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.

Love Letter – Himsa

It’s hard to believe that there was a time before the steady stream of blasé lyric videos, but at the turn of the millennium, music video purveyor MTV had to “bring back” the music video. The artform was essentially replaced by trashy reality television and cartoons by the late 90s, but eventually came MTV2 - a quality sequel (well, for a few years) nobody really deserved. So I guess it only made sense that they also resurrected their metalhead favorite from the 80s and 90s soon thereafter - Headbangers Ball. After all, this era had a ton to offer. The NWOAHM movement was all the rage, metalcore was hitting its stride, and melodeath was pretty much the coolest shit ever. Given that the combo of Kazaa and my dial-up setup wasn’t doing me any good - true story: I waited days (plural) to download Meshuggah’s Chaosphere only to find out that some jerk just relabeled of Neurotica tracks (some truly evil bastards out there), this couldn’t have been better timing for a dude who had recently gotten his license and began to fall in love with hanging out at the record store - the internet, for me, sucked for digging up new tunes.

Hollow Earth – Dead Planet

It seems as if 2016 is a fantastic year for science fiction themed metal. From the gnarly, twisted tales of Vektor to the bombastic space opera of Khonsu, metal about science fiction is seemingly everywhere. Well, the time to draw up the data-tablet and add one more name before the year is done has arrived; Hollow Earth are set to release their Dead Planet on the 2nd of December and boy is it science fiction. It's also a damn good album, offering a strange mix between metalcore and sludge, of all things. This seemingly paradoxical mix yields a uniquely aggressive album, channeling the different and often opposite timbers of the two genres into an impossible, astral beast.

PHOTOS: Baroness, Heiress—March 29th, 2016 @ Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC

Baroness returned to Vancouver playing at the famous Commodore Ballroom to play an amazing set covering their four albums. With each song came clever lighting that matched which album the song was from. Mostly being 2016’s Purple and pasts Green/Yellow. Purple is like a new train of thought for Baroness. You can feel with each song how they have grown and progressed as a band with a heightened level of technicality, groove, and melody. Which only seems natural to any fan who knows of the bands past. Their live show is no different. Every aspect of the production exceeded expectations. The setlist was well rounded and the stage presence of the band was top notch, but don’t take my word for it. The photos speak for themselves. Joining Baroness for a mini-tour of the west coast was Heiress of Seattle who put on an intense and loud show that would appeal to any fan of Baroness’ earlier works. After seeing them live I honestly cant think of many bands that could have complimented Baroness better. Kudos to Heiress!