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What Has Been Metalcore’s Greatest Contribution to Cock Rock?

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No this is my hair bandIt will probably never be cool to admit that you earnestly love (or even loved) hair metal, and I totally understand why. But if you were born between roughly 1970 and 1985 and you listen to metal, chances are that you do earnestly love this subgenre.

Which helps explain why even though the phrase “hair metal” tends to induce severe cringing, its influence is readily apparent in the music of many a New Wave of American Heavy Metal band (sometimes known, both correctly and incorrectly, as “metalcore” bands). The truth is, some of these dudes wrote absolutely killer contributions to the 1980s glam scene, even if they weren’t a part of that scene at all. To wit:

Trivium – “The Rising”

This is the only song from The Crusade that I actively listen to on a regular basis. The downtrodden lyrics during the verse and Matt Heafy’s vocal style are really the only elements betraying that this wasn’t written during the Rikki Rachtman era of Headbanger’s Ball. That this video doesn’t have any pyro in it is a goddamn crime.

Shadows Fall – “Another Hero Lost”

Shadows Fall went the power ballad route for their ode to soldiers killed in battle, placing “Another Hero Lost” in the realm of such serious-minded, semi-topical, not-just-about-being-bummed-because-your-lady-wronged-you tunes as Poison’s “Something to Believe In,” Skid Row’s “Quicksand Jesus,” Poison’s “Life Goes On,” L.A. Guns’ “Ballad of Jayne,” and Poison’s “Stand.”

Avenged Sevenfold, “Bat Country”

Avenge Sevenfold’s Guns N’ Roses fetish has been well-documented, but rarely has it been more apparent in this song… which, not-so-coincidentally, was the single which seemed to launch A7X from the underground into the mainstream.

Eighteen Visions, “Victim” & “Truth or Consequence”

Like Avenged Sevenfold, at some point Eighteen Visions pretty much decided that they were done with metalcore and were just gonna try and be an arena rock band. Although they never sold as many albums as A7X, 18V were almost as talented at melding the catchy, larger-than-life musical stylings of their 1980s heroes with a sound that was a little more modern. Nowhere is this more evident than on the band’s final, self-titled album, which features at least one massive anthem and one awesome Def Leppard-style power ballad:

Atreyu, “Blow”

Despite recruiting Josh Todd from Buckcherry — a.k.a. “Wewannabegunsnrosessobadberry” — and the liberal use of cowbell, Atreyu somehow managed to totally fuck this up. I think it comes down to being completely unable to escape their screamo roots; the chorus is just, like, all wrong.

Bleeding Through, “Line in the Sand”

This song probably owes as much to alternative and nu-metal power ballads as it does hair metal, but… if that solo doesn’t sound like it should be played on the edge of a cliff, nothing does. Fun bonus fact: this is the only Bleeding Through song I ever even mildly enjoyed.

Did I miss any other good examples of metalcore bands trying to get their Mötley Crüe on? Do you wish these bands had done more with this style of metal? Do you absolutely loathe all of these songs? Sound off in the comments section below!

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