Who are TEH BIG FOUR OF METALCORE??
For those of u under 45, old ppl refer to the most popular thrash metal bands of early 80s as “The Big Four”: Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, and Megadeth. Obviously those bands have not been relevant or influential for several decades, so I was thinking that it is time to revisit the idea of “The Big Four” in terms of a genre that is actually relevant these days in places other than the county fair/high school wood shop classes/the clearance aisle at Walmart: METALCORE. Here are my nominations for “Teh Big 4 Of Metalcore”:
18 VISIONS (slayer)
IMO there is no more influential, groundbreaking and enduring metalcore band than the one and only 18 Visions. For a long, detailed analysis of the band see my earlier MS post “Stealing 18 Visions’ Ideas: A Book By The 2011 Metalcore Scene,” but to make a long story short, these guys invented deathcore, scene hair, fashioncore and pretty much every other element that defines metalcore these days. And although they probably weren’t the FIRST to do a mix of singing and screaming, they definitely popularized it– when “Vanity” came out (ft the debut of James’ clean vocals) people were completely mindbottled because YOU CAN’T MIX SCREAMING AND SINGING!!!!
the name “donald” always makes me think of that SNL skit where will farrel had a falcon named Donald that was a total asshole
And then we have the Anthrax to 18V’s Slayer: the punkier, simpler riffmasters that make up for in pit riffment what they may lack in subtlety and finesse. Many people think of them as just a Panera clone band, but they really turned a lot of heads when their first album came out and brought the mosh harder than pretty much anybody else had to date– the band started as kind of a sarcastic joke, like “lol what if we played nothing but mosh riffs wouldn’t that be hilarious” only it turned out to be awesome.
BLEEDING THRU (metallica)
Much like 18 Visions broke the scene by combining singing and screaming, which you weren’t allowed to do according to the rules at the time, Bleeding Through was the first hardcore band I am aware of to combine something close to “symphonic black metal” with mosh riffs. If u want to cry about how they ‘dont kno shit about black metal’ or whatever that’s cool but my point is that they definitely did “blackcore” before anyone else, and they were playing blast beats with hardcore riffs when you were probably learning how to spell.
POISON THE WELL (megadeth)
I personally was never suuuuuuper into PTW, but I am including them here because I hear them cited a lot by Kids These Days as “legendary pioneers of metalcore.” Which is funny because the most common word used to describe them by “Real Hardcore” fans back in the day was “gay,” and those same kids now love them. But I digress. Their main contribution imo was (along with 18V) popularizing good cop/bad cop vocals and the “interchangeable chug riffs with minor leads on top” style that has come to define metalcore these days. Not really my favorite band but I do think they have earned themselves a place in the winning circle. Much like nobody really LIKES Megadeth but we can kinda respect their contribution to the scene, you know?
Also, the fucking snare sound on this album hnnngggggggggg!