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)


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metalcore Music Reviews

SIKTH Opacities

EP · 2015 · Metalcore
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siLLy puPPy
After a near decade absence after their 2006 album “Death Of A Dead Day,” the English progressive metalcore outfit SIKTH dropped a little EP out as an appetizer to keep their fans salivating for yet another full album. Despite only having released two full-length albums, OPACITIES is actually the fourth EP following the twin EP output of 2002 and the 2006 release “Flogging The Horses.” The band members are exactly the same as their previous lineup, so this is very much a genuine SIKTH release and once again the band delivers an outstanding cross-pollination of hard and heavy metalcore fused with their brand of extreme progressive metal that often reminds me of the type Enslaved weaved into their albums such as “RIITIIR.” OPACITIES is a short but sweet EP with six tracks not quite reaching the half hour mark.

OPACITIES pretty much continues the well-known style that SIKTH unleashed on their full-length albums, that being highly caustic core type riffing mixed with progressive song structures. While on the full albums Mikee Goodman utilized his frenetic screaming vocal effect as his main sonic instrument of torture, on this one there is a lot more emphasis on clean vocal delivers. The opening tracks “Behind The Doors,” “Philistine Philosophies” and “Under The Weeping Moon” are the most recognizable SIKTH tracks sounding very much like the noisiest and obnoxious tracks heard on the earlier albums, however the core elements are somewhat toned down and progressive metal riffing is just as and often more prevalent and sometimes it actually sounds more akin to heavy alternative metal styled riffs.

The biggest surprises are the spoken word “Tokyo Lights” which utilizes a poetic approach along with vocalized shadow and sound effects to create a very memorable and bizarre track. With no instruments to be heard. “Walking Shadows” returns with the full furry of progressive core riffing and metal intensity including some trademark frenetic vocals akin to the opening tracks but “Days Are Dreamed” completely changes things up with an etheric atmosphere that introduces a clean vocal track that is not metal at all but rather a progressive rock composition that will probably remind more of the newer Opeth albums than of earlier Sikth releases as the mood is thick and the symphonic touches dominate.

OPACITIES is a quirky little mix of old and new for SIKTH but still manages to deliver a satisfying shot of their unique hybridization of progressive rock, metal and the core elements that they belt out with all the technical precision one would expect. This band has maintained a very high standard and is fairly consistent from one release to another and in that regard OPACITIES will not disappoint especially if you can appreciate the diversity of styles as heard on albums such as “The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait For Something Wild.” This EP rekindles the past but also points to newer directions that the band could possibly carve out and expand on future releases, so it is indeed a satisfying whetting of the appetite for fans to anticipate.

RAUNCHY Velvet Noise

Album · 2002 · Metalcore
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UMUR
"Velvet Noise" is the debut full-length studio album by Danish metal act Raunchy. The album was originally released through the Mighty Music sub label Drug(s) in 2001, but saw a reissue and a wider distribution through Nuclear Blast Records in 2002. Raunchy was formed as far back as 1992 and released three demos before being signed.

Stylistically the music on "Velvet Noise" is a melodic metal style combining elements from melodic death metal, industrial metal, metalcore and alternative metal. It´s actually not easy to pin down, but no matter what genre tags you put on the music, the band´s main focus is melody, melody and more melody. Even the most harsh parts on the album are melodic tinged or feature hooks of some sort, and that´s basically the story of Raunchy in a nutchell. Call it pop metal, death pop or whatever you like, but no one can deny that the music is damn catchy, instantly memorable and relatively sing along friendly, considering that this is still extreme metal of some sort.

The tracks are predominantly vers/chorus structured and the vocals are typically raw "core" tinged and aggressive in the verses and clean and melodic in the choruses. Keyboards are a dominant element in the band´s sound in addition to the regular rock/metal instrumentation of guitars, bass and drums. I´m often reminded of contemporary Soilwork and even Fear Factory, although Raunchy are not nearly as brutal or aggressive as any of those artists. "Velvet Noise" features a well sounding, clear and powerful sound production, which suits the material well.

And when the whole thing is delivered by skilled musicians and obviously written by composers who understand how to write memorable material, "Velvet Noise" ultimately comes off as a quality release. It´s also the band´s most raw sounding release and not nearly as polished as some of their later output, which is pretty great actually. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

ECCENTRIC TOILET The Roar Of Cerberus

Demo · 2007 · Deathcore
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siLLy puPPy
Every once in a while a band emerges that came up with a name that is so utterly ridiculous that it forces me to check them out only because i am stunned that they would actually choose something so ridiculously LAAAAAME. The deathcore band from Bangkok, Thailand ECCENTRIC TOILET is one of those bands. I mean really? How can they possibly think that such a name screams out the deathcore core music that they churn out into the mosh pits of cacophony? And then i realized that i never would have checked them out if it were NOT for one of the most un-metal names you could think up. So here i am reviewing their one and only release, their 2007 demo turned EP - THE ROAR OF CERBERUS and i have to admit that it sounds nothing like i was expecting.

While my expertise in deathcore is probably the least explored dark crevice in all of the metal universe, my exposure to bands like Born Of Osiris and Veil Of Maya has at least given me somewhat of an idea what to expect namely a loud cacophonous din fusion of hardcore punk, death metal and metalcore. While ECCENTRIC TOILET justly fits into that generic description, i wasn’t prepared for the melodic elements that lurk beneath the surface including the clean lyrics alternating with the death growls delivering something of a beauty and beast experience meanwhile atmospheric keys are tucked away beneath the surface and emerge once the din subsides offering glimpses of a symphonic paradise being marred by the boisterous roar of heavy guitar riffs, walls of sound and frantic screams of anguish.

While this EP is only three tracks ECCENTRIC TOILET delivers all the expected deathened core aspects one would expect but with the added layers of keyboards and traditional metal aspects such as melodic guitar solos. While it may seem that this band is trying to put frosting on a vile bitter cake to make it more appealing for a wider audience, i find the melodic aspects are actually quite welcoming and add a new dimension to an often one-dimensional type of metal sound. The third track “It’s Too Late” is particularly symphonic with a tinkling of pianos ushering out the noisefest. Surprised indeed that i’m actually liking this band and i’m honestly looking forward to a fully formed album in the future, but OMG, dudes, flush that name, PLEEEEEAAAAASE! LOL.

CODE ORANGE Forever

Album · 2017 · Metalcore
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UMUR
"Forever" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US hardcore act Code Orange. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in january 2017. Since the release of "I Am King (2014)", Code Orange have switched from Deathwish Inc to Roadrunner Records, which will pretty surely provide the band with better opportunities to be heard by a wider audience. The lineup who recorded the predecessor are intact, so it´s still Eric Balderose on guitar and vocals, Joe Goldman on bass, Reba Meyers on guitar and vocals, and Jami Morgan on drums and vocals.

While some artists "soften" their sound or try to write more accessible music, when they get a chance to reach a wider audience, that´s certainly not the case with Code Orange. Quite the opposite in fact, as the material on the 11 track, 34:54 minutes long album is generally very harsh, unconventional in structure, über aggressive, and inaccessible in nature. It´s a continuation of the sound Code Orange initiated on "Love Is Love // Return To Dust (2012)" and further developed on "I Am King (2014)", so fans of those releases won´t be surprised to find raw shouting and aggressive hardcore vocals, ultra heavy breakdowns, loads of feedback, and adventurous songwriting ideas. They won´t be surprised either when the band travel down slightly more melodic roads and add female vocals to a track like "Bleeding in the Blur" and clean male vocals to a track like "Ugly". Although those moments are slightly more melodic than the otherwise very raw and aggressive album, they don´t add any light to the album, which is overall bleak, bleak, bleak...

...it´s the kind of album that´ll leave you with the feeling that everything is lost, that nothing you do will ever matter, or in other words that the world has gone down the drain. Deep bleak depression and hatred. It´s just overall a really mean album. Not all artists are able to create an atmosphere like that and make it sound believable, but Code Orange skillfully execute their plan. They are incredibly skilled musicians, and even more accomplished composers, and when you add to that a powerful, raw, and detailed sound production, "Forever" comes off as a high quality release. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

EMMURE Look At Yourself

Album · 2017 · Deathcore
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Kev Rowland


If you ever wanted to hear hardcore taken to a whole new level then you need to look no further than Emmure and their latest release. This is hardcore mixed with death and nu-metal influences, as if Slipknot, Biohazard, Cannibal Corpse and Korn decided to breed. This intense, over the top, and as tight as hell. The anger and venom coming from singer and founder Frankie Palmeri is matched by those behind him, and although they may not be in quite the same area as Napalm Death they probably share the post code. After their 2014 release ‘Eternal Enemies’ the band suffered some line-up changes, and Frankie found himself left with just guitarist Joshua Travis, but it certainly doesn’t sound like a brand-new rhythm section as what we have here is a band that know what they want, and heaven help anyone who gets in the way of them.

They’ve been touring a great deal, and I would have loved to have seen them with Five Finger Death Punch and with We Came As Romans as they would have been great gigs, but can’t imagine who thought that it would be a good idea to put them with Parkway Drive, as the Aussies must have been taken to the cleaners by the guys from Queens. Brutal, uncompromising, over the top hardcore metal, this is one violent and angry beast that needs treating with respect.

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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