(also known as metallic hardcore
or hardcore metal
) is a subgenre of Heavy Metal
that combines Thrash Metal
with Hardcore Punk
, and sometimes takes a more melodic approach to the songs than thrash. It is characterised by gratuitous use of the Metal Scream
, as well as breakdowns. Lots and lots of breakdowns (although due to, ahem, certain bands, this attribute has been Flanderized
a bit). If you're not in the know, a "breakdown" is when the music kind-of slows down to induce moshing or "throwing down"...or something like that. Modern bands often tend to mix it up with clean vocals and melodic riffs (see Melodic metalcore below).
Metalcore began life as a blending between thrash metal and hardcore punk, and was used to describe bands such as D.R.I.
, S.O.D., and Suicidal Tendencies
in the 1980's, however the term changed its meaning in the 1990's to "metallic hardcore", and the genre metalcore originally defined became known as "crossover thrash". This newer "wave" of metalcore included bands such as Integrity, Earth Crisis and Converge. By the end of the nineties, metalcore had evolved into "melodic metalcore", which slowly grew in popularity until the mid-2000s, when it was a big mainstream draw. In fact, today, metalcore is the most commercially popular form of metal.
When combined with Death Metal
, metalcore transforms into Deathcore
. Melodic metalcore is usually fused with Melodic Death Metal
influences and Soprano and Gravel
vocal dynamics. Finally, metalcore that contains too much hardcore to qualify as metalcore but enough metal to not entirely qualify as hardcore either (examples being Hatebreed, Terror, and later-era Madball) is occasionally (and derisively) referred to as "brocore" due to the stereotypes of the fans of said bands being dimwitted, thuggish meatheads who go to shows less to enjoy them and more to start fights.note
Bands typically cited as metalcore include:
- The Acacia Strain
- A Life Once Lost
- The Agonist (mixed with melodic death metal and deathcore)
- All Pigs Must Die (mixed with crust punk and sludge metal)
- All That Remains (their first album was melodeath; recent albums have had strong Post Grunge elements)
- As I Lay Dying (With a heavy Thrash Metal bend on later albums)
- Asking Alexandria (arguably the most hated example)
- Atreyu (early)
- Attack Attack! (Combines this with post hardcore and electronic music, sometimes called Electronicore)
- August Burns Red (Also considered Progressive Metal)
- Avenged Sevenfold (early; later became Heavy Metal / Hard Rock)
- Beautiful Dying Day (about 30% this and 70% Post Hardcore)
- Between The Buried And Me (also a Progressive Death Metal band)
- Biohazard (one of the most hated examples of the old guard)
- Black Veil Brides (started as this on "We Stich these Wounds", but changed to Hair Metal on their follow up)
- Bleeding Through (has flirted with deathcore at various points)
- Botch (Trope Maker/Ur Example for mathcore along with Converge)
- The Blood Brothers (also mathcore and noise rock)
- Bring Me The Horizon (started off as deathcore, now plays a mix of metalcore and post rock)
- Bullet For My Valentine (at first, but they changed styles after Scream Aim Fire to a more hard rock-based sound, though elements of the genre tend to still be there)
- Burst (has some overlap with Progressive Metal, but not enough to truly be called metal)
- Candiria (mixed with Jazz Fusion and Hip Hop, though their later material dialed this down and took a more brocore-oriented turn)
- Car Bomb (mathcore)
- Cave-In (Earlier work, some of their later material is more Alternative Metal)
- Chimaira (mixed with Groove Metal)
- Coalesce (along with Converge, TDEP and Ion Dissonance the Trope Maker for mathcore)
- Code Orange Kids
- Converge (Trope Maker for mathcore)
- Curl Up And Die
- Daughters (mathcore)
- A Day to Remember (often leans toward Hardcore Punk and even pop-punk)
- Dead By April
- Deadlock (Mixed with Melodic Death Metal, with a Djent sound later.)
- Demon Hunter (although they have strong Alternative Metal elements and riffs resembling Groove Metal and Nu Metal)
- The Devil Wears Prada
- The Dillinger Escape Plan (they are part of the sub-genre, Mathcore, so their sound somewhat differs from traditional Metalcore fare)
- Earth Crisis
- Every Time I Die (with quite a few Southern Rock and Sludge Metal elements)
- Falling in Reverse (their first album was a mix of this with pop punk and Hair metal, but their newest release has bizzarely taken on a crunkcore vibe much to their fans dismay)
- The Final Harvest (one of the heavier examples, overlaps with Death Metal)
- Gaza (highly technical metalcore with heavy grindcore and sludge metal influences)
- God Forbid (likely one of the least hated examples; also falls under Thrash Metal)
- Haste the Day
- Heaven Shall Burn (also Melodic Death Metal)
- HORSE The band (Also Nintendocore)
- In This Moment (only on Beautiful Tragedy and A Star-Crossed Wasteland; The Dream was more alt-metal/post-hardcore, while Blood was more industrial/nu-metal)
- Ion Dissonance (Trope Maker/Trope Codifier for mathcore with Converge and TDEP, also draws influences from grindcore and noise rock; one of the very heaviest bands of the genre)
- Killswitch Engage
- Lamb Of God (they're not very melodic, and possibly closer to Groove Metal or Thrash Metal, though their first couple of albums definitely have significant elements of this)
- Machine Head (recent material, though Burn My Eyes and The More Things Change had significant Biohazard influences)
- Meek Is Murder (mixed with first-wave screamo and noise rock)
- Memphis May Fire (no clear consensus though since they push the genre as well as other genres present in their music (Post Hardcore, Southern Rock), so this classification depends largely on who you ask)
- Misery Signals
- Of Mice and Men
- Parkway Drive
- Poison the Well
- Protest the Hero (also Progressive Metal)
- Sea of Treachery
- Shadows Fall (overlaps with Thrash Metal, similar to God Forbid)
- Shai Hulud
- The Showdown (First album only; mixed with Melodic Death Metal and Death Metal. They eventually became a Death Metal tinged groove/thrash band)
- Starkweather (An Early-Installment Weirdness for the entire subgenre, drawing influences from Doom Metal, Death Metal, Progressive Metal and Alternative Rock. Implied to be the Ur Example of the Soprano and Gravel technique for which modern Metalcore bands are known for)
- Straight Line Stitch
- Today Is the Day (also carries heavy Grindcore and Noise Rock influences)
- Trivium (influences also drawn from Thrash Metal and Melodic Death Metal for more recent albums)
- Walls Of Jericho
- The Word Alive
- Xibalba (mixed with sludge metal)
The following bands are often called metalcore, but are very much not metalcore. We keep this short list here because we don't want these bands put on the main metalcore list by an earnest passerby.
- 3 Inches of Blood: The confusion comes from the dual vocalists. While switching between clean, punk styled vocals and harsh, growled and screamed vocals is common in metalcore, 3 Inches of Blood is very much a thrash-power metal band with little to no similarities to metalcore outside of common thrash elements. Furthermore, while one of their vocalists does use similar screams to some metalcore bands, their other vocalist uses a Halfordesque screech that's far more in line with thrash metal, speed metal and Power Metal.
- The Black Dahlia Murder: Earliest releases contained trace elements of metalcore, but they're otherwise straight-up Melodic Death Metal, with standard Death Metal and Brutal Death Metal elements introduced starting with "Ritual" and "Everblack".
- DevilDriver: Mixture of Groove Metal and the poppier side of Melodic Death Metal.
- Five Finger Death Punch: Straight-up Groove Metal on their first album, thrashier groove metal along the lines of Pantera's faster songs on the second, and a bit of both on the third. Some of their mellower songs border on Post-Grunge.
- Light This City: They mostly look like hardcore kids, and the other bands they've been in are mostly hardcore or pop punk, but the music is straight Melodic Death Metal.
- Soul Embraced: Possibly due to being a Christian band. They started out as a straight up death metal band, but their later albums brought Progressive Metal and Alternative Metal influences into the fold.
- Sylosis: The confusion comes mainly from their vocalist's screaming style, as well as their time of emergence. Musically, however, the band is Thrash Metal with some elements of Death Metal and Progressive Metal.
Tropes Common In Metalcore:
- Christian Rock: Metalcore and Post Hardcore are both filled with Christian bands for whatever reason. Most famously are The Devil Wears Prada, Underoath, Demon Hunter, and August Burns Red.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Despite the genre's strong hatedom, there are quite a few bands that metalheads generally respect. Converge and Chimaira are probably the most lauded, but other respected outfits include Bleeding Through, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Misery Signals, Earth Crisis, Killswitch Engage, Caliban and Heaven Shall Burn.
- Fan Dumb: While most metalcore fans are perfectly fine, there's still at least one person on Facebook, YouTube, or some other site that's going to put down people putting down the band in question - typical comments include mentions of wealth and talent or jealousy on the Hatedom's part.
- Many of the more hardcore-influenced bands (Hatebreed, Earth Crisis, Terror, etc.) have gained the derisive label of "brocore" due to their tendency to attract dimwitted, violent thugs who seem to view shows less as places to enjoy the music and more as opportunities for starting fights.
- Gateway Series: To extreme metal and Hardcore Punk.
- Heavy Mithril: Averted most of the time.
- Lighter and Softer: Than other Extreme metal genres, usually.
- Only the pop-oriented stuff that the genre has come to be associated with. Many of the more aggressive traditional metalcore groups are just as heavy, if not heavier, than most death or black metal. Take Converge for example.
- Hatedom / Hate Dumb: Due to its immense popularity and the fact that it is sometimes perceived as a form of modern Hardcore Punk rather than Metal by metalheads, the genre has accumulated a rather large one of these.
- It can, of course, go the other way: lots of metalheads have great respect for the more overtly hardcore-influenced bands (such as Converge or Cave In), but really hate the more accessible, melodeath-influenced ones (Killswitch Engage, Bullet for My Valentine).
- Hardcore fans have even stronger views about it. Most have no problem with first-wave metalcore and newer bands that sound like it, but Killswitch Engage and Hatebreed (as well as anything that sounds like them) are absolute anathema to them.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually about an 8 or 9. Occasionally dip down to a 7 (All That Remains does this sometimes) or very rarely go up to a 10 (Chimaira and The Dillinger Escape Plan, for example). Converge and a couple of other groups sometimes go Up to Eleven, but this is pretty uncommon.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Most metalcore brings in alot of influences throughout the extreme metal scene, mainly Melodic Death Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal, and Thrash Metal. Some bands bring in influences from Pop Punk, Electronic Music, Groove Metal, and Alternative Metal.
- First-wave, meanwhile, often played with elements of noise rock, post-punk, free jazz, post-rock, grindcore, sludge metal, progressive rock, and whatever the hell else they felt like putting in.
- Scary Musician, Harmless Music: Commonly inverted. They usually dress like an average person or androgynously, but the music is still fairly heavy metal.
- The Scrappy: Some metalheads seem to think so, but it still has a large fanbase. Don't even bring it up around hardcore fans, however. It won't end well.
- Soprano and Gravel: Most bands have this. This unfortunately causes people to assume any metal band that uses this dynamic is metalcore. Melodic Death Metal (and even regular death metal in some cases) are the usual victims of this.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: Almost every band on this page will have at least one of these per album. The first-wave acts and bands that sound like them usually have something post-rock-influenced, while the melodic acts usually have a Power Ballad.
- Wangst: Occasionally