Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What I think of Metalcore Part One

This is a series of blogs I will be starting on what I think of the "Metalcore" scene.
I will start by taking you back about 20 years when I first heard the term "Crossover". "Crossover was the combination of Metal and (Hardcore) Punk, and to my pre-teen mind it definitely represented something fresh. Flash forward about 20 years later and a music known as "Metalcore" is all the rage. They are two different things I must acknowledge. As "Hardcore" dropped a lot of the original "Punk" elements in late Eighties and Early Nineties with bands like Sick of it All, Agnostic Front, etc- it became somewhat indistinguishable from a lot of what else was happening- Groove Metal. Groove Metal included bands such as Exhorder and Pantera, and both bands included Metal, Hardcore and Crossover as influenced. Confused? Well in a way I am- but I am beginning to see where it all fits. The band "Overcast" was formed in the mid nineties, and the rest is history. Overcast included future members of Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall.

Shadows Fall was a band I heard in about 1997-98. I thought it was basically a somewhat more eclectic version of what was going on in Sweden at the time, that is, Melodic Death Metal.

I didn't see where the "Hardcore" influences were really, except for maybe a few sections.

Well where am I going with this? Metalcore is in many ways a distillation of underground metal sounds of the past 15 years or so. Some elements of the original "Hardcore" sound remain, i.e, "breakdowns", etc- as well as the vocal stylings, but many of the bands suffer from a marginalization that comes with not having a metal upbringing. I am only being honest with this. One of the things that I can identify with many members of the scene, is that they weren't as hardcore with metal as a "metal lifer" such as myself. Does this bother me? Yes and no. Some of the more eclectic and interesting bands such as Between the Buried and Me and Protest the Hero (both coming from a Metalcore "background") can be excused because of their versatiliy and variety. The (to me anyway) defilement of old school death metal that passes off as "Deathcore" is another story altogether (to me anyway). I don't get the appeal of "Deathcore". If I want to hear Death Metal, I want to hear a real death metal band such as Morbid Angel, not the strange mutation that Deathcore provides. It sounds watered down and refined, and the drummers (obviously young) use many more synthetic methods than even their "trigger happy" forefathers (triggers as in "triggered drums"). So, overall, if a band comes from a Metalcore background but pushes boundaries to me there's no difference between this and a killer band coming from ANY scene. I may think they just look like "prep jocks" compared to the long haired greasy metal brethren I am used to, but this can be excused if their music kicks ass. And it often does.


Anonymous said...

There is such a thing as deathcore? What are some examples? I want to give a listen! I agree with you that it would be much better to listen to a real death metal band, but curious minds want to know!

Mattowarrior said...

Deathcore is bands like Job for a Cowboy and shit. I think its pretty much garbage though. And I make no apologies for saying this. Some of the more techy ones are all right though, but still not my thing. Its watered down death metal