Feb 132011

How did Deathcore get to be such a lightening rod for controversy within the extreme metal scene? Seems like all you gotta do to ignite a testosterone-fueled, name-calling slagfest on most metal blogs and message boards is mention the word. In some quarters, shitting on deathcore is like a litmus test of metal purity: If you take a big verbal dump on the genre, that’s evidence of sophistication in your musical taste, and if you express enthusiasm for the music, it proves you’re a retard.

All the controversy seems to have moved some deathcore icons (like Job For A Cowboy, Whitechapel, and Carnifex) further away from core and further into straight death, and other bands who have remained true to the template don’t want to be called deathcore bands, even if that’s really what they still are. Even a lot of deathcore fans seem to feel they have to take part in the branding of some bands as no-talent wastes in order to buff up their cred in praising other, almost indistinguishable, bands as the real deal.

Connecticut/NYC band Emmure may be the lightening rod of all lightening rods within the genre. They’ve got an intensely devoted cadre of fans, but man, they’ve got an equally devoted army of haters out there, too. Here at NCS, we’ve been somewhere in the middle, like crouching down in the open space of the floor right before a wall of death is triggered. The three of us who started this site saw them play Seattle as an opening act on their first national tour, and we liked their debut album. On the other hand, we were unanimous in thinking their last release, Felony, was an embarrassment.

They’re on the verge of releasing a new album on Century Media (due February 15) called Speaker of the Dead, and two singles have surfaced so far, including a video for one of them that debuted just a couple days ago. We’ve got both those songs for you after the jump, along with some thoughts about the music. Plus, we’ve also got a brand new song from the forthcoming album by LA’s Winds of Plague, and a fairly new video from another deathcore lightening rod, Chelsea Grin. If you feel like gettin’ your breakdown on, stay with us.


Back on January 18, Century Media released the first song from Speaker for the Dead as an iTunes single. It’s called “Demons With Ryu”. Not long after it debuted, I got an e-mail from sometimes NCS collaborator IntoTheDarkness — who is a diehard deathcore fan — saying this: “Damn. this is a shock! Emmure came out with a new single and they rock once again!! Gone is the lame rap shit and the stupid hardcore vocals. This is straight up deathcore . . . Not only are Emmure back but they are back with a vengeance, sounding better than they ever have.”

I tend to agree with ITD about this song — though the second single that just came out through an official video a couple days ago — “Solar Flare Homicide” — proves that “the stupid hardcore vocals” aren’t completely gone. Plus, the video is a vivid reminder of all the things that make attending a live deathcore show such a trying experience for me — all the flat-brimmed ballcaps, all the karate-kid flying kicks and swinging elbows (why can’t we just have a normal body-slamming mosh pit at deathcore shows?), not to mention the total absence of chicks. Sigh.

Still, I kinda liked the song itself, and these new tracks have revived my interest in Emmure, enough so that I’ll be getting the new album. Here’s the first single, followed by that video for the second one:

[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/01-Demons-With-Ryu.m4a|titles=Emmure-Demons With Ryu]

Now the video:

You can order Speaker for the Dead here.


This band have a habit of drawing attention to themselves in ways that don’t have much to do with their music. For example, their revolving-door line-up of female keyboardists who snap nude photos of themselves that then promptly show up on the interwebz (most recently, Alana Potocnik, who jumped ship from Abigail Williams to join Winds), not to mention the band’s drummer Art Cruz doing the same thing. Actually, I guess I just mentioned it. (If you’re interested in this sort of thing, go here for a recap.)

As for the music, we thought there were some things to like about the band’s last album, 2009’s The Great Stone War. It added a few different elements to the mix of metalcore and deathcore tropes, serving up some catchy grooves and symphonic keyboard underpinnings that worked more often than not — plus some crushing breakdowns that incorporated more intra-breakdown tempo variety than is typical.

The band now have a new album due for release by Century Media on April 19 called Against the World. It will feature guest appearances by Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed, Drew York from Stray From the Path, Terror guitarist Martin Stewart, and vocalist Mattie Montgomery from For Today. A couple days ago, Century Media made available a new song from the album called “Refined In the Fire”, which you can stream below. It features tough-guy gang shouts, Dimmu-esque keyboards, infectious riffs — and no breakdowns. “I fear no evil – evil fuckin’ fears me!”

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/10386471″]

As we speak, Winds of Plague is starting a U.S. tour as a run-up to the album release, along with As I Lay Dying and After the Burial. It will run through March 18, and you can see the complete list of dates and places here. Sadly, no stops in the Pacific Northwest.


Salt Lake’s Chelsea Grin aren’t going to win any awards for novelty or for technical flash. Their stock in trade are the ingredients that dozens of other bands use, but . . . uh . . . more so: a mix of throat-bursting shrieks and bubbling-gut gutturals that Suicide Silence popularized; simple, palm-muted riffs that hit like big chunks of concrete dropping from a building under demolition; and breakdowns that punch deep holes in the floor. If you want deathcore in all its rudimentary, feral glory, Chelsea Grin will do the job.

Their debut album appeared last year on Artery Recordings and it’s called Desolation of Eden.  A few weeks back, Metal Injection premiered an official video for a song from the album called “Recreant”. IntoTheDarkness e-mailed me a recommendation to watch the video and he called the end of the video “ungodly amounts of awesome”. Before watching, I wasn’t sure if he was talking about the end of the song or the end of the vid, but in the end I decided it was probably both.

At first, I thought the video was going to be another misogynistic bit of tripe that’s characteristic of too many deathcore lyrics and vids, but the end of the video brought a nice surprise, and the end of the song is a super-slow, crushtastic breakdown.

By the way, I recommend you press pause and let this thing fully cache, because otherwise it will annoyingly stop and start on you (or at least it did when I played it).


That’s all we’ve got for your Sunday. Feel free to share your thoughts about the music, or deathcore in general, in the comments.

  48 Responses to “DIVIN’ IN DAT DEATHCORE SHIT”

  1. Aw man…like…um. Yeah, so I really really dig how NCS always keeps the comments civil and hater-free and stuff, but I want to say, in the most reasonable tone possible, that I really don’t care for any of these bands. Emmure is probably the most tolerable for me, because the first time I heard of them I saw them playing on the thrash and burn tour in 2009 (and they were on just before DevilDriver…yeah it was a weird show). This was, at least for me, the pre-cliche time of breakdowns, and their live show included some of our beloved bass drops. My opinion still remains that if they can drop the silly talking-rap-vocals, they’d have something I wouldn’t mind nodding my head to. Nothing groundbreaking or whatever, but at least enjoyable in a very base kind of way.

    Winds of Plauge and Chelsea Grin, however, just don’t interest me. I only hear about WoP when their latest female keyboardist gets naked on the internet and then when I look them up on youtube, their sound just doesn’t seem very “full,” (which is a vague personal concept that I have about what deathcore “should” sound like). Chelsea Grin just sounds like a bad version of Suicide Silence. I listened to Recreant and if you wanna hear some epic sweeping over a heavy breakdown done well, just check out the end of No Pity for a Coward or Lifted (both by SS).

    As far as general thoughts on the genre, I like it, and that is to say, I don’t mind that it’s out there and I don’t think it’s a “cancer” or anything like that. To me, deathcore has been what this generation has done by taking death metal to another extreme. Can you name a band that is ripping off Cannibal Corpse right now? No one big comes to mind, and I like to think that’s a good thing, at least as far as innovation’s sake goes. I think that the real backlash is because the genre is becoming oversaturated, and with the advent of the internet, you’re going to hear about a lot more of the lesser bands, for better or worse. I’m sure there were at least this many death metal bands in Florida alone in the late 80s, but we don’t remember them all. Oh jeez, I started rambling…

    To conclude on a positive note, some of my favorite deathcore bands:
    King Conquer (I got this from you guys!)
    Suicide Silence
    The Acacia Strain
    The Contortionist (this borders on djent, but I’ve also heard djent described as deathcore played by musicians with talent…oh man, I should leave that where it was before I start another argument)

    • There are two particular “types” of deathcore I think.

      1 – Deathcore coming from a metal background that, whilst it may have some hardcore influence in it, is primarily a modernised permutation of death metal.

      2 – Then there’s Deathcore that comes from a hardcore background and has incorporated “death metal elements” onto a hardcore backbone.

      Primarily I would say that it’s bands in the former category that actually do it well, having a greater understanding of the metal dynamic and style whilst incorporating some of the energy and directness one gets from the best hardcore.

      On the other hand bands from the latter category tend (this is a generalistation absed on observation, so clearly won’t apply to EVERY band out there) to be a lot simpler and less ambitious. Straightforward hardcore song structures with some very tacked on, and often cliched, “metal elements” which betray a lack of understanding of the style and the potential depth one can get with it.

      I would say Emmure are a perfect example of this, as they’re very basic bro-down hardcore really, but with a metal tone and some big chugs… the formula is so simplistic, which isn’t always a bad thing I grant, but there’s absolutely zero depth to their sound, it’s forgettably superficial aggression.

      WoP are an example of cross-genre pollinisation done badly. I love black metal because it can work with so many other styles and influence, it can be melodic, progressive, death, thrash, post, ambient, symphonic, etc, but it rarely works with hardcore (Black Anvil aside, who really seem to come at it more from a point where Thrash meets Celtic Frost, but that’s neither here nor there).

      I’d put this down to the two genres being so opposite in core values; one being about individuality and artistic expression, the other about a group/gang mentality (again, don’t read that as bad) and positivity and brotherhood, so the messages and themes really don’t cross over, the dichotomy is too large and off-putting. The effect is jsut too jarring as either the band are simply forcing elements too disparate together, or they’re simply not smart enough to make it work – which is ok, a lot of stuff like that only works when certain musical geniuses get involved. Unfortunately we can’t all be like that and sometimes we over-reach.

      I agree with Carnifex btw. Great band. I still think “Hell Chose Me” was a little stunted production wise, and by the occasional telegraphed breakdown, but there’s just such PASSION to it. I really believe them as a band. Whereas Whitechapel are clearly good in many ways, but I really don’t get a sense of believable anger from them.

  2. So, the first video…Emmure. It sounded like an updated version of Korn. That’s the best I can think of to describe it. The vocals were alternately decent and annoying. Repeating a simple riff over and over isn’t songwriting unless you’re producing a shitty rap song. (Well produced rap songs vary the riff and let them develop.) I don’t like particularly like slow music either…

    Winds of Plague. The name pisses me off. I just wanna say that first. Winds of Plague? Extreme metal band names tend towards the silly, but that just really pisses me off. Not sure why. Anyway, see above.

    Chelsea Grin…that…well, it’s not as bad as Winds of Plague, but…anyway. I liked the vocals a lot more. The guy has a nice combination of growls and squeals and I think he pulls it off well. But it’s SO. DAMN. SLOW. And I don’t mind me some doom metal on occasion. Anyway, yah, I didn’t hate it. I even kind of liked it…but the synchronized…thing…was frickin’ annoying…

    I wouldn’t mind more Cannibal Corpse copycats if they kept the speed.

  3. Lots of interesting thoughts above. I did some cranial damage last night, so my own thoughts will be even less coherent and more rambling than usual. And damn, this is taking a long time to write because I have to type very slooooowly.

    I don’t listen to deathcore as much these days as I used to. I’ve tried to figure out why that is, and I think it’s because most of it just isn’t very interesting. When the genre first emerged, it was different, but I agree with Dan that it became oversaturated . I’m not a musician, but it sounds like, at its most basic form, it would take less musical skill to break into deathcore if you were a new band than most other metal genres. I also think one reason it has become such a favorite punching bag is that people who appreciate metal that’s more demanding in both the song-writing and the performance get frustrated by the adoration showered on bands that are no longer doing anything innovative or particularly difficult.

    I certainly haven’t given up on deathcore. Like Dan, I’ve become a big fan of King Conquer and am still a fan of Carnifex (who played some killer sets on The Summer Slaughter tour last year), The Acacia Strain, All Shall Perish, and Whitechapel. I also really liked last year’s debut by The Contortionist. What distinguishes the good from the bad in this genre? I’m not sure I know my own mind on that subject, because sometimes all it really takes to put a smile on my face is a big fucking breakdown and a catchy riff or two. Maybe Andy’s segmentation of bands is part of the answer, at least as a generalization. On the other hand, there are certainly bands who really root their music in hardcore while adding some metal elements that put out some really heavy, killer music (what metalcore was before all the poppy, clean-sung choruses adulterated the name “metalcore”), eg, Unearth. So, one would think a similar approach could work well in the deathcore genre.

    Reflecting on the deathcore I like versus the deathcore that doesn’t hold my interest for very long, I do think it comes down to adding something more than the repetition of a simple riff with lots of downtuned palm-muting and a bass-drop breakdown. And I probably do have a preference for deathcore that’s heavier on the death and lighter on the core. Maybe I’ll try to articulate this better after my head is clearer.

    Speaking of Unearth, Winds of Plague took their name from the lyrics to an Unearth song called “Endless”; “Growing wings of sorrow/have brought you to the winds of plague.”

  4. Deathcore is still a weird description to me. Death Metal used to talk about death, which was a big part of the name, and after that kinda stopped happening using the word death for anything was just dumb (to me). So Deathcore??? Whatever….who gives a shit? If you like the music, you like it. If you don’t, you don’t. If someone has an opinion of you based on what you do or don’t like alone then they probably fucking suck as a human being anyways. Furthermore, having to justify liking or not liking your music puts you dangerously close to losing the way, the path, zen, that one may only find on their own…

    • There’s much truth to the notion that people should be allowed to like what they like and not have to explain or justify their tastes. But if that were my mantra, I’d probably have to shut down this site. 🙂

    • Amen to that. Unfortunately I come from a background that generally abhors metal music in all its glorious varieties. Is that bad?

      There isn’t much deathcore I actually like. If you can call them deathcore, Heaven Shall Burn is my favorite. I actually kind of dig Born of Osiris, The Agonist, and Beneath the Sky. In Boise the only style of metal any of the local bands play is deathcore. I like Kryterium and I am pretty lukewarm on A Liquid Embrace. ALE is still unsigned as far as I know, but I think you can find some of their music online.

      • “Unfortunately I come from a background that generally abhors metal music in all its glorious varieties. Is that bad?” Forget what I said above — yes, that is bad. When Cthulhu returns, those people will not be spared.

        I think of Heaven Shall Burn as metalcore, but whatever the genre, they’re awesome. I’ll check out Kryterium and ALE.

  5. True. Well, please don’t, I love this site. I love to talk about how rad music is, it just makes me tired to talk about how gay it is.

    • I’m with you there. At the risk of being boring, we do spend a lot more time here writing about music we like than music we don’t like. Amazingly, people still visit anyway.

  6. Personally, and controversially I know, I do still think music should be held to some sort of “Objective” standard.

    Though how to enforce this I don’t know.

    So I like to live out in the woods where only nature and the elements has to be exposed to the terrible racket I create in the name of “art”.

  7. I’m going to come out of the closet now as a recovering Deathcore lover–a man cannot survive on Profound Lore alone.

    I also may have an odd perspective in that, in general, i prefer hardcore to death metal, but i prefer progressive death to just about everything.

    I have never seen a genre explode as fast as deathcore has, and so quickly spawn sub genres–Sumeriancore (awesome), Djent (awesome), Bro-core(jesus, kill me). It gives me hell to parse through it as a genre whole because as an artist and a feminist it offends me but as a man who loves a good hook and a great pit, I adore it. The only way is to go band by band.

    So here I go.

    Emmure: I find these guys intensely boring. These songs, sweet titles aside, do nothing to change that.

    Winds of Plague: Confession: I have been a fan since their debut album, which may be my overall favorite deathcore record. I have also met them, twice, and every time they struck me as in general unlikeable human beings from troubled-yet-privileged backgrounds that preclude them from striking a good emotional chord with me. I liked the Great Stone War as well and will, based on this song, get their third LP as well. This is what i expect from WoP–great chorus, great hooks, and not an original idea in sight. Which is fine by me.

    Chelsea Grin: Ah, well… I could listen to this band, but I already like Whitechapel, Suicide Silence, and Carnifex so… why bother? Video was also well done but unoriginal.

    Question to the masses: what ‘new’ Deathcore bands are worth listening to besides Within Ruins. Also: is Job for a Cowboy worth a second shot? Their first record was a complete flop for me, but I have not heard ruination and, if i remember correctly, Terrorizer actually quite liked it?

    • “what ‘new’ Deathcore bands are worth listening to besides Within Ruins”: My man IntoTheDarkness is really impressed these days with Thy Art Is Murder, In the Midst of Lions, Catalepsy, Vegas In Ruins, and a Seattle-area band called Idols. I’ve heard Thy Art Is Murder, In the Midst of Lions, and Vegas In Ruins, and they are definitely worth checking out. I’ve only heard the new Catalepsy song that features Mat Bruso on guest vocals, but I liked it and am interested in their upcoming release.

    • Job for a Cowboy had pretty much dropped all their “core” sound. If you’re looking for deathcore, avoid them. If you’re looking for death metal, well avoid them, because there’s a million bands playing better death metal than them

      • wow, that last sentence was badly constructed….how about “If you looking for death metal than avoid them because there are plenty of bands who play death metal better than Job for a Cowboy

      • I disagree, I thought “Ruination” was a great death metal album…

        BUT – I am not as big a fan of “death” as I am of, say “black” metal.

        That being said I still own everything by most of the biggest and best of death metal’s elite. And won’t hear a word said against Suffocation.

        Just that SurgicalBrute may well love death metal a lot more than I do and therefore have more experience or contextual background. Which is why our opinions may well differ.

        • I liked Ruination better than what JFAC was playing during their meteoric rise to popularity, but I don’t think I’ve listened to it again since the first time through the songs. That probably means something. And no, we will not suffer any negative words to be expressed against Suffocation at this site. We are too afraid Frank Mullen would come looking for us with a motherfucking shotgun.

          • I’ve been listening to both their albums quite frequently recently. Just decided to dig them out on a whim and am actually really enjoying them. It’s nice to rediscover something that had been a little overlooked.

            Frank Mullen is indeed a scary motherfucker. He’s definitely what brings the “hardcore” edge to Suffocation. Blame Suffocation and Dying Fetus for deathcore I say!

        • Nah, my intention wasnt to rip on JFaC (theyre not my thing even now, but like said I want to stay polite to people who have different tastes) Its just that I can name about a dozen death metal bands off the top of my head that I would put much higher on a must have list.

          • Sorry, I wasn’t even meaning to suggest you did intend to rip on JFAC, I meant more that, since death metal isn’t my main thing (I spend more time exploring the limits of black metal really, even though I still listen to a lot of death metal bands) that you would probably be more aware of the alternatives than me.

            I found “Ruination” to be a very honest and energetic (even youthful) take on death metal. But then my breadth of experience in death metal isn’t as great as in other genres/sub-genres.

  8. I got most of my metal education by people who would be referred to as metal purists, so I will completely admit that this colors my viewpoint on metal. That being said, I really don’t like deathcore (I’m trying to keep this civil, because I don’t want to insult anyone who does like it). I find it to be the most boring, simplistic, and obnoxious sounding music in the entire metal family. I have tried listening to Oceano, Suicide Silence, Chelsea Grin, Whitechapel, etc, and it almost always sounds the same. They use that same basic *chug *chug riff to build up to a breakdown to create a artificial heaviness in the music, while some guy whose vocals are pushed way too forward in the mix starts screaming like a stuck pig.
    This is why I find deathcore to be so flawed. As soon as you try to add any innovation to it, you’re no longer playing deathcore. Its doomed to be a dead end genre, because it cannot expand as a style.

    Emmure: A wiggerslam band
    Winds of Plague: Symphonic deathcore (its bad, but at least they’re trying to play around with the genre a bit)
    Chelsea Grin; Stereotypical deathcore

    I really have no issue with people liking deathcore, particularly if its part of a well rounded interest in metal, but if I want to listen to something like this then I’ll choose bands like Suffocation and Skinless every time

  9. I’ve been thinking about it and another problem with deathcore (although I suppose it’s only a subjective problem, and one that has infiltrated almost all forms of metal music) is that a lot of it is designed for mass appeal.

    Let me qualify that statement: much like, say a lot of modern hip-hop, a lot of deathcore is designed to get a response from the crowd. Elements put in place for the fans to “get down to”. The songs are written for their external effect on others. This is very different from music written solely for one’s own artistic/cathartic expression.

    As I said however, it’s not a purely deathcore problem; in the past decade + a lot of metal has been written seemingly purely for the live experience.

    This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (although, in all honesty, I think that writing for “performance” rather than writing for “recording”, if that makes sense, is a worse way to proceed) but it IS different. There’s a real difference between writing music for it’s own sake and THEN working out how to perform it best live, how to conduct yourself while palying, etc, and writing music for what works best in the live arena, where one can more easily see what has more of an affect on the crowd. In essence one is more likely to be found writing for others in this sense.

    As an aside, I still actually find live performances of music an odd concept if you think about it. The focus has shifted in many ways from writing and compising detailed music to simply being a “good” live band. See for example the countless metalsucks and blabbermouth commentators who cry foul at any bad review of a band’s cd, claiming that the fact that they’re “awesome live, bro” somehow makes up for lacklustre song-writing and composition.

    Essentially a band’s live performance has no bearing on their actual musical talent and compositional skill – for example I’ve seen several great bands who create deep, complex and fucking heavy music who simply weren’t all that interesting live, whereas I’ve also seen several bands put on a crazily energetic live show (very popular with “the kids” is that) but doing so whilst performing extremely fucking bland music.

    Too many deathcore bands these days embody this ideal, taken from hardcore but not necessarily taken well, that live performance and getting a crowd response is EVERYTHING (there’s that brotherhood, one-with-the-crowd angle again) and it too often leads to extremely simple, lowest-common-denominator approach. Not all the time, but hopefully the point here gets across – too often deathcore is written simply for the crowds.

    • Okay, you’ve hit on some things I’ve tried to say before about deathcore but didn’t say as well. It is definitely music best heard in the flesh, in a packed club, with a big bank of PA speakers blasting away, and that’s how I most like to hear deathcore. I think you’re right that it’s also a kind of music that’s written to be played live — what is a breakdown except a device used to trigger a physical crowd response? Also, excellent point that creating great music on record and creating a great live performance are two very different things.

      In that same vein, I read an interview not long ago with Maurizio Iacono of Kataklysm, who said that Kataklysm writes songs with a lot of thought given to live performance — not just thinking about how crowds will respond, but making sure that they’re capable of executing on stage what they do in the studio, so that their shows will be faithful to the music fans have heard on record. I think that approach works well for Kataklysm — the recorded music is killer, and their live shows are too.

      • Interesting. Kataklysm are probably one of the most “deathcore friendly” bands I can think of actually, ploughing a similar furrow of straight-forward, pummeling aggression. Albeit with perhaps a bit more nuance and awareness of “mood”. I’m also seemingly in the minority in that I’m a vocal supporter of later Kataklysm over early Kataklysm.

        It has to be said though that they do pretty much have one main mode of conduct; angry and vengeful about some sort of perceived betrayal, which is of course perfect for the live arena, and as such I’m not too surprised they focus on being able to perform faithful renditions of their songs live.

        For myself personally I like it when bands consider how to perform their songs afterwards in many ways. I don’t mind when certain parts are missing or certain songs are played differently live as long as A) the live changes are well considered and well thought out and not just done out of desperation or simply to make things easier (backing tracks and the like) and B) the live song is still damn good!

        I’ve seen several interesting bands play keyboard melodies on guitar in the absence of a live keyboardist and, perhaps the most obvious example, bands write a “live ending” to songs which might fade out on record. And I like that, I like the difference which makes the live experience more than just a faithful rendition of songs which would (by necessity) sound better on record anyway.

        • I can’t find that interview, but I think what Iacono was talking about was this: In a studio, you can create effects that are difficult to reproduce live and, over the course of many takes, you can create something that’s technically jaw-dropping by the time you’re done that you may disappoint fans by being unable to reproduce on stage. My impression was that those are the kinds of things Kataklysm try to avoid when they’re writing a new album. I can see the sense in that, but I’m like you — I also enjoy hearing a live band ring some changes on what they recorded, as long as the parts that are different still work well. At its best, witnessing those kinds of successful variations is almost like hearing a new song debut.

          • Ah, you guys are talking about Dragonforce syndrome. I have never seen such tremendous backlash against a band that couldn’t play EXACTLY what they created on the record. It’s true, they were completely over the top with the guitar work, but that was their main appeal (at least for me, because I do enjoy a super power balad every once in a while). And while there may have been some studio magic at work, I don’t care, it sounds awesome, and I actually liked them live too.

  10. This is the only fucking intelligent deathcore discussion I’ve ever seen. NCS for the win–this is why I write here.

    Another thought–why is Deathcore…necessary? Let me explain: the other primary genres of metal were, to me, in their own ways attempts to ‘better’ their predecessors. Black metal was more EVIL than thrash, Death metal was more extreme than thrash, metalcore was more song-oriented than metallic hardcore and more immediate than melodic death metal.

    Deathcore, however, is neither more brutal than Death Metal nor more enjoyable, to me, than most old-fashioned hardcore. My deathcore phase was, really, just a portal to me re-discovering hardcore as a man, not a pimply teenager. Listen to a band like Cruel Hand, or their more ‘death’ cousin Black Breath, or their more punk cousin Gallows. All of these bands produce great song-oriented albums with breakdowns, chugs and choruses… but almost none of the setbacks I associate with Deathcore aside form the misogyny that exemplifies Gallows’s first album ‘Orchestra of Wolves.’ And even that album is itself so unfathomably honest and cathartic (it seems less like woman-hating than self-hating manifested as male promiscuity) that I refuse to speak ill of it.

    Now that I think about it, Black Breath may be my favorite ‘Deathcore’ record of 2010! FUNNY!

    Point being, after much belaboring, that Sumeriancore/Djent DO actually offer a superior experience in that they’re more musically complex (and therefore interesting to some people) than most hardcore, while being more catchy than brutal death metal/prog death metal.

    • That’s a well-put together argument for musical progression/diversity, and I like the suggestion that deathcore pretends to offer progression in extremity but actually fails to achieve these proposed aims.

      I also think that “sumeriancore/Djent” is just as bad, if not worse, in pretending to offer progression or diversification. The limitations of that style are perhaps even more harshly prescribed; the musical compelxity is (to me at least) very artificial and tbh it’s not a style that mixes well with other or varied elements – after all msot of them can be boiled down to heavy Meshuggah style riffs + shreddy bits + post-Devin Townsend ambience = song. Repeat ad infinitum.

      I really think that Sumeriancore/Djent is another case of the emperor’s (not Emperor’s) new clothes, it pretends to offer something new but is severely limited in truth.

      As a side point – I really don’t think of Gallows as being particularly “honest” though, at least not musically. The vocals are reasonably raw and I think the singer kind of means what he’s saying (but is rather limited in his range of expression) but I found all the music to be rather derivative and uninteresting.

      • How does Rareform-era After the Burial fit into your argument? I know you really like that album (as I do), but isn’t it a kind of sumeriancore/djent (albeit shitloads better than the average)?

      • Andy I’m surprised at you! This coming from the man who got me into Dark Frotress (FUCK YES YLEM!! FUCK YES! AND DID YOU NOTICE THE DEATHCORE GROOVE IN THE TITLE TRACK’S CHORUS?)

        Doesnt that argument go for all genres? That’s like saying Black metal is just inverted minor guitar melody+blast beat+screechy vocals ad infintim.
        Then again… that is the big critique against the genre.

        as for your side point: both Gallows records captivate me for their entire running time and make me consider my y life choices as a young man. That’s what honesty does. I think, at least.

        • I’m confused… what are you surprised about?

          And all black metal is just inverted minor melodies + blast beats + screechy vocals. Obviously.

          I was simply trying to expand upon your point about genres trying to improve upon their progenitors and don’t think that sumeriancore/djent is the progressive improvement it suggests itself to be, as far too often it’s a combination of quite middle of the road takes on other genres.

          • Personally I think there’s a lot more to it than that (black metal) but I’d rather not get too far into that discussion now… perhaps we should do a point-counterpoint article?

            I think when it comes to progression, you really need to judge a genre by its exemplary examples, simply because 95% of EVERYTHING is middle of the road takes of almost everything.

            So pick an example and I will argue it:
            on the more Sumeriancore scale, The Faceless
            on the more Djent scale, Cloudkicker

            I’d also like to make the point that as new as deathcore is, Djent is younger (as a movement, probably less than two years old, by comparison Deathcore is probably about 6 years old, and metalcore itself is about 20).

            I think we’ve yet to really see what it is Sumeriancore/Djent has to offer us as listeners.

            • Ah but my point is, and I’ve made this before (in fact I made it when “djent” first reared it’s immaculately produced head) that metalcore, as a sub-genre, had/has a shorter shelf-life than some of it’s predecessors.

              As a continuation of metalcore, deathcore has even more precisely defined boundaries and an even shorter shelf-life.

              As a permutation of deathcore (arguably anyway) djent is EVEN more specifically prescribed and will have an EVEN shorter shelf-life again. I don’t think that, as a scene, it will last all that long. Many of the bands will continue to exist, but the burgeoning “djent” scene, where every other new band has post-Meshuggah parts and every other person has a solo “djent” project, will pass by far quickly and with less impact than metalcore or deathcore, because it’s a sub-genre, of a sub-genre, of a sub-genre.

              That’s not to say it’s bad, I love many of the bands and albums originating in “djent” but its popularity will wane very, very quickly I feel as it’s too closely associated with simply being a fad for so many.

              • An interesting point–But one based in some logical leaps I just don’t see.

                Let’s see where the genre unfolds and let that decide. I think we haven’t seen ANYTHING yet.

    • Why deathcore? Good question. I got a theory about that, too, though I’ll sound like an old fart in saying it. In every generation, there are certain kinds of kids (and I don’t use “kids” as a putdown) who look for music that expresses the strong emotions they’re feeling at that stage of their lives — usually feelings about being an outsider in a world where “the mainstream” seems irretrievably fucked up. Hardcore itself always struck me as a musical expression of anger and solidarity at the same time, and deathcore took that sound and found a way to make it even heavier, even more brutal and powerful.

      Ironically, the most mediocre deathcore bands, as I think of them, are the bands that are just mechanically mimicking the style, going through the motions, without realizing that this genre is pretty empty if it doesn’t have heart or soul or genuine feeling behind it. Of course, even with heart and soul, the music can still be bad if there isn’t some song-writing talent, too. 🙂

      • Well, I also think it has to do with deathcore being the next step down the path. The diluted metalcore genre attracted groups of kids who want to be members of the metal scene, but found the pop-music sensibilities of melodic metalcore to be more to their liking. The music labels responded by flooding the market. Over time these kids required something a bit heavier, but still familiar so began to gravitate toward the deathcore scene. As usual, where the trend goes, music labels will follow thus began the rise of deathcore.

        • Aaagh! Stupid of me to have left out that critical intermediate step between hardcore and deathcore, i.e., metalcore. Yeah, I think what you say is also a big part of the explanation.

  11. Well the discourse in the comments stayed civilized, but we did get this comment on our Facebook page: “fuck you faggots for even giving this tripe the time of day.” See par. 1 of this post. 🙂

  12. You’re not a legit metal site till someone types in “fuck you faggot”… lolz

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