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Metalcore (Emo Companion Article)

Metalcore is easily one of the most fascinating and maligned terms in music. The term “metalcore” was initially coined as a catch-all term for any band that played a fusion of hardcore and metal. Usually, this applied to the wealth of bands fusing hardcore and thrash metal, a combo that would later be dubbed “crossover thrash.” Eventually, metalcore would come to have more of a distinguished and recognizable sound. The original metalcore sound is sometimes referred to as “metallic hardcore.” Bands like Merauder, Integrity and Earth Crisis would take influence from death metal and early black metal (many metalcore bands from this era list Celtic Frost as an influence). Some bands of this era took some influence from the progressive tendencies of post-hardcore; Converge is a prime example as well as The Dillinger Escape Plan, the latter’s highly technical and intricate sound helping to found the genre of mathcore. The metalcore of this era was highly aggressive and often made use of slow breakdown passages (not dissimilar from the beatdown hardcore scene rising around the same time). After some time of this, metalcore was primed to evolve, and all it took was a little thing called Myspace. 

 

Much like emo, metalcore took on a whole new sound, image, and reputation with its assimilation into scene culture in the early-to-mid-2000s. Metalcore- from this point in time- is often referred to as “melodic metalcore,” and for good reason. In 1995, Swedish melodic death metal band “At the Gates” released their fourth album Slaughter of the Soul. The influence of this album on the Myspace melodic metalcore scene is off the charts. Such a large number of bands were playing riffs that sounded like they listened to Slaughter of the Soul once, took any one riff from the album and played it with a couple note changes. Some of the scene’s biggest bands like Killswitch Engage list Slaughter of the Soul as a major influence. Myspace also gave rise to Deathcore, which took the intensity of death metal and combined it with metalcore breakdowns. Despite some early deathcore bands like The Red Chord taking more influence from traditional metalcore, a majority of the Myspace bands like Suicide Silence and Bring Me the Horizon were influenced by the Myspace era metalcore. 

 

Despite metalcore being largely associated with scene culture, in recent years there has been a sort of revival of traditional metalcore (the “metallic hardcore” style). Many of the early metallic hardcore bands like Hatebreed and Integrity are still touring and putting out music and there are a wealth of new bands who play metalcore in the style of these bands and beatdown hardcore bands like Madball. The most famous example is by far Knocked Loose who, just a few months ago, played at Coachella of all shows. Other bands of this new scene include Sunami and Speed, all bands very much worth checking out. 

 

Some albums to check out:

  • Satisfaction is the Death of Desire by Hatebreed
  • Those Who Fear Tomorrow by Integrity
  • As Daylight Dies by Killswitch Engage
  • Count Your Blessings by Bring Me the Horizon
  • Laugh Tracks & A Different Shade of Blue by Knocked Loose  
  • SUNAMI (L.P.) by Sunami 

 

 

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Cash Vincent, Lion's Roar Staff

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