Ah deathcore, metals most hated subgenre. In the past deathcore has got its fair amount of flax from metal elitist and the community in general. However 2009 is far in the past now so let’s finally revel in the best the genre has to offer. Deathcore is the blending of death metal and metalcore (not to be confused with grindcore, the mixing of death metal and hardcore). It features the heavy riffs, blast beats and cookie monster vocals of death metal with metalcore style breakdowns, only these breakdowns are on steriods… like monstrously heavy… on par with beatdown bands. That sort of heavy.
1) Thy Art Is Murder – The band that kicked off deathcore for me. As one of Australia’s most brutal exports, Thy Art Is Murder have three studio albums and an EP to their name each as good as the next. I favour the later two albums, Hate and Holy War, due to their highly volatile anti-religious themes and lyrics but their early work is still some of the best deathcore music out there. Guttural screams, crushing blast beats and neck wrenching breakdowns are common features found throughout their ten year career, a combination that will leave a lasting impression on listeners amassing a core following of fans. Not to mention they are some of the funniest guys in interviews, former vocalist, CJ McMahon, and drummer, Lee Stanton, have a great sense of humour and rapport with one another that you can’t help but love ’em.
2) Martyr Defiled – Found somewhere between hardcore and deathcore in their latest album, No Hope No Morality, these guys have strong roots in the more brutal side of deathcore. Chug heavy riffs are matched perfectly with precise drum beats and fills, making the Lincoln born band sound huge. Martyr Defiled’s brutal beginnings have shaped their current sound perfectly. Tremolo picking has made way for the djenty riffs, guttural vocals developing into clear cut screams and shouts, throw in some lyrics about Lucifer for good measure. On top of this, why not throw in some of the biggest breakdowns in the genre to get listeners truly hooked. It is good to see how the band have matured since their first EP Ecophagy getting more complex and unique with every release leaving fans egger for what is to come.
3) Black Tongue – One of the heaviest bands alive without having to venture into the realms of slamming brutal death metal. Hull City spawned Black Tongue have merged the slow paced tempo of doom metal with the shattering heaviness of deathcore. Renowned for using lowest soul shattering guitars, harsh vocals and slow as sloth breakdowns to rip listeners ear drums open. Seriously these guys need a warning on all their albums. Don’t be worried about the bleeding ears, this is just one of the many side effects of not being ready for the deep dark that is Black Tongue . Oh but it is glorious if you can sustain the abuse thrown upon you from the bands two albums, you’ll be slowing throwing your head from side to side to the sheer force of everything.
4) Carnifex – Hell may have chosen vocalist Scott Lewis but I definitely chose to have them on this list. No Satan involvement guaranteed. I know they aren’t going to be happy to be on a top five deathcore list favouring themselves as more of a modern death metal band having not much in common with other bands in the genre. However Carnifex are at their heart a deathcore outfit. Be it a very black metal influenced heart, their use of deathcore troupes such as fierce breakdowns has cemented them to the genre. The black metal influences have just made them a more developed deathcore band which is why they are on this list. Excessive tremolo picking, screeched vocals and extremely negative themes of suicide and self loathing have only made the band’s sound more mature than others. There is no doubt that these traits work so well with the more deathcore side of Carnifex . Having a pinchy guitar solo over a heavy breakdown just works so well and makes each song of the band sound huge. Add in some machine gun blast beats and you have a recipe for carnage.
5) All Shall Perish – These guys have one of the most unique vocalist to grace the genre. Eddie Hermida has an instantly recognisable voice from his impressive highs to his belly protruding lows. The band differs from the usual verse, chorus, verse, chorus, insert a breakdown structure that many deathcore bands follow. Instead taking influence from some very neo classical metal elements such as guitars solos to improve on their sound. There are still all the elements of what makes a good deathcore band in this structure, blast beating the hell out of the drums, gut wrenching breakdowns and those growly death metal vocals. Not to mention those juicy anti-government, anti-society and anti-religious lyrical themes that I so crave. When you add this all together you take the deathcore game to new levels.
Other bands to look out for:
Oceano, Whitechapal, Within the Ruins, Molotov Solution, Suffokate, Rings of Saturn, Thirteen Bled Promises, Last Ten Seconds Of Life, Suicide Silence, Impending Doom, Hester Prynne, I Declare War, Angelmaker, Born Of Osiris, Chelsea Grin, Slaughter To Prevail, Despised Icon, Red Chord, Winds of Plague, Betraying the Martyr.