Metalcore

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Metalcore, a portmanteau of metallic hardcore, is a fusion sub-genre of heavy metal. The genre is a diverse blend of a number of elements, melding the genre’s roots in hardcore punk with death metal and and thrash metal. The genre saw its beginnings in the late 80s when bands such as Integrity, Earth Crisis, and Converge began to fuse elements of the hardcore punk scene with the heavy metal and thrash metal scene. Metalcore is not the first metal-hardcore hybrid, and a distinction is made between metalcore and crossover thrash, which is a hybrid of thrash metal and hardcore punk, but which, unlike metalcore which is broader in scope, focuses on a number of specific elements from both genres.

These bands began to develop a similar style, with linear compositions with aggressive verses and melodic chorus with an emphasis on breakdowns, where the music slows and becomes much heavier, which is conducive to moshing and head banging. Breakdowns are generally considered as the defining element of metalcore. From 1989 to 1995, this style of music exploded in popularity in the underground metal community. After 1995, numerous bands began to put more emphasis on melody in their metalcore, fusing more melodic death metal, post-hardcore, and occasionally emo elements into their music. By the late 90s and early 2000s, many metalcore bands had attained a very popular status, with bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Killswitch Engage, and Atreyu enjoying popularity outside of the normal metalcore scene and successful album sales.

Much of the metalcore genre has a similar and distinct style, which is based upon intense vocal work, much of which is either screamed or growled, and some artists combine these with clean melodic vocals in choruses and other passages, heavy and often at times technical instrumentation with a heavy emphasis on down-tuned, palm muted guitar and double bass-based drumming, and a heavy emphasis on breakdowns and solos. Although some bands are exceptions to this style, the vast majority of metalcore bands share this similar style.

A number of distinct sub-genres of metalcore have emerged over the years, the most prominent being deathcore, mathcore, melodic metalcore and electronicore / trancecore. All have their own child-subs on MMA.

Mathcore emerged in the mid-90s with the work of bands such as Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Botch, is the fusion of elements of math rock, which is rock based on complex time signatures, rhythms, and instrumentation, and metal genres such as thrash metal, death metal, and metalcore itself. This genre has a heavy emphasis on speed, aggressiveness, and intense instrumentation.

Deathcore, which emerged in the early 2000s, is another sub-genre of metalcore which fuses elements of hardcore punk with death metal, technical death metal or brutal death metal. Hardcore fused with melodic death metal is usually refered to melodic metalcore.

Melodic Metalcore can also be called out as a subgenre with acts like Avenged Sevenfold and Killswitch Engage and other acts who mix hardcore punk with melodic death metal.

Electronicore / Trancecore / Synthcore emerged in the 2000s, melding metalcore and post-hardcore with electronic elements. The style was made popular by bands such as Attack Attack!, Crossfaith, Enter Shikari and The Browning.

Another electronic / metalcore hybrid that has gained some recognition is Nintendocore. Nintendocore fuses chiptune and video game music with modern hardcore punk and heavy metal and was pioneered by groups such as Horse the Band. Increasingly non-Nintendocore bands are utilising the style too as it has become more maintream.

Progressive Metalcore can also be called out as a distinct style, which some include under mathcore, while others distinguish between mathcore and progressive metalcore, with mathcore emphasising technicality and progressive metalcore displaying progressive traits without necessarily being technical. Many progressive metalcore bands describe their music as "djent".

A small but increasingly common style of metalcore is a combination with nu-metal, often called Nu-Metalcore. These bands will be found under metalcore or nu-metal, depending on which style they are closer to.

Metalcore bands such as Winds of Plague and Across the Sun have begun to incorporate symphonic elements into their style, suggesting the rise of yet another metalcore subgenre - namely, symphonic metalcore (with its corresponding symphonic deathcore).

Metalcore Inclusive Genres:

deathcore electronicore mathcore melodic-metalcore nintendocore


Written by Andyman1125 with embellishment from the Metal Music Archives admin team.

Sub-genre collaborators (+ child sub-genres & shared with Hardcore Punk):
  • Bosh66 (leader)

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metalcore Music Reviews

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE Bullet For My Valentine

Album · 2021 · Melodic Metalcore
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Kev Rowland
They may have sold some three million albums, but there is no doubt that Welsh metalcore outfit Bullet For My Valentine have never really lived up to the promise of their first two albums. Although their debut, ‘The Poison’ is the most regarded by many, for me it was 2008’s ‘Scream Aim Fire’ which really grabbed my attention, and I was convinced we would be hearing a great deal more from this band. However, although they have a considerable fan base, the critics have never been hugely supportive over the years, due in no small part to some inconsistent releases. This is their seventh studio album, and while the first three are all well worth hearing and enjoying, the last three not so much, so what would this be like?

It starts with the age-old concept of playing snippets of songs in the background as if someone was playing the radio, but whereas the concept worked well for both Pink Floyd and Kiss, here it just drags which made me wonder what the rest was going to be like? It takes a full 90 seconds for “Parasite” to kick in properly, and when it does then the introduction is (somewhat) forgiven (although it is pointless). Here we have Matt Tuck doing what he does so well, leading the band on a headlong journey of aggression and power, linked in tightly with Padge as they have been since the very beginning, while drummer Jason Bowld is all over the kit, throwing in triplets and nice kick drum while bassist Jamie Mathias provides the platform for everyone to build on.

There is not much room on here for peace and quiet, but they understand the need for dynamics, so we get breaks in some songs, a more peaceful introduction there, a touch of djent here, and there are times when there is plenty of space and others when it is a wall of sound. To my ears this is easily their best album since ‘Fever’, and a nice return which metalheads will surely enjoy.

TRIVIUM In The Court Of The Dragon

Album · 2021 · Melodic Metalcore
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Kev Rowland
I first came across Trivium when I was asked to review their second album, 2005’s ‘Ascendancy’ which just blew me away. A few years later I was fortunate enough to see them headline a gig in Auckland (supported by Whitechapel, what a night) and then went to see Disturbed just because they were one of the support acts (and then walked out on the headline as they were boring in comparison). Lead singer and guitarist Matt was one of the founders back in 1999 while Corey Beaulieu (guitars, backing vocals) has been there since 2003 and bassist Paolo Gregoletto since 2004 while this is the third album they have recorded with newbie drummer Alex Bent so it is no wonder they are tight.

Here we have a band determined not to live on past glories, but instead are at the height of their powers and have released possibly the finest album of their career to date. Everyone is confident in their place in the group, and at this time in their career feel there is no need whatsoever to restrict themselves in any way, which means they can be intensely melodic here, touching into death there, pushing symphonic there or being downright metalcore if that is what they wish to do. This a dramatic, soaring album which should see them step up in terms of popularity as there appear to be no limits to what they can do after this. However, Trivium’s popularity and media presence has been up and down over the years for some strange reason, even though their output has been consistently solid and this album allowing them to demonstrate just what a powerful entity they can be.

I only hope this release gains enough popularity for themselves to yet again consider coming to the end of the world as this is a superb piece of work which metalheads need to uncover.

DEADGUY Fixation On A Co-Worker

Album · 1995 · Metalcore
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SilentScream213
Deadguy’s one and only album “Fixation on a Coworker” has been given semi-legend status among Metalcore and considered one of the earliest Mathcore records around. The record’s got some mean vocals and guitar work to match, emanating a misanthropic attitude and some baseline human negativity, packaged up with some filthy noise.

Unfortunately, the coolest thing about this album to me is the title, which is both hilarious and batshit insane. The music is good, but even after repeated listens, I can’t recall a god dammed song on it. I also didn’t hear anything particularly “mathy” about this, most of it was mid-tempo and not unlike other Metalcore of the time technically and rhythmically. In one ear out the other, though it was a pleasant ride.

SIKTH Death of a Dead Day

Album · 2006 · Metalcore
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UMUR
"Death of a Dead Day" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK, Watford based progressive metal/metalcore act Sikth. The album was released through Bieler Bros. Records in June 2006. It´s the successor to "The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait For Something Wild" from 2003 and the sextet lineup who recorded the predecessor is intact here. Sikth were originally active from 2001 to 2008 and released two full-length studio albums in that period. They reunited in 2013.

Stylistically the material on "Death of a Dead Day" continue the technical/progressive metal of "The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait For Something Wild" (2003). SikTh´s brand of progressive metal features elements of mathcore, NU-metal, alternative metal, and hardcore, and a combination of the sound of artists like The Dillinger Escape Plan and System of a Down is a relatively valid description, although Sikth definitely have a sound of their own. While their songwriting is clever and effective, I´m predominantly blow away by the high level musicianship found on "Death of a Dead Day". The complexity of the material is pretty high, but it´s the natural organic way that said material is performed and the way the many different vocal styles (clean, screaming, aggressive, schizophrenic lunatic babbling) compliment the often manic instrumental parts of the music, which make this a spectacular release. You´re definitely in for at ride with this album...

Featuring a detailed, powerful, and very well sounding production "Death of a Dead Day" is also a treat on the ears in terms of every instrument and vocal parts sounding great in the mix. The fact that it´s a self-produced affair bears witness to how skilled SikTh are. They aren´t just clever composers and well playing musicians, but also competent producers. Upon conclusion "Death of a Dead Day" is a high quality sophomore album by SikTh and a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

BAD OMENS The Death Of Peace Of Mind

Album · 2022 · Metalcore
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ssmarcus
You don’t have a brain If you’re not giggling to yourself when the band predictably drops a nu-metal breakdown in the bridge after the song’s second emotive chorus for three songs straight. If you didn’t stick around anyway and connect with the power of the record, then you don’t really have a soul either.

Yes, the songs on The Death of Peace of Mind are formulaic to a fault. But the sincerity and multi-faceted delivery behind every charged line by vocalist Noah Sebastian is absolutely magnetic. With lyrics like “no god, no religion, just bad bad decisions” and “can you hear me through the white noise…friend,” Noah is presenting us with a convincing and honest look at the emotional state of America’s new generation of adults. While there is certainly some finger pointing, the message of the record is primarily inward – it is up to us to make the changes we need to in our lives and relationships. And most importantly, unlike SOME metalcore-turned-pop-metal acts I could point fingers at (uhum…uhum… Architects… uhum), Bad Omens aren’t delusional enough to blame it all on climate change.

I wanted to rate this record higher, but it just strays too far into modern pop territory for my personal liking. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see Bad Omens achieve as much mainstream success as they can muster. It is never a bad thing when heavy music blows up, least of all when it’s a band that feels as authentic as this. Should this pop orientation continue to yield success for the band, I will happily cheer on but as a bystander.

metalcore movie reviews

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

Movie · 2010 · Melodic Metalcore
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Kingcrimsonprog
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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