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Metalcore is a subgenre of Heavy Metal that combines Thrash Metal with Hardcore Punk, and sometimes takes a more melodic approach to the songs than thrash. It is characterised by gratuitous use of the Metal Scream, as well as breakdowns. Lots and lots of breakdowns (although due to, ahem, certain bands, this attribute has been Flanderized a bit). If you're not in the know, a "breakdown" is when the music kind-of slows down to induce moshing or "throwing down"...or something like that. Modern bands often tend to mix it up with clean vocals and melodic riffs (see Melodic metalcore below).

Metalcore began life as a blending between thrash metal and hardcore punk, and was used to describe bands such as D.R.I., S.O.D., and Suicidal Tendencies in the 1980's, however the term changed its meaning in the 1990's to "metallic hardcore", and the genre metalcore originally defined became known as "crossover thrash". This newer "wave" of metalcore included bands such as Integrity, Earth Crisis and Converge. By the end of the nineties, metalcore had evolved into "melodic metalcore", which slowly grew in popularity until the mid-2000s, when it was a big mainstream draw. In fact, today, metalcore is the most commercially popular form of metal.

When combined with Death Metal, metalcore transforms into Deathcore. Melodic metalcore is usually fused with Melodic Death Metal influences and Soprano and Gravel vocal dynamics.


Bands typically cited as metalcore include:

The following bands are often called metalcore, but are very much not metalcore. We keep this short list here because we don't want these bands put on the main metalcore list by an earnest passerby.

  • 3 Inches of Blood: The confusion comes from the dual vocalists. While switching between clean, punk styled vocals and harsh, growled and screamed vocals is common in metalcore, 3 Inches of Blood is very much a thrash-power metal band with little to no similarities to metalcore outside of common thrash elements. Furthermore, while one of their vocalists does use similar screams to some metalcore bands, their other vocalist uses a Halfordesque screech that's far more in line with thrash metal, speed metal and Power Metal.
  • The Black Dahlia Murder: Straight-up Melodic Death Metal.
  • DevilDriver: Straight-up Groove Metal.
  • Five Finger Death Punch: Straight-up Groove Metal on their first album, thrashier groove metal along the lines of Pantera's faster songs on the second. Some of their mellower songs border on Post-Grunge.
  • Light This City: They mostly look like hardcore kids, and the other bands they've been in are mostly hardcore or pop punk, but the music is straight Melodic Death Metal.
  • Soul Embraced: Possibly due to being a Christian band. They started out as a straight up death metal band, but their later albums brought Progressive Metal and Alternative Metal influences into the fold.

Tropes Common In Metalcore:

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