|Stylistic origins||Crossover thrash, hardcore punk, heavy metal, youth crew|
|Cultural origins||Late 1980s, United States|
|Typical instruments||Electric guitar, bass guitar, drums (double kick), vocals|
|Mainstream popularity||Underground throughout the 1990s, mainstream popularity of melodic metalcore in the 2000s|
|Melodic metalcore, deathcore|
|Massachusetts - New Jersey - New York|
|Breakdown, punk metal|
Metalcore is a fusion genre combining elements of extreme metal and hardcore punk, the name of it is a portmanteau of the names of the two genres. The term took on its current meaning in the mid-1990s, describing bands such as Earth Crisis, Deadguy and Integrity. The earliest of these groups, Integrity, began performing in 1988. Metalcore is distinguished from other punk metal fusions by its emphasis on breakdowns: slower, intense passages conducive to moshing.
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.
Between 1989 and 1995, a new wave of hardcore bands emerged. These included Integrity,, Biohazard, Earth Crisis, Converge, Shai Hulud, Starkweather, Judge, Bloodlet, Strife, Rorschach, Cave In, Vision of Disorder, Hatebreed, and Candiria. Integrity drew influence primarily from the Japanese hardcore terrorism of G.I.S.M. and the metal of Slayer, with more subtle elements of Septic Death, Samhain, Motörhead, and Joy Division. And Earth Crisis, Converge, and Hatebreed borrowed from death metal. Shai Hulud's Hearts Once Nourished with Hope and Compassion and Earth Crisis's 1995 album Destroy the Machines was 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 hardcore band with a metal 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!||”|
|Stylistic origins||Metalcore (metallic hardcore era), melodic death metal, post-hardcore|
|Cultural origins||Late 1990s, North America and United Kingdom|
|Typical instruments||Electric guitar, bass guitar, drums (double kick)|
|Mainstream popularity||High mainstream popularity in the 2000s|
|Australia - Germany - Massachusetts - Russia|
|Breakdown, punk metal|
In the early 1990s, a third wave of metalcore groups appeared, who placed significantly greater emphasis on melody. The first bands to have blended such elements such as As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, All That Remains, Underoath, Avenged Sevenfold and Atreyu emerged and are now the most commercially successful practitioners of metalcore.
Other notable metalcore bands include Miss May I, Haste The Day, Parkway Drive, Bring Me The Horizon, Darkest Hour, Caliban, Bleeding Through, August Burns Red, Texas In July, Demon Hunter, The Dead Lay Waiting, It Dies Today, The Devil Wears Prada, Unearth, and The Autumn Offering. These groups took major influence, cues, and writing styles from Swedish melodic death metal bands, particularly In Flames, Dark Tranquility and At the Gates. Melodic metalcore frequently makes use of clean vocals, and is significantly less dissonant than other metalcore. 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".
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, melodic metalcore had become popular enough that Killswitch Engage's The End of Heartache, and Shadows Fall's The War Within debuted at numbers 21 and 20, respectively, on the Billboard album chart. All That Remains' single "Two Weeks" peaked at number nine at the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the U.S. The song peaked on the Modern Rock Tracks chart at number 38. Welsh metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine's second album, Scream Aim Fire, went straight to #4 on the Billboard 200. Underoath's fifth album Define the Great Line, released in 2006, peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 charts, selling 98,000 copies in its first week. Trivium has met with very strong success, making top 25 positions on the charts in several countries, including the USA, and top 10 positions in both Australia and the UK, even making Gold status in the UK. Hatebreed, God Forbid, and As I Lay Dying have also charted. Underoath's most recent album Lost in the Sound of Separation has reached #8 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 56,000 copies in its first week of sales in the U.S. alone. Killswitch Engage's self-titled fifth album has reached #7 on the Billboard 200. The Devil Wears Prada's third studio album, With Roots Above and Branches Below, debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200.
Metalcore bands generally feature two lead and rhythm electric guitarists who often play fast riffs with dual leads. The guitars are usually drop-tuned anywhere between D and even down to A in some bands, although usually drop-C tuning is used. The drop-tuning achieves a perfect-fifth between the lowest two strings of a guitar, and an octave between the lowest string and the third lowest. This makes the root and fifth of chords quite easy to play together.
Bassists usually follow the rhythm guitar, with cues from the drums. Sometimes keyboards are added.
|Problems listening to this file? See media help.|
The vast majority of songs are in minor keys, usually in keys corresponding to the tuning of the guitars (c minor for guitars in drop-C, b-flat minor for guitars in drop-B-flat, etc.). The melodies can range anywhere to simple motives consisting of conjuct scalar motion to complex chord outlines. The harmonies often consist of a third played over or under a simple melodic line in the minor scale on the guitar. Keyboards, if used, usually play chords or intervals to give the music a more dense sound.
A defining characteristic of the genre is the breakdown. This is part of a song that focuses almost entirely on rhythm.
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. Converge was notable for their focus on personal anguish and experiences of failed romantic love. Dwid Hellion, frontman of Integrity, advocated the "Holy Terror Church of Final Judgment", an apocalyptic belief system related to Gnosticism and Catharism. Several members of contemporary metalcore bands are practicing Christians, including members of Zao, Demon Hunter, As I Lay Dying, Underoath and Norma Jean.
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 Protest the Hero, Ion Dissonance, and Fear Before, are bands that incorporate metalcore standards along with time signatures and progressive elements.
Deathcore is an amalgamation of metalcore and death metal. While remaining a subgenre of metalcore, deathcore is heavily influenced by death metal in its speed, heaviness, and approach to chromatic, heavily palm muted riffing, dissonance, and frequent key changes. Deathcore often features breakdowns and melodic riffs.