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
4.28 | 16 ratings
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PSYOPUS Ideas Of Reference Album Cover Ideas Of Reference
PSYOPUS
4.42 | 4 ratings
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Calculating Infinity Album Cover Calculating Infinity
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
4.06 | 16 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
3.98 | 25 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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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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CAR BOMB Centralia Album Cover Centralia
CAR BOMB
3.76 | 5 ratings
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BOTCH American Nervoso Album Cover American Nervoso
BOTCH
3.70 | 5 ratings
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mathcore Music Reviews

PLASTICBAG FACEMASK Whited Sepulcher

Album · 2019 · Mathcore
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siLLy puPPy
As 2020 continues and the constant sight of those silly face masks surrounds us no matter where we live in the word (unless we happen to happily live in an isolated commune in fucking Antarctica or something), what better way to celebrate the shitshow that is 2020 than by reviewing this extreme noisy metal duo known as PLASTICBAG FACE MASK which was formed in 2008 in Oakhurst, CA but has been terrorizing Fresno for most of the time since.

Together Patrick "Dr. Lankanotvich" Hogan (drums, synthesizer, vocals) and Jacob "Dr. Jenkins" Lee (guitar, bass, vocals) crank out a set of six headache inducing mathcore tracks that continue their bizarre mix of grindcore, mathcore, sludge metal, deathcore and pretty much whatever the fuck comes to mind. This don’t give a fuck attitude is exactly what sets them apart from the competition but to be honest it’s the nerdy mathcore ping pong ball unpredictability that draws me in.

WHITE SEPULCHER is this duo’s eighth album but at around 23 minutes could possibly fit in with the EPs they’ve released but whatever. It’s fucking core music. This is about making extremely abrasive ear abuse noise and that’s exactly what PLASTICBAG FACE MASK achieves here. With excruciatingly fast tempos, frenetic time signature changes, unthinkable levels of distortion and vocals that sound like some dude getting his dick sawed off, this is a frenetic assault on your sanity with only a very few moments of synthesized atmospheres lingering in the background when the music drops to offer a respite from the brazen bravado.

Where there are many progcore metal bands out there these days ranging from Behold…The Arctopus, Psyopus and Dillinger Escape Plan, PLASTICBAG FACE MASK seems to stand out in its bold experimental approach of just creating a maelstrom of frenetic guitar riffs, a few screeching solos and an incessant time signature frenzy that hops around like an electrocuted monkey. Most vocals are shouted but a few death metal growls jump into the mosh pit. Basically everything on this one is on maximum overdrive for the entire run with only a few ambient outros after the tracks are finished.

While these sorts of firecracker bands usually deliver super short tracks, most of these are over three minutes which gives more time to shape shift the noisemaking shenanigans and conjure up new methodologies for irritating the fuck out of people. Except me. I love this shit. Gimme more muthafuckers! My skin is thick and my ear drums are made of fucking titanium. Oh yeah, bring it on, bitches! This is for the most hardcore MFs out there. Loud, obnoxious, sanity eroding music that pummels away on its own terms. Mathcore with all middle fingers raised with pirate flags attached. And fuck those goddamn worthless masks. They don’t fucking work anyways. Don’t argue with me. I read it on the internets.

OXX The Skeleton Is Just A Coat Hanger; These Are The Black Strings That Make You Dance

Album · 2019 · Mathcore
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Kev Rowland
I must confess to not knowing a great deal about this Danish band apart from they are a trio and I think this is their third full-length album. With a title such as ‘The Skeleton Is Just A Coat Hanger; These Are The Black Strings That Make You Dance’, one expects this to be a little out of the norm and that is certainly the case. I have seen them categorised with different tags, with mathcore and hardcore featuring quite prominently and while they are much more to the former to the latter they are also quite experimental and I would love for someone to call them progressive, so perhaps I will have to be the one to do it. Although in this case we are talking about truly progressing music as opposed to regurgitating Genesis. Massively complex musical threads and time signatures have been woven together to create something powerful which never loses its edge, just like Damascus steel.

There is no room between any of the lines for anything to be inserted, and then the trio take a break to allow a lead guitar break or ask a poor saxophonist to make himself heard above the melee. It is intense, massively over the top, and one can only imagine a performance by these guys must be all-encompassing and also quite short as there is no way they can keep up this level of energy for a significant period of time. Mathcore is being pushed to its very limits here and the listener is quite drained by the end of it, but in a positive manner. It needs to be played loudly, so consequently the gentle melodic break in the middle of the title track (which is not only the final song on the album but also the longest at 5:58) is something of a surprise and shows just how intense and heavy it has been up to that point. 27 minutes, just seven songs, powerful indeed.

CAR BOMB Centralia

Album · 2007 · Mathcore
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siLLy puPPy
Formed on Long Island, New York the mathcore band CAR BOMB didn’t waste any time crafting a totally obnoxious fusion of metalcore bombast with progressive rock complexities. After a couple demos, the quartet of Michael Dafferner (lead vocals), Elliot Hoffman (drums), Greg Kubacki (guitar) and Jon Modell (bass) set out to create the loudest and most abrasive musical output they could muster up and on the debut CENTRALIA which was named after an utterly doomed town in Pennsylvania that was abandoned after an underground mine fire, these hyperactive and over-imaginative freaks pretty much succeeded.

Mathcore is a challenging and difficult listening experience for sure. Absolutely everything is wrapped with the sonic equivalent of barbed wire and only accessible for those with Ankylosaur armor, however it is impossible to dismiss CAR BOMB as mere noise makers no matter what your musical proclivities happen to be. This is a serious band that as over the top as it may be, engages in highly nuanced and sophisticated slabs of iron plated metal music that excels at an equal ratio of bombast turned way past 11 and unpredictability calling its bluff and upping it one hundred and elevenfold. The results are enough to wake the dead and to kill the living.

While mathcore got its start in the New York based Lethargy all the way back in 1992 with Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor in the mix, the most irritating subgenre of metal has become, well, even more irritating as time goes on! Yep, it’s all about maximizing the most extreme forms of music and taking them even further, EVEN further than the comfort zone of most self-proclaimed metalheads. Add a heaping mix of progressiveness to the mix and you have something that will instantly suffocate the uninitiated and make all the non-open-minded ones of the world instantly run for cover as this stuff is the equivalent of a nuclear attack in the musical world!

With tags like technical, complex, heavy, aggressive, dissonant, energetic, manic, uncommon time signatures, dark, hateful, pessimistic, misanthropic and arhythmic, you know you’re in for one heckuva ride with CAR BOMB. Clocking in at a merciful 32 minutes, CENTRALIA is a non-stop metal bombast ride through extremely aggressive sonic assaults. The music is relentless as pummeling guitars, bass and drums are accompanied by the most hardcore screamed vocals that Dafferner can force out of his throat. Not overly far from what bands like Behold The Arctopus and Psyopus have to offer, CAR BOMB maintains its own distinct sound that offers a scant few moments of reflection with soft clean guitar passages but more often than not pummels the hell out of your senses with an incessant supply of start / stop guitar riffs decorated with unusually complex time sigs.

Graced with track titles such as “Cielo Drive” which refers to one of the locations of the morbid Manson Family killing sprees, you know what you’re in for with this brutal beast and at this stage CAR BOMB was merciless with one brutal arrhythmic assault after another and for that i am completely enamored with this completely anti-commercial display of aggressive and energetic parade through bombastic riffs and incessant orotundity. Every musician on this one is at the top of his game and as far as the most brutal extremes of mathcore without the complete surrender to atonality, then you can’t go wrong with CAR BOMB’s excellent debut album CENTRALIA. This is the stuff nightmares are made of. Don’t close your eyes, sunshine. You might be in the wrong CAAAAAAAAAR! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

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.

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