What is metalcore?

The origins of metalcore begin in the mid-1980s, when bands like Agnostic Front and Suicidal Tendencies mixed thrash, punk and hardcore. The genre’s popularity continued to rise in the 90s as a large wave of metalcore bands formed to rip apart the metal landscape. The northeastern United States, especially New York City, was a hotbed of development for the genre, which quickly spread.

Bands like Unearth, Killswitch Engage and All That Remains have made a name for themselves in the mainstream, headlining major festivals and generating solid album sales. The 2000s saw a real explosion of the genre, with bands like Atreyu, As I Lay Dying, Shadows Fall, and Bullet For My Valentine releasing albums that hit the top tier of the Billboard album chart.

Elsewhere in the world, bands such as Bring Me The Horizon from the UK, Caliban from Germany, Crossfaith from Japan and I Killed The Prom Queen from Australia have helped spread the success of metalcore around the world.

Today, metalcore remains one of the most popular genres of metal, despite criticism from some members of the underground metal community. The genre has spawned many offshoots and sub-genres such as deathcore, electronicore, mathcore and others. There is also a significant number of Christian metalcore bands such as For Today, August Burns Red and Oh Sleeper.

Musical style

Metalcore has a linear structure in which the songs consist of aggressive verses and melodic choruses. Breakdowns are an integral part of the genre and are commonly used to induce moshing in live performances.

A significant number of bands in this genre have recently added solos and are more focused on technical guitar playing, including extensive use of fret muting. The genre is also dominated by double bass drums. The sound is polished and the lyrics range from personal to political issues.

Vocal style

Screaming vocals are a mainstay of the genre, with many bands also incorporating melodic singing into the chorus of the songs. A few bands only stick to hard vocals, but most bands sing and scream.

Earth crisis

Formed in 1991, Earth Crisis made a splash in metalcore with their 1995 debut album Destroy The Machines. This album is considered one of the most influential in terms of genre recognition. Earth Crisis released several more albums that showed a cleaner and more sophisticated approach to metalcore before disbanding in 2001.

Shai Hulud

While some today consider the band closer to a hybrid of hardcore and punk, Shai Hulud were considered the pioneers of metalcore in the mid-90s. Their 1997 album Hearts Once Nourished With Hope And Compassion was full of anger; however, Shai Hulud brought intellectual lyrics to the forefront of their music, which helped them achieve critical and commercial recognition.

Killswitch Engagement

Massachusetts band Killswitch Engage formed in 1999 and released their self-titled debut album the following year. Albums such as 2002’s “Alive Or Just Breathing” and 2004’s “The End Of Heartache” became very influential. Early metalcore bands had more of a hardcore influence, but bands like Killswitch really brought metal to metalcore.

Rock evolved from classic rock and roll in the 60s, although already in the 70s it ceased to even remotely resemble its progenitor. Rock music has taken over the music industry so much that many critics still consider it the most significant direction. Rock and roll, and then rock, appeared as a youth rebellious trend.

The main signs of rock music are the dominant guitars, mostly electronic ones. An important component of the music is the bass guitar and drums, sometimes there are rhythm guitars. The sound can change from lighter like the Beatles to heavier like the Rolling Stones and Animals.

This is one of the most significant trends in musical culture. Rock music has practically no age – it is listened to by schoolchildren, young people, middle-aged people and even pensioners. How can one remain indifferent here if rock is a breathtaking cocktail of rebellious spirit, deep meaning, bright and free guitar music, as well as charismatic performers?

Rock music includes several directions – from “light” rock and roll compositions to “heavy” and even to some extent aggressive metal. A classic rock band typically consists of a vocalist, electric and bass guitarists, a drummer, and a keyboardist.

A surge in the popularity of rock was during the days of the legendary Beatles and the Rolling Stones, which are still going out of fashion. Today, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse are considered prominent representatives of the niche.