The Problem with Deathcore
I fuckin’ love deathcore. It is my most listened to genre by far, and if I were to name my favorite bands of all time in any genre the first five would undoubtedly be deathcore: AngelMaker, Fit For An Autopsy, Fallujah, Acrania, and Traitors. So, I have to ask: why is the genre so widely hated?
Because it’s bad. It’s just fucking terrible. It is a den to a wide variety of shiteaters, the music consistently harbors a misogynistic tone, the songs generally have very little substance and very seldom do you find bands that strive to push the boundaries of their genre into new categories. It’s all the same shit, over and over again. The above five bands excepted, of course.
I want to begin with the shiteaters: who are the sorry folks who listen with me? Lately it’s been fucking trapheads and EDM fans brought over by the bullshit released by Ev0lution and their hostile takeover of the Deathcore Memes Facebook page which has pretty much become a Lil’ Pump fan page. But it’s also former hardcore kids who want a little more umph to their riffs but aren’t capable of channeling all of their prepubescent rage into the power of a guitar solo. Not to mention the sadbois who come for what they think of as the darkest and most emotional vitriol they can muster as they sit alone in their room channeling despair — in essence, me — and who say phrases like “My music scares people” while they can’t stomach bands like Primitive Man or genres like emoviolence or grindcore. Br00tality isn’t just about having the heaviest slams, yo, it’s about the passion and the way you communicate to the masses about the fucked up world we live in.
The misogyny is prevalent to the point that even C.J. McMahon of Thy Art is Murder called it out during a set, proclaiming the band wouldn’t be performing one of their more popular tracks “Whore to a Chainsaw” because of the virulent sexism perpetrated at the hands of a hateful individual. But where does this rage come from? Who hurt these poor boys? Why do they hate women so much? Did their girlfriends break up with them because they were hyperemotional with no outlet other than the labor of their only female friends? Is it the disenfranchisement they feel inside a patriarchal society that only values emotions if they come from women and calls men weak for having them?
Finally, why the fuck is deathcore so goddamn stale? Why are bands rarely pushing boundaries, and why is it so hard to find something new and interesting that is actually new and interesting? Often we hear bands proclaim some “fresh” and “special” shit is on the way, but it almost always comes out sounding just like the last record or the band simply decided to go full death metal. Why is there a limit on growth, and why are bands trapped in a box? I’d posit that it’s because of the specificity of its fan base: if bands do something too new, too original, they risk losing out on the fans they’ve worked hard to earn, and for smaller bands the prospect of losing out on sales is frightening. Even popular bands have to resort to certain money-grubbing behavior in order to stay afloat and maintain their standing.
But as the genre enters its second decade it’s time to do something new, because the same old shit repeated over and over just ain’t gonna work any longer. I mean, when you can accurately guess when a breakdown is going to appear in a song with 95% accuracy among multiple bands, albums, and tracks, you’ve got a problem.
So, what is the answer to curing our woes? What must be done to save the genre? Well, nothing. It could keep going on like this forever and people would still listen to it, but not without losing followers. As fans mature they will grow out of the scene and move onto more sophisticated metal, working their way into grooves that more easily fit with their individual tastes and abandon the traditional modes that deathcore brings. Deathcore won’t die because immaturity won’t die.
So the question to ask instead is this: how do we make deathcore mature? I don’t have the answer. Let me know what you think in the comments.