We love metal music, but it’s important to note that the ear-drum busting sound has some endearing subgenres. Metalcore, defined as the blending of hardcore and metal music, is experiencing a major boom currently. Leaders of the scene are taking charge by recording standout albums, putting on thrilling live performances and amassing huge fanbases. Usually the songs feature strong guitar riffs, soaring breakdowns, and a balance between heavy screams and smooth, clean vocals. It’s an exciting time for this music style, so here are 15 songs to introduce you to metalcore. Hop on board and enjoy the ride!
Classic Metalcore Jams that Defined the Genre:
“The End of Heartache” by Killswitch Engage
Killswitch Engage are a true metalcore band; they helped define the genre with their early albums. The intro guitar riff leads listeners into this emotional release of a song that features softer vocals and sporadic screams. It’s no wonder they were nominated for Best Metal Performance with this song at the 2005 Grammy Awards.
“Ex’s & Oh’s” by Atreyu
“Ex’s & Oh’s,” the first single off Atreyu’s third album stands out as a prime metalcore tune. Though singer Alex Varkatzas’ vocal style leans towards the softer side on this song, he adds in the right amount of aggression with screams that add to the madness.
“Giles” by Unearth
Unearth unleashes some serious fury on “Giles.” The song is a fast-paced whiplash that chugs along with intense guitar riffs. The ending chant of lyrics accompanying a breakdown brings to mind visions of a crowd of moshing kids screaming these lyrics.
“Tears Don’t Fall” by Bullet For My Valentine
The most popular Bullet For My Valentine song is undoubtedly their breakthrough anthem “Tears Don’t Fall” from their debut album. The song blends lighter vocals with piercing screams that cut across the song like daggers. It also features an awesome guitar solo with pulsing background drum beats. It’s a classic, rough metalcore love song and did we mention the storm of a music video is pretty cool?
“Meeting Again For The First Time” by Poison The Well
Poison The Well were instrumental in the origins of metalcore. One of their best songs is “Meeting Again For The First Time” off their first album that starts off like a ballad but turns into a thrashing roar.
Songs from Current Stars of the Scene:
“Sleepwalking” by Bring Me The Horizon
Bring Me The Horizon are the kings of metalcore. This jam off their latest album is a melodic yet abrasive stream of sounds. Frontman Oliver Sykes injects passion into every line as he sings “Your eyes are swallowing me/ Mirrors start to whisper/ Shadows start to sing.”
“Composure” by August Burns Red
Guitarist JB Brubaker’s pummeling guitar riffs and vocalist Jacob Luhrs’ bitter snarls make this song into the epic smash that it is. It’s an aggressive onslaught that brings terror to your eardrums in the best way.
“You’re Not Alone” by Of Mice & Men
The lines in the chorus, “Don’t let the world bring you down/ There’s always hope for the willing” presents comforting lyrics to fans who need some encouragement. It’s a sing-along tune that you just have to bounce along to.
“Big Wiggly Style” by The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada let loose with raging noises on their entire album With Roots Above And Branches Below. This choice beat-down opens with a great head-banging opportunity and the rest of the song keeps the swift, heavy melody consistent.
“Hope” by We Came As Romans
This jam is another with uplifting lyrics: “We won’t fall to our knees/ We are the one true hope.” It rocks along with powerful drum beats and gang vocals that urge you to join the band in solidarity.
Anthems from Top Up and Coming Metalcore Bands:
“Gravedigger” by Architects
This album opener starts off slow then vocalist Sam Carter releases some powerful screams that lead into an early breakdwon. His voice packs a brutal punch while backed by guitar riffs that slice through the song like razors.
“Millennia” by Crown The Empire
The third track off Crown The Empire’s most recent album is a lighter departure from their more metallic songs. Andy Leo’s voice glides through as he delivers an infectious chorus that can stay stuck in your head for hours. Trust us, it’s one for your iPod.
“Hey Mister” by Miss May I
The first single off Miss May I’s third album stands out as one of their best songs. Jerod Boyd’s fierce drum pounding carries the track and singer Levi Benton’s tough growl draws listeners into the emotional lyrics.
“Chasing Ghosts” by The Amity Affliction
This title song off the band’s third album seamlessly balances both bitter and sweet tones by following the metalcore trend in alternating between clean and unclean vocals. The chorus is catchy and the bridge that leads into a breakdown is a strong point.
“Prove Me Right” by Memphis May Fire
This song starts off with a tight guitar riff supplemented by solid drum beats. The biting lyrics, “The ones that kicked me when I was down/ Are the same ones that say they need me now,” bring listeners into a powerful breakdown.