I dont know why, but I hate the term "Metalcore". I mean, it's not that offensive in reality, but it seems to send a little twinge of disgust throughout my bones whenever I hear it. This I cant ignore. I also cant ignore the fact that metal colors so much of the music I have been listening to for the last 20 years. So needless to say, this term pops up often.
The funny thing is I am all for abbreviations. I am all for making up new words, hybrid words, nonsense words. I am all for changing the meanings of words at random and for no other reason than they seem funny or fitting at once point or another. So with that, why would I rather hear "Metallic Hardcore" as opposed to "Metalcore"? It seems like a logical abbreviation...
I chalk it up to music journalism and its perversion of most things good. Of course, I am treading the waters of music journalism by writing these pages and I am most certainly a pervert, but I think that leads to something different. What is it about music journalism that tends to make a mockery of things? Well, the crux of music journalism attempts to grab onto something new and fresh that will attract readers and thus you end up with a number of people that are either on the fringe of a scene or music movement and even more people that have no ties whatsoever with whatever thing they are covering, yet they are qualified to comment on such under the right of free speech and the ass-kissing realm of self aggrandizing music journalism which permits them the misnomer of "taste makers". For once I would love to hear someone start off an article by saying, "Well, this isnt really my scene and I know very little of the machinations of said music styles, but as an objective observer I have the right to make my comments and as an employee of this magazine I have the ability to have these comments published". Or something to that effect. Obviously this would never happen as the readership of said journalist depends on his all knowing sense of what is cool, hip or the next big thing; his or her ability to appear ahead of the curve. But wouldnt it be nice if people practiced any amount of honest to goodness truth instead of the constant stream of colored smoke being blown up our asses on a daily basis?
"Metalcore", while inherently not a bad term, has taken on a sour taste to many who have stood by and watched hardcore and metal grow into the current age. I attribute this to the wrong people talking about things without a sense of actually knowing about what they are talking about. Pitchfork Media is the best at this as they disguise their complete lack of knowledge with lengthy aphorisms and who's who lists in obscure 70's garage rock/jazz fusion/avante garde/insert esoteric genre here... I still read it on occasion, but I never really get a good sense of what anything is supposed to sound like as the best they can muster is some comparitive review where X is like Y having sex with B and C is dropping tabs of acid whilst Q is off in the corner masturbating to church photos. In this case X = Current cool new band, Y = Philip Glass or something even more obscure, B=Joy Division, C=the Zombies and Q= David Bowie. Its ridiculous and I highly doubt that any of these people even know what they are talking about. I certainly dont! But I am digressing at a seriously fast rate. Metalcore was made a bad term by the same people who claimed that Nirvana saved punk rock (without actually sounding a shred like any punk band I have ever liked) and that continuously label My Chemical Romance and Dashboard Confessional "Emo", when neither even sound alike and neither sound like anything that ever could have been called emo... Whew!
So I made this compilation. Its all Metal and its all Hardcore. It's ferocious and I hope if it does any single thing, I hope that while listening to it you can transcend all genre terms and see these bands on their own ground, for their own accomplishments, beyond anything that has labels and see it as music, powerfully made and powerfully delivered. The cover is an actual effects pedal for guitar. I think its pretty funny that this exists. I bet I will get crucial crunch if I purchase it. Obviously the pedal doesnt say "Fuck" on it, but thats my fitting addition.1. Stigmata - Hands of God:
This is kind of how this whole comp began. Buske posted the awesome album Heart Grows Harder
by Troys hardest, Stigmata. I was immediately taken back to college when I used to think they ruled. It's been a number of years since I broke out anything by them and when I put on Hymns of an Unknown God I was inextricably blown away. These guys are incredible and this is seriously bad ass song.2. Converge - Dead:
Of course I couldve put on any number of Converge songs but aside from this one fitting wonderfully after the ending of the last track it also reminds me of that same time in college when this was one of my most favorite things. I love the shitty vocals in the beginning with all the octave chords, I love the bark you can hear as the music ramps up and from there on out its ridiculous breakdown after ridiculous breakdown. These guys do not disappoint.3. Overcast - For Indifference:
There are many good Overcast songs, but this one is chock full of riffs and different tempos. Some of the changes dont even make sense at first until your knee deep in a psychotic mosh part and then you look back and see how it all made sense getting from point A to point Hell. The ending riffs in this song are terrifyingly awesome.4. V.O.D. - D.T.O:
Yet another song that reminds me of college. While Suffer might be their coolest track, and Through My Eyes might be their scariest track, D.T.O. (Drop the Oppressor) is definitely their toughest track. This track takes no shit. You look at it the wrong way and you will get beat down with a thousand tons of brick heavy riffs. You like F-Bomb, you got it! What the fuck, I cant breath"... Awesome elementary lyrics that are perfect for singing along and some really cool drum patterns. Similar to Brian Fair from Overcast, Tim really knows how to hit both sides of the spectrum in the vocal department, and he does this without seeming forced or cheesy. Like I said, this track will kick your ass.5. Dillinger Escape Plan - Abe The Cop:
Even though each release makes me less and less interested in this band, their first 3 song offering, Under The Running Board, is still a favorite in the Zen household. Everything they went on to do was perfectly encapsulated in those three songs. Amazing guitar wankery, jazzy breakdowns and a complete and utter disregard for whatever hardcore and metal claimed to be. It's no wonder they helped spawn a new sub-genre of the hardcore scene as many of these sounds that arent ripped from Converge's repertoire are wholly original ina metal or hardcore format. The section when he screams "White Lights, Mad and Maniacal!" is pretty much one of best mini breakdowns ever.6. 108 - Killer of the Soul:
I used to think Songs of Separation was the best 108 record, but as I get older and the more I listen to them it becomes increasingly evident that Threefold Misery is just incredible in comparison. SoS is still amazing in its own right, but the flow of this record is great. So I was going to put the song Woman on this comp, but decided that Killer of the Soul has the same ideas set forth in a much more metallic way and played with about 100 times more fervor. Vic Dicara can do no wrong on the guitar.7. Bloodlet - Eucharist:
If it isnt obvious in the first few seconds why I picked this song then you have to replay it instantly. Yeah, of course Bloodlet were an amazing metallic hardcore band, invoking terror filled visions of world crazed with religion, but listen to that bass line that starts off the song! I love the way he bends it at the end of the measure and then the guitars come ripping in, not unlike the popular Powell Peralta skateboard graphic
. This song also gets extra points for extra thick distortion.8. One King Down - Defiance:
I suppose More Hate Than Fear or Absolve wouldve been obvious choices for many, but Defiance has a few key points that not only make it badass but make it hella more metal than the other tracks. First, the baddass. Derek is one of my favorite drummers of this style. He plays hard as hell and he pulls out some awesome fills. When Rob sings, right before the breakdown, "And their lies, Burn me ALIVE!!!" Derek comes in with THWAP-TH-TH-THWAP-TH-TH-TH-THWAP!!!! hahaha!! Its so fucking awesome I want to stage dive out of the 8th floor window! Now thats all well and good, but check the guitar solo at the end. Its amazing, with twinges of eastern melodies. Michael has stated that he was massively influenced by Mike Maney from Stigmata and it shows in this solo. Awesome ending to an awesome song.9. Snapcase - Filter:
I always think of Snapcase as the kings of this style. Probably because they were my favorite band for some time. I remember the first time I saw them live in Brewster, NY. It was with Shelter and I had a concussion that I recieved a day or two before (I dont recall how I got that one, but maybe this will help explain why I forgot) So my mom says "be careful" like any good mom would, so I laugh and go to this show that is guaranteed to be a simulated fist fight between friends, complete with full on riot style stage dives. So Snapcase is playing and they play this song (again with the ridiculous drum fills!!!) and people are hanging off the pipes in the ceiling and everyone is going completely nuts and I am freaking out in my own way, hopping up front and screaming "Intent to Survive!! To Sift and Purify!!!" and I get a massive kick to the dome. I can only assume that is was unintentional, but man it was a wollop. It didnt matter, I raged on, dizzy and sweating and absurdly happy, even by my standards. It was amazing. Amazing and Awesome and ridiculous. haha!! I have pictures from this show. I'll have to dig them up.10. Dissolve - The Ultimate Nullifier:
This is a new track, but not so new as it was written in 2000. Dissolve have finally released their promised record, Caveman From the Future and if you like any of the above bands then this song is going to rend you flesh into little pieces for easy consumption. The vocals in this one are deranged and even a little disturbing. The whole song is like one amazing breakdown that will have you ready to take on the NY Giants, one to eleven and you may have a chance of winning.11. Starkweather - Shards:
How could you have a Fuck Metalcore compilation and not have Starkweather on it? I dont even know what to say. Starkweather is another band that seems to get better with age. I didnt appreciate them enough when Crossbearer came out and as I have grown older I feel like every single song is a psychotic journey into one mans personal hell. The song writing and time changes on this song are unbelievable. Its not even so much the time changes as much as everything is just so tight. These guys mustve been a sight live.12. Unbroken - Blanket:
I had a hard time picking one song here and I eventually chose this one based on a number of things. For starters the opening riffs drip of Slayer lust. This is never a bad thing. What makes this even better than Slayer is the fact that these riffs come out at a half time drip that makes the whole seethe with darkened terror. "I see no help, I just see us" leads into another amazing riff before ending the song on a blistering note. These guys were a sight live. Watching an entire room of people flip their shit while these guys played damn near every good song they ever wrote was an experience I will not soon forget. I have a few awesome pictures of this show and I have to find them along with the others.13. Integrity - Hollow / Psychological Warfare:
So, you guys like holy terror, right? I figured a double dose from the kings of holy terror would serve everyone right. I dont think their much I can say about this one other than the bass line that opens Psych Warfare is great and totally reminds me of what made Micha: For Those Who Fear Tomorrow such an awesome track.
I intended to only put 13 tracks on this comp. I kinda weasled out an extra track by combining the last two, but they work perfect with each other. By doing this I left off a ton of great bands that deserve mention, including but not limited to: Earth Crisis, Chokehold, Undertow, Groundwork, Brothers Keeper, Soulstice, Cave-In (early stuff), Corrin, SevenYearsWar, Disembodied, Coalesce and others.
If my business was only to make mixes I would make a part two and include all of the above bands, but for now this comp shall suffice. You can tell me what I missed, but you cant deny the awesomeness of the bands already present.