What is deathcore?

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What is deathcore?

What is deathcore?

We answer the age-old metal query, what actually is deathcore anyway?

Attila is the best/worst band in the world – but mostly the best. With a style primarily focused on deathcore, but with southern and nu sensibilities that occasionally branch out into full on trap-metal moments, the band doesn’t take much of anything seriously.

Their single ‘Pizza’ is an outrageously dumb song all about our favourite doughy food, complete with a gigantic and slamming breakdown that rears its disgusting chugs when the song’s narrative reaches an argumentative peak. It’s simultaneously a truly priceless, and entirely worthless work of art. It got me wondering – is this deathcore in a nutshell? Though it can easily be argued that the term deathcore was first thrown about in the mid-‘90s in regards to hardcore bands throwing in some death metal influence or vice versa, it’s less easy to argue against the fact that it didn’t really start to come together as a homogenised sound or scene until the mid-2000s.

Bands like The Red Chord, Despised Icon and Prayer For Cleansing straddled the line – never really taking off in the no-man’s land between worlds. Then MySpace took hold a few years later and created a whole new era led by Job for A Cowboy, Suicide Silence and Whitechapel. Deathcore became the classic case of a dirty buzzword. The bands most pioneering and emblematic of the sound all tried to deny it, and in some cases even destroyed their careers by attempting so hard to be accepted as ‘real death metal’ that they just totally missed the mark. Once you’ve been branded, that’s it – the true death metal warriors are never going to accept you, and your fans that have supported you from the start won’t give a shit about your new songs if they don’t contain the classic deathcore elements – absurdly massive breakdowns, limitless blast beats, stupidly overproduced everything, and offensive lyrical catchphrases that fit perfectly on the back of a black shirt. Perhaps the one notable exception to this rule is Bring Me the Horizon – but going full pop is a very different story to half-baked tech death.

Now a little past the peak of deathcore’s frenzied and controversial uprising of 2006-2007, I think it’s safe to say, that if you take Attila out of the equation, the genre has matured into a respected one and perhaps even accepted part of the extreme metal smorgasbord. You can hear the reverse influence of it on “true death metal” bands like Aborted (listen to Bathos and tell me they haven’t been listening to the band I’m about to mention), and Australia’s own deathcore clones Thy Art Is Murder have evolved to become intelligent and pioneering leaders of metal – they just finished up a European tour playing a festival main stage one slot below KISS.

While amazing tunes like ‘Pizza’ are being made, perhaps nothing will ever be truly epic and pure. But then again, nothing truly is, and deathcore has come a very long way.