in deathcore while still continuing to experiment with their formula. If I had to pick out the best change this time around, it’s that the guitar leads or more fluid than ever. “Analogs in a Cell,” “Silence the Echo,” “Disconnectome,” and “Cycles of Tragedy” are all imbued with fantastic soloing that both technically impresses and constantly shifts between neo-classical and jazz fusion stylings. Also, the variety in the drumming is really impressive from time to time; “Disconnectome” in particular (yes, I know I’m bringing up this song a lot) features a ridiculous amount of tempo shifts, and they’re all surprisingly tasteful and natural despite how abrupt they are. The Simulation isn’t a perfect album - the slower tempos can become pretty one-note, and the short runtime obviously means some people will want a bit more meat - but it’s definitely the most solid album the band have put out since their initial heyday. It’s a really fun little adventure that - much like Reign in Blood - is very easy to replay again and again because of its lean length and addictive riffing.

BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS Modern Adoxography

Album · 2017 · Deathcore
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Kev Rowland


Christchurch is the third largest city on New Zealand, with a population of approximately 450,000. For those who are unaware, Christchurch was struck by two earthquakes in September 2010 and January 2011, which caused considerable damage to the city and the loss of 185 people. Since then the city has been rebuilding, both physically and emotionally, and the result is a community that is incredibly close and bonded together. I live some 30 minutes outside the city, near the township of Oxford, and have been here for a couple of years now. All of this makes me feel incredibly annoyed that the only way I have managed to discover this death metal outfit is by being sent a digital copy by an American PR company!

Apparently, “Adoxography” is a term coined in the late 19th century, and means "fine writing on a trivial or base subject". That these guys have been inspired by Dillinger Escape Plan, and have been supporting them on their recent NZ tour, is of little surprise. Here was have death metal with a crazed edge, music that is abrasive, sharp and twisted, while losing none of the brutality that one would expect from the genre. Here we have ten relentless tracks in thirty-five minutes of crushing riffs, technical wizardry, and merciless vocals. While the band's musical foundation is built upon brutal death metal, elements of demented grindcore and bizarre sci-fi tones weave their way into the complex structures, resulting in an engaging and damaging listening experience.

I can only hope that the guys are able to tour outside Aotearoa, as music as good as this needs to be heard by a much wider audience than the restricted population of New Zealand can afford. This is brutal, uncompromising, and very, very good indeed.

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