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 and death metal.

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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REFLECTIONS
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Sheep
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metalcore Music Reviews

PLASTICBAG FACEMASK Whited Sepulcher

Album · 2019 · Mathcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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.

MIND TERRORIST Fragments Of Human Decay

Album · 2014 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
il_graz
MIND TERRORIST is a group from Larissa, Greece. They Have a Melodic Death sound, and lyrical content that is a bit political. Their lyrical content is mostly about human rights, animal cruelty, and other “political” topics having to do with the same. The general over all ambiences of “Fragments Of Human Decay” is heavy, melodic, and pretty catchy. This is certainly not for the extreme Grindcore fan, but none the less a great metal piece. There is plenty of double bass, and hard riffs to go with a vocal style that is somewhere between clean and harsh.

The album opens with a spoken intro that is a bit of a poetic take on the dissention from the natural spiritual magic of childhood, to the cold worn down void of adulthood. From there it goes on to rant about all kinds of inhumanities. The guitar work is a bit intricate, while still heavy and hard hitting. The drums are likewise a bit technical. They do a great job of keeping the timing of the songs, and still helping keep that nice heavy edge, with plenty of double bass. The vocals as I stated previously are somewhere between clean and harsh, certainly for the style of music being played they are suitable. Actually the vocals remind me a little bit of SLAYER type lyrics (in sound). Personally, I think the lyrical content that they have is pretty awesome. They take on cause and purpose, which isn’t something I expect out of every band I listen to, but is absolutely respectable. As far as composition of the album, it I very well put together. It has a great flow and is a bit catchy. From beginning to end there really is no repetition, so I don’t get bored listening to it.

“Fragments Of Human Decay” certainly is a powerful album. It’s heavy in all the right ways, without going overboard. The catchy melodic sound they produce really sucks the listener in. As I stated before they ain’t for the extreme death fan, but they’re as heavy as they need to be. Also the lyrics are understandable, which really helps get the point they make across. The album is not repetitive at al which is a big plus. These guys are definitely worth a listen.

MIND TERRORIST A Moment In Eternity

Album · 2016 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
il_graz
Mind Terrorist are a band with a lot of experience behind them, at their third studio work for the Teutonic OPOS Records, a record that characterizing it as "Metalcore" is reductive because, in addition to the evident influences of groups such as As I Lay Dying, Soilwork and similar, there is also a predisposition for some sounds to Soulfly, Sepultura and Nevermore (it is no coincidence that they have opened the concert in Larissa of the late Warrell Dane). The album is full of melodies, mostly melancholy, surrounded by several strong riffs, with a double granite and earthquake case. Each piece of course, besides the melodies, offers many moments that will surely stir up a bit of mosh in the live phase. Despite the clear denomination "core", I found a lot of heterogeneity even in the breakdowns and it is curious how the presence of some patterns recalling the beatdown has been exploited. What I liked most is the whole feeling of guitars and bass in many of their compositions, whose incarnation reminds me of something hardcore punk from the late 90s. On the other hand, what seems relatively tortuous are the voices that, compared to a metalcore product, are not performed with scream vocals; the voice of our Kostas, beautiful scratchy and present, will not be hyper-technical but certainly good for compositions. It is precisely the voice that is also the mole of this album, sometimes too repetitive and not pressing as it should, but it is about smallness and subjective opinions. A nice record this "A moment to eternity", we are waiting for good news from the guys who are currently in temporary stop.

MIND TERRORIST Spiritual Revolution

Album · 2020 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
il_graz
"Spiritual Revolution" is the fourth studio album of the Greek metal band Mind Terrorist, containing nine new tracks and released by One People One Struggle Records (OPOS). I want to thank the group who personally provided me with a physical copy of the album in a special version. To be precise, only 188 digipack copies were printed in a limited edition, which literally went up in smoke in a few days. The guys kindly honored me with the number 187, so I couldn't help telling you about it again after the previous review on this portal. But back to us and the work in question! Recordings, mixing and mastering of the disc took place in the United States, Greece, the Netherlands and Germany between May and December 2019. "Spiritual Revolution" is a concept album focused on the fundamental process of inner transformation according to which each of us breaks the poisonous effects of globalism, consumerism and modern civilization in general. Being in the world but not belonging to it is a purpose in life through which one realizes that modernity is not simply a way of life .. We can briefly define the album as an alternative metal, since the proposed sound is a homogeneous mix of various elements both of European and American matrix, although the band is based in Larissa (Greece). The melting pot proposed by the band is chock full of references to the Swedish death metal style with influences mainly given by groups such as At The Gates, Soilwork, The Haunted, a bit of Dismember and the latest In Flames. The style also meets the American hardcore of Hatebreed and Madball. "Spiritual Revolution" is heavy, melodic and rather captivating, certainly ideal for fans of extreme metal who like to range between hard melodies and riffs to combine with a vocal performance halfway between clean and harsh. The work of the guitar is wonderfully intricate, heavy and hard on the one hand, but also melodic in the passages and refrains on the other. The drums let themselves go in some technicality, showing off an excellent use of filling (always at the service of music) and a truly phenomenal double speaker. The voice, then, is the most particular element since the band, compared to Swedish or metalcore groups, is not in scream or growl, but more towards hardcore punk. I must say that despite being impactful, the voice still blends well with the sound proposed. This can also be seen as a demerit but I believe that in this case it gives further personality to the proposal, and compared to the previous work there is a greater maturity and awareness. The track "Revolt against The Modern World" is the masterpiece of the album, the summary of an extraordinary work that I feel like giving a 5/5 for the passion it releases and for the spirituality that exudes through the lyrics; the latter rather significant which make the album a well-worked and interesting concept. Reading the booklet I noticed how the literary sector played a fundamental role in the work in question, and the inclusion of figures inspired, for example, by George Orwell and his "1984", really pleased me, being an author who I appreciate. Before concluding, I would like to clarify that in addition to the above-mentioned passage, there is also another appreciable piece that literally entered my head, "End Of Tradition", which begins with a speech based on "1984". But the surprise is not over. A song with a rapcore vocal line in Greek lyrics that shows another side of the band, a bit unusual given the sound proposed in the other tracks. Note of merit also for the graphic sector of the well-made album with attention to the smallest details (even the eye wants its part). It must be said that all the design was created by the design of Richard Manson (Doomsdaykvlt) while AD Media oversaw the productions for viewers and video lyrics. A must for fans of modern metal, especially for the heavy matrix embellished by their characteristic "metallic hardcore" ... a heterogeneous and explosive crossover!

FROZEN WATER BURIAL Frozen Water Burial

Demo · 2006 · Deathcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
The hybridization of metal styles is hardly anything new of course as it seems once a subgenre is created, there’s always someone blurring the lines however every once in a while there is a band that springs up in a far fetched location and fuses together metal styles that nobody else had thought of and for better or for worse goes for it.

FROZEN WATER BURIAL was a short-lived band that was formed in Greenfield, CA in 2006 and only lasted until 2009. The band that consisted of Paul (vocals), Nick (guitar), Heath (guitar), Joe (bass), Martin (drums), Juan (keyboards) and Erica (keyboard, 2006) only ever released this one demo simply titled DEMO in 2006 before disbanding in 2009. Supposedly they reformed but no album has ever seen the light of day.

While only a demo there are still six tracks that make the 26 minute mark so this is more like an EP than a demo. The band has made a name for itself in the underground for being one of the few bands that have mixed deathcore and symphonic black metal. Basically the guitar riffing and musical procession adopts the aggressiveness and of deathcore while the keyboards add atmospheric backdrops and aggressive runs that often interact with the extreme metal bombast.

Despite the extreme caustic abrasiveness of the delivery of frenetic guitar riffs, bantering bass and speed drumming, the music revolves around easily digested melodic processions. The vocals are all over the place with death metal growls taking precedence but there are lots of call and response stylistic approaches with core styled pig squeals and blood curdling screams. There are also deep guttural grunts and a few other surprises that pop up.

While the deathcore elements are predominant, there are also moments when neoclassical style guitar solos rip it up. There are few traces of black metal really except for the symphonic aspects and some of the guitar tones so the term blackened deathcore may apply but if you ask me i’d probably call this symphonic deathcore or even experimental. Overall the musicianship is top notch. The tempos are soaring at fast speeds and the guitarist is outstanding.

This is one of those bands like Children of Bodom that will rub many the wrong way. For true death metal fans this will be too cheesy and melodic but for those who are open minded and have no expectations then this is actually a decent set of tracks. It’s too bad the band didn’t stick it out and craft a more adventures album that explored more sonic textures in the production process because it’s apparent that the musicians were onto something and had a developed sense of creativity. For a demo this isn’t bad at all and personally i kinda like it.

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.

Artists with Metalcore release(s)