The Agony Scene – Tormentor

2018 has seen some surprising, and surprisingly solid, comebacks from many of the metalcore and NWOAHM bands that populated the early 2000s. However, few have been as unexpected or as outstanding as The Agony Scene’s Tormentor. Many of their peers have succeeded by simply cementing their relevance in recent years,…

Hey! Listen to Plague Father!

Ever wondered what The Acacia Strain and The Black Dahlia Murder would sound like if you rammed them together headfirst inside some kind of doomed-out super collider? No? Well, Plague Father have. What about Darkest Hour meets Cattle Decapitation, by way of Watain? Plague Father have you covered for that…

After the Firestorm – The Incarnation of Metalcore

Music operates in cycles and waves, with the energy generated from one, feeding directly into another. This is one of the major ways that we see genres and styles achieve growth. One particular genre that we have seen outgrow its roots and reach with newly grown tentacles into ever-evolving styles is hardcore. Just look around at the number of sub-genres that include the affix of “core” to their names. In this piece we look at the bands who evolved hardcore in both subtle and major ways to arrive at what we now know as “metalcore.” First, we take a look at some of the bands who were most directly tied to hardcore in its last iteration before metalcore truly came into being.

River Black – River Black

One of the sillier things that ever became popular in metal and hardcore are “kung fu kicks” in the middle of mosh pits but part of why that ever even became a thing was because, generally, kids in the crowd were trying to come up with some kind of intense way to show their appreciation for the music while, perhaps, protecting their heads from flying fists and elbows. That said, it’s still dumb, though, that seems widely acknowledged by now and most who participate in do so with an awareness of how it comes across. However, it didn’t stop it from becoming a thing, especially in the metalcore world and beyond.

Djent Was A Genre Full Of Great Debuts And Little Else

Djent had an explosive entrance into the world of heavy music, around the start of the decade. It was a truly exciting occurrence, with first-wave acts like Periphery, Animals As Leaders and Cloudkicker filtering the technically-driven progressive sound of acts like Meshuggah, Sikth, and those of the budding “Sumeriancore” movement, into something  altogether more accessible, while still retaining much of their forebears’ technical and progressive edge. Yet, like most new sub-genres, djent quickly devolved into pastiche and gave way to over saturation—perhaps a little bit quicker than most. Djent, it seems, has had a propperly ballistic trajectory, and—in 2017—as its momentum trails off, it’s hard to get excited about this once-promising phenomenon.

Darkest Hour – Godless Prophets & The Mindless Flora

To simply sum Darkest Hour up to yet another ATG-core band would not only be insulting, but wildly inaccurate as well. The band has been different ever since their inception, as they started much more closely in line with the hardcore-metal crossover of their heyday in the mid-90’s. Eventually this would change, of course. The band began to overlay their blistering metallic-hardcore with melo-death riffs galore, showing that they were not only impassioned Integrity fans, but At The Gates fans as well. The hardcore always lingered though, driving their sound to blistering speeds and intensities that other bands simply could not keep up with. At the time it was remarkable in its own right, the perfect marriage between death metal and hardcore, but soon it led to just as many bands trying to rip them off as closely as many before them had tried to rip off In Flames.

Iron Reagan – Crossover Ministry

Iron Reagan is made up of the singer and bassist from Municipal Waste, Darkest Hour’s old drummer, and DRI’s Crossover DNA. Then again, if you’re at all familiar with the thrash revival scene then you probably already know that about this band. And you can probably take a healthy guess about what their latest album on Relapse, Crossover Ministry, sounds like. All hints of predictability aside this is a rollicking throwback to the heyday of thrash when bands like Testament, Exodus, Forbidden, and so many others were as likely to be found shredding guitars and skateboards as digging themselves out of the pit.