Like it or not, a whole bunch of the staff at Heavy Blog "grew up" on deathcore in the mid to late 2000's. Some love to admit it and some loathe to—some didn't listen to it at all because they were clearly more well-adjusted to life and stuff. With a decade of deathcore now (well and truly) behind us, it's probably an appropriate time to look at some of the genre's most notable releases in that time. As it's 2017, let's start with 2007 (well done, mathletes) and the first full length from California lyric shirt pioneers Suicide Silence. If your favourite deathcore release came out in 2006 then sorry, look elsewhere.
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.
Fight the Fight are still in the earliest stages of defining their own sound, despite many years of playing together under another moniker, but they've certainly nailed something here that is a combination of metal and emocore style punk (think At the Gates meets A Day to Remember). There are some really sweet melodic hooks in the choruses especially in the lead track.
How does a band keep their sound consistent yet fresh after 20+ years of active releases? Especially when the sound is something relatively limited and simple. In Flames clearly don't have the right answer. Their fellow townmates, Dark Tranquillity, just might. Over the years, the Gothenburg outlet has remained relatively consistent in tone and even though they've gone through three distinct eras, they maintained a common thread through them all. While not every Dark Tranquillity album was an instant hit, especially a couple of their more recent ones, somehow with their 11th release Atoma they have rediscovered their spark. Both a return to form and a push forward, this album shows that this particular brand of Swedish melodeath still has more to offer.
2009 was a landmark year for me when it came to music. Releases from Every Time I Die and The Black Dahlia Murder were the soundtrack to my first experience of living on my own and, slotted somewhere between the two, Homesick by A Day To Remember became a "guilty pleasure". The dyed in the wool metal head in me was conflicted. Torn even. I knew that the pop driven choruses and "she left me, boo hoo" lyrics were something I should have already got past but the songs were just too catchy to ignore. What business did a pop punk band have dropping savage, infectious breakdowns all over their material? Why do I still listen to this band, unironically? Because A Day To Remember are metal as fuck and I'll fight you after class on the football field if you disagree.
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Jimmy Two's first edition of this column was great and had me harking back to the glory days of browsing CD's for hours and stressing because I only ever had enough money for one. One album kept coming to mind when I was considering what to pick for this feature. The album in question is the often heralded Alive Or Just Breathing by Killswitch Engage.