Melodic metalcore is a fusion genre, incorporating elements of melodic death metal and metalcore; it has a heavy emphasis on melodic instrumentation, distorted guitar tones, palm muting, double bass drumming, blast beats, metalcore-stylized breakdowns, and vocals that range from aggressive screaming and death growls to clean singing. The genre has seen commercial success for employing a more accessible sound at times compared to other forms of extreme music.[2] Many notable melodic metalcore bands have been influenced by At the Gates and In Flames.[3][4]



Unearth performing in 2016

Melodic metalcore began to take form in the late 1990s and early 2000s, tracing its roots to Swedish melodic death metal groups such as At the Gates and In Flames.[3][4] The stylistic origins of melodic metalcore and traditional metalcore differ greatly. Traditional metalcore evolved out of the hardcore punk scene in the late 1980s, when hardcore bands began to experiment with metal elements such as thrash metal guitar riffs and vocals. In contrast, melodic metalcore most often stemmed from American-based metal bands who began incorporating metalcore elements, such as metallic breakdowns, into their music. Florida's Poison the Well are considered the first melodic metalcore band, proving extremely influential to subsequent bands thanks to their first two albums The Opposite of December... A Season of Separation and Tear from the Red.[5] Massachusetts' Killswitch Engage are also considered to be a pioneering force in the genre,[6] along with artists such as 7 Angels 7 Plagues, Chimaira, Dead to Fall, Heaven Shall Burn and Unearth.[7][8][9] Of these bands, frequently cited influences include In Flames, Slayer, At the Gates and Pantera.[10][11][12][13][14][15] Belgian groups also played a large part in the development of the genre in its early years, as bands such as Arkangel began embracing the sounds of melodic death metal in their traditional metalcore sound, as early as 1998.[1]

Commercial success

Melodic metalcore band Darkest Hour

Killswitch Engage released their sophomore album Alive or Just Breathing in 2002, which has been noted as a significant influence on many bands to follow,[16] such as Jinjer, August Burns Red and Miss May I.[17][18][19] By 2004 the genre saw increasing prominence, with Shadows Fall's The War Within debuting at number 20 on the Billboard album chart.[20] Trivium released their sophomore album, Ascendancy, in 2005, which peaked at 75 on the UK Albums Chart, made the band one of the more prominent bands in the scene at that point, despite changing their style away from melodic metalcore on many occasions.[21][22] Killswitch Engage's 2006 effort As Daylight Dies was described by Brandon Tadday of Overdrive Magazine as "without a doubt one of the most impactful releases for melodic metalcore during the mid-2000s",[22] peaking at number 32 on the Billboard 200 and spending 22 weeks in the charts.[23] In 2008 the All That Remains' single "Two Weeks" peaked at number 9 at the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the U.S., and on the Modern Rock Tracks chart at number 38.[24] In 2007, the song "Nothing Left" by As I Lay Dying was nominated for a Grammy award in the "Best Metal Performance" category. An Ocean Between Us (the album that included "Nothing Left") itself was a commercial success, debuting at number 8 on the Billboard 200.

Welsh melodic metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine's third album Fever debuted at number 3 selling more than 71,000 copies in its first week in the U.S. and more than 21,000 copies in the UK during 2010 alone.[25] Australian melodic metalcore band Parkway Drive's[26] third album Deep Blue reached number three on the Billboard Rock Charts in 2010,[27] along with Miss May I's album Rise of the Lion having reached number 6 in 2014.[28][29] Melodic metalcore band Bury Tomorrow's fifth studio album Black Flame reached number eleven on the Billboard albums chart in less than a week.[30][31]


Melodic metalcore band All That Remains performing at the Ozzfest in 2006

Melodic metalcore bands often take influence from the guitar riffs and writing styles of Swedish melodic death metal bands, especially At the Gates, In Flames, Arch Enemy and Soilwork.[2][3][32] Practitioners of the genre tend to make use of instrumental melody, and many prominently feature clean singing alongside typical death metal growls and screams. Melodic metalcore often promotes "very positive lyrical content."[33] The genre can also feature harmonic guitar riffs, tremolo picking, double bass drums and metalcore-stylized breakdowns.[34][35] Some bands include guitar solos.[36] Bands such as Trivium, As I Lay Dying and Bullet for My Valentine take a significant influence from thrash metal.[22]

See also


  1. ^ a b Hans Verbeke (2019). H8000 Documentary — Anger & Distortion; 1989 - 1999 (in Dutch).
  2. ^ a b Giffin, Brian (2015). Encyclopaedia of Australian Heavy Metal. Australia: DarkStar. ISBN 9780994320612.
  3. ^ a b c "At The Gates Albums Ranked". Loudwire. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
  4. ^ a b Alderslade, Merlin (2014-09-16). "Under The Influence: How In Flames Changed Metal". Metal Hammer Magazine.
  5. ^ Delia, Anthony (7 July 2003). "CMJ Magazine". No. 821. CMJ. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  6. ^ "How Killswitch Engage's Pioneering Odd Couple Defy the Odds". Revolver. August 8, 2019.
  7. ^ "Part 2.3: When Acting As A Wave (Second-Wave Metalcore, 2000 - 2008)". Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  8. ^ Deneau, Max. "7 Angels 7 Plagues Bucketworks, Milwaukee WI - December 17, 2006".
  9. ^ "Heaven Shall Burn". Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  10. ^ Andrew, J (10 March 2015). "Reflecting on The New Wave of American Heavy Metal". Metal Injection. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Some Clarity". Kerrang!. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  12. ^ Huey, Steve. "Shadows Fall AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  13. ^ Downey, Ryan. "Poison the Well AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  14. ^ Apar, Corey. "Dead to Fall AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  15. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "Unearth AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  16. ^ Lawson, Dom (10 March 2016). "Killswitch Engage: Incarnate review – melodic metalcore veterans still fiery". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  17. ^ Brown, Gavin. "INTERVIEW: Jinjer". Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  18. ^ Briggs, Sam. "Interview: Miss May I". Archived from the original on 2015-09-28. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  19. ^ Ditzel, Elearnor. "AllMusic Related". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Shadows Fall - Chart history | Billboard". Retrieved 2017-05-29.
  21. ^ "Trivium UK albums charts". UK Albums Charts. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  23. ^ "KILLSWITCH ENGAGE CHART HISTORY". Billboard. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  24. ^ "All That Remains - Chart history | Billboard". Retrieved 2017-05-29.
  25. ^ "Bullet for My Valentine - Chart history | Billboard". Retrieved 2017-05-29.
  26. ^ Parker, Matt (14 February 2014). "Killswitch Engage's 8 tips on mastering metalcore". Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  27. ^ "PARKWAY DRIVE CHART HISTORY". Billboard. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  28. ^ "Miss May I Chart History". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 25, 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  29. ^ "Miss May I Rise of the Lion". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  30. ^ Jamieson, Brii. "BURY TOMORROW ARE SET TO ACHIEVE THEIR HIGHEST CHART DEBUT WITH 'BLACK FLAME'". Rock Sound. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  31. ^ White, Jack. "The Vamps' Night and Day is heading back to Number 1 following its Day Edition re-release". Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  32. ^ D. Taylor, Jason. "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 24, 2008. Atreyu's debut album, Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses, is an invigorating foray into melodic metalcore in the vein of Darkest Hour, Poison the Well, and Eighteen Visions.
  33. ^ "20 albums we can't believe turn 10 this year - Features - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. 4 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
  34. ^ "It's Through the Approach". El Paisano. September 12, 2007. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
  35. ^ "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses review". Archived from the original on February 12, 2009.
  36. ^ "Taste of Chaos", Revolver, June 2008, p. 110. "This is the Rockstar Taste of Chaos Tour, a night when heavier melodic-metalcore bands like Atreyu and Avenged Sevenfold intend to position themselves as the next generation of bands to actually pack arenas (...)".