Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Spawned sometime during the 90's, metalcore is, as the name suggests, hardcore punk influenced by metal. Though the style has arguably little resemblance to what is commonly classified as heavy metal or hardcore punk, it could be said to be a natural progression of the slower, more metallic form of hardcore displayed in Black Flag's post-Damaged work.
"Hardcore": the misnomer
(also called "Moshcore", or "Tough Guy Hardcore")
This genre is frequently called "Hardcore" even though it's much heavier and different than the punk subgenre Hardcore.
The by far most famous band in this category is Hatebreed, who have managed to come across some mainstream musical acceptance, such as being on the soundtracks for Hollywood movies (XXX and The Punisher) and their vocalist, Jamey Jasta, being the host of MTV2's Headbanger's Ball .
This particular style is considered the simplest style of metalcore, with songs averaging around one or two minutes in length and being written in a tradition closer to aforementioned 80's Hardcore punk, with traditional elements such as mosh breakdowns and singalongs, but with guitars having a much heavier, metallic edge to them. Lyrics tend to be focused on personal issues such as self-determination, mental strength, unity (within the hardcore and metalcore scene) and sometimes straight-edge, also a tradition that has been continued from older hardcore bands. Some bands such as All Out War are despite their sound being closer to thrash metal than old-school hardcore filed under this style due to their image and attitude to the hardcore scene in general.
Other notable bands in this style
Walls of Jericho (also famed for having a female vocalist)
The Break In
This particular style of metalcore is slightly looked down upon as the scene is generally considered filled (some would say "polluted") with a high number of these bands, who all play fairly similar music. The music is a combination of melodic and heavy guitars, fast paces and the inclusion of some hardcore elements, such as mosh breakdowns and two-steps. Sometimes, other influences, such as Meshuggah-esque time signatures or softer (often considered "emo" by some), melodically sung parts.
Although the Gothenburg Death Metal genre was pioneered by bands like At The Gates, The Haunted, Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Edge of Sanity, and later Arch Enemy, it has spread beyond Gothenburg, Sweden and "true" heavy metal into America with bands like Lamb of God, Shadows Fall and Bleeding Through.
The "premier" band in the American catagory of Gothencore would most likely be Killswitch Engage, who have been signed to Roadrunner Records, a relatively large metal label. Trivium is another band in the same style who have also recently been signed to Roadrunner.
Other notable bands in this style
It Dies Today
(Also known as "tech hardcore", "chaotic hardcore", and "noisecore".) See the Mathcore article.
The "Fashioncore" scene
During the 2000's, the term "fashioncore" (a hardcore/metalcore version of the word "hipster" or "scenester") started to come in use. It is considered a derogatory term applicable to both individuals and bands. The term in question refers to a band's or individual's use of aesthetics generally considered antithetical to older hardcore values, such as the use of make-up or contemporary fashion, which is usually seen as conforming to the mainstream, or being fairly image-centric in general. The word has also been used to describe bands which the user feels are only in it for money and fame. This has become a fairly common occurrence during the 2000's, as the hardcore, metalcore and screamo scenes became a lot more popular and even started receiving mainstream attention.
When aimed at individuals, the idea commonly refers to wearing tight female jeans (even if you are a male), white leather belts (studs or pyramids optional), Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, t-shirts (usually black) that look like they have been found in a thrift store and meticulously groomed hair.
Of course, considering that hardcore, and by tradition metalcore were in the very beginning based on non-conformity, every now and then a band that isn't easy to peg even within these styles pops up, such as the quirky and spastic pop-influenced hardcore of The Blood Brothers. During 2003 and 2004, a number of bands also displayed some leanings towards 80's hair metal that had not been common before. Forerunners for this were for example Eighteen Visions and Atreyu, who with their respective 2004 releases 'Obsession' and 'The Curse' drew upon a lot of inspiration from such bands as The Stone Temple Pilots, Guns n' Roses and Poison. Atreyu even went as far as recording a cover of Bon Jovi's 'You Give Love A Bad Name' for a limited edition release of their 2nd full-length album, 'The Curse'.
- Hatebreed's official homepage
- Killswitch Engage's homepage
- The Dillinger Escape Plan's homepage
- Converge's homepage
- Death Do Us Part's homepage
- The Blood Brothers' homepage
- Atreyu's official homepage
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