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Introduction To Metalcore
Metalcore (also known as metallic hardcore) is a fusion genre that
incorporates elements of the hardcore punk and heavy metal genres.
The main genres, heavy metal and hardcore punk, has it’s influences on
the way Metalcore bands play. Their singing styles, guitar tuning, bass
lines and drum beats are all influenced heavily by the these styles of
Songs often contain a variety of singing techniques: screams, growls
and clean singing.
Song structures within the genre are often similar also: Screamed
verses, melodic and often clean choruses and songs also may have a
breakdown (when the song is slowed to half-time and the guitarists play
open strings to achieve the lowest-pitched sound).
Generally, Metalcore guitarists use heavy guitar riffs and solos,
drummers use hardcore d-beats and double bass drums.
Integrity are defined as one of the very first Metalcore bands.
The group originally formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1988, but founding
member Dwid relocated to Belgium in the mid-2000s.
Their lyrical themes include religion, the supernatural, mental
illness, individualism, and the occult.
They are known for their revolving line-up, and they have new band
members in almost every album.
The only consistent member has been vocalist Dwid.
Killswitch Engage is an American Metalcore band from Westfield,
Massachusetts, formed in 1999.
The current lineup consists of vocalist Jesse Leach, bassist Mike
D'Antonio, guitarists Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz, and
drummer Justin Foley.
There has been a double switch between vocalists however, as Jesse
Leach was the initial vocalist, then Howard Jones was named the
vocalist, and then after a nine year reign, Jesse Leach took over again in
Killswitch Engage rose to fame with its 2004 release The End of
Heartache, which peaked at number 21 on the Billboard 200, and was
certified gold by the RIAA in December 2007 for over 500,000
shipments in the United States. The title track, “The End of Heartache”,
was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005 for Best Metal
Performance, and a live DVD titled (Set This) World Ablaze was
released in 2005.
The band has sold over four million records in the US and has been
widely referred to as “one of the founders of Metalcore.”
Killswitch Engage mixes crushing riffs, double bass drum patterns,
power chords, dual-guitar harmonies, often punctuated with pinch
harmonic squeals in their music.
On the 2009 self-titled album however, lead vocalist (at the time)
Howard Jones noted the change in lyrical meaning – “I've got enough
to draw on to write some stuff that can be dark. Maybe there's still a
hint of positivity in it, but there are some songs on there that are not
positive at all.”
Both current vocalist Jesse Leach and former vocalist Howard Jones
write lyrics that are considered positive. Jesse Leach stated on (Set
This) World Ablaze, that the lyrics contain “unity, positivity, and love.”
Parkway Drive is an Australian Metalcore band from Byron Bay, New
South Wales, formed in 2002.
Winston McCall, Ben Gordon, Luke Kilpatrick, Jeff Ling, Jia O'Connor
In late May 2006, bass player Shaun Cash left the band for personal
reasons. The band soon found a replacement in their "merch guy" and
long-time friend, Jia "Pie" O'Connor, who didn't know how to play the
bass at the time, and got 3 days to learn the songs.
The band's sound consists of screamed vocals,
guitar riffs and hardcore punk breakdowns, they are
also one of the few modern Metalcore bands not to
include clean vocals as well as screamed vocals.
While She Sleeps
While She Sleeps is a British Metalcore band from Sheffield, England
and was formed in 2006.
The group consists of vocalist Lawrence Taylor, guitarists Sean Long
and Mat Welsh, bassist Aaran Mackenzie and drummer Adam Savage.
Their debut studio album This Is the Six was released on 13 August
2012, whilst While She Sleeps have received a lot of praise from the UK
press and won the award for Best British Newcomer at the Kerrang!
The band's sound typically features heavily down-tuned guitars, thick
bass tones, screaming
vocals and fast-paced drumming – occasionally
complimented by melodic guitar tones and piano
Vocalists in Metalcore use
a combination of screams,
growls and clean singing.
~Bring Me The
~Bullet For My
Song structures often see
them sing verses through
screams and growls and
choruses through clean
singing, though this does
use heavy guitar riffs
~Miss May I~
~The Devil Wears
A lot of the guitarists
are very familiar with
the guitar, and they
are not shy to
manipulate the entire
fret board at times.
~Lamb Of God~
Metalcore drummers use
hardcore d-beats and double
Drum beats are often fast
and complicated, and
drummers are almost
always manipulating both
bass pedals. The drum beat
slows to half time at a
The bassist usually plays
very tightly in sync with
the drummer but also has
to have a serious
relationship with the
rhythm guitar (assuming
there is one).
~Stray From The
2011-Present Ryan Wombacher
Metalcore Since 1985
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. During this time, thrash metal groups began to
borrow a great deal from hardcore punk,
Between 1989 and 1995, a new wave of hardcore bands emerged. These
included Merauder, All Out War, Integrity, Biohazard, Earth
Crisis, Converge, Shai Hulud, Starkweather, Judge, Strife, Rorschach,
Vision of Disorder and Hatebreed.
Metalcore Since 1985
In the early-2000s, Metalcore emerged as its own genre, with several
independent metal labels, including Century Media and Metal
Blade, signing Metalcore bands.
Killswitch Engage are considered one of the breakthrough bands to
bring Metalcore to the spotlight.
Welsh Metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine's second album, Scream
Aim Fire, 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.
and more than 21,000 in the UK.
Underoath's fifth album Define the Great Line, released in
2006, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200 charts, selling 98,000
copies in its first week.
In 2007, the song "Nothing Left" by As I Lay Dying was nominated for
a Grammy award in the "Best Metal Performance" category.
The Metalcore Scene Nowadays
The 2000’s have almost completely eclipsed the pioneers of Metalcore. This
decade saw it take the spotlight, and now many bands are defined by the
The Devil Wears Prada
While She Sleeps
The Ghost Inside
As I Lay Dying
Stray From The Path
Bring Me The Horizon
Miss May I
Bullet For My Valentine
Motionless In White
Like Moths To Flames
August Burns Red
Stick To Your Guns
Of Mice And Men
Metalcore sees an interaction between Albums and EPs. They can be conceptual, although there is often variation
between the meaning of songs.
The Here And Now
The Union Of Crowns
Get What You Give
~The Ghost Inside~
~Miss May I
~Bring Me The Horizon~
The End Of Heartache
With Roots Above And
~The Devil Wears Prada~
On Waxed Wings
~Don’t Close Your Eyes~
Bullet For My Valentine
~Bullet For My Valentine~
Life Gone Wild
~Like Moths To Flames~