Last updated

Thrashcore (also known as fastcore) is a fast-tempo subgenre of hardcore punk that emerged in the early 1980s. Thrashcore is essentially sped-up hardcore, adopting a slightly more extreme style by means of its vocals, dissonance, and occasional use of blast beats. Songs are usually very brief, and thrashcore is in many ways a less dissonant, minimally metallic forerunner of grindcore. The genre is sometimes associated with the skateboarder subculture.


Terminological ambiguity

Thrashcore is often confused with crossover thrash and sometimes thrash metal. [3] [4] Further confusion is added by the fact that many crossover bands, such as D.R.I., began as influential thrashcore bands. [3] Throughout the '80s, the term "thrash" was in use as a synonym for hardcore punk (as in the New York Thrash compilation of 1982). It eventually came to be used for the faster, more intense style of hardcore punk. The term thrashcore is of recent vintage but dates from at least 1993. [5] The "-core" suffix is necessary to distinguish it from the thrash metal scene, which is also referred to as "thrash" by fans. Still more confusingly, the term "thrashcore" is occasionally used by the music press to refer to thrash metal-inflected metalcore. [6]



Just as hardcore punk groups distinguished themselves from their punk rock predecessors by their greater intensity and aggression, thrashcore groups (often identified simply as "thrash") sought to play at breakneck tempos that would radicalize the innovations of hardcore. Early American thrashcore groups included Cryptic Slaughter (Santa Monica), D.R.I. (Houston), HYPE (Toronto, Canada), Septic Death (Boise, Idaho) and Siege (Weymouth, Massachusetts). The British Electro Hippies, the Dutch Lärm, the Italian Raw Power, and the Japanese S.O.B. also practiced important examples of the style. Some of Negative Approach's later work was influential on the scene.


The powerviolence scene grew out of thrashcore as an American counterpart to the British grindcore scene, which had emerged from crust punk, with bands such as Septic Death, Infest and Siege being the first to move towards the style. [7] Powerviolence groups saw themselves as distinct from grindcore because of the increasing proximity of grindcore groups to the death metal being performed in Florida, Sweden, and Brazil. [8] Powerviolence groups wished to avoid the association with heavy metal music and culture that crossover thrash, thrash metal, and grindcore had made, while also incorporating "tempo changes with droney and sludgey down tempo parts". [7] As well as from thrashcore, powerviolence groups also took inspiration from crust punk, and eventually from noise music. Main groups associated with powerviolence included No Comment, Hellnation, Man Is The Bastard, Crossed Out, Charles Bronson, Spazz and Rorschach.


Thrashcore groups such as S.O.B., [9] [10] [11] Cryptic Slaughter, [12] Siege and Deep Wound [13] were major influences on early grindcore acts such as Napalm Death, Carcass and Repulsion. Grindcore is considered to be more metallic, due to its influence from crust punk. [7] [13]


Contemporary thrashcore band Trash Talk performing in 2010 Trash Talk Band.jpg
Contemporary thrashcore band Trash Talk performing in 2010

The '90s saw a revival of the thrashcore style, as groups that had previously been associated with powerviolence or grindcore began to explore their debt to this earlier form of extreme music such as rock and metal. This was sometimes referred to as "bandanna thrash", in reference to the headgear preferred by many of the performers. [14] Prominent '90s thrashcore groups included Code 13, MK-ULTRA, Guyana Punch Line, What Happens Next? and R.A.M.B.O. (from the United States), Vitamin X (from the Netherlands), Vivisick (from Japan) and Voorhees (from the UK). These groups sometimes felt a greater association with other elements of '80s hardcore punk, such as straight edge, anarcho-punk, youth crew, or crust punk, than most initial thrashcore groups did.

Record labels

Related Research Articles

Grindcore is an extreme fusion genre of heavy metal and hardcore punk that originated in the mid-1980s, drawing inspiration from abrasive-sounding musical styles, such as thrashcore, crust punk, hardcore punk, extreme metal, and industrial. Grindcore is considered a more noise-filled style of hardcore punk while using hardcore's trademark characteristics such as heavily distorted, down-tuned guitars, grinding overdriven bass, high-speed tempo, blast beats, and vocals which consist of growls, shouts and high-pitched shrieks. Early groups like Napalm Death are credited with laying the groundwork for the style. It is most prevalent today in North America and Europe, with popular contributors such as Brutal Truth and Nasum. Lyrical themes range from a primary focus on social and political concerns, to gory subject matter and black humor.

A blast beat is a type of 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 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."

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crust punk</span> Music genre

Crust punk is a subgenre of punk rock influenced by the English punk scene as well as extreme metal. The style, which evolved in the early 1980s in England, often has songs with dark and pessimistic lyrics that linger on political and social ills. The term "crust" was coined by Hellbastard on their 1986 Ripper Crust demo.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Siege (band)</span> American hardcore punk band

Siege was an American hardcore punk band from Weymouth, Massachusetts. Formed in 1981, they were active in the Boston hardcore scene from 1984 to 1985, and reunited briefly in 1991. Drummer Rob Williams and guitarist Kurt Habelt led a live ensemble of reunion performances between 2016 and 2023.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Discharge (band)</span> English punk band

Discharge are an English hardcore punk band formed in 1977 in Stoke-on-Trent, England. The band is known for influencing several sub-genres of extreme music and their songs have been covered by some of the biggest names in heavy metal and other genres. The musical sub-genre of D-beat is named after Discharge and the band's distinctive drumbeat.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">D-beat</span> Genre of hardcore punk

D-beat is a style of hardcore punk, developed in the early 1980s by imitators of Discharge, after whom the genre is named, as well as a drum beat characteristic of this subgenre. D-beat is known for its "grinding, distorted and brutally political" sound. Discharge may have themselves inherited the beat from Motörhead and the Buzzcocks. D-beat is closely associated with crust punk, which is a heavier, more complex variation. The style was particularly popular in Sweden, and developed there by groups such as Crude SS, Anti Cimex, Mob 47, and Driller Killer. Other D-beat groups include Doom and the Varukers from the UK; Disclose from Japan; Crucifix and Final Conflict from the U.S.; Ratos de Porão from Brazil; and MG15 from Spain. While the style initially developed in the early 1980s, a number of new groups working within the subgenre emerged in the mid-1990s. These include the Swedish groups Wolfbrigade, Totalitär, Avskum, Skitsystem, and Disfear.

Septic Death was an American hardcore punk band active in the 1980s. The foursome from Boise, Idaho was a major influence for the development of grindcore, thrashcore and "speedcore".

Electro Hippies were an English thrashcore band formed in St Helens/Wigan, England, in 1985.

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.

<i>Spy vs Spy</i> (album) 1989 studio album by John Zorn

Spy vs Spy: The Music of Ornette Coleman is a 1989 album by American composer and saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist John Zorn, featuring the compositions of Ornette Coleman performed in the brief, intense style of Zorn's hardcore miniatures.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Powerviolence</span> Music genre; subgenre of hardcore punk

Powerviolence is an extremely dissonant and fast subgenre of hardcore punk which is closely related to thrashcore and grindcore. In contrast with grindcore, which is a "crossover" idiom containing musical aspects of heavy metal, powerviolence is just an augmentation of the most challenging qualities of hardcore punk. Like its predecessors, it is usually socio-politically charged and iconoclastic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kevin Mahoney</span> American singer

Kevin J. Mahoney was an American singer. He is best remembered as the vocalist of Siege, a pioneering Massachusetts-based hardcore punk band whose speed and discord influenced the formation of the grindcore and powerviolence subgenres of punk rock and heavy metal. Mahoney's incongruous lead vocal style also influenced the development of these genres.

S.O.B. is a Japanese punk rock band formed in Osaka in 1983. Their original vocalist Yoshitomo "Tottsuan" Suzuki committed suicide in 1995. They are also considered hugely influential on grindcore bands such as Napalm Death and the genre of death metal as well as one of the mainstays of the thrashcore genre. The band have sometimes been described as grindcore, themselves.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Septic Tank (band)</span> British punk rock band

Septic Tank are a British punk rock band formed out of Coventry doom metal band Cathedral. The band was originally formed in 1994, while Cathedral were on tour, and later reformed in 2013 after Cathedral's breakup. Once the band reunited, producer and former member of the UK band Trouble, Jaime "Gomez" Arellano, replaced drummer Barry Stern, due to his death in 2005. The band have currently released one self-titled EP and one full-length album, entitled "Rotting Civilisation".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Straight Ahead (band)</span> American hardcore punk band

Straight Ahead was an American straight edge hardcore punk band formed in Queens, New York City, in 1984, by drummer and vocalist Tommy Carroll, guitarist Gordon Ancis and bassist Tony Marc Shimkin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hardcore punk in the United Kingdom</span> Genre of music in the UK

Hardcore punk in the United Kingdom began in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the second wave of punk rock in the country. The scene produced many successful and influential hardcore punk bands throughout the 1980s such as Discharge, GBH and the Exploited and led to the pioneering of genres such as grindcore, street punk, crust punk and D-beat.


  1. Roddy, Derek (2007). The Evolution of Blast Beats. p. 22. ISBN   978-1423460169.
  2. Von Havoc, Felix (January 1, 1984). "Rise of Crust". Profane Existence. Archived from the original on June 15, 2008. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
  3. 1 2 Felix von Havoc. Maximum Rock'n'Roll #198 Archived June 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved June 20, 2008.
  4. "Powerviolence: The Dysfunctional Family of Bllleeeeaaauuurrrgghhh!!". Terrorizer no. 172. July 2008. p. 36-37.
  5. As Max Ward writes, "625 started in 1993 in order to help out the local Bay Area thrashcore scene." Ward, Max (2000). "About 625". 625 Thrashcore. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
  6. Voegtlin, Stewart (July 29, 2008). "Soulfly Cranks Up the Thrash and Triggers a Debacle". Village Voice. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
  7. 1 2 3 Preenson, Richard (March 2018). "What Even is "Thrashcore" Anyway?". Thrown Into the Fire. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  8. Bartkewicz, Anthony (July 2007). "Screwdriver in the Urethra of Hardcore" Archived February 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine . Decibel Magazine. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
  9. "S.O.B – METALBROTHERS.ES – Todo el Metal – All about Metal". Archived from the original on December 19, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  10. "The Lazarus Pit: SOB's What's the Truth? - Decibel Magazine". October 12, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  11. Niesel, Jeff. "Grindcore Meets Grunge: Napalm Death and the Melvins Bring Co-Headlining Tour to Agora" . Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  12. Farrar, Justin (December 26, 2017). "The 30 Greatest Thrash Bands of All Time". Spin. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  13. 1 2 Mudrain, Albert. Choosing Death. p. 21.
  14. Interview with Max Ward. Maximum Rock'n'Roll. Retrieved June 19, 2008.