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Trends that should Stay Dead - DeathCore

Updated on August 1, 2018
Paul Garand profile image

I write creative writing pieces inspired by '80s action, gaming, and heavy metal—classic "good vs evil" stories with smart twists.

Go away, deathcore; NO ONE LIKES YOU! That’s a phrase I always use when browsing metal-related sites; hearing about the odd band still trying to bring it back. Deathcore is a sub-genre that was apparently, around since the late 90s with bands like Catharsis and Abnegation. However, I was exposed to it during its heyday; in the year 2010 with Suicide Silence, Make Them Suffer and Aegaeon dominating my metalhead friends’ ears. This was when pigsqueals and unintelligible guttural vocals were common alongside endless down-tuned guitar breakdowns; making double sure the cover art and song titles were as shocking and “brutal” as possible.

Deathcore, to me is a failed experiment in fusing death metal with metalcore (genres I enjoy by themselves) where none come out looking good because nothing special or creative is done; something that makes metalcore good. This brings me to my first point why deathcore should stay dead; the “brutal” gimmick above all else. We all remember Merilyn Manson who was nothing but marketing hype and shock value with terrible musical output that was boring and predictable; sounding the same from album to album. Deathcore, to me is round 2 albeit with heavier instrumentals and vocals that sound like the Cookie Monster off of Sesame Street. The evil and serial killer wannabe schtick is passé at this point in time therefore, if you are going to do it, at least be creative instead, deathcore chooses to mimic Cannibal Corpse and the like to pander to the edgy emo/scene kids with parental issues.

Deathcore had its place in history the same way as NU metal did (another genre I enjoy despite the backlash of my metal peers) however, the latter is still around today with so many enjoyable bands such as 7 Days Away, CrowneVict and a handful of underground ones having creative material and musical variety. Deathcore just stagnated and stewed in its own juices for years, making interchangeable output that even fanatics (my college friends; devotees of Suicide Silence) called them out as boring ; proving that deathcore is now formulaic and therefore, tedious to listen to. If you are going to be formulaic and a carbon copy of a more successful band; you are a waste of time and are taking up space better bands could have took.

Awesome Band to Check Out - 7 Days Away

Awesome Band to Check Out - CrowneVict

I don’t have a problem with gimmicks per se, but some of them just grate me to the point of cringing; an example of this would be Satanic black metal, Slayer, any slam-death metal and of course deathcore. Every one of them is crawling out of their skin-suits to be dark and scary; I can imagine this process as some skinny emo kid screeches like a cat in heat (or does his best Cookie Monster impression) about gore (while the song is “cutely” titled something in the vein of “Terror at the Tea Party.”) This gives another reason to why deathcore must stay dead; it removes everything that made metal special and interesting to listen to.

Remember why most of us love bands like Iron Maiden, MANOWAR, ACCEPT or Judas Priest? These bands were a voice of the times (Judas Priest’s “British Steel,” ACCEPT’s “Restless and Wild), gateways to amazing worlds of big battles and heroism (MANOWAR’s career, Iron Maiden’s earlier albums) amazing subject matter of high speed, adventure and domination over the unconquered challenges; I could go on and on. Deathcore just brings nothing except for a bunch of scene/emo kids with instruments who think they are a metal band because they tick a few boxes; that were made from a generic template.

Awesome Metal from Centuries Past

A True Metal Band

Backstreet Boys with Heavy Guitars

I’ve been a metalhead since age 12 and what drove me to the music of power metal, traditional heavy metal, speed, metalcore, melodeath and death metal were connections to the bands and the meanings within their songs. The genuine nature of the music, the cathartic release of trapped energy and even representation of what an average person goes through. Deathcore doesn’t offer that and when you boil it down; it all sounds like a bad breakup song with plastic production quality; a pop song played with heavy instruments; making the genre itself contrived and devoid of purpose. Essentially, making deathcore a metal equivalent of Ne-Yo; a One-Hit Wonder that can’t take the hint and go away.

Finally, the final 5,45mm in deathcore’s corpse is that it makes metal and heavy music in general safer and more acceptable/watered-down; over-using and copy-pasting of “shocking” images (that have no purpose or objective behind them) while the performers look the same (skinny jeans and a comb-over hairstyle) akin to boybands; setting it up for emasculation and degradation for profit. I am in favor of bands getting big and popular (one of my favorite bands is Iron Maiden after all) but they got big because they were who they were; a band with good musicians and memorable songs. Deathcore bands are like boybands of the late 90s; tick some boxes and you’re all set. They can reference every serial killer ever and have all the gore they want on the cover; it’s still not scary or interesting.

2 To the Body, 1 To the Head; Goodbye Deathcore.

© 2018 Jake Clawson

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