Metalcore

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Metalcore is a fusion genre combining elements of extreme metal and hardcore punk. The word is a portmanteau of the two genres. 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. [2] Pioneering metalcore bands—such as Integrity, Earth Crisis, Converge and All Out War [3] [4] all of which had formed by 1991—are described as leaning more toward hardcore, with their style sometimes being called metallic hardcore, whereas later bands—such as Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, Trivium, As I Lay Dying, Bullet for My Valentine, and Parkway Drive—are described as leaning more towards metal. [5] Pantera [6] and Sepultura [7] (who influenced Trivium, Atreyu, Bleeding Through and Unearth) have been particularly influential to the development of metalcore in the 2000s, which saw many bands in the genre achieve commercial success.

Extreme metal is a loosely defined umbrella term for a number of related heavy metal music subgenres that have developed since the early 1980s. It has been defined as a "cluster of metal subgenres characterized by sonic, verbal and visual transgression".

Hardcore punk Subgenre of punk rock

Hardcore punk is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. It is generally faster, harder, and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock. Its roots can be traced to earlier punk scenes in San Francisco and Southern California which arose as a reaction against the still predominant hippie cultural climate of the time. It was also inspired by New York punk rock and early proto-punk. New York punk had a harder-edged sound than its San Francisco counterpart, featuring anti-art expressions of masculine anger, energy, and subversive humor. Hardcore punk generally disavows commercialism, the established music industry and "anything similar to the characteristics of mainstream rock" and often addresses social and political topics with "confrontational, politically-charged lyrics."

A portmanteau or portmanteau word is a linguistic blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their phones (sounds) are combined into a new word, as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog, or motel, from motor and hotel. In linguistics, a portmanteau is defined as a single morph that represents two or more morphemes.

Contents

History

Precursors

1980s hardcore band Agnostic Front Agnostic Front – Reload Festival 2016 03.jpg
1980s hardcore band Agnostic Front

Black Flag [8] and Bad Brains, [9] among the originators of hardcore, admired and emulated Black Sabbath. British punk rock groups such as Discharge and the Exploited also took inspiration from heavy metal. [10] The Misfits put out the Earth A.D. album, becoming a crucial influence on thrash. [11] Nonetheless, punk and metal cultures and music remained fairly separate through the first half of the 1980s. Cross-pollination between metal and hardcore eventually birthed the crossover thrash scene, which gestated at a Berkeley club called Ruthie's, in 1984. [12] The term "metalcore" was originally used to refer to these crossover groups. [13] Hardcore punk groups Corrosion of Conformity, [14] D.R.I. and Suicidal Tendencies [15] played alongside thrash metal groups like Metallica and Slayer. This scene influenced the skinhead wing of New York hardcore, which also began in 1984, and included groups such as Cro-Mags, Murphy's Law, Agnostic Front [16] and Warzone. [17] The Cro-Mags were among the most influential of these bands, drawing equally from Bad Brains, Motörhead and Black Sabbath. [18] Cro-Mags also embraced straight edge and Krishna consciousness. [19] Another New York metal-influenced straight edge group of this time period is the Crumbsuckers. 1985 saw the development of the hardcore breakdown, an amalgamation of Bad Brains' reggae and metal backgrounds, [20] which encouraged moshing. Agnostic Front's 1986 album Cause for Alarm , a collaboration with Peter Steele, was a watershed in the intertwining of hardcore and metal. [21]

Black Flag (band) American hardcore punk band

Black Flag is an American punk rock band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. Initially called Panic, the band was established by Greg Ginn, the guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes in the band. They are widely considered to be one of the first hardcore punk bands as well as one of the pioneers of post-hardcore. After breaking up in 1986, Black Flag reunited in 2003 and again in 2013. The second reunion lasted well over a year, during which they released their first studio album in over two decades, What The… (2013). The band announced their third reunion in January 2019.

Bad Brains American hardcore punk band

Bad Brains are an American rock band formed in Washington, D.C., in 1977. They are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk, though the band's members have objected to this term to describe their music. They are also an adept reggae band, while later recordings featured elements of other genres like funk, heavy metal, hip hop and soul. Bad Brains are followers of the Rastafari movement.

Discharge (band) British hardcore punk band

Discharge are a British musical group formed in 1977 by Terence "Tezz" Roberts and Royston "Rainy" Wainwright. While the band has had substantial line-up changes over its history, the classic line-up from the early 1980s featured bassist Wainwright, drummer Gary Maloney, Anthony "Bones" Roberts playing guitar, and vocalist Kelvin "Cal" Morris.

Origins (1980s and 1990s)

1980s metallic hardcore band Hogan's Heroes HOGAN live.png
1980s metallic hardcore band Hogan's Heroes

Between 1984 and 1995, a wave of metallic hardcore bands emerged, [5] including Hogan's Heroes, [22] Integrity, [23] Earth Crisis, [23] [24] Converge, [24] Shai Hulud, [25] [26] [27] Judge, [24] Strife, [23] Rorschach, [28] Vision of Disorder [28] Hatebreed, [23] [28] and Disembodied. [29]

Hogans Heroes (band)

Hogan's Heroes was an American skate punk band formed in New Jersey in 1984. During their time they recorded three full lengths for California label New Red Archives. They have been described as a classic hardcore band, as well as "thrash," and metalcore band. The band broke up in 1993.

Integrity (band) band

Integrity is a hardcore punk and heavy metal band originally from America founded in 1988 by vocalist, lyricist and visual artist, Dwid Hellion. Integrity relocated to Belgium since 2004.

Earth Crisis is an American metalcore band from Syracuse, New York, active from 1989 until 2001, reuniting in 2007. Since 1993 the band's longest serving members are vocalist Karl Buechner, guitarist Scott Crouse, bassist Ian Edwards and drummer Dennis Merrick. Their third guitarist Erick Edwards joined the band in 1998.

Integrity drew influence from the hardcore band G.I.S.M. and the thrash metal band Slayer, with others like Septic Death, Samhain, Motörhead and Joy Division. Earth Crisis, Converge and Hatebreed [30] borrowed from hardcore punk and death metal. [31] Earth Crisis's albums Firestorm, Destroy the Machines and Gomorrah's Season Ends were particularly influential to the (further) development of the genre. [32] [33] [34] Biohazard, Coalesce and Overcast were also important early metalcore groups. [35] Journalist Lars Gotrich wrote, "Along with key records by The Dillinger Escape Plan and Botch, Give Them Rope (1997) is an underground milestone that helped [further] what was soon [universally] called 'metalcore'. At the risk of sounding too reductive—metalcore was the natural progression where extreme metal and hardcore met, but with spiraling time signatures that somehow felt more aggressive." [36] Shai Hulud's 1997 album Hearts Once Nourished with Hope and Compassion became especially influential in the latter part of the decade. [25] [26] [27]

G.I.S.M. is a Japanese hardcore punk band formed in Tokyo in 1981. Even though the guitar style resembled heavy metal in many aspects, GISM was one of the first Japanese hardcore bands, while at the same time drawing influence from the early industrial/avant-garde music scene—something uncommon in punk bands at that time.

Septic Death was a thrashcore band fronted by artist Brian "Pushead" Schroeder on vocals. Septic Death's music became a major influence on bands like Integrity, Von, Citizens Arrest, Infest, Rorschach and many other bands tied to the hardcore punk and extreme metal scenes.

Samhain (band) American rock band

Samhain is an American rock band formed by singer Glenn Danzig in 1983, immediately following his departure from Misfits. Samhain played in more of a deathrock and heavy metal-infused style of horror punk than Danzig's previous band. Glenn Danzig originally planned Samhain as a side project with Eerie Von. After his earlier group, the Misfits, contentiously dissolved, Samhain became his full-time band. Samhain is the least-celebrated of Danzig's major musical outlets and catalogs a transitional period in his musical career, bridging the gap between the punk rock of the Misfits and the dark, heavy metal and blues-influenced sound of Danzig. Both Samhain and its successor, Danzig, use the same horned skull image originally drawn by artist Michael Golden for the cover of the 1984 comic book The Saga of Crystar No. 8, published by Marvel Comics. The font often used in the name logo of Samhain, and later Danzig, is taken from the film The Giant Gila Monster.

Success (2000s–present)

Killswitch Engage are considered one of the breakthrough bands to bring metalcore to the spotlight. Killswitch Engage.jpg
Killswitch Engage are considered one of the breakthrough bands to bring metalcore to the spotlight.

In the early 2000s, metalcore started to gain more prominence, with several independent metal labels, including Century Media and Metal Blade, signing metalcore bands. A new subgenre, melodic metalcore, strongly influenced by Swedish melodic death metal, has formed and quickly came to the forefront of metalcore's rise to popularity. By 2002, Killswitch Engage's Alive or Just Breathing , [37] was the prominent album that thrust metalcore into the spotlight. In 2004 into Shadows Fall's The War Within , [38] and Atreyu's The Curse debuted at numbers 21, 20, and 36, respectively, on the Billboard album chart. Also, in 2006, Atreyu's third studio album, A Death-Grip on Yesterday debuted at Number 9 on the Billboard 200, only to be followed up by 2007's Lead Sails Paper Anchor , which debuted at Number 8. All That Remains' single "Two Weeks" peaked at number 9 at the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the U.S. The song peaked on the Modern Rock Tracks chart at number 38. In 2007, the songs "Nothing Left" by As I Lay Dying and "Redemption" by Shadows Fall were 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".

Century Media Records record label

Century Media Records is a heavy metal record label with offices in the United States, Germany and London. In August 2015, Century Media was acquired by Sony Music for US $17 million.

Metal Blade Records record label

Metal Blade Records is a heavy metal independent record label founded by Brian Slagel in 1982. The U.S. office for Metal Blade is located in Agoura Hills, California. It also has offices in Germany, Japan, Canada, and the UK. The label is distributed in the U.S. by RED Distribution, and in Canada by Sony Music Entertainment. It was distributed by Warner Bros. Records in the United States from 1988 to 1993.

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 band Bullet for My Valentine performing in 2006 BulletForMyValentine2006.PNG
Metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine performing in 2006

In 2008 Welsh metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine's second album, Scream Aim Fire , went straight to number 4 on the Billboard 200, [39] which was later surpassed in 2010 by their third album Fever , which debuted at number 3 selling more than 71,000 copies in its first week in the United States and more than 21,000 in the United Kingdom. Bullet for My Valentine's 2006 album The Poison was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). [40] Underoath's fifth album Define the Great Line , released in 2006, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200 charts, selling 98,000 copies in its first week. [41]

Bullet for My Valentine Welsh metal band

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.

<i>Scream Aim Fire</i> album

Scream Aim Fire is the second studio album by Welsh heavy metal band Bullet for My Valentine, released on 28 January 2008 in the United Kingdom and the preceding day in the United State through Jive Records. Since its release, Scream Aim Fire has sold over 1,400,000 copies worldwide.

<i>Fever</i> (Bullet for My Valentine album) album by Bullet for My Valentine

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.

Metalcore band Trivium live in 2008 Trivium live 2008.11.12.jpg
Metalcore band Trivium live in 2008

Trivium have met with success, making the top 25 positions on charts in several countries, including the United States, and top 10 positions in both Australia and the United Kingdom (where it even achieved Gold status). Hatebreed, God Forbid, and As I Lay Dying have also charted. [42] [43] [44] The Devil Wears Prada achieved some commercial success with their album, With Roots Above and Branches Below , peaking at number 11 on the Billboard 200 upon its release. [45] Underoath's album Lost in the Sound of Separation reached number 8 on the Billboard 200 and sold 56,000 copies in its first week of sales in the United States alone, [46] with Killswitch Engage's self-titled fifth album reaching number 7 on the same chart and selling 58,000 copies. [47]

By the early 2010s, metalcore was evolving to more frequently incorporate synthesizers and elements from genres beyond rock and metal. The Devil Wears Prada's 2011 album Dead Throne (which sold 32,400 in its first week) [48] reached number 10, [49] on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2013, British band Bring Me the Horizon released their fourth studio album Sempiternal to critical acclaim. The album debuted at number 3 on the UK Album Chart and at number 1 in Australia. The album sold 27,522 copies in the US, and charted at number 11 on the US Billboard Chart, making it their highest charting release in America until their follow-up album That's the Spirit , on which they abandoned metalcore, debuted at no. 2 in 2015.

In recent years there has been an underground revival of the early metalcore style, with bands like Kublai Khan, Code Orange, Baptists and Knocked Loose breaking out of the underground to achieve varying levels of success. This new wave of metalcore bands are creating a similar sounds as 90s metalcore bands such as Converge, 7 Angels 7 Plagues and Integrity. [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] Counterparts show a similar style but with more melancholic tones, leading to them also being categorized as melodic hardcore. [54]

Characteristics

Metalcore band Hatebreed Hatebreed 2016.jpg
Metalcore band Hatebreed

Metalcore is known for its use of breakdowns, in which it was preceded by heavy hardcore. [55] Metalcore singers typically perform screaming, [2] a vocal technique developed in the 1980s and characteristic of 1990s metalcore. More recent bands often combine this with the use of standard singing, usually during the bridge or chorus of a song. [2] The death growl technique is also popular.

The instrumentation of metalcore includes heavy guitar riffs often utilizing percussive pedal tones, double bass drumming, and breakdowns. [2] Drop guitar tunings are often used. Most bands use tuning ranging between Drop D and A, although lower tunings, as well as 7 and 8 string guitars are not uncommon. Drummers typically use a lot of double bass technique and general drumming styles across the board. Blast beats are also heard at times. According to author James Giordano, "tempos in metalcore tend to be slower than those found in thrash metal". [56]

Ideologies

Metalcore emerged from the subcultures of heavy metal and hardcore punk. Some metalcore groups, such as Converge have lyrically focused on personal anguish and experiences of failed romantic love. [57] [58] Meanwhile, there has been a significant number of Christian metalcore bands, building on the genres of Christian metal and Christian hardcore; bands with Christian members include Zao, [59] Demon Hunter, Haste the Day, For Today, As I Lay Dying, The Devil Wears Prada, Norma Jean, August Burns Red, Texas in July, Oh, Sleeper and Underoath. [60] [61]

Emerging from the hardcore genre, some bands are influenced by environmentalism, animal rights, and anti-corruption.

Subgenres

Melodic metalcore

The early 2000s included a wave of metalcore bands who placed significantly greater emphasis on melody. Melodic metalcore bands include Avenged Sevenfold, As I Lay Dying, Trivium, Dead by April, [62] All That Remains, [63] Atreyu, [64] [65] Bullet for My Valentine, [66] Bury Tomorrow, [67] Darkest Hour, [64] Shadows Fall, and August Burns Red. [68] [69] [70] These groups took major influence, cues, and writing styles from Swedish melodic death metal bands, particularly At the Gates, [64] In Flames, Arch Enemy and Soilwork. [71] Melodic metalcore often employs clean vocals. [72] [73]

Mathcore

Mathcore began with the mid-1990s work of Converge, [74] Botch [75] [76] Eso-Charis [77] and The Dillinger Escape Plan. [78] The term mathcore is meant to suggest an analogy with math rock. Mathcore is characterized by increased speed, technical riffing, and unusual time signatures. [79] [80] Bands such as Fear Before also combine the metalcore sound with odd time signatures, as well as progressive elements. [81]

Deathcore

Deathcore band Carnifex Carnifex - With Full Force 2014 02.jpg
Deathcore band Carnifex

Deathcore is a fusion of metalcore and death metal. [82] [83] [84] Deathcore is defined by breakdowns, blast beats and death metal riffs. [85] [86] Bands may also incorporate guitar solos and even riffs that are influenced by metalcore. [82] New York-based death metal group Suffocation is credited as one of the main influences for the emergence of deathcore. [87] Some examples of deathcore bands are Suicide Silence, [88] Whitechapel, [88] Knights of the Abyss, [89] Carnifex [88] Chelsea Grin, [90] Impending Doom, [91] and Emmure. [88]

Electronicore

Electronicore describes a stylistic fusion of electronic music and metalcore. [92] Notable artists of this genre have originated from the United Kingdom, the United States, [93] [94] Australia, [95] Canada, [96] France, [97] Hong Kong [98] and Japan. [99]

Progressive metalcore

Progressive metalcore is a fusion of progressive metal and metalcore characterized by highly technical lead guitar and djent-influenced breakdowns. [100] [101] [102] [103] Practitioners of the genre often rely heavily on "atmospheric" elements and complex instrumentation. [103] [104]

Nu metalcore

Nu metalcore is the musical fusion of nu metal and metalcore originating in the 2010s. [105] Many notable groups take influence from deathcore, R&B, [105] post-hardcore [106] and industrial metal. [107] Metalcore and deathcore groups [108] such as Emmure, [109] [110] [111] Of Mice & Men, [112] [113] [114] Suicide Silence, [115] [116] and Issues [117] [118] all gained moderate popularity drawing influence from nu metal and metalcore.

See also

Related Research Articles

A number of heavy metal genres have developed since the emergence of heavy metal during the late 1960s and early 1970s. At times heavy metal genres may overlap or are difficult to distinguish, but they can be identified by a number of traits. They may differ in terms of: instrumentation, tempo, song structure, vocal style, lyrics, guitar playing style, drumming style, and so on.

Shai Hulud American metalcore band

Shai Hulud is an American metalcore band formed in Pompano Beach, Florida, in 1995 then later moved to Poughkeepsie, New York. The band is named after the giant sandworms in Frank Herbert's novel Dune.

Youth crew is a music subculture of hardcore punk attributed to bands who were primarily active during the mid-to late 1980s particularly during the New York hardcore scene of the late eighties. Youth crew is distinguished from other hardcore and punk scenes by its optimism and moralist outlook. The original youth crew bands and fans were predominantly straight edge and vegetarian advocates.

Hatebreed American metalcore band

Hatebreed is an American metalcore band from Bridgeport, Connecticut, formed in 1994. They have released seven studio albums, most recently The Concrete Confessional on May 13, 2016. Their musical style blends influences from hardcore punk and heavy metal; a prominent band within the hardcore scene, they have also been considered part of the metal scene.

Atreyu American metalcore band

Atreyu is an American metalcore band from Orange County, 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.

Mathcore is a style of music that combines the speed and aggression of hardcore punk and extreme metal with rhythmically complex dissonant riffs and abrupt tempo changes. Although its roots can be traced to post-hardcore and math rock bands of the early 1990s, mathcore was eventually established in the late 1990s and early 2000s by pivotal albums of Botch, Coalesce, Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan. It is often categorized as a subgenre of metalcore. Other names that have been used to refer to mathcore include noisecore and experimental metalcore, highlighting its connection to noise music and experimental music.

Deathcore is an extreme metal fusion genre that combines musical elements of death metal and metalcore and sometimes hardcore punk. It makes use of death metal riffs and blast beats, as well as metalcore breakdowns. Deathcore gained most prominence within the southwestern United States, especially Arizona and inland southern California, which are home to many notable bands and various festivals.

Groove metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music. Music journalists and fans have used groove metal to describe Pantera, Exhorder and Machine Head. At its core, groove metal takes the intensity and sonic qualities of thrash metal and plays them at mid-tempo, with most bands making only occasional forays into fast tempo.

Melodic hardcore subgenre of hardcore punk

Melodic hardcore is a broadly defined subgenre of hardcore punk with a strong emphasis on melody in its guitar work. It generally incorporates fast rhythms, melodic and often distorted guitar riffs, and vocal styles tending towards shouting and screaming. Nevertheless, the genre has been very diverse, with different bands showcasing very different styles. Of the pioneering melodic hardcore bands such as Bad Religion and Descendents, some have proven influential across the spectrum of punk rock, as well as rock music more generally. The term "melodic punk" is often used to describe both melodic hardcore and skate punk bands.

Screaming (music) voice type

Screaming is an extended vocal technique that is mostly popular in "aggressive" music genres such as heavy metal, punk rock, and noise music. In heavy metal, the related death growl vocal technique is also popular. Intensity, pitch and other characteristics vary between different genres and different vocalists.

The new wave of American heavy metal is a heavy metal music movement that originated in the United States and Canada 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.

Crossover thrash is a fusion genre of thrash metal and hardcore punk. The genre lies on a continuum between heavy metal and hardcore punk. Other genres on the same continuum, such as metalcore and grindcore, may overlap with crossover thrash.

Matt Fox (musician) American musician

Matt Fox is an American musician, founding member and a current lead guitarist for the hardcore punk band Shai Hulud and his side project Zombie Apocalypse.

Nu metalcore is a fusion genre that combines musical elements of the two genres nu metal and metalcore. The offshoot style began in the 2000s and gained popularity in the 2010s. Some of the notable groups have also taken influence from R&B, pop, industrial metal, deathcore, post-hardcore, and heavy hardcore. The fusion is characterized by typical scream/growl vocals of metalcore and instrumentation often accompanied by down-tuned guitars, heavy bass, rapping, spoken word, soulful singing, funk samples, or turntablism.

Heavy hardcore is a subgenre of hardcore punk that incorporates more music elements of heavy metal than traditional hardcore punk. Heavy hardcore features aggressive vocals, down-tuned electric guitars, gang vocals, and heavy breakdowns. Heavy hardcore bands tend to often get labelled as simply "hardcore", causing the term "hardcore" to be a vague term because the term "hardcore" also is used as a label on traditional hardcore punk, a genre played by bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains.

References

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