As a musical genre, metalcore is a blend of extreme metal and hardcore punk. That alone indicates the type of music you can expect to encounter here. However, pay attention because it’s also known for using breakdowns to full effect, along with some slower passages that build to a crescendo.
But don’t just take our word for it. Instead, check out our list of the 31 best metalcore bands of all time.
One of the stand-out features surrounding Caliban is the way they deliver thrashing tracks with some of the harshest rhythms you will ever hear. But at the same time, they can also induce some natural aggression in their songs, which they can pull out of the hat at any point.
With Converge, what you get is a band that’s not afraid to move between different hardcore musical genres, and this opens them up to a whole host of fans across the musical spectrum. This is heavy, but throughout, they manage to add a melodic aspect even when they verge into doom metal and go far beyond metalcore. Ultimately, they are capable of killing it with every song.
3. Killswitch Engage
This band found themselves at the forefront of a metalcore movement in the early 2000s, and for a good reason. With a blend of Swedish death metal and hardcore metal, it’s an explosive fusion that is determined to blast your eardrums, and boy, will they manage to do that with absolute ease.
4. Bullet for My Valentine
We love Bullet For My Valentine because of the way they move between heavy metal and metalcore. Yet, if you want the harder form of metalcore, then this is perhaps not the band for you. However, they have so much talent when thrashing it out that it’s all too easy to be drawn into their insane deep rhythms and massive riffs that dominate their tracks.
5. August Burns Red
What stands out for us with August Burns Red is the way they manage to produce quite melodic metalcore, and not every band has the ability to do such a thing. They also tend to deliver very solid riffs while their ability to produce some infectious tracks helps keep them up there at the top of the metalcore genre.
6. In Hearts Wake
One major point to make about this band is the way they effectively force you to listen to them simply by stopping you in your tracks from their very first chords. That’s a powerful tool to have at your disposal, and they use it to great effect. By blending various metalcore and heavy metal aspects, they produce a unique sound that will willingly blast you into the world of metalcore.
7. Norma Jean
So, why did we include Norma Jean in our list? Simply because of their sense of unpredictability. You never know where they will veer off into next, and you get the idea that each track can be different from the previous one. But throughout it all, they stick to those metalcore basics, so if you are a fan of the genre, you can become a fan of this band.
8. Parkway Drive
The talent in this band is outrageous, and their ability to produce some massive tracks is obvious. But we also appreciate the kind of ruthless nature that comes with their songs as they force you through their tracks at breakneck speed, leaving you exhausted at the end.
As a band, Architects constantly strive to push the boundaries of metalcore and see how far they can take the genre. The answer is pretty far with their raw aggression and power that will blow any cobwebs off you from afar.
10. The Devil Wears Prada
What stands out here is that this band has the ability to produce anthemic classics blended in with all-out metalcore followed by more of an ambient feel. That alone gives a real sense of how this group can move around playing with different tempos and levels of aggression. Ultimately, they are amazing at it.
With a primary focus on mega-riffs, this band keeps things simple, and yet they overdeliver when it comes to pulling together some mega songs. They also love to use some real intensity to build that energy in their tracks, and who doesn’t love energy like that?
This band loves to experiment and constantly seeks to introduce other sounds and areas of inspiration into their music. From electronic to delving deeper into even more brutal metal, they create a sense of excitement via the first chords as they rip into track after track.
13. Poison the Well
For us, this band does a stunning job of playing around with both tempo and volume. Don’t be surprised if they lure you in by effectively being gentle and easy to listen to before turning the volume up to the max and blasting you into the solar system. That ability is insane, and that’s why we love them.
14. God Forbid
Expect power riffs that will make you screech to a halt before they delve into more of an old-school take on metalcore, which is slightly softer than you may anticipate. But don’t think this band has gone soft. They will still shake you to your core if given half the chance.
15. Heaven Shall Burn
With riffs that will survive for decades and some seriously solid rhythms, this band comes with no surprises under its sleeves. Instead, you get all-out metalcore, complete with solid vocals delivering a spectacular explosion of noise.
16. Motionless in White
With a love of synth and guitar intro loops, this band is an expert at luring you into the track before running up and smashing you in the face. After that, you feel surprised at what just happened before realizing you are hooked. It’s perfectly composed metalcore music.
17. Demon Hunter
With solid vocals by Ryan Clark, one thing you could never accuse this band of is being boring. The self-confidence of this group seeps from every pore, and the growls and screams are timed to perfection leading to blistering tracks that will set your world on fire.
With infectious melodies blended with a desire to play with words, this band will rip up your emotions in an instant. Viewed as offering “industrial bliss,” they know how to pull you into the metalcore version of an ambient state with absolute ease, and it’s impressive to listen to.
19. I Killed the Prom Queen
If you want to listen to a band that pulls tracks together in an expert fashion, then this is who you need to listen to. Producing constantly solid tracks, you can expect gigantic riffs with some outlandish breakdowns and will be left sitting there in amazement.
20. Living Sacrifice
With a tendency to produce clean riffs, this band has talent that goes beyond the size of their fame. They also love some impressive solos throughout their track, so if that’s what you love in your metalcore, then this band is perfect.
21. Darkest Hour
This band is just savage in their approach, so expect an insane amount of power as they move from metalcore into more full-on death metal. Their guitars and drums are exceptionally heavy, and you need to be an absolute fan of metalcore to really grasp just how good they are at what they do.
One thing we love about Soilwork is their desire to bring in some acoustic guitars and more chilled atmospheric sounds before they allow the musical distortion kicks in and change everything. This juxtaposition is what intrigues us, and they are stunningly good at what they do.
23. Abandon all Ships
Moving between heavy metal and metalcore, this band seeks to appeal to people who are not real metalcore fans. That’s partly because they don’t often venture into the darker side of it all, so if you are looking for an introduction, then we think they are well worth checking out.
24. The Chariot
If you appreciate the harder elements of metal, then this group should appear on your playlist. Their ability to produce strong melodies should not be ignored either, and the same applies to the rawness that accompanies their tracks. We think they are best described as a stunning band that will take your love of metalcore to new heights.
25. Bring Me the Horizon
This UK band veers from cyberpunk to rock to metalcore all across the same album, making it exciting to sit and listen to them. Filled with absolute enthusiasm, the group drags you along behind them as they throw out their arena-filling riffs, resulting in pulsating tracks around every corner.
We love the way that this band attempts to take you on an extraordinary journey with them through their music. With a tendency to be absolutely flawless in their performances, don’t be surprised to suddenly hear other music genres being brought into their songs. Is anyone down for some R&B?
27. While She Sleeps
This group is a bit different because they are not your straightforward metalcore band. Instead, they can glide from more of a pop rock through to the occasional harder metalcore sound. It’s a strange mix, yet they are a lightweight metalcore band that could introduce you to the genre.
28. Becoming the Archetype
With something of an ethereal sense around them, this band can thrash it out with the best of them. Their constant riffs add the feeling of real aggression to their tracks that you just cannot ignore. Best played loud; prepare to thrash like you’ve never thrashed before.
29. Enter Shikari
With the ability to move between a punk rock sound through to the far harder metalcore, this band knows a thing or two about putting together tracks to rock the ages. You won’t hear any death metal here, but we love them as they can create tunes with layers that add a sense of menace to their message, and they’re fantastic to listen to.
30. Avenged Sevenfold
As a band that moves from heavy rock to metalcore and back again, you are never sure what to expect when you fire up one of their tracks. However, we love that about them because they know how to keep you on the edge of your seat. Huge riffs, insane drums, and strong vocals lay the basis of everything they do, and they do it with such style.
To us, we love Atreyu thanks to their ability to really build the tempo and then explode out with so much power you feel you cannot cope. They hit it hard and with real speed leading to a sound that is so raw it makes your skin crawl as a result. Just for that alone, they are worthy of appearing on our list of the best metalcore bands.
Barry has worked as a freelance writer for over a decade and has developed an eye for detail when it comes to unearthing cool and interesting facts.
His love of music stems from his student days checking out up and coming bands playing in the darkest corners of bars and clubs in Edinburgh.
The love of uncovering something new also remains with him. With an appreciation for music that’s best described as eclectic, his musical tastes range from Eric Clapton to Eminem through to Snow Patrol and Incubus. The memories that music can bring back to the fore is something he tries to portray in his writing.
For him, the voyage of discovery and unearthing something new is what makes this task of writing for MusicGrotto.com so interesting.