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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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN One Of Us Is The Killer Album Cover One Of Us Is The Killer
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
4.27 | 15 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
4.10 | 5 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
4.17 | 3 ratings
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CONVERGE Jane Doe Album Cover Jane Doe
CONVERGE
3.95 | 24 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Dissociation Album Cover Dissociation
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
4.00 | 5 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
3.95 | 9 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Calculating Infinity Album Cover Calculating Infinity
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
3.93 | 14 ratings
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PSYOPUS Our Puzzling Encounters Considered Album Cover Our Puzzling Encounters Considered
PSYOPUS
4.00 | 3 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Ire Works Album Cover Ire Works
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
3.78 | 17 ratings
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BOTCH American Nervoso Album Cover American Nervoso
BOTCH
3.70 | 5 ratings
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CONVERGE No Heroes Album Cover No Heroes
CONVERGE
3.67 | 6 ratings
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mathcore Music Reviews

DAUGHTERS Canada Songs

Album · 2003 · Mathcore
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siLLy puPPy
After the tiny little declaration of existence from the 2002 debut EP that only clocked in under five minutes, the Providence, Rhode Island based DAUGHTERS emerged the following year with their official debut album CANADA SONGS which nearly tripled the playing time of just over 11 minutes long but yet despite the short playing time found the band evolving significantly and packing in as much activity as a warehouse of fireworks exploding in the night’s sky.

It didn’t take much time at all for DAUGHTERS to carve out their own niche in the core arenas of the metal underground. While staunchly retaining their grindcore roots, this band of naughty noise makers pummels through ten tracks at breakneck speed incorporating punk infused core elements with technically laced progressive time signatures run amok with a rather avant-garde process of adding the playful interplay of timbres, tones and tempos with brief moments of psychedelia.

Possibly the mathcore version of Between The Buried And Me, right from the opening track “Fur Beach,” DAUGHTERS carpet bombs the listener with a dizzying array of musical elements tucked away in every blistering guitar riff led cadence that include bizarre mercurial stylistic changes within the technically steeped potpourri. The winning team of Alex Marshall (vocals), Jon Syverson (drums), Pat Masterson (bass) and Jeremy Wabiszczewicz (guitar) display an uncanny instrumental tightness as if they are telepathically connected.

While DAUGHTERS were clearly in the noisecore section of the music store, they were much more as they deftly crafted melodic constructs that unfolded within the context of chaos tantamount to taming a seemingly untamable multiple-alarm fire in a munitions factor that explodes in harmonious and orderly ways. Crazy chaotic guitar swirls coalesce into freaky pseudo-melodies kept staple by oscillating rhythmic stability, atypical no wave atonalities nihilistically creep into the nooks and crannies. Surreal sounds effects ebb and flow unpredictably.

For those who are not familiar with the bombastic origins of DAUGHTERS may be shocked to hear how crazy these early recordings are compared to the more chilled and detached feel of the modern fairly metal-free albums like “You Won’t Get What You Want” sound. This debut is a live wire of excess energy that attacks like a lightning bolt from the sky and you, the listener, are the lightning rod to receive the full electrical shock. This is only for the most hardcore extreme metal addicts out there. Listen with caution but don’t be surprised if you actually start liking this!

DAUGHTERS Daughters

EP · 2002 · Mathcore
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siLLy puPPy
With an errant disregard for niceties and general aberrancy, the Providence, Rhode Island based DAUGHTERS debuted in 2002 not as the neo-no wave and industrial sensation that they have become known for but rather as a punk infused mathcore noise making unit that formed in the ashes of the grindcore band As The Sun Sets where vocalist Alexis S.F. Marshall, guitarist Jeremy Wabiszczewicz and drummer Jon Syverson all played together.

After the addition of Pat Masterson on bass, the new group reconvened as DAUGHTERS and released this debut EP only three days after their official formation. At a mere 4 minutes and 13 seconds, this tiny four track vinyl 7” was more like a declaration of existence rather than a bona fide release but nevertheless displayed a new more technical infused evolution that moved beyond the As The Sun Sets experience.

The track titles pretty much tell the whole story: “Hello Assholes” (1:00), “Flattery Is a Bunch of Fucking Bullshit” (1:35) “A Room Full of Hard-ons and Nowhere to Sit Down” (0:31), “My Stereo Has Mono and So Does My Girlfriend” (1:07) as they display extreme contumaciousness punk infused hostility alongside a rather humorous display of irony.

Even at this early stage DAUGHTERS was already displaying a trait that allowed them to stand out from the other bombastic noise based acts in the core subs of metal. While the members were just as capable of cranking out the caustic guitar and bass riffs with pummeling percussion and hostile screamed vocals, the extra touches elevated DAUGHTERS to a higher status.

Tucked into the swirling salvoes of grindcore outbursts are intricate progressive touches that allow the riffs to shape shift with extreme time signature deviations coupled with more surreal softer passages that take a 180 from the frenetic cannonade of relentless orotundity that pummels the senses. While a mere blip on the greater music scene, this eponymously titled debut EP nevertheless sowed the seeds.

At this point DAUGHTERS weren’t too different from other technically infused mathcore bands like Botch, Car Bomb, Psyopus, Behold… The Arctopus or The Dillinger Escape Plan but somehow they managed to infuse a little of their own personality into these tiny turgid eruptions of unbridled energy. An interesting start for those who want to go back to the origins.

THE ZYGOMA DISPOSAL The Forgotten

Album · 2013 · Mathcore
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siLLy puPPy
While the mathcore style of metal (a subgenre of metalcore, often referred to as noisecore or experimental metalcore) had its roots back to post-hardcore punk of the 80s with most notably Black Flag and Minutemen providing a unique inspiration in the polyrhtyms, dissonant riffs and complex rhythmic tempo changes, the sub really took off in the 90s with bands like Botch, Coalesce, Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan added extreme metal elements and were leaders of this brutal and bombastic pack. The sub was fairly popular throughout the early 2000s with bands like Between The Buried And Me and Psyopus taking it to its logical conclusion by adding ridiculous layers of progressive complexities. The sub kind fizzled out with some of the bands dropping the math/metalcore aspects and focusing on just progressive metal.

Well, knocked out but not dead, the mathcore / metalcore style still inspired a many up and comers with its schizoid freneticism fueled by extreme metal bombast. Belgium’s THE ZYGOMA DISPOSAL didn’t want to accept that the party seemed to be over and nobody was dancing any more. Come 2010 this band would release a two-track EP titled “Flesh.Made.Void” but wouldn’t put out their debut album THE FORGOTTEN until 2013. Quite similar to the progressively infused metalcore antics of Between The Buried And Me’s colorful “Colors” era, THE ZYGOMA DISPOSAL turns out to be one of the genre’s best kept secrets with their exquisite talented musicianship as they schizophrenically zigzag through different soundscapes and tie them all together quite well.

The album is bookend by two completely non-metal tracks. “The Lost” is a lounge jazz opener that sounds more like something you’d hear at a speakeasy from the 20s that even has a trumpet in the mix. The finale “The Alone” is a mellow-rocker that slowly ratchets down the intensity into a mesmerizing cooling off period that attempts to pacify the listener after having been sonically assaulted. Everything in between though, is pure intensity! This actually begins at the final moments of “The Lost” which bursts into heavy rock elements before the next track “Minus Infinity” begins the mathcore assaults. Right from the getgo, bands like Dillinger Escape Plan and Between The Buried And Me certainly come to mind by THE ZYGOMA DISPOSAL have latched onto their own style of mixing the mathcore with disparate non-metal elements.

One of the strongest elements of THE ZYGOMA DISPOSAL are the excellent diversity of guitar riffs. With a mathcore tag, one can expect the usual frenetic schizoid million-mile-an-hour riff assaults whizzing up and down the scales with staggeringly complex time signature abuse, but guitarist Kenzo effortlessly scales the metal guitar with Deftones styled alternative metal riffing, swing jazz, or just plain old heavy metal. The band contrast the deafening orotundity with spaced out moments that uses piano, trumpets and horns to great effect. While the vocals are permanently set on aggro-over-the-top screaming like hell has taken over, there are creepy vocal samplings that pop up from time to time. While frenetic in nature, the music doesn’t always gallop as fast as humanly possible, but rather contrast within the dissonant metal phases is quite common as well. Tracks like “Grim Haven” are just completely unhinged and only for insane asylum dwellers!

Forget trying to find a physical copy of this one. They sold out the scant copies made a long time ago. This is pretty much a Bandcamp experience only but if you’re interesting in bands like Between The Buried And Me, The Dillinger Escape Plan or War From A Harlots Mouth with a penchant for jazz-influenced mathcore and outstanding turn at the drop of the hat changes, then THE ZYGOMA DISPOSAL is a band you should check out. BTW, the word ZYGOMA refers to a bone of the side of the face below the eye which forms part of the ZYGOMATIC arch and part of the orbit in mammals. Also known as malar bone. It’s sort of a roundabout nerdy way to explain what to expect here. A form of music so crushingly brutal that it’s like a punch to the face that DISPOSES of parts of your anatomy! While devastatingly bombastic, the thread that keeps THE FORGOTTEN together is it always retains a melodic thread stitched throughout.

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.

PSYOPUS Our Puzzling Encounters Considered

Album · 2007 · Mathcore
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siLLy puPPy
The mathcore metal mutilators of melody PSYOPUS returned to terrorize the world with their second album OUR PUZZLING ENCOUNTERS CONSIDERED three whole years after their debut. And just like on “Ideas Of Reference” continue their highly technical noisefest led by the avant-shredder guitarist Christopher Arp who frenetically whizzes up and down the scale so fast with his tapping techniques that you have to be nimble minded to keep up with it. While most of the crew signed up for a second album, drummer Jon Cole did not and is replaced by the equally hyperactive freakish pummelations of Greg Herman. OUR PUZZLING ENCOUNTERS CONSIDERED pretty much picks up exactly where you’d expect if you’ve heard the debut. It unapologetically bursts onto the scene after a brief ambient intro and pummels the senses with extreme technical wizardry and the insane asylum electrocution style vocals of Adam Frappolli who sounds like he’s close to puking up his entire digestive system.

Unlike the previous album, this one has a lot more sound effects and while “Ideas” had a few segments of clean guitar jazz-fusion inspired instrumental passages, PUZZLING offers two time outs from the frenetic display of audio apocalypse. “Imogen’s Puzzle Pt 2” is pretty much an extended theme of “Imogen’s Puzzle” from album one. On this instrumental workout Arp really shines as he not only delivers all kinds of strange chord progressions and guitar tapping but creates a vast array of moods with ambient passages as well as shredding like there’s no tomorrow. “Siobhanis Song” is the other piece that slowly builds up from an album defying melodic ratcheting up of melodic harmonies of guitar and builds to higher intensity. It is actually light and fluffy and one of the rare pacifications before the Über-brutal “Happy Valentines Day” jumps back into hardcore extremities.

Obviously this is about as extreme as metal can get with with musicians dishing out a shotgun approach of energy that is designed to irritate and annoy and create the most dissonant and hardcore noise there is possible but this music is not noise for noise sake. These compositions are meticulously crafted in their little nerdy worlds and can be deciphered with great effort. While there is nothing on this album that will convince anyone who has already run for the hills once they heard the debut, this is a highly unique album with all kinds of guitar tricks and trinkets being back up by the absolutely insane vocals, bass and drumming skills of the band. While for the most part you have to enjoy being the ball in the pinball machine that is randomly beat and smacked every which way in random and unpredictable directions, if you have a tough skin you can actual penetrate the musical compositions. While i really love this kind of music when i’m feeling like a middle-finger to the world, there is one highly ANNOYING part and that’s the hidden tracks at the end that has a recorded phone message of a girl going on about sheet and when she says the word ANNOYING, it repeats for 23 minutes! And if you have the patience to sit through this (yeah, i did once and only once, there is an unnecessary Red Chord cover song (“Catelepsy”) at the end. Only for the most adventurous audio abusers out there.

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