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Mathcore is a progressive, 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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CAR BOMB Mordial Album Cover Mordial
4.67 | 5 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN One Of Us Is The Killer Album Cover One Of Us Is The Killer
4.34 | 20 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Calculating Infinity Album Cover Calculating Infinity
4.33 | 22 ratings
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PSYOPUS Ideas Of Reference Album Cover Ideas Of Reference
4.42 | 4 ratings
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BOTCH We Are The Romans Album Cover We Are The Romans
4.25 | 8 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Dissociation Album Cover Dissociation
4.25 | 8 ratings
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THE CALLOUS DAOBOYS Celebrity Therapist Album Cover Celebrity Therapist
4.38 | 4 ratings
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ROLO TOMASSI Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It Album Cover Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
4.30 | 5 ratings
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CONVERGE Jane Doe Album Cover Jane Doe
4.10 | 31 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)
4.04 | 13 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Ire Works Album Cover Ire Works
3.96 | 22 ratings
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CAR BOMB Meta Album Cover Meta
4.06 | 4 ratings
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SERLING The James Bevis Chronicles / The Hempstead Assignments

EP · 2024 · Mathcore
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siLLy puPPy
SERLING jumped onto the world’s stage in 2022 with its debut “Next Stop, Willoughby” allowing this Augusta, Maine mathcore duo of Caleb Marsters (guitar, vocals) and Brandon Doughty (drums) to offer the world some crazed Twilight Zone inspired mathcore that adopted the foundations of bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, Behold… The Arctopus and Psyopus and add a creative spin to the mix. Yeah the Twilight Zone fascination is strong. The band’s name comes after the Twilight Zone host Rod Serling the the series’ science fiction landscape provides a wealth of subject matter for the band to tackle.

But there was an EP that preceded and that as THE JAMES BEVIS CHONICLES which featured six tracks of unhinged mathcore meets deathcore that provided the perfect torture effect for nearly 16 minutes. Now in 2024, SERLING has rereleased that EP only remastered with the bonus extra EP of THE HEMPSTEAD ASSIGNMENTS which adds another six tracks thus making this double EP a 12 track monstrosity that doubles the torture to 31 1/2 minutes!

Like most mathcore, this is a frenetic wild ride through screaming vocals over a series of guitar antics mostly in the form of chugging in this case however like the most raucous of the mathcore groups, this band doesn’t shy away from bizarre progressive and experimental twists and turns that occur at any given moment. The whole thing comes off as a stampede of monstrous beings on a battle field at times.

The band is also not afraid to use some eerie atmospheric moments as on the opening track “Escape Clause” which starts the second half which begins THE HEMPSTEAD ASSIGNMENTS however they are short-lived before the crushing guitar chugs, riffs and anguished scream vocals that alternate with death growls burn down the house. In fact it’s really hard to believe this is a mere duo making this much noise but these guys really know how to milk the suffocating mix of what’s called panic chords and jittery time signatures into a nerve-racking frenzy.

SERLING also knows the value of dissonance in this cacophonous uproar with jangly power chords stomping away in djent-ish fusion style while throat ripping vocals emerge to terrify the living and raise the dead. This is anxiety music for anxiety’s sake with no fuck’s left to give. This is obviously reserved for only THEEEE most fanatical core fiends out there as mathcore tends to milk every aspect of extreme metal and brutal prog simultaneously. Personally i love this kinda shit and SERLING does a pretty decent job at delivering a style of extreme metal that can become stale fairly quickly.

Perhaps not as innovative as the early pioneers or as arty as i’d like but the delivery is spot on and these guys are truly on fire as well as nurturing a great production value that nurtures every ounce of panic and anxiety that this music is designed to eke from your adrenalized state of existence. The industrial sounds of thrashing chugs remind a bit of Messhuggah and other djent bigwigs but overall this is mathcore meets deathcore through and through with the emphasis on the former and not the latter. even stranger is the release ends in a short piano piece which attempts to pacify the soul after the sonic terror attack but then gets totally weird. Piano mathcore? Yeah that’s here too!

BOTCH American Nervoso

Album · 1998 · Mathcore
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There’s manic energy and aggression here, and it sounds quite dark by the genre’s standards. Musicianship is impressive, songwriting is interesting and varied… on a technical level, the album is rock solid.

Where it falls flat is in the memorability department. The riffs are very dissonant and chaotic, and really not pleasant in any way. There’s no memorable lead guitarwork to speak of; usually the guitar is switching between chugs and dissonant chords. The vocals are good, but again, just not super memorable. The lyrics aren’t quite evocative enough to boost them either. The rhythm section, on the other hand, is all-around fantastic. Both drums and bass pave awesome pathways for the music to follow, ever changing and full of speedy, aggressive work. “John Woo” is a great example of the Metal influence in the drumming, with fantastic double bass beats carrying the music forward with gusto.

All in all though, just not pleasant enough for me to want to revisit, and not memorable enough to… well, remember much of it.


EP · 2018 · Mathcore
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This 2017 EP is, so far, the most recent release from the american band DEER HOLLOW. But I hope is not the last one! I was expecting some chaotic and frantic sound, but instead I got a very interesting mix of noise, sludge, mathcore and even progressive metal.

The beginning of the first track, Lost in Water, wasn't that promising. I couldn't stop listening, though, and in the second track I was hooked. In the third track, I was amazed! There are many details buried in the noise, requiring more listenings to catch it all.

The vocals are more akin to sludge than most mathcore bands, without that ultra high pitched screams common in the latter genre. I really hope these guys return in the future. Check it out!

CROWPATH Son of Sulphur

Album · 2005 · Mathcore
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"Son of Sulphur" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swedish extreme metal act Crowpath. The album was released through Willowtip Records in USA and Earache Records in Europe in November 2005. Crowpath have existed since 1997 and have put out a couple of minor releases before they released their debut full-length studio album "Red on Chrome" in April 2004. The four-piece lineup who recorded the debut album is intact on "Son of Sulphur".

"Son of Sulphur" is a concept story about a pyromaniac and opens with a couple of tracks telling of his crimes and then the third track on the album "Chased, Caught, and Charged", tells about his capture, but the lyrics for the remaining tracks are actually a bit more vague. I understand the rest of the story as if our protagonist is locked up and is haunted by his illness, and we get a little glimpse of his past with a drunk stepfather, inflicting a trauma on his child soul, which results in his pyromanic tendencies. I interpret the lyrics to the closing track "End in Water" as if the protagonist commits suicide by drowning (...the irony of a pyromaniac drowning isn´t lost on me). It´s a bleak and unpleasant story which suits the extremity of the music perfectly.

...and stylistically "Son of Sulphur" is an ultra extreme album, combining the chaos and speed of grindcore, with the filth and aggression of hardcore, the brutality of death metal, the heaviness of doom/sludge, and the creative ideas and adventurous nature of technical/progressive metal. But whatever you chose to label the music style on "Son of Sulphur", it´s an interesting and very challenging listen. The vocals are a combination of aggressive hardcore/grindcore shouting and death grunts. The riffs are very rarely "normal" metal riffs, but more frequently twisted and dissonant fretboard excursions, while the drums play odd-metered and very brusy patterns and beats. It all sounds like one big uncontrolled chaos (which it certainly isn´t) and it takes a few spins to fully grasp and appreciate Crowpath´s vision.

Everything is performed with great skill and conviction, and the raw yet detailed sound production helps the material shine. To my ears the experimental but more mature songwriting, the high level musicianship, and the concept lyrics, all result in "Son of Sulphur" being a step up from "Red on Chrome (2004)" and Crowpath can be very proud of this sophomore release. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

ROLO TOMASSI Where Myth Becomes Memory

Album · 2022 · Mathcore
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siLLy puPPy
When it comes to metal in 2022, it’s tempting to think we’ve just about heard of it all. Every genre and its branches, every possible hybrid with non-metal tones and timbres but then some band comes along and reminds you that you ain’t seen nothing yet. England’s ROLO TOMASSI is no stranger to twisting disparate strains of molten metal into bizarre new chimeric creations. Mostly residing in the already strange world of fusion that involves bombastic outbursts of mathcore with the more restrained processions of post-rock and post-metal, the band has dabbled in everything from blackgaze and post-hardcore to nintendocore.

But metal mixed with dream pop? Now that is a combo pack that i couldn’t quite believe exists until i set my ears to this bizarre mishmash of opposing forces. Turns out this is a rather new development in the metal universe with Boris having released an archival drone metal dream pop album in 2021 and Sun Addicted Family mixing dream pop with blackgaze in 2020, but dream pop with mathcore? WTF?!!!! Well after listening to ROLO TOMASSI’s seventh full-length release WHERE MYTH BECOMES MEMORY, it’s not quite as inventive as i had hoped but still a decent listen.

ROLO TOMASSI features the lovely Eva Korman as lead vocalist and can she ever display her Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde mood swings the drop of a hat by sweetly singing dreamy pop melodies in the vein of The Cranberries before lashing out the most wicked screams in full fury mathcore mode. Her chameleonesque powers of completely taking you from one extreme to the other are the highlights of WHERE MYTH BECOMES MEMORY which features ten average length tracks that add up to 48 minutes. It’s truly a bizarre choice of styles and almost sounds like two completely different bands simply taking turns, as if Beachhouse had joined forces with Cult of Luna and The Dillinger Escape Plan.

The album opens with serene dream pop track “Almost Ways” but becomes accompanied by quickened guitar chunks to provide a most surreal effect that could possible be called nightmare pop. The following “Cloaked” kicks into full mathcore mode with Eva’s complete transformation from sweet girl to raging bitch on the rampage! It soon becomes obvious that this band hadn’t really married the dream pop and mathcore elements at all and the gist of the album is to merely present one track with dream pop meets post-metal and then another in full mathcore fury. That is mostly true as tracks like “Prescience” actually work quite well in blending all the elements into a cohesive whole but by this time i feel like i’ve listened to an iTunes playlist rather than a continuous album flow.

No doubt ROLO TOMASSI has latched onto something with the disparate worlds of dream pop and mathcore duking it out in the same arena on WHERE MYTH BECOMES MEMORY but in the end it doesn’t seem like this cake is fully baked. While i love both dream pop and mathcore, in this situation they just don’t really work out together and the overall effect is like putting jalapeños on your ice cream, an interesting idea in theory but one that has its limited appeal. Nice try but i find this album more irritating than captivating. The dream pop melodies are sweet enough and the mathcore outbursts aren’t mathy enough. Everything feels watered down in an attempt to force two opposite musical forces into the same cage. Not a horrible album because some of the moments work quite well but just not as brilliantly crafted as i was expecting.

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