Mathcore

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Mathcore is a rhythmically complex and dissonant style of metalcore that emerged in the 1990s. It was pioneered by bands such as Converge, Coalesce, Botch, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Candiria.

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

THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN One Of Us Is The Killer Album Cover One Of Us Is The Killer
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
4.29 | 15 ratings
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BOTCH We Are The Romans Album Cover We Are The Romans
BOTCH
4.31 | 5 ratings
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CONVERGE Jane Doe Album Cover Jane Doe
CONVERGE
4.13 | 23 ratings
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PSYOPUS Ideas Of Reference Album Cover Ideas Of Reference
PSYOPUS
4.25 | 4 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Dissociation Album Cover Dissociation
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
4.24 | 4 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Irony Is a Dead Scene (with Mike Patton) Album Cover Irony Is a Dead Scene (with Mike Patton)
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
3.98 | 9 ratings
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BOTCH American Nervoso Album Cover American Nervoso
BOTCH
4.00 | 3 ratings
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PSYOPUS Our Puzzling Encounters Considered Album Cover Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
PSYOPUS
4.00 | 3 ratings
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CONVERGE No Heroes Album Cover No Heroes
CONVERGE
3.86 | 5 ratings
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CONVERGE You Fail Me Album Cover You Fail Me
CONVERGE
3.77 | 8 ratings
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CAR BOMB Centralia Album Cover Centralia
CAR BOMB
3.69 | 4 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Option Paralysis Album Cover Option Paralysis
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
3.68 | 19 ratings
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The Past
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ÉGLISE
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Blood
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A GHOST ORCHESTRA
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The Warmth Of A Dying Sun
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EMPLOYED TO SERVE
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EMPLOYED TO SERVE
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KRZTA
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Pourbon
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POURBON
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Jane Live
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mathcore Music Reviews

PSYOPUS Odd Senses

Album · 2009 · Mathcore
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siLLy puPPy
PSYOPUS only took a mere two years to follow up their melody mutilating sonic assault “Our Puzzling Encounters Considered.” And although ODD SENSES pretty much picks up where that album left off with their insane mathcore metal that is turned up past 11 and is guaranteed to frighten small animals and parents, there has been drastic changes in instrumental duties! In fact only mainman Christopher Arp is back with his insane guitar antics and all other musicians are making their debut in the strange musical butchery of PSYOPUS. Firstly, Adam Frappolli has been replaced by Brain Woodruff on vocals. Secondly Fred Decoste has been replaced by Michael Horn on bass and finally Jason Bauers has usurped the percussive throne of Jon Cole and also contributes some marimba to the mix. Surprisingly, the band sounds relatively similar to the past in the shredding core elements that would strike fear into any sensitive ears but there are also plenty of fresh new elements on board to make this a worthy continuation of the sonic melody mutilations heard on the first two albums.

While the intro “44” is a short ambient slice of doom and despair, quickly the true opener “Medusa,” a track that describes the difficulty of getting over someone when you have to see them all the time, ushers in both the core elements of PSYOPUS but also finds Woodruff adding some death metal growls to the mix. Arp is on fire as he not only displays his hammer-ons from hell but manages to induce a trance-like experience from super-slides as well with as much intensity as you could expect. Despite all the usual mathcore elements on board with the PSYOPUS stamp of approval they add all kinds of new touches to create a more dynamic ear canal assault for the listener to engage in. Tracks 1-5 are pretty much heaviness of the usual PSYOPUS plan with creative new ways to destroy melodic developments and seduce sinister spirits into creating anti-earworms but there are plenty of surprises on ODD SENSES.

“Boogeyman” is quirky crazy as it begins with several members including the girl who left the telephone message on the previous album’s bonus track all taking turns reading poetry and each member reciting random words with a music box in the background but alternates with the brutal mathcore assault that we know so well. A tried and true tradition continues with a third installment of “Imogen’s Puzzle Pt 3’ only this time is recorded with a back backmasking technique without any obvious Satanic messages to be found. Paul McCartney is still alive and only Jay Chou can hear it “只有你能聽得到!” “Choker Chain” is the typical mathcore as usual but also continues the theme of the extended theme of troubles with women as it incorporates the echo effect of the hidden track on “Our Puzzling Encounters.” On that hidden track a girl leaves a telephone message and when she says the word ANNOYING it last for 23 minutes. On “Choker Chain” this effect is used repeatedly with irritating cliche clingy girlfriend quotes mixed which finds its way tucked in between the metal outbursts.

“Ms Shyflower” begins with Gregorian chants of some kind and then becomes more of a heavy progressive metal type of music heard from Enslaved but ultimately picks up with the zany aggro vocals however the guitars stay fairly reserved for Arp as it’s not about craziness and more about mood setting. Perhaps the most alternative track that utilizes dissonant chords rather than frenetic hammer-ons and finger tapping but still heavy as friggin’ hell. “A Murder To A Child” proves to be the most UN-PSYOPUS track of all and all about Arp’s delving into avant-garde classical music with dissonant guitar chords and bizarrely structured progressive compositional styles. It’s totally a classical acoustic piece with Matt Colbert helping out with classical guitar, Owen Tomaszewski on cello and Adam McOwen on violin. As usual Arp adds on an overly long hidden track that takes up over 20 minutes of real estate, however this one is actually pretty interesting when they shut the bleep up. The music is basically a continuity of different jam sessions that cover the gamut of different types of metal to simply hard rock. Unfortunately it also includes pathetic attempts to be funny with ridiculously stupid skits that are stupid as bleep. This is a good case of why musicians need to stray far from the comedy world and vice verse (hear that Eddie Murphy?) Nevertheless despite this final faux pas of stupidity, i really love this album. Very cool for anyone who delves into the extremities of metal.

PSYOPUS Our Puzzling Encounters Considered

Album · 2007 · Mathcore
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siLLy puPPy
The mathcore metal mutilators of melody PSYOPUS returned to terrorize the world with their second album OUR PUZZLING ENCOUNTERS CONSIDERED three whole years after their debut. And just like on “Ideas Of Reference” continue their highly technical noisefest led by the avant-shredder guitarist Christopher Arp who frenetically whizzes up and down the scale so fast with his tapping techniques that you have to be nimble minded to keep up with it. While most of the crew signed up for a second album, drummer Jon Cole did not and is replaced by the equally hyperactive freakish pummelations of Greg Herman. OUR PUZZLING ENCOUNTERS CONSIDERED pretty much picks up exactly where you’d expect if you’ve heard the debut. It unapologetically bursts onto the scene after a brief ambient intro and pummels the senses with extreme technical wizardry and the insane asylum electrocution style vocals of Adam Frappolli who sounds like he’s close to puking up his entire digestive system.

Unlike the previous album, this one has a lot more sound effects and while “Ideas” had a few segments of clean guitar jazz-fusion inspired instrumental passages, PUZZLING offers two time outs from the frenetic display of audio apocalypse. “Imogen’s Puzzle Pt 2” is pretty much an extended theme of “Imogen’s Puzzle” from album one. On this instrumental workout Arp really shines as he not only delivers all kinds of strange chord progressions and guitar tapping but creates a vast array of moods with ambient passages as well as shredding like there’s no tomorrow. “Siobhanis Song” is the other piece that slowly builds up from an album defying melodic ratcheting up of melodic harmonies of guitar and builds to higher intensity. It is actually light and fluffy and one of the rare pacifications before the Über-brutal “Happy Valentines Day” jumps back into hardcore extremities.

Obviously this is about as extreme as metal can get with with musicians dishing out a shotgun approach of energy that is designed to irritate and annoy and create the most dissonant and hardcore noise there is possible but this music is not noise for noise sake. These compositions are meticulously crafted in their little nerdy worlds and can be deciphered with great effort. While there is nothing on this album that will convince anyone who has already run for the hills once they heard the debut, this is a highly unique album with all kinds of guitar tricks and trinkets being back up by the absolutely insane vocals, bass and drumming skills of the band. While for the most part you have to enjoy being the ball in the pinball machine that is randomly beat and smacked every which way in random and unpredictable directions, if you have a tough skin you can actual penetrate the musical compositions. While i really love this kind of music when i’m feeling like a middle-finger to the world, there is one highly ANNOYING part and that’s the hidden tracks at the end that has a recorded phone message of a girl going on about sheet and when she says the word ANNOYING, it repeats for 23 minutes! And if you have the patience to sit through this (yeah, i did once and only once, there is an unnecessary Red Chord cover song (“Catelepsy”) at the end. Only for the most adventurous audio abusers out there.

THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Miss Machine

Album · 2004 · Mathcore
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aglasshouse
There's a certain point where music can build up too much of a head of steam and simply become a malformed mess of half baked ideas and botched compositions. This is the fate of Dillinger Escape Plan's second album, Miss Machine, released in 2004. Myself never a fan of the band, I will admit their early albums set some standards. Unfortunately such influence does not excuse the honestly poor quality of Miss Machine. The cover alone explains everything wrong with this album; a jumble of angst-ridden songs that try so very hard to be aggressive that it falls backwards into the silly category. Not to mention when placed alongside the band's other (mediocre) discography, this honestly disquieting work sticks out like blood on snow. Any talent the band could show unfortunately does not translate well here. Uncomfortable and enjoyable, this album is one for only those who seek the roughest listening experience possible.

DIONAEA Still

Album · 2011 · Mathcore
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Finnforest
Catharsis

Not since I opened a CD years ago for a band called "The Pax Cecilia" have I been as pleasantly surprised by something so intense. Seriously wild indeed. Dionaea are a 3-piece from Frenchtown, New Jersey. They are still together but have been inactive for several years as life has not yet allowed more time for band work.

"Still" is an ironic title because the music is anything but still. This short album has only three songs but man do they make every second count. They describe themselves as "post grind" and while I'm no expert in these various tags, what I hear is an intoxicating mix of occasionally extreme elements with post-rock and math intricate playing. Furious blizzards of notes, extreme vocals, and blast drumming one moment and then these breaks of ethereal or serene post-rock the next. You are blown ragged one moment by the sheer intensity and given repose the next. Repeating motifs, "layering of harmonics and concentrated chaos" (-GJ), a colorful palette of guitar sound and techniques. Unlike some "post" projects where the music can often drift sleepily into repetitive and very "studio" sounding realms, Dionaea rock like a real band and a kickass one at that.

I feel lacking in ability to put words to what I'm hearing with this group, suffice to say I feel it is profound and that it should be considered essential for lovers of complex, multi-faceted music. Yes parts of it may seem too extreme for some listeners, but like Toby Driver projects, much of it is quite accessible and the mixture is a good one for folks who might otherwise avoid a band out of their comfort zone. I encourage you to try it! It is both musically cerebral and emotional release. It should please those who like "thinking man's music" and those who just want some scorched Earth. The overall effect, primarily of the masterful guitar playing, is one of cleansing while the bass and drums provide thrills. The first and last tracks are mostly smokin' while the middle track serves as the breather of sorts.

Part of the success here is that the shocking and often abrupt changes in ferocity do not sound phony or disjointed. All three tracks flow together into a long piece that is constructed quite beautifully, a word I choose intentionally to describe my overall feelings. Expression varies from being so immediate and on the surface while at the same time the nuances of the playing are deep and require attention. I've heard many bands try to get this crazy and intense who end up sounding contrived and just not that much fun. This one is fun. Active listening music at its finest, 9/10. Still available on vinyl or you can hear on bandcamp or youtube.

CROWPATH Red on Chrome

Album · 2004 · Mathcore
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UMUR
"Red on Chrome" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish, Malmö based extreme metal act Crowpath. The album was released through Willowtip Records in USA and Earache Records in Europe in April 2004. Crowpath has existed since 1997 and released a couple of minor releases before releasing "Red on Chrome".

Stylistically Crowpath play an incredibly intense, chaotic, and dissonant type of extreme metal. The vocals on the album are aggressive shouting type hardcore vocals and although there are some death- and grindcore traits to be found in the music, it´s not right to call it neither. This is definitely not your typical one-dimensionally blasting type grindcore release and certainly not you´re standard death metal release either. So maybe technical/chaotic extreme metal is a better overall description of the band´s music. The music is very complex and technically very well played, with constantly shifting drum patterns, breaks, and tempo changes. A schizophrenic sounding, über distorted, and dissonant wall of noise. The word "noise" should be interpreted as something positive in this respect, just so I´m not misunderstood. The atmosphere is bleak and aggression is in the high seat.

"Red on Chrome" is not an easy album to get into, and the distorted and noisy sounding production probably won´t help someone challenged by the already chaotic nature of the music. The music and the sound production suit each other well though and a more clean sounding production probably wouldn´t have suited the music in the same way.

Overall the high energy level, the chaotic soundscape, and the complexity of the playing are sure to challenge even seasoned extreme metal listeners. 13 tracks distributed over a 29:59 minutes long playing time and then the mayhem is over and you´ll probably be left exhausted, bruised, and broken. I dare you to jump aboard this one-way ticket to hell. Repeated listens over several years have convinced me to buy said ticket and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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