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Melodic metalcore is a subgenre of metalcore, with a heavy emphasis on melodic instrumentation, blast beats, metalcore-stylised breakdowns and clean singing. The genre has seen commercial success for employing a "more accessible and commercial style" than typical metalcore.Many notable melodic metalcore bands have been influenced by melodic death metal.

Where metalcore evolved out of hardcore punk with added metal elements such as double bass drumming and thrash-like guitar and vocals, Melodic Metalcore often stemmed from metal bands adopting hardcore punk elements.

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TRIVIUM The Sin And The Sentence Album Cover The Sin And The Sentence
4.50 | 9 ratings
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TRIVIUM Ascendancy Album Cover Ascendancy
4.25 | 22 ratings
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PROTEST THE HERO Kezia Album Cover Kezia
4.27 | 18 ratings
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TRIVIUM Shogun Album Cover Shogun
4.19 | 25 ratings
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KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Disarm the Descent Album Cover Disarm the Descent
4.38 | 8 ratings
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KILLSWITCH ENGAGE The End of Heartache Album Cover The End of Heartache
4.07 | 13 ratings
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SHADOWS FALL The Art of Balance Album Cover The Art of Balance
4.12 | 9 ratings
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KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Alive or Just Breathing Album Cover Alive or Just Breathing
4.05 | 11 ratings
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SHADOWS FALL Retribution Album Cover Retribution
4.03 | 12 ratings
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SHADOWS FALL Threads of Life Album Cover Threads of Life
3.96 | 9 ratings
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PROTEST THE HERO Fortress Album Cover Fortress
3.84 | 20 ratings
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SHADOWS FALL Fire from the Sky Album Cover Fire from the Sky
3.86 | 10 ratings
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melodic metalcore Music Reviews

TRIVIUM The Sin And The Sentence

Album · 2017 · Melodic Metalcore
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Let me say this quickly before you stop reading. This album is a fucking masterpiece. A gigantic game-changing triumph we didn’t expect! This is hands-down the best album of their career and a new high for the subgenre. An almost from out of nowhere about-face turn, skyrocketing them from diminishing returns to champions. No, I wasn’t expecting it either, but go with me on this…

Right, still reading? Ok, with that out of the way. Lets do the review.

Trivium have had a funny old career. Their output has been really varied. They’ve done some really heavy and some really melodic stuff. They’ve done some technical progressive stuff and some simplistic groovy stuff. They’ve gone brash and brutal and they’ve gone mature and commercial. Not only has their music been really varied but so have the reactions from both their fan-base and the critics for every album. Every new album seems to sees them pick up new fans they’ve never had before and lose diehards who hate the new material or direction. Critics in one territory or from one background may hate the early stuff and love the mid career stuff and its vice versa with critics from another territory or background. Some albums are beloved in Germany but forgotten in the UK. Some are cult classics in America but underrated gems in Europe.

Me, I’ve liked every single one of the bands albums. A few of them I’ve loved. Like the majority of fans I’d say the best three are Shogun, In Waves and Ascendancy. I also have a huge soft spot for Silence In The Snow too due to its Classic Metal and Power Metal vibes but I understand how some fans of the heavier or techier stuff aren’t into that one.

This album, even with all that said, is just straight up and unarguably in another damn league. The energy in the performances; the fantastic satisfying crunchy production, the best and most diverse vocals of their career, the best drummer they’ve ever had hands-down… these are all factors that elevate this album above the rest of their discography. As are the songs themselves.

The songs are some of the most diverse, inventive and interesting songs they’ve written musically and structurally to date. They mix a vast array of styles that the band have dipped their toes into over the years and a lot of new stuff to. They have some of the band’s most interesting and memorable riffs and solos to date. They take twists and turns you don’t expect and catch you off guard. They showcase all of the musician’s talents at times but leave space for the lyrics and vocals to take center stage at other times. Sometimes they’re haunting and beautiful and sometimes they’re furious and heavy as balls, just riffing the fuck out of a big groovy riff.

Do you remember back when Machine Head were new and they were the cool new thing, and then they altered their style and tried new vocal techniques and production styles and lots of fans jumped ship but then The Blackening came out, all full of energy and anger and just plain amazing songs and suddenly tore everyone’s heads off and now Machine Head are bone-fide legends? This album is Trivium’s equivalent of The Blackening. It doesn’t sound anything like it, but that step-up in quality and energy and absolute revitalization of their career? That’s the same!

A lot of people online and in print have been going nuts over The Sin And The Sentence and justly so. In a recent interview Trivium mainman Matt Heafy said that the band decided they would have to write the best album of their career or else give up because they are always second guessing themselves and changing their styles and going through as many drummers as Spinal Tap. Well, Trivium ‘aint giving up now, because this is unequivocally their best ever work. Maybe its because Paolo is writing more of the songs than Matt. Maybe its because they are letting some of their Black Metal and Skate Punk influences mix into things instead of trying to purely do a mix of Groove Metal, Thrash Metal and Classic Metal like their original mission statement. Maybe new drummer Alex Bent just injected a new lease of life into them like Todd La Torre did to Queensryche. I don’t know why, but this thing is just on a whole other level.

Its quite a diverse album that really doesn’t sit in any one space for too long. ‘Betrayer’ mixes Ascendancy-era brutality with Pennywise style Punk and a happy Power Metal lead guitar sheen, but ends up with blast beats in the middle. ‘Thrown Into The Fire’ is the darkest and heaviest thing they’ve ever done at times and has undertones of Dimmu Borgir, but then at other times is just an absolute riff and solo school that…ok maybe this one does sound a bit like The Blackening actually. ‘The Wretchedness Inside’ is the kind of thing they were doing on the heavier deep-cuts from In Waves mixed with some jaunty Prong-style disco beats and a guitar effect than almost recalls Damageplan on their weirder songs like ‘Blunt Force Trauma’ or ‘Explode,’ it also has a strange midsection that remind’s me of Slipknot’s ‘Custer’ but then it has one of the most satisfying and heavy riff-out moments like Messuggah or something and that transitions into really pretty, clean Maiden-esque guitar lines. ‘The Heart From Your Hate’ is probably the most conventional song on the album, and it mixes their ‘In Waves’ and ‘Brave This Storm’ style staccato riffing with their ‘And Sadness Will Sear’ style mature The Black Album-worshiping stuff.

For fans of the band’s heavier side ‘Sever The Hand’ pretty much alternates between especially crushing groove metal riffing and pissed off Thrash Metal sections throughout. Fans of the band’s cleaner more commercial side won’t be disappointed either. Although this is one of the band’s heaviest and most progressive and technical albums yet, there’s still some stuff to get into if you prefer the heart-throb-Heafy stuff they previously showcased on ‘Dying In Your Arms’ and the like. ‘Endless Night’ for example lives in that sort of territory. Its just got a hell of a lot more energy, verve and attitude to it. The drums and background guitars give it a cool sort of Coheed & Cambria quality rather than just radio rock.

I’d try to pick out highlights but the album doesn’t sit in any one place long enough (hell the songs don’t either) to really establish a good version of it. I wouldn’t cut a single track and I’d like to see each of them live. Its all great. Its all interesting and diverse. That’s “diverse,” yet really cleverly constructed and naturally flowing though, not wacky-“diverse” were stuff that doesn’t fit is just smashed together. This is an album you can listen to over and over again and find new depths, new nooks and crannies. ‘Oh hey I didn’t notice that cool drum fill before’ sort of stuff. Not “why are they playing a bassoon over old-school Tampa Death Metal riffs during their Lady GaGa cover?” sort of stuff.

Its hard to hand out a man of the match award either. Matt’s voice is so much better than its ever been (check out ‘Beauty In The Sorrow’). Paolo’s songwriting is so much better than its ever been. Corey’s guitar solos are just as good if not better than they were on the glorious guitar-line fueled Silence In The Snow. Oh yeah, and there’s Alex Bent, whose drumming absolutely makes the album. More than the cherry on top its almost the whole goddamn cake.

Overall, the Sin And The Sentence is an utter masterpiece. If you like Trivium do not miss out on this at all. If you used to like them and stopped, don’t you dare miss out on this one either, this is the one to get back into them on, seriously. If you’ve never listened to them I strongly urge you to change that. I’d even go as far as to say “If you only get one Trivium album, make it this.” This isn’t just a good Trivium album, or a good album, this is a game-changer.


Album · 2016 · Melodic Metalcore
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Incarnate is the Massachusetts Metalcore band Killswitch Engage’s seventh full-length studio album (or sixth if you count the 2000 self-titled one as a demo, which some people do) and their second since original singer Jesse Leach returned to the band after a three-album absence. It was released in early 2016 and had the very unenviable task of following up their critically acclaimed (and in my opinion amazing) Disarm The Descent album from three years prior.

As with most of the band’s work it was produced by guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz and released on Roadrunner Records; with the same line-up of musicians since their debut (Justin, Joel, Mike and Adam), and the music is a continuation of the same musical formula they’ve been working from more or less since the beginning. At this point, its safe to say you can kind of guess what the album will sound like, at least broadly.

Some fans, reviewers, publications and podcasts that I respect didn’t give this album the strongest reception at the time. A lot of the criticism was either ‘heard it all before’ or else ‘not as good as Disarm The Descent.’ For me, I never find the ‘heard it all before’ issue a problem, if its good its good as far as I am concerned, and this album is definitely good. I am not the harshest critic of music in the world. I won’t just lap up any old crap but I won’t throw a band I love under the bus just for repeating a formula or having one album be especially good doesn’t ruin everything else for me.

There is some variety on the disc and there are occasional riffs and moments that definitely haven’t been heard before from this band. The almost Djenty rhythm on ‘Strength Of The Mind’ doesn’t sound like anything on The End Of Heartache at all, for example. If they vastly changed their sound too far, people would cry ‘sell out’ instantly, so this slow and very gradual evolution while staying within the boundaries of sounding like themselves is for me the best way to go. Its like Motorhead. Nothing on Ace Of Spades sounds like On Parole anymore and there’s plenty on March Or Die sounds nothing like Ace Of Spades anymore either and yet we all know that (say it with me now) ‘every Motorhead album sounds the same!’

Sure; there will always be a few Melodeath influenced riffs, a few Groove Metal and Hardcore influenced breakdowns, a light/heavy change up dynamic, a pinch harmonic here, some very sparingly-used blast beats hidden there. At least one slow track. A clean arpeggio style intro here, a sparingly used death growl backing-vocal there. But hey, that’s what we love about the band to begin with, right? This album is chocked full of great memorable moments. There’s absolutely tonnes of individual parts that catch your attention and make you pull a satisfied face as they slam into that riff or that groove or as that tasty drum fill sneaks in etc. They may have been doing this formula for years but that also means they’ve had a lot of practice getting it right!

Highlights include for sure the three most famous tracks ‘Hate By Design,’ ‘Strength Of The Mind’ and ‘Cut Me Loose’ as well as the very strong ‘Until The Day’ and the opener ‘Alone I Stand.’ If it were just these tracks it would be an absolutely astounding album. I guess there may be a little filler, but overall it is a pretty strong album.

Placing it in the band’s discography, I would agree with the majority of people that it isn’t as strong as Disarm The Decent which is actually my number one favourite album by the band, and it may not be strong enough to count as my second favourite either sure, but it is far from their worst album and far far from any sort of disappointment. Material from this album live is absolutely crushing. Tracks from this album in best-of playlists sit well beside any of the previous material. When anything from this album comes on on shuffle or random it makes me sit up and smile.

Another thing to point out for praise here are the lyrics. I’ve spent the past five years in a really depressing environment, (and especially the past two), watching people die almost every few days, watching people get told they have HIV, watching people in the grips of diseases and cancers that have damaged their brain so much they don’t recognize their own husband’s face, seeing the ravages of addiction on the body and mind and all the horrible health complications from it they don’t tell you about. Just a real swirling vortex of constant human misery. When I bought this album it quickly became my walking to work album for its amazing, positive, uplifting lyrical content. ‘Who can raise you from the fall and save you? Only you. Who can take the pain away and change you? Only you. Gather all your pain and suffering: Turn them into strength and weaponry to overcome the enemy that’s in you, that’s in you!’ – Hard to argue with that! Its great how this album makes you feel inside yourself, as a person. ‘Inspirational‘ is a very cheesy and overblown word to use in a review for a Metalcore album but here it almost seems fitting.

Overall; as long as you aren’t sick of the formula, I fail to see why you wouldn’t enjoy this album if you are an existing fan. If you are a new fan and haven’t heard everything already and so again aren’t sick of the formula, I fail to see why you wouldn’t enjoy this. In terms of ranking and being an amateur critic sure, I can see albums to say it isn’t as good as, but on its own merit it is a really strong, really enjoyable record and a very worthy addition to any fan’s collection. Some of those riffs, some of those breakdowns, some of those choruses will stick with me forever and if like me, you were a bit too put off initially by any of the negative reviews out there to try it right away, rest assured this album is absolutely worth checking out and a really respectable entry in the band’s discography.

JINJER King Of Everything

Album · 2016 · Melodic Metalcore
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King Of Everything is the second album from Ukrainian metal band Jinjer. The band combines metalcore with groove metal and dare I use the word, djent.

The band are great players and lay down some complex grooves but their biggest strength lies in vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk who has a beautifully expressive and powerful voice when singing in clean tones. She can also scream and growl with the best of them but becomes more anonymous in this mode. Despite the fact that the album gets a bit samey at times with relentless staccato riffs the ten songs are largely enjoyable with some strong hooks. They’re certainly at their best when Tatiana sings cleanly adding some melody over the largely percussive nature of the material. Fortunately she uses her clean vocals quite a lot but I’d be more than happy to hear her sing like this all the time. The band does let up on the barrage of riffs occasionally – mainly towards the end, Pisces being a prime example, injecting some welcome mellower moments and colour. The short Beggar’s Dance that closes the album is a surprise and has a jazz feel with a bossa nova groove. Whilst leaving metal territory a bit more of this sort of thing could have benefited the album quite a lot by adding more variation.

Overall then King Of Everything is a very good and enjoyable album but does give away most of its secrets on the first listen and a few standout tracks could have nailed it for them. Definitely a band worth keeping an eye on in the future though.


Album · 2015 · Melodic Metalcore
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Man, this album was a big surprise. Australian Metalcore band Parkway Drive had been releasing consistent, easily identifiable records with a definite style that they wouldn’t deviate from too much, they had a style that they worked within and had absolutely perfected.

With their fifth full-length studio album, Ire, Parkway’ take their rulebook and throw it to the wind. This is the biggest stylistic shake-up in the band’s history by a country mile. This album is fresh, exciting, radically different than what’s came before. Its such a big difference that you can almost expect the cries of “sell out!” to slither out of your speakers themselves. The thing is, this doesn’t feel like a sell-out, its just an invigoration, a refreshening, and a new twist on things.

There are some seriously different atmospheres and a very different vibe to it than you may have been used to before. The songs are brighter, catchier, more sing-along focused, there are more concert-baiting backing vocals, there’s more stomps and clap noises and there’s way more melody. It is a strange mixture of the band going in a Traditional Heavy Metal or Power Metal route… with much more bright major-key dual guitar melodies, as well as going in a groove or almost Nu Metal direction, with almost rapped vocals and some seriously rhythmic music. Its like constantly flipping between Machine Head’s The Burning Red and then The Blackening, with Parkway Drive’s masterpiece Deep Blue being interjected every so often. Imagine Parkway Drive covering Five Finger Death Punch and Iron Maiden in a medley – that’s a vague ballpark of the sort of directions this experimental album almost evokes, if not actually sounds directly like.

In terms of musicianship Parkway have always been excellent but the virtuosity on show here is next-level. Vocally, this is the most melodic and expressive Winston McCall has ever been. Lyrically, this album is continuing on from their previous album Atlas, but sounding even more vital, important and interesting without ever feeling preachy or finger-wagging.

Its almost difficult to call out stand-out moments, because every song is different than the last, there’s so much going on, so many songs that would be the best song on their peer’s album, so many moments that rip a huge smile across my face, that the album as a whole is just astounding.

At the time of writing, my favourite songs might just be the absolutely anthemic feel-good tune ‘Vice Grip’ which sounds like the final scene in a sports movie, the massive groovey rhythmic scream-along ‘Crushed’ which feels like it was written in 1999, and ‘Vicious’ which has the best guitar of Parkway’s career to date – and when Winston starts going on about burning it all to ash, you feel where he’s coming from.

If you thought Parkway Drive were just going to rehash old ideas, you thought wrong, variety is the key theme here. Interestingly though, they’ve managed this without compromising themselves, it still sounds unmistakably like Parkway Drive. It is little touches they’ve done before stretched out to whole songs, or traditionally Parkway sounding bits but with bongos underneath, or just focusing on one element of their sound more than others.

Overall; If you are deathly afraid of melody, catchiness, or hand-claps…and you don’t want anything on your music to sound any fun then by all means avoid this album… but for everyone else, Parkway’ have released a game changing, barn-storming, absolute rager here, and if you like this sort of music at all you seriously need to check it out.


Album · 2005 · Melodic Metalcore
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siLLy puPPy
PROTEST THE HERO originally had the name of Happy Go Lucky and i have to say it was a good move to make the ole switcheroonie cuz that is one totally UN-metal name if i’ve ever heard one. They hail from Ontario, Canada and after releasing one EP in 2002, they released their first full debut album KEZIA on August 2005 in their native Canada and in April 2006 in the US. I have no idea when for other countries. KEZIA is a nebulous concept album that vocalist Rody Walker describes as having a subtle deeper meaning below the theme of an execution of a woman named KEZIA. The overall concept symbolizes the ever quickening decline of society in general described through the life of KEZIA in prison and how she copes with day to day life until her final demise.

Personally i don’t care about this concept. This is metalcore and i can’t understand the lyrics anyway, but for those who do care about these things, it is a nice story that weaves around the brutal metal music with progressive layerings. If you ask me the music of PROTEST THE HERO is a hybrid of The Mars Volta and Between The Buried And Me. The Volta comparisons hold true on a few levels. Firstly Rody Walker’s high pitched range and vocal style really sounds a lot like Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s. I had to check the first time hearing this to make sure this wasn’t another project of Cedric. Secondly, the song structures remind me a lot of The Mars Volta’s as well, at least their most rocking parts. The intermissions have similarities as well but PROTEST doesn’t go fully into psychedelic Krautrock tangents. There are similar guitar tones, vocal styles etc.

On the Buried And Me side of the equation, the metalcore is crisp and staccato with progressive intros and outros and odd time signatures that are abundant and this really has a lot in common. If you ever wondered what The Mars Volta would sound like if they truly ventured into brutal metal with lightning fast guitar riffs that drift from chaotic Psyopus type dissonance to melodic neoclassical shredding with pummeling riffs and percussion while dropping a big chunk of the Latin and psychedelic influences, then you don’t have to go to an alternate universe to find out, it can be found in this one and PROTEST THE HERO sounds just like that to me. I don’t find this band to be as adventurous as say “Colors” by Between The Buried In Me which leaves no rock unturned for influences, but this album finds a lot of sounds to incorporate into the melodic metalcore to dish out. While metalcore isn’t usually the sub genre of metal i mostly gravitate towards, i do find some of the progressive types very satisfying and this one has earned some staying power in my world. It is an album that delivers in being extremely brutal, soft and sensual and above all maintains melodic developments throughout its run.

melodic metalcore movie reviews

SHADOWS FALL Madness In Manila: Shadows Fall Live In The Philippines 2009

Movie · 2010 · Melodic Metalcore
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Madness In Manilla is a live DVD/CD combo released in 2010 by the Massachusetts based American Metalcore band Shadows Fall, which was recorded live at Summerslam Festival in the Philippines back in 2009. The performance features a career spanning sixteen-track setlist that is balanced and which covers all the band’s most well known material as well as a few less expected numbers for variety.

This DVD is a proper full-length concert video of a single concert, as opposed to how either their previous DVD, The Art Of Touring or for example Down’s Diary Of A Mad Band were set out. Luckily for most concert fans, the set isn’t interspersed with home video footage or animations either, just the live performance from beginning to end.

The band play on a large outdoor festival stage along to an incredibly detailed light show, with all sorts of rotating, panning and altering lights, spots and colour changes, as well as lots of dry ice.

The camerawork features lots of movement, with all sorts of cranes and dollys employed along with the usual camera crew, the whole operation is a lot more complex and professional than any of the band’s previously available live videos from bonus discs and such things.

You get a lot of coverage of the instruments being played which is always a plus for viewers who are musicians and a good cover of the band’s famously proficient drummer Jason Bitner. What you also get to see a lot of is singer Brian Fair windmilling his knee-length dreadlocks, which is an interesting sight all things considered.

Whilst there are a lot of positives to be said about the visuals, there are some issues in the shot matching, occasional framing problems and the dry ice can effect the picture quality, it switches from incredibly high resolution shots on cranes and not so great images on handhelds. Furthermore the menus are cheap looking and basic so it isn’t as absolutely perfect as some bigger band’s festival DVDs or equally sized band’s indoor concert DVDs, but is still a strong release overall.

Standout tracks include the furious performance of early classic ‘Crushing Belial,’ which is opened with an enthusiastic yet expletive description of its epic status by Brian, which gives you a good idea of the energy and attitude that then goes into the ensuing performance. Other highlights include the Grammy nominated set closer ‘Redemption’ as well as the newer track ‘War’ which hammers away at a relentless pace.

Additionally; there are bonus features, which include four more live videos for ‘The Light That Blind,’ ‘Redemption,’ ‘Venous’ and ‘Thoughts Without Words,’ from Japan, The Philippines and Korea respectively, although the quality obviously isn’t as high as the main feature.

The sound and mix are great, so judging the product overall; the only real problems with the DVD apart from the previous mentioned visuals are subjective problems with Shadows Fall in general. If for example, you think their material is samey then sixteen tracks in a row may be a bit much for you, and similarly if you are used to their super-polished studio sound, then the live backing vocals or clean sections may well sound odd or strangely out of place.

Otherwise however, Madness In Manilla is a very good release from Shadows Fall that I would definitely recommend to fans. Due to its high sound quality and expansive setlist, it would make a fine introduction to the band for newcomers as well.

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