Metalcore

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Metalcore, a portmanteau of metallic hardcore, is a fusion sub-genre of heavy metal. The genre is a diverse blend of a number of elements, melding the genre’s roots in hardcore punk with death metal and and thrash metal. The genre saw its beginnings in the late 80s when bands such as Integrity, Earth Crisis, and Converge began to fuse elements of the hardcore punk scene with the heavy metal and thrash metal scene. Metalcore is not the first metal-hardcore hybrid, and a distinction is made between metalcore and crossover thrash, which is a hybrid of thrash metal and hardcore punk, but which, unlike metalcore which is broader in scope, focuses on a number of specific elements from both genres.

These bands began to develop a similar style, with linear compositions with aggressive verses and melodic chorus with an emphasis on breakdowns, where the music slows and becomes much heavier, which is conducive to moshing and head banging. Breakdowns are generally considered as the defining element of metalcore. From 1989 to 1995, this style of music exploded in popularity in the underground metal community. After 1995, numerous bands began to put more emphasis on melody in their metalcore, fusing more melodic death metal, post-hardcore, and occasionally emo elements into their music. By the late 90s and early 2000s, many metalcore bands had attained a very popular status, with bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Killswitch Engage, and Atreyu enjoying popularity outside of the normal metalcore scene and successful album sales.

Much of the metalcore genre has a similar and distinct style, which is based upon intense vocal work, much of which is either screamed or growled, and some artists combine these with clean melodic vocals in choruses and other passages, heavy and often at times technical instrumentation with a heavy emphasis on down-tuned, palm muted guitar and double bass-based drumming, and a heavy emphasis on breakdowns and solos. Although some bands are exceptions to this style, the vast majority of metalcore bands share this similar style.

A number of distinct sub-genres of metalcore have emerged over the years, with Mathcore and Deathcore being the most prominent.

Mathcore (which has its own child-sub on MMA), emerged in the mid-90s with the work of bands such as Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Botch, is the fusion of elements of math rock, which is rock based on complex time signatures, rhythms, and instrumentation, and metal genres such as thrash metal, death metal, and metalcore itself. This genre has a heavy emphasis on speed, aggressiveness, and intense instrumentation.

Deathcore, which emerged in the early 2000s, is another sub-genre of metalcore which fuses elements of hardcore punk and death metal. It has its own child sub-genre here on MMA due to it prominence and popularity.

Melodic Metalcore can also be called out as a subgenre with acts like Avenged Sevenfold and Killswitch Engaged and other acts who mix hardcore punk with melodic death metal.

Electronicore / Trancecore emerged in the 2000s, melding metalcore and post-hardcore with electronic elements. The style was made popular by bands such as Attack Attack!, Crossfaith, Enter Shikari and The Browning.

Another subgenre is Progressive Metalcore, which some include under mathcore, while others distinguish between mathcore and progressive metalcore, with mathcore emphasising technicality and progressive metalcore displaying progressive traits without necessarily being technical.

Metalcore bands such as Winds of Plague and Across the Sun have begun to incorporate symphonic elements into their style, suggesting the rise of yet another metalcore subgenre - namely, symphonic metalcore.

There are also artists who operate at the fringes of the genre, who are sometimes categorised as metalcore acts and sometimes cross into a neighbouring genre as in the case of God Forbid, who operates within the transition zone between metalcore and thrash metal.

Metalcore Inclusive Genres:

Deathcore

Mathcore

Melodic Metalcore

Trancecore (A.K.A. Electronic Hardcore)

Written by Andyman1125 with the input of the Metal Music Archives admin team.

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • Bosh66 (leader)


metalcore top albums

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metalcore Music Reviews

THE CHARM THE FURY The Sick, Dumb & Happy

Album · 2017 · Metalcore
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Kev Rowland


Four years on from their 2013 debut, Dutch band The Charm And The Fury are back with an angry record driven by a collective distaste for the state of the planet in the 21st Century. This is metal, straightforward brutal metal, obviously influenced by Pantera, driven by a female singer who has obviously been influenced by Angela Gossow more than she has by Doro, but can also sing sweetly when she wants to. The music comes at the listener like waves of heavy leaden slabs, but with loads of energy and passion, and a great deal of melody behind it. They may not be quite as poppy as The Wildhearts, but they have an instinctive understanding of what makes a song truly interesting and inviting.

There is a groove to this album that makes the body want to move, and a heaviness that makes the listener to keep wanting to push the volume up to 11. Drummer Mathijs Tieken is one of the most exciting talents I have heard in some time, and he drives the band forward with strong double bass drums when the mood is right, but also understand the need for restraint and adds to the overall sound by being punishing when he needs to be, but also provides the light to really demonstrate the shade.

The rest of the guys lock into that power, and combine to produce a metallic monster that many singers would fail in front of, but Caroline Westendorp is more than capable of taking this in her stride. The result is a modern metallic masterpiece, and if these guys can reproduce this on the live stage then they must be a band worth seeing.

SUICIDE SILENCE Suicide Silence

Album · 2017 · Deathcore
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Kev Rowland
Suicide Silence are one of those bands who have emotionally been through a great deal, as after three albums their singer Mitch Lucker was killed in a motorbike accident. The band decided to keep going, and eventually found a replacement in Eddie Hermida and released ‘You Can’t Stop me’ in 2014. After the trauma, this is the re-set, and they have brought in famed producer Ross Robinson to help them do just that. Now, I saw the original band at a Megadeth-headlined festival in Auckland back in 2010, and cam remember going for a beer as that was more interesting than watching the band. Now, I like deathcore as much as the next person, and I know these guys have recently been touring with Whitechapel who I admire a great deal (saw them support Trivium and it was awesome), but there is something about these guys that I just can’t get past.

I don’t know exactly what it is, but their mix of different styles always makes me think that they’re trying way too hard. They have songs, or at least bits of songs, that just blow my mind, but there are also way too many others where I just don’t see the point. Ross has done a superb job, as always, and I must confess that the more I have listened to this the more I have liked it, but it just isn’t for me. It isn’t for me, and I am sure that there plenty that are going to rave over it, but there is far more music out there that I would rather listen to.

AVERSIONS CROWN Xenocide

Album · 2017 · Deathcore
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Kev Rowland
This Brisbane-based deathcore act have been through loads of line-up changes in their career, so it is something of a surprise to me to hear the power contained within their third full-length album. It is brutal, it is riff-hungry, yet is also incredibly complex with much more intricacy than one might imagine from music as over the top as this. How drummer Jayden Mason can keep this up for a full set I have no idea, he must be a mess at the end of a gig, but it is his power that sets the foundation for everything else the band is doing. The production has an almost black metal feel to it, and long held down high guitar notes certainly add an additional element, but it is the riff fest taking place in the lower registers that people are going to really interested in, while new singer Poida sounds like he has been at the heart of the band for years.

Deathcore may not be to everyone’s tastes, and there are often instances when it misses in one area or another, but this is pretty close to being a perfect example of the genre, and if this is what you like to listen to then buy the album, turn it up to the max, and sit back with a smile and silently thank me for telling you about them. Awesome.

BORN OF OSIRIS The Eternal Reign

Album · 2017 · Deathcore
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FMOTP
I am grateful to post the first review of THE ETERNAL REIGN. If you're a fan of Born Of Osiris, as I definitely am, I think THE ETERNAL REIGN is a nonessential disc. It's great music, but the original THE NEW REIGN was already great music. Some may criticize the original's sound quality. I assume that THE ETERNAL REIGN is a re-recording, not just a remastering. I don't care much about sound quality as long as you can hear it, and I think the original sounded just fine. If you are just starting to familiarize yourself with the band, THE ETERNAL REIGN is a very good place to start. If you already think Born of Osiris is an amazing metal band regardless of subgenre, the original album works just as well.

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.

metalcore movie reviews

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

Movie · 2010 · Metalcore
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Kingcrimsonprog
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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