Deathcore

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Deathcore, which emerged in the early 2000s, is a sub-genre of metalcore that fuses elements of hardcore punk and death metal. Deathcore is similar to metalcore musically, except it is generally heavier, with a stronger emphasis on blast beats, death metal growling vocals, and more intense breakdowns. The genre has enjoyed moderate popularity in the extreme metal scene.

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deathcore Music Reviews

VASCULITIS A Monument To Violence

EP · 2018 · Deathcore
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siLLy puPPy
VASCULITIS in medical terms is a group of diseases that destroy blood vessels by inflammation and the perfect moniker for this Australian deathcore band from the far northern Coral Sea coastal city of Mackay in Queensland, Australia. Engaging in a sort of brutalizing slam death metal mixed with core elements, VASCULITIS joins the wave of a never-ending legion of like-minded skull crushers that vie for the extreme jugular of taking metal to its limits.

So far this band has only released this debut EP titled A MONUMENT TO VIOLENCE and except for the snippets of audio samples that begin and end this set of five tracks (reminding me a bit of Pig Destroyer), this EP of 19 minutes playing time certainly does glamorize the pummeling cacophony of sonic violence that will surely please any mosh pit addicts and those who crave a never-ending supply of deathcore fueled adrenaline.

While this style of extreme metal can certainly become generic rather quickly, VASCULITIS stands out in that the three members of vocalist Liam Briggs, guitarist Ben Burrows and drummer Michael Maynard (where’s the bassist?) provide an almost danceable procession of heavy chugs that is part slam death metal, part grindcore and at times employs even a bit of doom metal to build the proper tension but for the most part this band engages in a barbaric onslaught of the innocent and the conquering of the senses with a bombastic display of explosive deliveries of no nonsense metal madness.

What i like about A MOMUMENT TO VIOLENCE is that the band has mastered the art of tempos and dynamics and not relying on an incessant speedfest that never stops. The guitar parts are actually quite varied with some taking on an early Terrorizer style quality as well as developing more modern blitzkrieg techniques. The vocals are well within the world of death m metal with guttural growls and the drums employ blastbeat techniques as well as more varied jazzified gymnastics. While not substantially existing outside the world of deathbed core music, VASCULITIS certainly has embarked on a path that sets them apart slightly by walking that fine line between death metal and grindcore thus blurring the distinctions completely.

XVIA XVIA

Album · 2017 · Deathcore
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siLLy puPPy
One of countless modern core bands out there these days, XVIA originates from San Angelo, Texas and has found a home for its self-titled debut release on the Chugcore International label. This short album of eight tracks that slightly runs over 28 minutes came out in 2017 with the lineup of Jake Madrid (vocals), Matt Radio (guitar), Dan Nguyen (guitar), Steven Sedeno (bass) and Tito Breedlove (drums.)

XVIA plays an aggressive style of deathcore but engages in slower tempos than the average deathcore band. While fast tempos do exist, they are reserved for contrast rather than an incessant bantering throughout the album’s run time. For the most part XVIA implements mid-tempo steadiness which almost sounds like a black metal album however Madrid’s vocal style is clearly in the world of the core genres.

This very well could be one of the mellowest deathcore albums i’ve ever heard. There are many softer parts with arpeggiated clean guitar chords and moments that sound more like a nu metal band than anything with “death” in it but when all is said and done, XVIA can dish out the deathcore goods when they really want to. There are even a few guitar solos but they are quite brief.

While XVIA adds a bit more emotive segments than the average deathcore band and performs the expected core duties admirably, something just seems missing here. Lack of commitment maybe? It seems like XVIA is going for more of an alternative metal album that happens to get all deathcory on us but the softer parts just linger on way to long and for the most part the album comes off as half-assed.

In the end i’m underwhelmed by this release but possibly due to expectations of a more rampaging sound given that the band’s admitted genre of choice is deathcore. “Ataractic” for example sounds more like a post-rock track than anything metal. Nothing wrong with some variety in metal releases but this doesn’t quite scratch that itch. Decent and listenable for sure with many excellent moments but overall doesn’t quite go where i want it to.

FROZEN WATER BURIAL Frozen Water Burial

Demo · 2006 · Deathcore
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siLLy puPPy
The hybridization of metal styles is hardly anything new of course as it seems once a subgenre is created, there’s always someone blurring the lines however every once in a while there is a band that springs up in a far fetched location and fuses together metal styles that nobody else had thought of and for better or for worse goes for it.

FROZEN WATER BURIAL was a short-lived band that was formed in Greenfield, CA in 2006 and only lasted until 2009. The band that consisted of Paul (vocals), Nick (guitar), Heath (guitar), Joe (bass), Martin (drums), Juan (keyboards) and Erica (keyboard, 2006) only ever released this one demo simply titled DEMO in 2006 before disbanding in 2009. Supposedly they reformed but no album has ever seen the light of day.

While only a demo there are still six tracks that make the 26 minute mark so this is more like an EP than a demo. The band has made a name for itself in the underground for being one of the few bands that have mixed deathcore and symphonic black metal. Basically the guitar riffing and musical procession adopts the aggressiveness and of deathcore while the keyboards add atmospheric backdrops and aggressive runs that often interact with the extreme metal bombast.

Despite the extreme caustic abrasiveness of the delivery of frenetic guitar riffs, bantering bass and speed drumming, the music revolves around easily digested melodic processions. The vocals are all over the place with death metal growls taking precedence but there are lots of call and response stylistic approaches with core styled pig squeals and blood curdling screams. There are also deep guttural grunts and a few other surprises that pop up.

While the deathcore elements are predominant, there are also moments when neoclassical style guitar solos rip it up. There are few traces of black metal really except for the symphonic aspects and some of the guitar tones so the term blackened deathcore may apply but if you ask me i’d probably call this symphonic deathcore or even experimental. Overall the musicianship is top notch. The tempos are soaring at fast speeds and the guitarist is outstanding.

This is one of those bands like Children of Bodom that will rub many the wrong way. For true death metal fans this will be too cheesy and melodic but for those who are open minded and have no expectations then this is actually a decent set of tracks. It’s too bad the band didn’t stick it out and craft a more adventures album that explored more sonic textures in the production process because it’s apparent that the musicians were onto something and had a developed sense of creativity. For a demo this isn’t bad at all and personally i kinda like it.

A NIGHT IN TEXAS Invigoration

EP · 2013 · Deathcore
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siLLy puPPy
A NIGHT IN TEXAS is a deathcore band that started in Cairns, Australia in 2010 where it released an eponymously titled demo and soon after this first EP titled INVIGORATION which was released on Skull and Bones Records. This was the only release to feature Carlos Hicks on vocals before the band relocated to Brisbane in 2013 when Rheese Peters joined in as the new screaming fanatic.

INVIGORATION is a short EP that features five tracks that slink over the 16 minute mark but in that short timespan A NIGHT IN TEXAS crafts an intricate mix of explosive deathcore rage with technical death metal ingenuity. The title track starts off with an eerie atmosphere as if the album is going to be a dark ambient space album with gurgling synthesizer noises and creepy atmospheric soundtrack type sounds but quickly the tech death guitar gymnastics begin as do the guttural growly shouts explode onto the scene.

The second track “Throne Of Lies” is even much more bombastic as it unleashes the deathcore freneticism only with techy death time signature weirdness and exotic uses of silence and syncopation but doesn’t sacrifice the core principles despite the off-kilter approach. This EP was self-produced and self-released so there is a bit of a DIY feel to the whole thing but for the extremest examples of metal such as this, it’s actually not a bad thing. For a deathcore album this one is actually fairly interesting in how it keeps things interesting. The riffs are diverse and special attention is paid to create plenty of dynamic shifts.

On the surface A NIGHT IN TEXAS may sound like any other technically infused deathcore band but it’s always in the subtle effects that makes these kinds of bands a make it or break its affair for me. As for INVIGORATION, this is really decent slice of technical deathcore that excels in diversifying the guitar works and compositional fortitude. Perhaps the vocals could’ve been a bit more varied as all as like many deathcore bands there is a call and response between two different registers of puky growls and higher goblin monster vocals. There are some nice atmospheric guitar moments as well that continue the eerie ambience of the opening moments. Not OMG brilliant but a really good debut.

RINGS OF SATURN Gidim

Album · 2019 · Deathcore
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Kev Rowland
The alien themed tech-death metalheads are back with their fifth album, which according to guitarist Lucas Mann is a return to the roots of their second and third albums, namely ‘DIngir’ (2012) and ‘Lugal El Kin’ (2014). Having not heard any of their music prior to this, it’s difficult for me to comment, but I guess this is therefore quite different to their last album ‘Ultu Ulla’. Musically, the only thing I am really sure of with this is that the note density is off the scale as they mix technical death metal with mathcore and djent and then keep making it go faster. It is incredibly complex, and there are times when the blastbeats surely are not being generated by human feet. There is also a great deal of palm muting going on and the result is something which is incredibly staccato and sounds at times almost like something being put together by the likes of Dik Mik as opposed to guitarists.

It is brutal, and they slow it down at times just so they can impress us all with their incredible speed at the end. It is an interesting album, but it doesn’t contain the harmony and cohesiveness of many speed merchants and there is certainly a feeling that at times they are doing it just because they can as opposed to where it makes musical sense. It is as if Nile and Protest The Hero had a child, and then they went into a studio and were raised with an electro background. There isn’t any electro within it, but some of the sounds being generated and the approach is often more at home in that field that in the metal one. It is interesting, and the musicians involved are obviously highly skilled indeed, but in many ways, this is hard to listen to as it is often technically brilliant as opposed to musically so.

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