10 Songs That Remind Us Why Deathcore F*cking Rules


Of all the extreme music subgenres out there, deathcore has historically been the most maligned. Since its beginnings, old heads have written it off as basic, derivative and music made by kids who will get out of it when they grow up. Since we’re in the middle of a new surge in popularity for the genre, MetalSucks revisited some of the genre’s biggest bangers, past and present.

Suicide Silence – “Unanswered”

Suicide Silence got a LOT of hate back in the day for their breakdowns and because late frontman Mitch Lucker was a total scene icon. Their first album, The Cleansing, is undeniable. It’s one of the most classic deathcore albums of all time and “Unanswered” has everything you need: pummeling breakdowns, Lucker’s solid vocal range and lyrics that leave you more mad at God than when you put the song on. 

Bonus: Suicide Silence & Phil Bozeman – “Unanswered” (Mitch Lucker Memorial Show)

Lorna Shore – “To the Hellfire”

Having seen Lorna Shore crush the club circuit for some time, it’s hard to think of many deathcore bands that worked harder for their success. Even as they evolve their sound to have more emphasis on symphonics and blackened flourishes, Lorna Shore are uncompromisingly heavy. Based on this festival performance, the tide will only continue to rise for the deathcore outfit. 

Bring Me the Horizon – “Pray for Plagues”

If you came of age in the later 2010s, you could be forgiven for not knowing that pop rockers Bring Me the Horizon have extremely heavy roots. Debut album Count Your Blessings isn’t without its flaws—namely in the production and some poorly-aged lyrics—but it remains undeniably heavy. First track “Pray for Plagues” showcases everything the band was great at back in the day: fast, technical riffing, Oli Sykes‘ raw vocal range and a breakdown you can shout along to. The song also reminds us that BMTH were always good at writing catchy songs, a skill that would elevate them into the stratosphere in a decade. 

The Acacia Strain – “Sinkhole” (feat. Josef Alfonso)

You could throw a dart at The Acacia Strain‘s discography and hit a banger deathcore song. “Sinkhole” comes from their latest, Step Into the Light, and features Sunami vocalist Josef Alfonso. It’s a simple, short song but the mosh call of “Fuck you, die slow” is enough to get the blood pumping. 20-plus years in and the Acacia Strain are only getting better. 

Chelsea Grin – “All Hail the Fallen King” (feat. Phil Bozeman)

Phil Bozeman makes another appearance on this list. His guttural vocals serve as an ideal counterpoint to then-Chelsea Grin vocalist Alex Koehler, whose sticks to a higher register on the song. 

Internal Bleeding – “Arm Our Youth”

Even Internal Bleeding‘s own website lists Onward to Mecca as an early entry in the deathcore canon, so direct your complaints to the comments section. “Arm Our Youth” and the rest of Onward see Internal Bleeding put even more emphasis on the groove and breakdowns and less on the death metal side of their sound. Plenty of death metal still made it in, though, and Internal Bleeding were referencing hardcore, not other deathcore bands, for their breakdowns, which gives the album a unique flavor. 

The Red Chord – “Dreaming in Dog Years”

It’s not entirely clear what the first true deathcore album is but The Red Chord have to be in that conversation. Forming in 1999, Fused Together in Revolving Doors was most people’s introduction to the band. Though they were still finding the sound they’d perfect on next album Clients, The Red Chord combined dizzying technical abilities and East Coast hardcore sensibilities on songs like “Dreaming in Dog Years.” The Red Chord reactivated last year and have since put every similar band on notice with a handful of blistering live performances.

Ov Sulfur – “Stained in Rot”

Former Suffokate frontman Ricky Hoover has found success with his new outfit Ov Sulfur, who take a blackened deathcore framework and incorporate melodicism and clean vocals into the mix. “Stained in Rot” has a larger-than-average feeling, different in style than Lorna Shore but similar in effect, like Ov Sulfur are trying to push deathcore past its stereotypical, chugging sound.

Whitechapel – “This is Exile”

I’ve mentioned Phil Bozeman guest features twice on this list but Whitechapel deserve credit for not only having the best frontman in the genre but also consistently evolving their sound. When Whitechapel dropped their first two albums in 2007 and 2008, the title track to the latter was unavoidable. In addition to the aforementioned vocalist, the instrumental section of Whitechapel has a knack for writing catchy heavy songs. It’s true of more modern incarnations of the band (“The Saw is the Law,” “Hickory Creek”) and it is extremely true of “This Is Exile.”

Spite – “Caved In”

The second song on Spite‘s Dedication to Flesh album, “Caved In” recalls the late aughts and early 2010s period of deathcore but with hints of the nü metal revival in it. It works where bands like Emmure failed because Spite are dedicated not just to flesh but to heaviness; there are no joke bits and the nü-metal influence isn’t a gimmick. The Californians have been getting some attention in recent years and it’s clear that they have their finger on the pulse of modern heavy music.

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