Melodic Metalcore — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

Melodic metalcore is a subgenre of metalcore, with a heavy emphasis on melodic instrumentation, blast beats, metalcore-stylised breakdowns and clean singing. The genre has seen commercial success for employing a "more accessible and commercial style" than typical metalcore. Many notable melodic metalcore bands have been influenced by melodic death metal.

Where metalcore evolved out of hardcore punk with added metal elements such as double bass drumming and thrash-like guitar and vocals, melodic metalcore often stemmed from metal bands adopting hardcore punk elements.

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TRIVIUM The Sin And The Sentence Album Cover The Sin And The Sentence
4.42 | 16 ratings
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TRIVIUM Ascendancy Album Cover Ascendancy
4.34 | 29 ratings
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TRIVIUM What The Dead Men Say Album Cover What The Dead Men Say
4.38 | 8 ratings
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PROTEST THE HERO Kezia Album Cover Kezia
4.29 | 21 ratings
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TRIVIUM Shogun Album Cover Shogun
4.27 | 32 ratings
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KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Disarm the Descent Album Cover Disarm the Descent
4.28 | 12 ratings
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IN THIS MOMENT Beautiful Tragedy Album Cover Beautiful Tragedy
4.35 | 6 ratings
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SHADOWS FALL The Art of Balance Album Cover The Art of Balance
4.17 | 11 ratings
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KILLSWITCH ENGAGE The End of Heartache Album Cover The End of Heartache
4.10 | 19 ratings
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SHADOWS FALL Retribution Album Cover Retribution
4.09 | 12 ratings
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SHADOWS FALL Fire from the Sky Album Cover Fire from the Sky
4.03 | 11 ratings
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4.00 | 5 ratings
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Second Circle
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A World Reborn
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No Vacancy
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melodic metalcore Music Reviews

JINJER Inhale. Do Not Breathe

EP · 2012 · Melodic Metalcore
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JINJER (pronounced like “ginger”) started out as a melodic metalcore band having formed in Gorlovka near Donetsk, Ukraine in 2009 but has evolved into a more progressive metalcore band in the vein of bands like Between The Buried And Me. After releasing the debut EP “Objects in Mirror Are Closer than They Appear,” the band struggled to find its own distinct sound until the addition of bassist Eugene Abdukhanov, lead guitarist Roman Ibramkhaliov and new lead singer Tatiana Shmailyuk.

The fist release to come out with this lineup was the EP titled INHALE, DON’T BREATHE which originally featured seven tracks but subsequent versions also included three extra live bonus tracks. For whatever reason the EP only shows five tracks on JINJER’s Bandcamp page. At this stage JINJER featured no progressive features in its compositions and squarely fit into the world of melodic metalcore with a groove metal flow including a few deviations into alternative rock during brief slower moments. The most distinct feature of the band is probably the fact that this style of extreme metal is fronted by a female singer.

This band has been quite popular in its native Ukraine as it became more varied over its three album run but at this point the band had pretty much only gotten its head around being a band and was content simply sailing in the groove fueled metalcore style that served as an underpinning of its later releases and the band wouldn’t really take off until 2016’s “KIng Of Everything.” Not much to say about this one. The tracks are a bit too similar as the same groove and chord progressions pretty much haunt every track and the same tradeoff between clean and shouted extreme vocals never deviates from the plan.

I can’t say this is my favorite style of metal first of all but i can appreciate some good metalcore that infuses heavy doses of creativity in unexpected ways however JINJER does none of that one this early offering and wouldn’t really branch out for a few more years. For my ears this is a pretty average if not dull example of melodic metalcore that sounds very amateurish and uninspiring however there is nothing absolutely horrible either. It’s just that there is no variation between tracks and the one-trick pony show gets old very quickly. Probably interesting for true fans of the band who need to explore the origins but honestly i don’t like the band’s name, don’t like its sound and am confident i’ll never be retreading this generic grounds again.

BLOOD & BANJOS Blood & Banjos

Album · 2014 · Melodic Metalcore
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Although metal purists may hate it, this aggressive bastard child of various rock genres has become quite the fertile mongrel of disparate non-metal genres for decades now with almost every conceivable non-metal genre making at least a brief appearance somewhere throughout the decades however when you think of good old-fashioned bluegrass music incorporated into the metal music context, things just start to feel like they’ve gone completely astray!

Well it’s true that atmospheric black metal act Panopticon struck a chord with metalheads with the 2012 bluegrass / metal hybrid album “Kentucky” but for the most part, these two opposing forces remain at odds. Here’s another attempt to fuse these two demanding styles of musical mastership by a band called BLOOD & BANJOS that formed in Cheboygan, Michigan in 2012 by Marc Jacob Hudson (drums, piano), Bella Blasko (banjo, mandolin, harmonica, cello, vocals) and Adam Ward (guitar, bass, vocals).

This band claims to be an experiment that juxtaposes two contrasting musical styles in a single narrative and narrates the tale of a man named Abram Stone who is tricked by the devil into murdering his own family and commences with the residents of the town he lives in desiring to bring him to justice. The results of this mishmash of traditional Appalachian America in tandem with random outbursts of messy metalcore is very much a mixed bag.

This narrative tale takes place with ten tracks at the average album running time of 43 minutes. A great deal of the experience is old-time bluegrass and traditional American folk songs with different metal styles peeking in and out ranging from melodic traditional classic heavy metal sounds to the more bombastic metalcore outbursts however it all seems very random and does nothing to emphasize the tale at least from what i can distinguish. What sounds of interest on paper doesn’t really translate into the cohesive fusional styles that i would hope to experience. Added to the mystery, the band is listed as DAY on its Bandcamp page with only the album listed as BLOOD & BANJOS but whatever!

While it’s always cool to hear metal songs covered by banjo players (the internet is filled with them) when it comes to crafting a viable cozy fusion of bluegrass and any metal stylistic approach, i just haven’t heard anybody pull it off in a convincing manner and although this album was obviously a labor of love that resulted in countless hours of painstaking work, it ultimately just sounds gimmicky with not only lackluster bluegrass performances but less than satisfying metal heft as well. In the end i just feel the lofty goal was not exceeded by the performances. Worth a listen but no a revisit.


Album · 2005 · Melodic Metalcore
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One of the many modern melodic metalcore acts to spring forth from somewhere in the world in the 21st century, THE HOPE OF CHANGE was a one-shot album band that formed in Lake Havasu City, Arizona in 2003 and stuck it out until 2007. In this five year stretch it managed to release this one and only album HOURLGASS which came out in 2005 on Harvest Earth Records.

This short album 10 tracks clocks in at 31 minutes and 29 seconds and showcases a style of melodic metalcore in the vein of bands like As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage and Atreyu with heavily chugging metalcore guitar chugs, bouncy bass lines and that frenetic madman scream that sets the core genres apart although there are a few death metal growls and occasional clean vocals as well. The melodies really come through when the backing vocals bring them to the surface.

There seems to be absolutely no info about this band but the lineup on this one was Bradley (bass), Bryan (guitar), David (guitar), Aaron (drums) and Mike (vocals) although THE HOPE OF CHANGE experienced a massive lineup change in its five year existence. Given the fact that this album really doesn’t showcase any originality and that the band’s geographical location was isolated in the middle of the Sonora desert in the years before the social media thing took off it’s no wonder they found no traction.

Overall, this is a decent slice of melodic metalcore by the books but nothing to get excited about either. This has all been done to death before by much better bands with more imagination. This is an extremely noisy album as it seems the production tweaked the guitar tones to a really obnoxious level and Mike’s vocal style verges on EMO whining but if you are seeking yet another band of this style then the competency level of the musicians is high. Personally this is a bit too generic for my tastes but wasn’t a waste of time either.

CRUCIFIX DOLL Fuck This Flower

Album · 2006 · Melodic Metalcore
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With virtually no info to be found, the metalcore band CRUCIFIX DOLL seems to be a mystery. What is known is that this band that consisted of Kalen Chase [Kalen Musmecci] (vocals), Branden Krull (keyboards), Dan Johnson (guitar), Tyson Strom (bass) and Dan Faraci (drums) formed in 1998 in the Eastern Washington town of Colville but once formed moved to Hollywood, CA where they supposedly still are together however in the year 2020 the band has only released one album titled FUCK THIS FLOWER.

This band’s one and only album that consists of 13 tracks seems to be heavily influenced by not only the extreme caustic sounds of metalcore but also the progressive hardcore band The Mars Volta especially with the vocal style of Kalen Chase whose clean vocals are a dead ringer for TMV’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Another unusual feature of CRUCIFIX DOLL is that this is metalcore that also uses keyboards so there are lots of atmospheric backdrops as well as some direct usages. Most of these keyboard parts are reserved for not only background ambience but also for the scant moments when the metalcore breaks and a moment of piano or other non-metal style comes into play.

During the non-metal moments the sound can remind of not only The Mars Volta but in a distant way Linkin Park and other nu metal acts. Even Korn comes to mind once in a while and of course considering that the band formed in the late 90s and released this one and only album in 2005, makes a lot of friggin sense. Unfortunately the band wears these influences on its sleeves just a tad too prominently and most of the time i’m thinking that this could’ve easily been some sort of demo recording that occurred between the At The Drive-Inn post-punk days and the more progressive The Mars Volta.

Due to The Mars Volta influences, this is actually quite the melodic metalcore album with not only piano / vocal performances but strong pop hooks that make this probably a more appealing album to fans of the nu metal scene than actual diehard metalcore freaks. Ultimately this band exudes an innocence of a newbie band that has yet to figure out its own course but obviously that didn’t really happen considering the fact that another album never followed. While on the road to becoming a bonafide progressive metalcore kind of band in the vein of Between The Buried And Me, for whatever reason this band ceased to produce new material. At times CRUCIFIX DOLL seems unsure where it wants to go and hasn’t figured out how to weave all the elements on board together but in the end it’s not a bad album either. Unfortunately it’s not great either.

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Alive or Just Breathing

Album · 2002 · Melodic Metalcore
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What is it about Killswitch Engage and their record Alive or Just Breathing that makes them one of the greatest and most important metalcore and New Wave of American Heavy Metal acts? Put simply, Killswitch is one of, if not the first, metal band to temper metal’s testosterone driven aggression with existential and emotional vulnerability. Their music, like their melodic death metal peers and progenitors in Sweden, is uncompromisingly dark and heavy. And yet, on this record, Killswitch made the bold and, to this day still, controversial choice to add melodious emo/pop-punk sensibilities to their choruses and various other passages in the music.

Metal fans, as a population, are notoriously fond of “gatekeeping” and ensuring that only bands that meet their own subjective standard of authenticity get crowned as proper metal acts. This tension between more purely heavy or classical metal and the emotive metalcore sound was definitely perceived as a major fault line between fans in the mid 2000’s at the height of the New Wave of American and Heavy Metal. And while much of the criticism of metalcore’s emo-like excesses is justified, it is impossible to deny the absolute authenticity of this record. Whether its Jesse Leach’s passionate calls for self reflection or the band’s brutal riffage, this is an album that will hit you as hard as any great metal record from the two decades prior.

Still, I can’t give the album a perfect score. While the first four tracks are metal bliss, the latter half of the record does, at times, merely re-tread material already handled earlier on in the record. Despite this, Alive or Just Breathing is still classic!

melodic metalcore movie reviews

SHADOWS FALL Madness In Manila: Shadows Fall Live In The Philippines 2009

Movie · 2010 · Melodic Metalcore
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Madness In Manilla is a live DVD/CD combo released in 2010 by the Massachusetts based American Metalcore band Shadows Fall, which was recorded live at Summerslam Festival in the Philippines back in 2009. The performance features a career spanning sixteen-track setlist that is balanced and which covers all the band’s most well known material as well as a few less expected numbers for variety.

This DVD is a proper full-length concert video of a single concert, as opposed to how either their previous DVD, The Art Of Touring or for example Down’s Diary Of A Mad Band were set out. Luckily for most concert fans, the set isn’t interspersed with home video footage or animations either, just the live performance from beginning to end.

The band play on a large outdoor festival stage along to an incredibly detailed light show, with all sorts of rotating, panning and altering lights, spots and colour changes, as well as lots of dry ice.

The camerawork features lots of movement, with all sorts of cranes and dollys employed along with the usual camera crew, the whole operation is a lot more complex and professional than any of the band’s previously available live videos from bonus discs and such things.

You get a lot of coverage of the instruments being played which is always a plus for viewers who are musicians and a good cover of the band’s famously proficient drummer Jason Bitner. What you also get to see a lot of is singer Brian Fair windmilling his knee-length dreadlocks, which is an interesting sight all things considered.

Whilst there are a lot of positives to be said about the visuals, there are some issues in the shot matching, occasional framing problems and the dry ice can effect the picture quality, it switches from incredibly high resolution shots on cranes and not so great images on handhelds. Furthermore the menus are cheap looking and basic so it isn’t as absolutely perfect as some bigger band’s festival DVDs or equally sized band’s indoor concert DVDs, but is still a strong release overall.

Standout tracks include the furious performance of early classic ‘Crushing Belial,’ which is opened with an enthusiastic yet expletive description of its epic status by Brian, which gives you a good idea of the energy and attitude that then goes into the ensuing performance. Other highlights include the Grammy nominated set closer ‘Redemption’ as well as the newer track ‘War’ which hammers away at a relentless pace.

Additionally; there are bonus features, which include four more live videos for ‘The Light That Blind,’ ‘Redemption,’ ‘Venous’ and ‘Thoughts Without Words,’ from Japan, The Philippines and Korea respectively, although the quality obviously isn’t as high as the main feature.

The sound and mix are great, so judging the product overall; the only real problems with the DVD apart from the previous mentioned visuals are subjective problems with Shadows Fall in general. If for example, you think their material is samey then sixteen tracks in a row may be a bit much for you, and similarly if you are used to their super-polished studio sound, then the live backing vocals or clean sections may well sound odd or strangely out of place.

Otherwise however, Madness In Manilla is a very good release from Shadows Fall that I would definitely recommend to fans. Due to its high sound quality and expansive setlist, it would make a fine introduction to the band for newcomers as well.

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