Hardcore and crust

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Hardcore is a punk rock subgenre - or rather a set of punk rock subgenres - which is closely related to heavy metal music, because many hardcore artists include several elements from metal in their music, and many metal artists, likewise, include several hardcore elements in their music (several metal subgenres have their roots in hardcore punk music such as thrash metal, grindcore, metalcore, Stockholm death metal, sludge metal, and nu metal). In fact, hardcore can be said to form a continuum from pure punk to primarily metal-oriented music, and many metalheads consider hardcore to be, if not a metal genre, then at least part of the universe of heavy metal music.

Hardcore arose in the late 1970s and gained considerable popularity in the 1980s. It was originally a reaction against the adoption of mainstream society of the aesthetics and lifestyle associated with punk rock as well as the intellectualization of punk rock in Europe. Inheriting the rock instrumentation of punk rock (vocals, guitars, bass, and drums), hardcore musicians would infuse more aggression into their music, speeding up the tempos considerably and inserting heavy and groovy breakdowns into their compositions. Although a global phenomenon, there are two important geographical centers in the development of the genre - namely, the USA and the UK. American hardcore was inspired by the likes of The Dead Kennedys and The Ramones, fusing it with influences from overseas. There were, and still are, several local hardcore scenes in the USA, with the NYC hardcore scene (which often includes the New Jersey scene) probably being the most influential one, spawning bands like Agnostic Front, Misfits, Warzone, Kraut, Mucky Pup, and The Undead, many of which are of crucial importance to metal music as well. Other important early American hardcore bands were Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (D.R.I.) from Texas, The Accüsed from Washington state, Gang Green from Boston, Minor Threat from Washington D.C., and Black Flag and Suicidal Tendencies from Los Angeles. The UK hardcore scene very much sprung from the harsh style of Discharge and The Exploited as well as Amebix which combined elements from early punk rock with elements of NWoBHM, with Motörhead being a particularly important influence; UK hardcore evolved into crust, which would prove to be influential on both death metal and black metal.

Borrowing from heavy metal music, hardcore would itself have an influence on the development of a new subgenre of heavy metal in the early-to-mid 80s - namely, thrash metal, as American metal musicians started to combine the harsh and aggressive style of UK bands like Discharge and The Exploited and US bands like The Misfits and Black Flag on the one hand with the more intricate and technically advanced style of NWoBHM. Despite the similarities in music, the hardcore and thrash metal scenes were separate, and when the members of the two scenes met, violence would often ensue. However, the animosity between the two scenes would eventually disappear, resulting in a hybrid hardcore-thrash style called crossover-thrash, as hardcore artists started incorporating thrash metal elements into their style (perhaps most notably Agnostic Front, D.R.I., and Suicidal Tendencies among others) and thrash metal artists would start to incorporate hardcore into their style (Nuclear Assault being an important example of this). New bands that featured members of both scenes were even established, most notably Stormtroopers of Death (S.O.D.).

Because of the influence of metal upon many early hardcore bands, the term metallic hardcore is sometimes used with reference to hardcore nd crust bands that either make use of elements from various heavy metal subgenres or hardcore bands that are, for other reasons, associated with heavy metal music. In other words, the 'metallic hardcore' label applies to bands at the more metal-oriented end of the hardcore-metal continuum. Typical features of metallic hardcore are the grooves, riffage, and drum patterns associated with hardcore punk and elements associated with heavy metal music, such as guitar leads, double bass drums, palm-muted riffing and, often, productions which, while DIY, are not deliberately underproduced. It should be noted that, here at the MMA, the hardcore subgenre only includes metallic hardcore bands.

In addition to 'standard' metallic hardcore, inclusive hardcore genres on the MMA are:

  • Crust: crust, or crust punk, is typically used with reference to the hardcore punk tradition established in the UK by the likes of Discharge, Amebix and Hellbastard. It combines the energy and aggression of punk music with the power and darkness of heavy metal music, early crust punk drew inspiration from the music of the likes of Black Sabbath, Venom, Bathory and Motörhead, while rejecting the lyrical matter often associated with metal at the time. Characteristic of crust punk are heavily distorted guitars and dominant bass frequencies, given the impression of a very dirty sound, and many crust bands also embrace the d-beat drumming style popularized by Discharge, which was in turn inspired by Motörhead. Another typical feature is the use of both very fast tempos and extremely heavy tempos, and harsh guttural vocals are not uncommon. And offspring of crust punk is grindcore which was invented by Napalm Death and Carcass under the influence of Extreme Noise Terror (who would later embrace grindcore aesthetics themselves). Many bands on the Stockholm death metal scene of the early 1990s would incorporate numerous elements from crust punk into their sound as would early American sludge metal bands like The Melvins and Neurosis, while Hellhammer/Celtic Frost would draw inspiration from Discharge, resulting in derivatives of d-beating figuring in black metal. More recently, crust bands have infused elements from death metal, black metal, thrash metal and sludge metal, into their music. Examples of crust bands included in the MMA are Extreme Noise Terror, Amebix, Discharge, Acephalix, Wolfbrigade, Nuclear Death Terror, and Hellbastard. Many modern crust bands have infused so many death metal elements into their music that it makes more sense to consider them death metal bands, in which case the bands, or releases, in question are included under death metal, as is the case of a number of Acephalix and Bastard Priest releases. Other crust bands crossed over into thrash metal territory as is the case of Hellbastard's late releases and Amebix' "Monolith"; in this case the relevant releases are included under thrash metal.
  • Crossover thrash: Crossover thrash, often abbreviated to crossover, is a form of thrash metal that contains more hardcore punk elements than standard thrash. It is sometimes referred to as punk metal, though this is generally incorrect due to the existence of other music genres that combine forms of punk rock and heavy metal, such as grunge, crust punk, and more recently metalcore and its subgenres. While thrash metal is heavily influenced by hardcore punk, the overall sound of crossover thrash is more punk-influenced yet more metal-sounding and aggressive than traditional hardcore punk and thrashcore. The term was coined by the band D.R.I. with their album "Crossover", released in 1987. The term 'crossover' is based on the metaphor of crossing over from one genre into the other, thus capturing artists the operate within the transition zone between thrash metal and hardcore punk. With the metaphor comes the conception of directionality, such that the genre is applied to hardcore and crust punk artists who have crossed over into thrash metal territory, such as D.R.I., Discharge, The Exploited, The Accüsed, Agnostic Front and Suicidal Tendencies (who eventually ventured into alternative metal), and thrash metal artists who crossed over into hardcore punk territory, such as Nuclear Assault and S.O.D. In the MMA database, crossover bands and releases that lean more towards thrash metal are included under thrash metal, while those that lean more towards metallic hardcore are included under hardcore.
  • Thrashcore: thrashcore and the closely related subgenre skatepunk are often placed in the crossover continuum. Thrashcore is basically metallic hardcore played at very high speed (often featuring simple guitar figures performed with palm-muting), sometimes using blastbeats, and makes use of microsongs. Skatepunk is a more melodic, but just as aggressive and fast, variant of thrashcore, used as soundtracks in skateboarding videos (with many of the artists being skateboarders themselves). D.R.I. and Voetsek as well as Cryptic Slaughter, Septic Death and A.N.S. all started out thrashcore bands and eventually took their music in a more thrash metal-oriented direction. In the MMA database, thrashcore bands and releases that are more hardcore than thrash are included under hardcore while those that are more thrash metal oriented are included under thrash metal; some thrashcore bands have taken their music in a more grindcore-oriented direction, in which case they are included under grindcore.
  • Powerviolence: Powerviolence or Power Violence is a style of hardcore punk that grew out of thrashcore. Songs tend to be short and aggressive and are often accompanied by frequent tempo changes and socio-political lyrics. While powerviolence bands remain musically grounded in hardcore punk, the scene has strongly influenced the development of grindcore and some crossover between the genres exist.
  • Post-hardcore: post-hardcore combines hardcore elements with elements from alternative rock, alternative metal, noise rock and sludge metal, and is often also often characterized by an avant-garde approach. Some post-hardcore acts have inherited the metallic elements from metallic hardcore, while others infuse post-metal into their sound. Such metallic post-hardcore bands are included in the MMA - if the hardcore elements are prevalent, then they are filed under hardcore; otherwise they are categorized under the most appropriate metal subgenre as is the case of, for instance, Wolves Like Us. Post-hardcore bands with no metal elements or not relevance to metal are not included in the MMA.
  • Sludgecore: sludge metal was born as a hybrid of hardcore punk and crust punk on the one hand and doom metal, southern metal and stoner metal on the other hand. Some sludge bands emphasize the tempos and aggression of metallic hardcore and crust, prioritizing these over the slow tempos of doom metal and stoner metal. Such artists and releases - if the hardcore and crust elements are dominant - are included under hardcore rather than sludge metal. Examples of such bands are I Exist and Hard Charger.
  • Beatdown: Beatdown hardcore is a style of hardcore punk that tends to be very metallic, often drawing inspiration from brutal and slam death metal, while remaining closer to hardcore than a typical metalcore or deathcore band would. The style sits on the cusp between hardcore punk and metalcore and deathcore, and beatdown bands often cross over into decidedly metal territory. Where they do, bands and releases are filed under metalcore or deathcore on MMA. An example of one such band might be Hatebreed.
  • D-beat: D-Beat is a metal-influenced style of hardcore punk named after and popularised by the band Discharge. D-Beat features a recognizable d-beat drum pattern, usually has shouted vocals and is stylistically and thematically similar to Anarcho-Punk.

The following hardcore-related subgenres are included in the MMA, but not under the hardcore genre:

  • Metalcore: metalcore has its own subgenre, as it has evolved into a popular metal genre of its own.
  • Deathcore: deathcore - a hybrid genre that combines metalcore and death metal - is considered a metalcore subgenre, and deathcore bands and releases are included in the deathcore child-sub under metalcore.
  • Mathcore: as with deathcore, mathcore - highly technical and progressive metalcore - is considered a subgenre of metalcore, and mathcore bands and releases will be included under metalcore (or deathcore). Those math metal bands that have more in common with progressive metal will be included under progressive metal.
  • Grindcore: although derived from crust punk, grindcore has developed into an extreme metal genre in itself and is given a subgenre of its own. Some grindcore acts started out as crust, powerviolence or thrashcore bands and then developed into grindcore bands, as is the case of Extreme Noise Terror. In this case, crust, powerviolence or thrashcore releases are included under hardcore while grindcore releases are included under grindcore.
  • Other punk-metal hybrids: punk-metal hybrids that do not draw on hardcore or crust or related genres, but rather on other punk rock genres are included under the most appropriate metal genre. Thus Kvelertak who combines punk rock, hard rock and black metal is included under hard rock, and Motörhead and Brats who combine early punk rock and traditional heavy metal are included under traditional heavy metal, while Oktan and The Spittin' Cobras who combine dirty hard rock 'n' roll and punk rock are also included under hard rock.

Note that hardcore punk, crust punk, thrashcore, skate punk and other purely punk-oriented artists with little or no relevance to metal music are not included in the MMA database. If a metal band in the MMA has released a non-metal punk-oriented release, that release will be included under Non-Metal, as is the case of Lawnmower Deth's album "Billy" which is a pop punk album along the lines of Green Day.

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • Time Signature (leader)
  • Bosh66

hardcore and crust top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

D.R.I. Dealing With It Album Cover Dealing With It
4.52 | 7 ratings
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DISCHARGE Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing Album Cover Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing
4.31 | 9 ratings
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SUICIDAL TENDENCIES Suicidal Tendencies Album Cover Suicidal Tendencies
4.25 | 13 ratings
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BIOHAZARD Means to an End Album Cover Means to an End
4.46 | 3 ratings
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BURST Prey on Life Album Cover Prey on Life
4.30 | 7 ratings
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REFUSED The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts Album Cover The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts
4.24 | 11 ratings
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BIOHAZARD State of the World Address Album Cover State of the World Address
4.19 | 11 ratings
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THE EXPLOITED Troops of Tomorrow Album Cover Troops of Tomorrow
4.33 | 3 ratings
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BIOHAZARD Urban Discipline Album Cover Urban Discipline
4.24 | 4 ratings
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BIOHAZARD Uncivilization Album Cover Uncivilization
4.19 | 4 ratings
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HATEBREED Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire Album Cover Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire
4.16 | 4 ratings
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DYSTOPIA Dystopia Album Cover Dystopia
4.20 | 3 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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hardcore and crust Music Reviews

PRIMATE Draw Back a Stump

Album · 2011 · Hardcore and crust
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"+3 Draw Back a Stump" is the debut full-length studio album by US hardcore/crust act Primate. The album was originally released in February 2011 by the band themselves in a limited pressing of 1000 copies. The album was picked up by Relapse Records for a wider scale release in July 2012. It´s not really that surprising that the band was picked up by Relapse Records given the fact that the lineup features among others Brutal Truth frontman Kevin Sharp and Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher...

...thankfully it´s not only the quality of the musicianship that´s high, the songwriting is also spot on, so this is not a case of a couple of famous musicians creating a side project of shaky quality living off their names. The music on the 10 track, 20:00 minutes long album is pedal to the metal hardcore/crust with a great rock´n´roll sensibility and a few nods toward southern rock. It´s aggressive alright, but the organic tone and sound production occasionally provide the music with a "laid back" vibe. Which of course shouldn´t be misunderstood because this is still furiously fast- paced and raw hardcore/crust.

The sound production is raw and organic, but still professional and well sounding. It´s not like "+3 Draw Back a Stump" will go over in history as the most groundbreaking or interesting release ever, but Primate do hit a special atmosphere on this release that you don´t hear every day. Just the energy level and obvious love for playing music that´s so fully on display here, earn these guys a good rating, but the tracks are also pretty solid and some even touch excellent territory. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

D.R.I. But Wait... There's More!

EP · 2016 · Hardcore and crust
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Vim Fuego
Let’s get rid of the clichés early: return to form, back to their roots, rediscovering the old fire, like (insert appropriate album here) never happened… Had enough yet?

“But Wait… There’s More!” is the first significant studio output from D.R.I. since the 1995 album “Full Speed Ahead”. It’s pretty fucking good, and it deserves better than some hackneyed stock phrase to describe it. Gone are the dull arsed plodding metal riffs Spike Cassidy churned out through the 1990s, and back are the simple, speedy hardcore sounds which originally propelled D.R.I. to the forefront of the early 80s hardcore and crossover scenes.

A couple of these tracks sound a bit familiar. “Mad Man” and “Couch Slouch” are re-recordings of two tracks which appeared on the band’s first demo, and then on the 1985 album “Dealing With It”. No, they aren’t as fast or chaotic as the original versions, but are infinitely heavier, and it’s still fun to shout “Couch slouch/Fuck off!”

The other three tracks on this EP mesh well with this duo. Kurt Brecht’s shout has always suited the hardcore side of the band’s sound better than their misguided, more metallic sound. He hasn’t tried anything new here, and it works perfectly.

D.R.I. have nothing left to prove, and so don’t even try here. There’s less than ten minutes of music here, and does what every artist wants- it leaves you wanting more. Does this band have another full album left in them? Who knows, and who fucking cares. Here’s “But Wait… There’s More!” Enjoy it.


Album · 1987 · Hardcore and crust
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siLLy puPPy
It’s always a pleasure to discover a band that hits your magic music spot and climbs to the top of your list in terms of quality, consistency and overall satisfaction in the diverse elements department. NEUROSIS is one of those bands for me that has amazed me time and time again with their unique take on the sludge metal elements of early Swans and progressively steered them in myriad directions. All the years i’ve been into this mostly post-metal sludge band from Oakland, CA i have only had the albums beginning with “Souls At Zero” on as my frame of reference. Somehow i just never seemed interested in the first two because they were described as hardcore punk and although i do indeed love various punk bands, i just never felt it a priority to infuse my senses in NEUROSIS’ style of hardcore. Well, i finally got the debut PAIN OF MIND and after listening to it a few times, now i wanna burn down buildings for no reason and spit fire in people’s faces and scream aaaargggghhhh!

Well, this debut is exactly as i expected. It is indeed hardcore punk in the vein of Discharge, Black Flag, Amebix, Die Kreuzen and all the other hardcore punckers who crave speed, distortion and most of all volume. Turn it up to 11 and then take it to 12 it seems. The album was originally released on Alchemy Records in 1987 and then picked up by Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles in 1994 and then finally moved over to the band’s own Neurot Recordings in 2000, which is when it was finally re-released with a bonus disc and much easier to track down. While this sounds like a totally different band if you’re accustomed to 90s NEUROSIS, it still has the main three members who have been on board for the band’s entire run namely Scott Kelly (vocals, guitar), Dave Edwardson (bass) and Jason Roeder (drums).

The music is very much the typical hardcore and crust punk with elements of crossover thrash as heard in bands like Suicidal Tendencies, however even at this stage there are a few elements that hinted at the future path the band would undertake however it would have been impossible at the time to predict they they would blossom into anything of merit. One example is how track 2, “Self-Taught Inflection” has a repetitive slowed down melodic riff as an opener that is a tiny clue to the direction that the band would continue in starting with “Souls At Zero” but after a nice run it ultimately succumbs to the gravitational pull of the hardcore punk and crossover thrash elements that dominate PAIN OF MIND. Tracks like “Reasons To Hide” have mellow almost classic 80s metal intros with arpeggiated guitars but they too soon turn to hardcore punk but retain dual guitar assaults with one guitar grunging it up while the other performs more thrash type riffs but it too strays into punk territory with the rhythmic chugging assault and shouted lyrics.

The album retains its energetic delivery throughout the entire run and at times really does sound like Discharge when at its most pure punk moments but it’s those little elements that differentiate them on the few tracks where they include them. As punk rockers they have the sound down pat and the energy level to match. All the punk boxes are checked appropriately and then double checked because that what punk rockers do i assume. Personally i’m glad i’m finally checking this one out but unlike some bands that lose the critics due to being overly experimental and turning out to be something i actually like a lot, PAIN OF MIND is basically a generic retreading of all the early 80s punkdom that came before. Whilst the smattering of unique ideas succeed in giving the band something to build off of for the future, they unfortunately are too few to give the album any true character of its own and ultimately sounds like any old punk band from that era albeit performed exquisitely. Ahh, NEUROSIS you have become one of my favorite experimental metal bands over the years but even you can’t make me love this one! Even the bonus disc on the 2000 re-release with live performances and unreleased demos isn’t enough to make this one essential by any means, however as a huge fan of the band, it is nice to have this one so very much a hardcore fan’s type of album unless you just have to own every punk album ever released.


Album · 2016 · Hardcore and crust
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Time Signature

Genre: Hardcore

Venomous Concept, whose name is inspired by Poison Idea, is a bit of a supergroup comprising members from Napalm Death, Anaal Nathrakh, Brutal Truth, Nuclear Assault, and Lock Up. "Kick Me Silly VC III" is their third album and contains 21 tracks plus a bonus track.

While often categorized as a grindcore act, the songs on this album are more in the vein of hardcore than grindcore with tracks like 'Anthem' and 'Fucked in Czech Republic' being outright punky and tracks like 'Leper Dog' and 'Good Times' being d-beating and crusty. That said, there definitely are grindcore elements on the album as well, as heard in sections of 'Human Waste' and 'Busy with your Debt' and, of course, 'Johnny Cheeseburger'.

We are dealing with short and energetically angry-sounding tracks of punky madness with Kevin Sharp's hysterically insane vocals on top. Needless to say, this is a perfect combination, and, with the edgy but neither lo-fi nor polished production, this album should appeal to fans of various types of hardcore punk and grindcore.

HALSHUG Blodets Bånd

Album · 2015 · Hardcore and crust
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"Blodets Bånd" is the debut full-length studio album by Danish, Copenhagen based hardcore act Halshug. The album was released through Southern Lord Records in February 2015. Halshug was formed in 2012 and released a demo that same year, and in 2013 they released the "Dödskontrol" EP, which was their first label release.

"Blodets Bånd" is an aggressive and very much to the point affair. Stylistically we´re treated to D-beat influenced hardcore with fast paced guitar riffs, bass, and drums, and a shouting aggressive vocalist in front. The album only features 8 tracks and a full playing time of 17:22 minutes, so it can be argued that you don´t get much quantity for your hard earned money, but fortunately the high quality of the material makes up for it. The tracks are simple, raw, and quite catchy with easy to scream along to choruses. You won´t even notice that the lyrics are in Danish when you scream out your lungs to tracks like "Gudsforladt" ("Abandoned by God")", "Kvælende Frygt" ("Suffocating Fear"), or "Knæl" ("Kneel"). With an energy level like this, I can only imagine how much fun it would be attending one of their gigs.

The musicianship is solid, and the sound production raw, detailed, and powerful. The only minor issue concerning "Blodets Bånd" is that the tracks are rather one-dimensional, and while it´s not a major issue when it comes to hardcore punk, this is where Halshug could improve. Still a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved.

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