Mathcore

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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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mathcore top albums

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CAR BOMB Mordial Album Cover Mordial
CAR BOMB
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
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
4.34 | 19 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Calculating Infinity Album Cover Calculating Infinity
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
4.32 | 21 ratings
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PSYOPUS Ideas Of Reference Album Cover Ideas Of Reference
PSYOPUS
4.42 | 4 ratings
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BOTCH We Are The Romans Album Cover We Are The Romans
BOTCH
4.25 | 8 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
ROLO TOMASSI
4.30 | 5 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Dissociation Album Cover Dissociation
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
4.21 | 7 ratings
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CONVERGE Jane Doe Album Cover Jane Doe
CONVERGE
4.10 | 31 ratings
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THE CALLOUS DAOBOYS Celebrity Therapist Album Cover Celebrity Therapist
THE CALLOUS DAOBOYS
4.25 | 4 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)
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
4.04 | 12 ratings
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CAR BOMB Meta Album Cover Meta
CAR BOMB
4.06 | 4 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Ire Works Album Cover Ire Works
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
3.95 | 21 ratings
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mathcore Music Reviews

CROWPATH Son of Sulphur

Album · 2005 · Mathcore
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UMUR
"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.

FRONTIERER Oxidized

Album · 2021 · Mathcore
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siLLy puPPy
Mathcore is one of the ultimate extreme expressions of the metal universe by incorporating caustic jackhammer musical deliveries and fortifying them with brutal prog time signatures, unrelenting random breakdowns and dungeon torture vocals that must surely have torn a few lead vocalists throats to shreds. While an interesting subsection at the metal supermarket, mathcore also has the unfortunate attribute of possibly becoming very sterile and one-dimensional as a pummeling sonic haze sort of passes the listener by like an exploding warehouse of stored fireworks with everything happening to fast for the casual listener to comprehend.

That’s part of the appeal for me actually is that this style of music demands that you fixate your attention upon it like a pileup of motor vehicles in a bloody accident on the freeway. While it seems the supply of mathcore bands is endless, it’s actually one of the lesser roads travelled in the metal world due to the stamina and technical prowess required to perform such virtuosic wankery as well as the fact that this isn’t the biggest money maker in the world of music by attracting only the most hardcore and extreme noise addicts out there. True that this is not music i would play nonstop lest i lose my sanity however it certainly is a challenging and explosive type of cacophony that gets my juices flowing. Sort of like swallowing a whole bottle of niacin pills!

FRONTIERER is one of many mathcore bands out there these days. This band comes from Edinburgh, Scotland and formed in 2011. The band released its debut EP “The Collapse” in 2013 and then followed with two albums “Orange Mathematics” and Unloved” in 2015 and 2018. While following the standards of loud, abrasive djent fueled guitar riffing at mathcore speeds, FRONTIERER has pretty much remained a true underground noise making act that has caught on fire. Things have changed a bit with the band’s third album OXIDIZED released on Oct 1, 2021. While retaining all those mathcore elements that delivery orotund bombast and angst fueled complexities into a tapestry of dissonance, abstractness and surreality, FRONTIERER takes the genre into a slightly different arena than its competition.

Heavy as ever, OXIDIZE has corralled the frenetic loose electric wire in water effect randomness of many a mathcore band and created a more dare i say “mature” package of sixteen tracks that collectively blast the eardrums with over 49 minutes of uncompromising extreme core metal fury. What’s different about OXIDIZE from most it that it doesn’t mellow out the speed and agression to add all the other elements like bands like Converge and Botch have done. Rather it employs a form of glitch electronica to offer an equally chaotic electronic counterpoint as well as offering a few moments of melodic recesses from the otherwise manic madness that is unrelenting. Even within the most technically demanding speedcore meltdowns there are more variations in riffing styles, rhythmic drives and breakdowns.

Add to that there are even moments of downtempo with sort of rapped vocals. In many ways FRONTIERER has followed Between The Buried And Me with its lauded album “Colors” and simply adds more textures and timbres to an otherwise bleak core soundscape. While the general delivery is indeed like a nuclear bomb detonated on an unsuspecting city, the key moments of melodic touches and electronic extras provide just the perfect recipe to smooth things over enough to sweeten the bitter poison but make no mistake about it, FRONTIERER do not skimp on the extremities that make mathcore so violently repugnant to even most hardened metalheads. These guitar riffs sounds like they’re juggling electrons while the machine-gun rapid-fire blastbeats exhibit irregular but discernible carnage.

Oh yeah! The glitch electronica may sounds like a bad idea but it is used sparingly and as an equivalent to making an “ambient” accompaniment. In other words it’s an angry and equally chaotic counterpoint to the chaotic apocalyptic soundscape of a sonic battle in full force but given these extra sounds makes it sound more futuristic than most music in the core section of the metal supermarket. Thing of Car Bomb with The Prodigy and you’re on the right track. Fiery fueled mathcore with a futuristic touch and lead singer dude sounds a bit like a more manic version of Rage Against The Machine’s Zack de la Rocha at times! I like!

CAR BOMB Mordial

Album · 2019 · Mathcore
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ssmarcus
There are certain alignments in nature that, when they occur, demand a bit of humanity’s fickle attention and wonder. And much like a solar eclipse or seeing a flipped coin land on its side, an album whose cover art perfectly aligns with the music on that album is one such alignment. And Car Bomb’s Mordial is one such album.

Like the cover art, the music on Mordial is chaotic. Patterns come into existence only to flutter apart under the force of their own instability. There is a certain beauty to both the art and the music but they’re twisted in such a way that they are basically unsettling more than they are beautiful.

Mordial continues in the technical extreme metal, djent and mathcore footsteps of its predecessor Meta . But by incorporating more melodic, twisted as they are, and experimental passages, Mordial successfully breaks from the monotony I would feel when listening to Meta straight through. In short, Car Bomb have out done themselves yet again. These guys are at the top their game and are, at this juncture, untouchable.

CAR BOMB Meta

Album · 2016 · Mathcore
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ssmarcus
Car Bomb is the living embodiment of everything New York-based music could ever aspire to be. The band simultaneously captures the ferocity of the native working-class hardcore punk scene while also realizing the high-brow art rock aspirations of New York’s saturated indie hipster rock scenes. But unlike your average hardcore or indie rock outfit, Car Bomb is actually compromised of exceptional musicians with the technical and musical chops to actually pull off something genuinely novel and refreshing. And, in the case of Car Bomb, their talents have allowed the band to fashion a unique and highly technical, even by today’s standard, form of extreme metal, djent, and mathcore.

Meta is an absolute head trip from start to finish. The mind-bending rhythms and tone defying riffs are guaranteed to knock any metal head of their feet. Unfortunately, like so much extreme metal, the album can be a chore to listen through straight through. Monotony invariably sets in at some point despite all the genuine novelty in the song writing. This record is best enjoyed piecemeal.

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