|Cultural origins||Late 1990s—early 2000s, United States and United Kingdom|
Melodic metalcore is a fusion genre, incorporating elements of metalcore and melodic death metal, with a heavy emphasis on melodic instrumentation, blast beats, metalcore-stylized 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 At the Gates.
Metalcore is a fusion genre combining elements of extreme metal and hardcore punk. Among other styles blending metal and hardcore, such as crust punk and grindcore, metalcore is noted for its use of breakdowns, which are slow, intense passages conducive to moshing. Other defining instrumentation includes heavy guitar riffs often utilizing percussive pedal tones and double bass drumming. Vocalists in the genre typically perform screaming, more popular bands often combine this with the use of standard singing, usually during the bridge or chorus of a song. However the death growl is also a popular technique within the genre.
Melodic death metal is a subgenre of death metal that employs highly melodic guitar riffs, often borrowing from traditional heavy metal. The style originated and developed in Sweden and the United Kingdom around 1993. The Swedish death metal scene did much to popularise the style, soon centering in the "Gothenburg metal" scene.
A blast beat is a drum beat that originated in hardcore punk and grindcore, and is often associated with certain styles of extreme metal, namely black metal and death metal, and occasionally in deathcore and metalcore. In Adam MacGregor's definition, "the blast-beat generally comprises a repeated, sixteenth-note figure played at a very fast tempo, and divided uniformly among the bass drum, snare, and ride, crash, or hi-hat cymbal." Blast beats have been described by PopMatters contributor Whitney Strub as, "maniacal percussive explosions, less about rhythm per se than sheer sonic violence".
The 'original' or traditional blastbeat is a single-stroke roll played between your cymbal and snare, with your kick playing simultaneously with every cymbal hit.
The style began in the late 1990s and early-2000s tracing its roots to melodic death metal groups such as At the Gates.Florida's Poison the Well are considered one of, if not the first melodic metalcore band, proving extremely influential to subsequent bands thanks to their first two albums The Opposite of December and Tear from the Red, along with bands like 7 Angels 7 Plagues, Dead to Fall, Chimaira, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall and Unearth Of these bands, frequently cited influenced include In Flames, Slayer, At the Gates and Pantera.
At the Gates is a Swedish death metal band from Gothenburg, a major progenitor of Gothenburg-style melodic death metal. The band was initially active from 1990 to 1996, reforming in 2007 for a tour between April and September 2008. In 2011, they reformed again and have since continued to perform. They released At War with Reality, their first album in 19 years, in late 2014.
Poison the Well is an American metalcore band from Miami, Florida who were last signed to Ferret Music. In 2010, they announced a hiatus to explore other interests. Guitarist Ryan Primack and drummer Chris Hornbrook were the only remaining founding members, although vocalist Jeffrey Moreira featured on all five of their full-length albums.
The Opposite of December... A Season of Separation is the first full-length album by experimental hardcore band Poison the Well, released on December 14, 1999. Very influential in the early popularization of metalcore around the turn of the century, the album was the band's first on Trustkill Records and is now recognized as a landmark album in the genre due to its quality and influence.
Killswitch Engage released their sophomore album Alive or Just Breathing in 2002, which has been noted as a significant influence on many bands to follow,such as Jinjer, August Burns Red and Miss May I. By 2004 the genre saw increasing prominence, with Shadows Fall's The War Within debuting at number 20 on the Billboard album chart. Trivium released their sophomore album, Ascendancy , in 2005, which peaked at 75 on the UK Albums Chart, made the band one of the more prominent bands in the scene at that point, despite changing their style away from melodic metalcore on many occasions. Killswitch Engage's 2006 effort As Daylight Dies was described by Brandon Tadday of Overdrive Magazine as "without a doubt one of the most impactful releases for melodic metalcore during the mid-2000s", peaking at number 32 on the Billboard 200 and spending 22 weeks in the charts. In 2008 the All That Remains' single "Two Weeks" peaked at number 9 at the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the U.S., and on the Modern Rock Tracks chart at number 38. In 2007, the song "Nothing Left" by As I Lay Dying was nominated for a Grammy award in the "Best Metal Performance" category. An Ocean Between Us (the album that included "Nothing Left") itself was a commercial success, debuting at number 8 on the Billboard 200.
Alive or Just Breathing is the second studio album by American metalcore band Killswitch Engage. It was released on May 21, 2002, through Roadrunner Records. Alive or Just Breathing was Killswitch Engage's first album on Roadrunner and was recorded from October 2001 to February 2002. Produced by drummer and guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, this was the band's first album on a major label, which prompted them to write and record the album to the best of their abilities. Alive or Just Breathing has been viewed as a landmark album in the metalcore genre and was well praised upon its release by fans and critics. The lyrics, which were all written by vocalist Jesse Leach, were intended to bring a positive message through the music.
Jinjer ( "ginger") is a Ukrainian heavy metal band formed in 2009. Their playing style incorporates elements of death metal, progressive rock and nu metal. While explaining their influences, the band has noted other metal acts like Opeth, Karnivool and Textures, in addition to groups across the spectrum of R&B, soul and hip-hop such as Cypress Hill. Since their inception, the band has released three full-length albums and three EPs.
August Burns Red is an American metalcore band from Lancaster, Pennsylvania formed in 2003. The band's current lineup consists of vocalist Jake Luhrs, rhythm guitarist Brent Rambler, lead guitarist John Benjamin "JB" Brubaker, bassist and keyboardist Dustin Davidson, and drummer Matt Greiner. The band was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2016 for Best Metal Performance for the song "Identity" from its 2015 release Found in Far Away Places, and again in 2018 for "Invisible Enemy" from their most recent studio album Phantom Anthem (2017). In 2018, the Christmas EP Winter Wilderness was released.
Welsh melodic metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine's third album Fever debuted at number 3 selling more than 71,000 copies in its first week in the U.S. and more than 21,000 copies in the UK during 2010 alone.Australian melodic metalcore band Parkway Drive's third album Deep Blue reached number three on the Billboard Rock Charts in 2010, along with Miss May I's album Rise of the Lion having reached number 6 in 2014. Melodic metalcore band Bury Tomorrow's fifth studio album Black Flame reached number eleven on the Billboard albums chart in less than a week.
Bullet for My Valentine, often abbreviated as BFMV, are a Welsh heavy metal band from Bridgend, Wales, formed in 1998. The band is currently composed of Matthew Tuck, Michael Paget, Jason Bowld (drums) and Jamie Mathias. Former members include Michael Thomas, Jason James and Nick Crandle; the latter were on bass. They were formed under the name Jeff Killed John and started their music career by covering songs by Metallica and Nirvana. Jeff Killed John recorded six songs which were not released; two of these tracks were reworked later in their career as Bullet for My Valentine. A change of style from Jeff Killed John's style, led the band to change their name. In 2002, the band secured a five-album deal with Sony BMG. The band has stated that their music is influenced by classic metal acts such as Metallica, Iron Maiden and Slayer. The band is part of the Cardiff music scene.
Fever is the third studio album by Welsh heavy metal band, Bullet for My Valentine. Containing eleven tracks, the album was released on 26 and 27 April 2010 in the UK and in the US, respectively. The album sold 71,000 copies in the US and 21,965 in the UK in its first week of release to debut at position No. 3 on The Billboard 200 and No. 1 on Billboard's Rock and Alternative charts, making it the band's most successfully-charting record to date. Since its release, Fever has sold over 600,000 copies worldwide. It also went gold in the UK in late 2013.
Parkway Drive are an Australian heavy metal band from Byron Bay, New South Wales, formed in 2003. As of 2018, Parkway Drive have released six full-length albums, one EP, two DVDs, a split album and one book, titled Ten Years of Parkway Drive. The band's latest four albums have reached the top 10 of the Australian ARIA Charts, with Ire reaching number 1 in October 2015, and Reverence in May 2018.
Melodic metalcore bands often take influence from the guitar riffs and writing styles of Swedish melodic death metal bands, especially At the Gates, In Flames, Arch Enemy and Soilwork.Practitioners of the genre tend to make use of instrumental melody, and many prominently feature clean singing alongside typical metalcore growls and screams. Melodic metalcore often promotes "very positive lyrical content." The genre can also feature harmonic guitar riffs, tremolo picking, double bass drums and metalcore-stylized breakdowns. Some bands include guitar solos. A few of these groups, like Shadows Fall, have some appreciation for 1980s glam metal, while other bands, such as Trivium, As I Lay Dying and Bullet for My Valentine take a significant influence from thrash metal.
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.
In Flames are a Swedish heavy metal band, which was formed by guitarist Jesper Strömblad in 1990 in Gothenburg, Sweden. At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity, Soilwork and In Flames are the only remaining bands responsible for developing the genres known as Swedish death metal and melodic death metal.
Arch Enemy is a Swedish melodic death metal band, originally a supergroup, from Halmstad, formed in 1995. Its members were in bands such as Carcass, Armageddon, Carnage, Mercyful Fate, Spiritual Beggars, Nevermore, and Eucharist. It was founded by Carcass guitarist Michael Amott along with Johan Liiva, who were both originally from the death metal band Carnage. The band has released ten studio albums, three live albums, three video albums and four EPs. The band was originally fronted by Johan Liiva, who was replaced by German vocalist Angela Gossow in 2000. Gossow left the band in March 2014 and was replaced by Canadian vocalist Alissa White-Gluz, but remained as the group's manager.
36 Crazyfists is a metalcore band formed in Anchorage, Alaska, and later based in Portland, Oregon. The band's name comes from the Jackie Chan film Jackie Chan and the 36 Crazy Fists. They have released eight studio albums.
7 Angels 7 Plagues was a metalcore band from Milwaukee, WI, United States.
The Agonist is a Canadian metal band from Montreal, Quebec, formed in 2004. The current line up consists of guitarists Danny Marino and Pascal (Paco) Jobin, bassist Chris Kells, drummer Simon Mckay, and vocalist Vicky Psarakis, who joined in March 2014 following the departure of vocalist and founding member Alissa White-Gluz. Both Psarakis and White-Gluz use growled and clean vocals. Originally known as the Tempest, the band adopted their current moniker upon their signing to Century Media in 2007. To date, the Agonist has released five studio albums; the latest, Five, was released in September 2016. Touring extensively since their first album, they have shared the stage with bands such as Arsonists Get All the Girls, Epica, the Faceless, Chelsea Grin, Kamelot, and Visions of Atlantis.
Killswitch Engage is an American metalcore band from Westfield, Massachusetts, formed in 1999 after the disbanding of Overcast and Aftershock. Killswitch Engage's current lineup consists of vocalist Jesse Leach, guitarists Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz, bassist Mike D'Antonio, and drummer Justin Foley. The band has released seven studio albums and two live performance albums. Their eighth studio album, Atonement, was released on August 16, 2019.
Atreyu is an American metalcore band from Yorba Linda, California, formed in 1998. The band consists of unclean vocalist Alex Varkatzas, guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel, bassist Marc "Porter" McKnight, and drummer/clean vocalist Brandon Saller.
Avenged Sevenfold is an American heavy metal band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1999. The band's current lineup consists of lead vocalist M. Shadows, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Zacky Vengeance, lead guitarist and backing vocalist Synyster Gates, bassist and backing vocalist Johnny Christ, and drummer Brooks Wackerman.
Shadows Fall is an American heavy metal band from Springfield, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. Although Shadows Fall has experienced several line-up changes, for most of its recording career, Shadows Fall has been composed of Jon Donais, Matt Bachand, Paul Romanko (bass), Brian Fair, and Jason Bittner (drums).
Darkest Hour is an American heavy metal band from Washington, D.C., formed in 1995. Though failing to break early in their career, the band has received acclaim for their albums Undoing Ruin, Deliver Us, and The Eternal Return. Deliver Us debuted at number 110 on the Billboard album charts, with sales of 6,600, and their more recent effort The Eternal Return garnered them an even higher position in the Billboard album charts at number 104. Their latest album Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora charted at 42 on the Billboard 200, a peak for the band, and it marked a stylistic shift in the band's discography.
City of Evil is the third studio album by Avenged Sevenfold released on June 6, 2005 by Warner Records. Co-produced by Andrew Murdock, City of Evil contains a more traditional heavy metal and hard rock sound than Avenged Sevenfold's previous two albums, which showcased a predominantly metalcore sound. The album is also notable for the absence of screaming vocals. M. Shadows worked for months before the album's release with vocal coach Ron Anderson, whose clients have included Axl Rose and Chris Cornell, to achieve a sound that had "grit while still having the tone". In order to increase stamina and strength on the pedals, The Rev would sit for hours practicing until he could get up to 210 beats per minute. The album was ranked No. 63 on Guitar World magazine's "100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time". City of Evil also appears in Kerrang's "666 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" and "50 Albums You Need To Hear Before You Die" The album was ranked No. 35 in Kerrang's list of "50 Greatest Metal Albums Ever" in 2016. Rolling Stone listed the album at No. 100 on its list of The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.
God Forbid was an American heavy metal band formed in 1996 in East Brunswick, New Jersey. After releasing six full-length albums, the band announced its breakup in 2013.
Trivium is an American heavy metal band from Orlando, Florida, formed in 1999. After getting signed to Roadrunner Records in 2004, the band has released eight studio albums and over twenty singles. Their latest album, The Sin and the Sentence, was released on October 20, 2017. The band has sold over one million albums worldwide and was nominated for a Grammy for the song "Betrayer" at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019 for the Best Metal Performance.
The Oncoming Storm is the second studio album by American metalcore band, Unearth. It was released on June 29, 2004 through Metal Blade Records. The album was produced by Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, and was their first major release through Metal Blade Records. This was also their first album with drummer Mike Justian and bassist John "Slo" Maggard, replacing Mike Rudberg and Chris "Rover" Rybicki respectively.
The Fall of Ideals is the third studio album by metalcore band All That Remains, released on July 11, 2006. Three music videos were created for the songs "This Calling", "Not Alone" and "The Air That I Breathe". It is the only All That Remains release with drummer Shannon Lucas and the band's first album to feature bassist Jeanne Sagan. Musically, the album features a more metalcore sound, while still featuring some elements of the band's melodic death metal sound featured prominently on their first two albums.
All That Remains is an American heavy metal band from Springfield, Massachusetts, formed in 1998. They have released nine studio albums, a live CD and DVD, and have sold over a million records worldwide. The group currently consists of vocalist Philip Labonte, rhythm guitarist Mike Martin, former Diecast drummer Jason Costa, bassist Aaron Patrick, and lead guitarist Jason Richardson, with Labonte being the last remaining original member. In spite of this, the band's line-up had remained consistent from the release of 2008's Overcome until 2015's The Order of Things, spanning four albums. This line-up changed, however, in September 2015, when long-time bassist Jeanne Sagan left the band, with Patrick taking her place.
The new wave of American heavy metal was a heavy metal music movement that originated in the United States during the early to mid-1990s and expanded most in the early to mid-2000s. Some of the bands considered part of the movement had formed as early as the late 1980s, but did not become influential or reach popular standing until the following decade. The term itself borrows from the new wave of British heavy metal dating to 1979. NWOAHM includes a wide variety of styles, including alternative metal, groove metal, industrial metal, nu metal and metalcore.
Killswitch Engage is an American metalcore band from Westfield, Massachusetts. Their discography consists of eight studio albums, two video albums, and nineteen singles. Formed in 1999, the band signed with Ferret Music, and released their self-titled debut album in 2000. They then signed a recording contract with Roadrunner Records, releasing Alive or Just Breathing in 2002. The album peaked at number 37 on the Heatseekers Albums chart. Their third album, 2004's The End of Heartache, peaked at number 21 on the Billboard 200, and sold 38,000 copies in its first week of release. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2007, denoting shipments of over 500,000 copies.
Whitechapel is an American deathcore band from Knoxville, Tennessee. The band is named after the Whitechapel district in East London, England, referencing the series of murders committed by Jack the Ripper. The group comprises vocalist Phil Bozeman, guitarists Ben Savage, Alex Wade, and Zach Householder, and bassist Gabe Crisp. Founded in 2006 by Bozeman and Savage, the band has released seven studio albums, fourteen music videos and are currently signed to Metal Blade Records. Whitechapel's 2010 album A New Era of Corruption, sold around 10,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release and debuted at position No. 43 on the Billboard 200 chart. The band's self-titled fourth album was released on June 19, 2012 and debuted at No. 47 on the Billboard 200, selling roughly 9,200 copies in its first week. In 2014 the band released their fifth full-length album, Our Endless War to generally positive reviews. The album sold roughly 16,000 copies in its first week and debuted at no. 10 on the Billboard 200. They released their sixth full-length album Mark of the Blade in 2016 to greater critical acclaim, selling roughly 8,000 copies in the first week of its release, and in 2019, they released their seventh album, The Valley.
Killswitch Engage is the fifth studio album by American metalcore band Killswitch Engage. It was released on June 30, 2009 through Roadrunner Records. It is the band's second album to be self-titled, the first being their debut album. It was produced by Adam Dutkiewicz and Brendan O'Brien. The album's reception from critics and fans has been generally mixed, with praise directed towards Howard Jones' vocals and criticism directed towards Dutkiewicz's and O'Brien's production and the album's reliance on formula.
Miss May I is an American metalcore band from Troy, Ohio. Formed in 2007, they signed to Rise Records in 2008 and released their debut album, Apologies Are for the Weak through the label while the members were still attending high school. The album reached 76 on the Billboard 200, No. 29 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers, and No. 66 on Top Independent Albums. The band has also had some of their material featured in big name productions; the song "Forgive and Forget" is featured on the Saw VI Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, and their song "Apologies Are for the Weak" is included in the video game Saints Row: The Third.
Disarm the Descent is the sixth studio album by American metalcore band Killswitch Engage. The album was released on April 2, 2013, under Roadrunner Records. It is the band's first album with Jesse Leach on vocals since 2002's Alive or Just Breathing. Killswitch Engage announced the return of Leach in January 2012, after vocalist Howard Jones parted ways with the group. The album received generally positive reception from professional critics.
Atreyu's debut album, Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses, is an invigorating foray into melodic metalcore in the vein of Darkest Hour, Poison the Well, and Eighteen Visions.