Metalcore (or metallic hardcore) is a fusion genre blending and . The name is a portmanteau of the names of the two genres, which is known as distinguished by its emphasis on breakdowns, which are slow, intense passages that are used for moshing. Pioneering bands, such as Hogan’s Heroes, Avenged Sevenfold, Earth Crisis, Deadguy, Hatebreed, Bury Your Dead and Integrity, lean more towards , whereas latter bands - Killswitch Engage, Bullet For My Valentine, Parkway Drive and Blood Has Been Shed- lean more towards . Brazilian metal band Sepultura, who has been credited to “laying the foundation” for the genre, and groove metal band Pantera, who influenced bands such as Hatebreed, Bleeding Through, Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold and Unearth, have been influential in the development of metalcore.

History - Precursors:

Black Flag and Bad Brains, among the originators of hardcore, admired and emulated Black Sabbath. British street punk groups such as Discharge and The Exploited also took inspiration from heavy metal. The Misfits put out the Earth A.D. album, becoming a crucial influence on thrash. Nonetheless, punk and metal cultures and music remained 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. The term “metalcore” was originally used to refer to these crossover groups. Hardcore punk groups Corrosion of Conformity, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles and Suicidal Tendencies 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 and Warzone. The Cro-Mags were among the most influential of these bands, drawing equally from Bad Brains, Motörhead and Black Sabbath. Cro-Mags also embraced straight edge and, surprisingly enough, Krishna consciousness. Other New York straight edge groups included Gorilla Biscuits, Crumbsuckers and Youth of Today, who inaugurated the youth crew style. 1985 saw the development of the hardcore breakdown, an amalgamation of Bad Brains’ reggae and metal backgrounds, 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.

At the same time, thrash metal groups began to borrow a great deal from hardcore punk. Metallica paid tribute to Discharge and Misfits, and Slayer eventually recorded an entire album of hardcore covers. Anthrax covered “Protest and Survive” by Discharge on their album Attack of the Killer B’s and “New Noise” by the Swedish hardcore punk band Refused on their latest album Worship Music. In addition, groove metal band Pantera covered Poison Idea. Sepultura, who paid tribute to a number of groups, has been credited as laying the foundation for the development of metalcore as a genre.

Metallic hardcore (1990s):

Between 1989 and 1995, a new wave of [taghardcore and bands emerged and bands who’ll blend with . These included Merauder, All Out War, Integrity, Biohazard, Earth Crisis, Converge, Shai Hulud, Starkweather, Judge, Strife, Rorschach, Vision of Disorder[/artist and Hatebreed. Integrity had influence mainly from the Japanese band GISM and the of Slayer, with influences of Septic Death, the band Samhain, the band Motörhead and quartet Joy Division, while Earth Crisis, Converge and Hatebreed borrowed from and . Earth Crisis’s 1995 album Destroy The Machines were particularly influential. In guitarist Scott Crouse’s words,

“It was a very mixed reaction. I’m often quoted as saying that Earth Crisis was the first band with a sound. Of course we weren’t the first, but I think we definitely took it to another level. We heard a lot of, ‘These guys are trying to be Pantera,’ which we all took as a great compliment!”

Biohazard, Coalesce and Overcast were also important early metalcore groups. These groups are sometimes referred to as “metallic hardcore” as the long term for metalcore. As journalist Lars Gotrich writes, “Along with key records by Dillinger Escape Plan and Botch, Give Them Rope is an underground milestone that helped pioneer what was soon called ‘metalcore’. At the risk of sounding too reductive — too late! — metalcore was the natural progression where extreme metal and hardcore met, but with spiraling time signatures that somehow felt more aggressive.” Shai Hulud’s Hearts Once Nourished with Hope and Compassion became especially influential in the latter part of the decade. Many metallic hardcore bands were around in the Northern USA like Hatebreed and Blood Has Been Shed. While some modern bands like Killswitch Engage have. A lot of early metalcore bands have rooted from crossover thrash/punk metal.

Commercial success (2000s to present):

In the mid-2000s, metalcore emerged as a commercial force, with several independent metal labels, including Century Media and Metal Blade, signing metalcore bands. By 2004, metalcore had become popular enough that Killswitch Engage’s The End of Heartache. Metalcore, also saw popularity when Welsh metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine’s Scream Aim Fire(even though it was more of a thrash metal[/tag[ album but led to their metalcore stuff), went straight to number 4 on the Billboard 200, later surpassing this in 2010 with their third album Fever, which debuted at number 3 selling more than 71,000 copies in its first week in the U.S. Although the band began as metalcore and melodic metalcore, with their 2nd album they went more [tag]thrash metal but returned as a melodic metalcore band with not much metalcore sounds and more melodic metalcore with Fever and sold more than 21,000 in the UK and Scream Aim Fire led to their metalcore songs like Cries in Vain, 4 Words and Hand of Blood. Hatebreed, God Forbid, Bring Me the Horizon and A Day to Remember have also charted as popularity for metalcore.

Killswitch Engage’s self-titled fifth album reaching number 7 on the Billboard 200 and selling 58,000 copies as another example of metalcore going big. Another recent success is the album Reckless & Relentless by British metalcore band Asking Alexandria, reaching up to now number 9 on the Billboard 200, selling 31,000 in its first week. However, the majority of metalcore bands are underground such as Bury Your Dead, Converge, and others.

Characteristics:

1. Vocals

The vocalizing technique in metalcore is generally shouted or growled vocals, particularly common among many 1990s metalcore groups. Today many metalcore bands combine growled vocals and screams with some shouting occasional in the backing vocals. However, some metalcore bands, like Killswitch Engage and Avenged Sevenfold, have also done clean singing. But there are also modern bands who only growl or shout, such as Parkway Drive.

2. Instrumentation

Heavy guitar riffs, double-bass drumming, blast beat drumming, and breakdowns are used a lot in metalcore. Drop guitar tunings are used almost universally, earlier bands usually used either Drop D, C# or C tunings. More recently certain bands have been known to tune as low as Drop G1 and even F#1. Drummers typically use a lot of double bass technique and general drumming styles across the board. Bass tends to be down-tuned and low and guitar riffs tend to usually derive from punk or metal.
3. Ideologies

Metalcore emerged from the milieu surrounding youth crew hardcore punk subculture, with many of the groups adhering to straight edge beliefs (abstention from drugs and alcohol), although Integrity was a notable exception. However, Converge was notable for their focus on personal anguish and experiences of failed romantic love.

Subgenres and a Fusion Genre:

1. Melodic metalcore

In the early 2000, a third wave of melodic rock groups appeared, who placed significantly greater emphasis on melody within instrumentation. They weren’t metalcore, but mixed it with other genres. These bands tend to fuse , , metalcore, and all together. Some bands might also use for their sound which makes them an emo melodic metalcore band usually with highly emotional lyrics. Melodic metalcore bands include Trivium, All That Remains, Atreyu, Bullet for My Valentine, Bury Tomorrow, Darkest Hour, August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying, and Devil Wears Prada. These groups took major influence, cues, and writing styles from Swedish melodic death metal bands, particularly At the Gates, Arch Enemy, In Flames and Soilwork. Melodic metalcore often might scream, but many make use of clean vocals. Some of these groups, such as Shadows Fall, have voiced an affection for ’80s glam metal. Melodic metalcore groups have been described as “embrac[ing] ’80s metal clichés”, such as “inordinate amounts of smoke machines, rippin’ solos, [and] three bass drums.”

2. Mathcore

Mathcore began with the mid-’90s work of Converge, Botch and The Dillinger Escape Plan. The term mathcore is suggested by analogy with math rock. Mathcore is characterized by speed, technical riffing, and unusual time signatures. Bands such as Fear Before incorporate metalcore standards along with odd time signatures and progressive elements.

3. Deathcore

Deathcore is an amalgamation of metalcore, hardcore punk and death metal. Deathcore is defined by breakdowns, blast beats and death metal riffs. Bands also can incorporate guitar solos and heavy riffs similar to those in metalcore. Vocals consist of low pitched gutter growls derived from and and shrieked growls that originally got influenced by . New York-based death metal group Suffocation is credited as one of the main influences for the emergence of deathcore. Vocals can be growled or shrieked in growls. Bands include Whitechapel, Carnifex and Suicide Silence and even Despised Icon.

Edited by IRONICtypo on 14 Jan 2013, 18:33

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