A Ten Song Introduction To Metalcore Music

Jake Longhurst lists his top ten metalcore songs for The Mic's A Ten Song Introduction To... feature series.

Metalcore as a genre has had plenty of insults thrown it’s way by almost every other subgenre of heavy music, but it’s one of my favourite styles of heavy music and I think it deserves a little bit of love. It originated as a crossover of hardcore punk and extreme metal, blending the intensity of the two and using all sorts of vocal deliveries, as well as crushing breakdowns. Later on, melodeath bands such as At The Gates provided the blueprint for the rise of the second wave of metalcore, which massively inspired plenty of the artists on this list.

Doomsday - Architects

Architects are rapidly becoming one of the biggest bands in metal, and are part of the forefront of British metal. They play an exquisite mix of technical metal with metalcore, and load up gallons of emotion into each and every album. The album this comes from, Holy Hell, was written in the wake of one of the original guitarists dying of cancer, and if you listen to the lyrics it’s clear to see the pain the band is feeling. The entire album is an outpouring of grief, and is a musical triumph that at once celebrates and mourns a phenomenal musician.

Shadow Moses - Bring Me The Horizon

Anybody that knows me has heard me wax lyrical about this brilliant brilliant band, and this is one of the all time greatest songs they’ve ever put to tape. Shadow Moses is an incredibly powerful song, it can whip a crowd into a frenzy with just the opening lyrics, and the cry of "This Is Sempiternal" echoing through the Utilita Arena in Sheffield from 15,000 fellow fans will not be something I forget in a hurry. This album was the most heavy that the band released for some time afterwards, as they took a detour towards pop metal after this, but Sempiternal as an album will always hold a special place to me, as will this song.

Concubine - Converge

Converge are masters of metalcore and hardcore, and the opening track to their 2001 magnum opus Jane Doe is nothing short of spectacular. Concubine is an aggressive track to the point that you can almost see the singer foaming at the mouth in your head, and it’s out almost as soon as it left because of its minimal running time, at less than two minutes long. However, in this short time it more than makes itself known, and will knock you off your feet with the power behind the music.

Swallowing The Rabbit Whole - Code Orange

Code Orange are the newest band on this list, but have made some serious ripples with their ridiculously strong 2020 album Underneath. This is my favourite song off the LP, which mixes industrial glitchcore influences with a metalcore undercurrent, making a more aggressive, stripped back beast altogether, that I am as of yet waiting for anyone to even come close to replicating. They are one of the most exciting bands in heavy music, and are well worth keeping both eyes on, and both ears open for.

Idols and Anchors - Parkway Drive

The opening riff and subsequent first verse to this absolute banger are amongst the most brilliant things I’ve ever seen live. Parkway Drive hit it out of the park with this metalcore classic, with an epic feel to the song that adequately lives up to the reputation this band have built themselves. They’ve created their own signature brand of metal on recent albums, but this release was firmly sat at the top of the metalcore pile when it came out in 2009.

Brainwashed - While She Sleeps

The title track off their fourth LP, Brainwashed is fast becoming one of my favourite, if not my all time favourite, While She Sleeps song, if for no reason other than the mind-melting breakdown in the last 30 seconds of the song. Whilst not as deep into their career as Bring Me, Architects, or the next band on the list, Bullet, Sleeps are fast becoming a British metal institution on par with those excellent bands, and this song is a phenomenal example of why.

Tears Don’t Fall - Bullet For My Valentine

Tears Don’t Fall is a brilliant example of the catchiest metalcore of all, with an anthemic emotional chorus, a brilliant intro, and a breakdown that isn’t too heavy, but rather just allows for more crowd singalongs. Bullet For My Valentine have had their ups and downs, but this was absolutely their biggest up, and is an enduring classic of an alternative club night or classic metal karaoke song night.

My Curse - Killswitch Engage

The clean melodic intro to this track belies the weight with which it can hit you, and the lead riff is a perfect foil to the intro, with its gritty tone and groovy sound. The enormous chorus has much cleaner vocals than the verses, and is pretty much custom built for a crowd to join in with, when they aren’t running around a circle pit to the aforementioned riff during the rest of the song. They then tone it down before inserting a short but sharp breakdown, and then bringing it back to the final verse and chorus section in what is an undisputed metal classic.

Mr Highway’s Thinking About The End - A Day To Remember

A Day To Remember are a bizarre band, with some of their music sounding like pop punk and some of it sounding very hardcore, but this song is my favourite blend of their heavy and light sides. The mosh-call of "Disrespect your surroundings" is also an incredible way to get hyped at a gig, with a brilliant breakdown following immediately afterwards that is sure to get all but the most stony-faced of you up and moving to the visceral energy of this song.

I Will Be Heard - Hatebreed

This was the finale to the first ever standing gig I went to, and I still have a drumstick and guitar pic from Hatebreed. They are a stalwart of the hardcore end of metalcore, playing the earlier style of metalcore with far more punk influence, and this song is in my opinion their magnum opus. It features chuggy riffs, simple but uplifting vocals, growls, chants, and is bizarrely catchy for a song this heavy. It is off their second album Perseverance, which hit the Billboard 200 upon its 2002 release, and is a staple of all hardcore and metalcore playlists. They are a force to be reckoned with, and a more than suitable way to cap off this list.

Jake Longhurst


Edited by: Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of Architects via Facebook.