I love hardcore. I love metal. So of course I am somewhat a fan of metalcore. You take the basis of metal, the big riffs, heavy distorted guitars, screamed vocals and combine them with those oh so glorious hardcore breakdowns (and if you haven’t heard I do love a good breakdown). Bam that’s metalcore in a nut shell. It gets a lot of hate from ‘true metalheads’ claiming it isn’t metal and blah blah blah de blah… However there is no denying that metalcore is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the modern world of metal.
This genre is often placed so close to melodic hardcore and post-hardcore that many bands are placed in two or more categories so check out my over top 5s below:
5) The Devil Wears Prada – I have been following these guys from quite early on in their career right up until their latest release, The Transit Blue. The Devil Wears Prada have really evolved since Plaques becoming a more mature sounding band with less ear pinching vocals, simple riffs and generic breakdowns. Instead you get a hell of a lot more of an atmosphere, well crafted song structures and punchier guitar work. I will admit however the whiney shrill of their early work still holds a place in my nostalgia riddled heart. Mike Hranica’s vocals are so unique that in a sea of copy and pasted screams it’s nice to hear a shriek like his blasting out my speakers. The only thing I wish the band did more of is sci-fi/horror themed concept EPs like Space and Zombie! They were just so encapsulating, like little short stories in music form!
4) AxeWound – A metalcore supergroup formed from members of Cancer Bats, Bullet For My Valentine, Glamour of the Kill, Rise To Remain, Pitchshifter and the up and coming post-hardcore band, Zoax. The vocal combination of Liam Cormier and Matthew Tuck is a truly superb one. Songs can be both raw and harsh yet melodic when it is needed. This mirrors the music which can swap between chuggy punk riffs to shredding tremolos to melodic choruses with ease. It doesn’t feel like AxeWound are shoving the slightly calmer sections down the listener’s throat like ‘you will enjoy this chorus because it’s popular with the kids’ instead it feels natural like it should 100% be included. It’s just a shame that they have only released a single album.
3) Crossfaith – This Japanese band have been on my radar from some time now. One of the very few bands who can incorporate electronics into their style effortlessly. Some metalcore bands have (or had I don’t know if it still a thing) these techno/dupstep inspired drops before, during or after a breakdown and it is so out of place it feels just like pandering to the mainstream. Not Crossfaith. The synths and keys add to the atmosphere of the music backing up the groove of the guitars or bouncing along with the drums. This band should feature on any metalcore fans playlist.
2)Parkway Drive – I am hesitant to put this guys on the list as I see them as more of a hardcore band for metalheads but here goes nothing. Parkway Drive are probably my favourite Aussie band. Signing to the legendary punk record label Epitaph only three years into their musical journey has helped them get their take on metal and hardcore playing all over the globe. I mean no one writes a breakdown quite like these guys. Parkway Drive have torn up every continent and played shows in cities around the world that many bands wouldn’t even think of playing, including Kolkata . Not to mention that in tour DVDs and interviews they seem like such a laid back bunch, able to have the time of their lives on and off the stage. In addition I just have to mention their latest album, Ire, was just epic. Like stupidly epic, cementing their place on this list and as one of my favourite bands.
1) While She Sleeps – Riffs. Riffs for days! Being able to write a decent breakdown is a must have in the world of hardcore and metalcore. Partner this up with some inspired, well written riffage and you have a band guaranteed to shake the world of metal! That’s right these guys can riff with the best of them. Nothing over the top or insane just strong, neck wrecking music. The boys from Sheffield produce some of the finest music with breakdowns feeling more like heavy riffs, catchy chanting choruses and melodies to get you moving. With only two albums under their belt and a third independent album coming out this year, it has been intense to watch While She Sleeps grow so quickly into a leading force within the heavy music scene.
Other bands to look out for:
Killswitch Engage, Heart Of A Coward, Unearth, Underoath, Bury Tomorrow, Bleed From Within, Devil You Know, I Killed The Prom Queen, Johnny Truant, A Moment Lost, Shields, Bring Me The Horizon