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Deathcore is an extreme metal fusion genre that combines musical elements of death metal and metalcore and sometimes hardcore punk.[1][2][3][4][5] It makes use of death metal riffs and blast beats, as well as metalcore breakdowns.[6][7] Deathcore gained most prominence within the southwestern United States, especially Arizona and inland southern California (mostly the Coachella Valley), which are home to many notable bands and various festivals.[8][9][10][11]



Deathcore combines death metal characteristics such as blast beats, down-tuned guitars, tremolo picking, and growled vocals with metalcore characteristics such as breakdowns.[citation needed] The genre is usually defined by breakdowns and death metal riffs or metalcore riffs played in the usual death metal tuning.[6][12] Like in other extreme metal fusion genres, deathcore guitarists down-tune their guitars to give their music a heavier sound. Deathcore bands may also employ guitar solos as well.[13][14][15][16][17][18]

Low growls and shrieked screams are common vocalizations.[6][19] Some other techniques that deathcore vocalists have used include what is known as pig squeals.[20][21][22][23][24] Sung vocals in the genre are rare and most bands seldom if ever use them, but the idea has been experimented with by a few bands such as All Shall Perish (in the song "Awaken the Dreamers") and Oceano (in the song "Incisions").[25]


Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence performing in 2010.

The term deathcore was first used in reference to the style of music played by New York hardcore punk band N.Y.C. Mayhem in the mid–1980s.[26] By 1996, Nick Terry of Terrorizer magazine wrote: "We're probably going to settle on the term deathcore to describe the likes of Earth Crisis (as well as the more NYHC-ish but still as deathly Merauder)."[27] In spite of this, Antagony[28][29] and Despised Icon are considered to be the pioneers of deathcore,[30][31] However, both Antagony and Despised Icon have rejected the label.[29][32] Nick Vasallo is credited as being the "father of deathcore" due to his work in Antagony.[33][34] Embrace the Eternal (1998) by Embodyment and Rain in Endless Fall (1999) by Prayer for Cleansing are known as some of the earliest albums that feature metalcore combined with death metal influences.[35][36]

Decibel magazine wrote that death metal band Suffocation were one of the main inspirations for the genre's emergence by writing: "One of Suffocation's trademarks, breakdowns, has spawned an entire metal subgenre: deathcore."[37]

Deathcore also began to gain moderate popularity in the late 2000s (specifically 2006 and 2007). Notable bands that brought the genre in the highlight include Bring Me the Horizon and Suicide Silence. Suicide Silence's No Time to Bleed peaked at number 32 on the Billboard 200, number 12 on the Rock Albums Chart and number 6 on the Hard Rock Albums Chart,[38] while their album The Black Crown peaked at number 28 on the Billboard 200, number 7 on the Rock Albums Chart and number 3 on the Hard Rock Albums Chart.[38] After its release, Whitechapel's album This Is Exile sold 5,900 in copies, which made it enter the Billboard 200 chart at position 118.[39] Their self-titled album peaked at number 65 on the Canadian Albums Chart[40] and also at number 47 on the Billboard 200.[41] Their third album A New Era of Corruption sold about 10,600 copies in the United States in its first week of being released and peaked at position number 43 on the Billboard 200 chart.[42] Furthermore, Bring Me the Horizon won the 2006 Kerrang! Awards for Best British Newcomer after they released their 2006 debut record Count Your Blessings.[43] However, Bring Me the Horizon abandoned the deathcore genre after the release of this album.[44] San Diego natives Carnifex, witnessed success with their first album Dead in My Arms, selling 5,000 copies with little publicity. On top of their non-stop touring and methodical songwriting resulted in Carnifex quickly getting signed to label Victory Records.[45] Lastly, Australian deathcore band Thy Art Is Murder debuted at number 35 on the ARIA Charts with their album Hate (2012)[46] making them the first metal band to ever reach the Top 40 of this chart.[47]

A variety of deathcore bands experimented with other genres into their music as influence as time went by. For example, early material by the band Fallujah was described as carrying deathcore and black metal influence respectively.[48] On the other hand, Emmure has been credited to be heavily influenced by nu metal[49] and was described as "the new Limp Bizkit".[50]


Despised Icon is often regarded as one of deathcore's founding bands.

Deathcore has been criticized and looked down upon, especially by longtime fans of some other heavy metal subgenres. The reason for it is often its fusion of death metal with metalcore and use of breakdowns.[23][24][51][52]

In addition to this, members of certain deathcore bands do not take a liking to being labeled "deathcore". In an interview with vocalist Vincent Bennett of The Acacia Strain about the deathcore label, he said "Deathcore is the new nu-metal. [...] It sucks. And if anyone calls us 'deathcore' then I might do something very bad to them."[53] While in an interview with Justin Longshore from Through the Eyes of the Dead about the deathcore label, he said "You know, I really hate that term. I know we've been labeled as that but I think there's so much more to our music than just a mixture of death metal and hardcore (sic) even though we incorporate those elements in our music. To me it seems that is just the new and fresh thing that kids are following."[54]

In November 2013, Terrorizer wrote "The term ‘deathcore’ is usually seen as a dirty word in metal circles" while interviewing vocalist Bryce Lucien of the Texas-based metal band Seeker. Lucien then stated:[55]

Much like what became of metalcore in the mid-2000s, deathcore is an often maligned term that can instantly diminish a bands credibility. What once conjured images of ridiculously brutal, unapologetically heavy bands like Ion Dissonance and The Red Chord now brings to mind bands full of twenty-year-olds sporting throat tattoos, matching black t shirts, and trying desperately hard to look tough while they jump in sync onstage.

In contrast, there seems to be bands that appear to be more lighthearted and less concerned over being described as deathcore. Scott Lewis of the San Diego-based deathcore band Carnifex started "We're not one of those bands trying to escape the banner of deathcore. I know a lot of bands try and act like they have a big problem with that, but if you listen to their music, they are very 'deathcore.' I know that there is a lot of resentment towards deathcore and kind of younger bands."[56] Also, in a 2012 interview, former Chelsea Grin guitarist Jake Harmond said: "Everyone likes to flap their jaw and voice their own opinion how 'embarrassing' it is to be in a band that can be labeled 'deathcore,' but honestly we have never given a fuck."[57]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Desolation of Eden". AllMusic. Retrieved June 26, 2015. Deathcore -- the type of noisy, caustic, abrasive mixture of metalcore and death metal that Chelsea Grin offer on their first full-length album, Desolation of Eden -- is bound to annoy a lot of parents, which is exactly the point."
  2. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Heaven Shall Burn". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  3. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Burning Skies". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  4. ^ Gorania, Jay H. "Despised Icon - 'Day Of Mourning'". Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  5. ^ Chichester, Sammi (October 19, 2012). "Dan Kenny of Suicide Silence Picks the Top Five Underground Death-Metal Bands". Revolver. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Lee, Cosmo. "Doom". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  7. ^ Marsicano, Dan. "Rose Funeral - 'The Resting Sonata'". Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  8. ^ Official SoCal DeathFest banner - held in Santa Ana, California Archived 2013-10-19 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Official Deathcore Fest banner - held in San Francisco, California". Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Ferret Music has announced the signing of ELYSIA. The California-based deathcore outfit is composed of Zak Vargas (vocals), Mark Underwood (guitar), Steven Sessler (drums), Danny Lemonsqueeze (guitar) and Jeremy Chavez (bass, backing vocals) and formed four years ago"
  11. ^ Spiritech: "..., meet Californian quintet Suicide Silence, who have just released their debut album, 'The Cleansing'."
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Bring Me The Horizon - Count Your Blessings Review". Chad Bowar. Archived from the original on 2016-04-09. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  14. ^ "Bring Me the Horizon, "Count Your Blessings"". Dead Tide. Archived from the original on 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  15. ^ "Bring Me The Horizon - Count Your Blessings". Blistering. Archived from the original on 2013-11-04.
  16. ^ "Whitechapel "Self-Titled" Album Review". Punk World Reviews. June 15, 2012.
  17. ^ "Whitechapel - Self-Titled Album Review". Sonic Abuse. July 6, 2012.
  18. ^ "Whitechapel - "A New Era of Corruption" CD Review". Metal Underground. June 5, 2010.
  19. ^ "CD Review: CARNIFEX Until I Feel Nothing". Metal Injection. October 27, 2011.
  20. ^ "Doom - Job for a Cowboy". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Poll: Are Deathcore Vocalists Interchangeable?". MetalSucks. January 5, 2013.
  22. ^ "Interrupting Cow - Desecration of the Universe (EP) (2012)". Psychocydd. November 7, 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  23. ^ a b "A Deathcore Extravaganza". Review the World. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  24. ^ a b "Leave The Pig Squeals on The Farm". American Aftermath. September 26, 2010. Archived from the original on 2013-05-24.
  25. ^ "Song Premiere: Oceano, "Incisions" - Features - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  26. ^ Doe, Bernard (1985). "MAYHEM (N. Y. C.) Mayhemic Destruction (1985)" (12). Metal Forces. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  27. ^ Terry, Nick (December 1996). "So, Did Earth Crisis Move You?". Terrorizer #37, page 23. ISSN 1350-6978.
  28. ^ Metal Injection - Watch Dawn of Deathcore: The Story of Antagony For Maximum Deathcore History!
  29. ^ a b "NO CLEAN SINGING » ANTAGONY – Why you need to know this band…". Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  30. ^ "Despised Icon". Decibel. November 2009. Archived from the original on 2013-10-23.
  31. ^ "Despised Icon: New Video Interview Available". Blabbermouth. May 22, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ "Despised Icon Despised 'Deathcore'". MTV. June 8, 2007.
  33. ^ RiffShop (2017-03-01), Meet The Father of DEATHCORE! | Riffcast - The Songwriting Podcast #1, retrieved 2017-03-03
  34. ^ "Nick Vasallo - Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives". Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  35. ^ Alex Henderson. "Rain in Endless Fall (2003 reissue) - Prayer for Cleansing | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  36. ^ Pelt, Doug Van (2004) Embodyment - Embrace the Eternal at the Wayback Machine (archive index). HM Magazine. Retrieved on May 11, 2016.
  37. ^ Lee, Cosmo (September 2009). "Suffocation reclaim their rightful place as kings of death metal". Decibel Magazine #059. One of Suffocation's trademarks, breakdowns, has spawned an entire metal subgenre: deathcore
  38. ^ a b "Suicide Silence Album & Songs Chart History". Billdboard. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  39. ^ "Whitechapel's This Is Exile Lands on Billboard Chart". Blabbermouth. 2008-07-16. Archived from the original on August 3, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  40. ^ "Albums Charts". Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  41. ^ "Whitechapel's Chart History". Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  42. ^ "Roadrunner Records Page Not Found". Roadrunner Records Official Website. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  43. ^ "Kerrang! Awards 2006 Blog: Best British Newcomer".
  44. ^ "Bring Me The Horizon // Drowned In Sound". Drowned In Sound. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  45. ^ "Event – MassConcerts". Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  46. ^ Steffen Hung (2015-04-13). "Australian charts portal". Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  47. ^ Eliezer, Christie. "Thy Art Is Murder break ARIA record - Music Industry - The Music Network". Archived from the original on 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2017-07-27.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  48. ^ Total Deathcore Fallujah The Harvest Worms
  49. ^ "Guest Insider: Mike Gitter Reviews Emmure's 'Felony'". Metal Insider. 2009-09-10. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  51. ^ "Why Do Metal Nerds Like All These Deathcore Bands????". Sergeant D from MetalSucks. May 16, 2012. I like this band OK, but I think it's really funny how when they first came out everybody was like "WTF this band sucks they are posers/not real death metal!!!" Then they put out their second album, which was basically generic late-90s death metal like any of the 8962323 jillion bands who ripped off Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation at the time, and then everybody was all "I guess they are OK this record is pretty sweet."
  52. ^ "Deathcore... and how hard it is to find good bands???". David Dawson. October 15, 2012. Archived from the original on April 19, 2013.
  53. ^ Bee Roth, David (2008-12-30). "Exclusive Interview with The Acacia Strain's Vincent Bennett". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  54. ^ "Justin Longshore (Through the Eyes of the Dead)". Decoymusic. March 25, 2007. Archived from the original on 2013-05-21.
  55. ^ "Seeker's Bryce Lucien On The Term 'Deathcore'". 4 November 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  56. ^ "Carnifex Vocalist Doesn't Fear the Deathcore Tag". Noisecreep. March 16, 2010.
  57. ^ "Chelsea Grin interview". Lambgoat. January 7, 2012.