Metalcore is a fusion genre that incorporates elements of hardcore punk and heavy metal. The term is a portmanteau of heavy metal and hardcore punk. Metalcore is typically melodic, emphasizes breakdowns, and sometimes discards the conceptual trappings of both its parent genres.
Through the 1990s, metalcore was mostly an underground phenomenon, but from roughly 2004 to the present, many bands have appeared on the Billboard album charts.
Origin and development Edit
Cross-pollination between heavy metal and punk rock existed since the earliest days of hardcore. American crossover thrash, a thrash metal and hardcore punk fusion genre, pioneered by Dirty Rotten Imbeciles and Suicidal Tendencies, had an influence on many bands in the New York hardcore scene, and would help shape the metalcore genre in its early years. However, early metalcore bands, unlike those of the crossover thrash genre, were often less metallic, with a sound rooted in hardcore punk, not thrash metal. First wave metalcore bands included New York's Madball (which was formed by members of Agnostic Front), Judge, and Biohazard.
In Scandinavia, parallel to the development of early 1990s metalcore, melodic death metal appeared. This classic metal-influenced death metal subgenre incorporated melodic guitar hooks, polyphonic melodies, and high-pitched, guttural vocals. At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, and Carcass are considered influential melodic death metal bands. Melodic death metal would be influential to the sound of later metalcore.
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 and Shadows Fall's The War Within debuted at numbers 21 and 20, respectively, on the Billboard album chart. Welsh metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine's second album, Scream Aim Fire, went straight to 4 on the Billboard 200. The American band Underoath had their album Define the Great Line, released in 2006, peak at #2 on the Billboard 200 charts. Hatebreed, God Forbid, Lamb of God, and As I Lay Dying have also charted, with Lamb of God's Sacrament (2006) breaking the Billboard 200's top 10. Metalcore bands have also received prominent slots at Ozzfest, Download Festival, and Warped Tour.
Styles of metalcoreEdit
Although hardcore punk and thrash metal are prominent influences, metalcore bands have been known to incorporate traits of groove metal, alternative metal, death metal, grindcore and post-hardcore. Metalcore subgenres and fusion genres include:
Deathcore is an amalgamation of two musical styles: metalcore and death metal. While similar to the more abrasive death metal of recent years, deathcore's aesthetics and following are more closely related to metalcore. 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. Though the lyrics are not always in the death metal vein, growls, pig-like squeals, and shrieks predominate, with metalcore vocals rarely being used. Job for a Cowboy's Doom EP and Despised Icon are examples of deathcore.
Mathcore is a style of metalcore recognized for a high level of technical musicianship. The music is usually filled with discordant, technical riffing, and complex time signatures and song structures. Songs played by bands of this style tend to vary from mere seconds in length to over 15 minutes and rarely feature a conventional verse-chorus song structure. The Dillinger Escape Plan and Botch are two examples of mathcore bands.
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