Deathcore is an extreme metal subgenre that emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It combines elements of death metal with metalcore or hardcore punk. Known for its aggressive and heavy sound, deathcore incorporates intense guitar riffs, blistering blast beats, guttural vocals, and breakdowns. This genre has gained a dedicated fanbase and continues to evolve with new bands pushing the boundaries of extreme music. Even though deathcore first appeared in the early 2000s and started getting attention around the mid-2000s in the southwest of the United States, particularly in Arizona and the inland areas of southern California. This region is known for hosting numerous notable bands and various music festivals.
Musically, deathcore is characterized by its brutal and relentless approach. It often features rapid guitar shredding, complex drum patterns, and low-tuned guitars that produce deep, chugging riffs. The genre frequently incorporates elements of technicality, showcasing intricate guitar solos and complex song structures. Blast beats, double bass drumming, and breakdowns are common rhythmic elements that give deathcore its heavy and intense sound.
Lyrically, deathcore explores dark and often controversial themes. Topics can include nihilism, personal struggles, existentialism, social issues, and introspection. Many bands incorporate visceral and violent imagery in their lyrics to express emotions like anger, frustration, and despair. Deathcore also delves into themes of death, violence, and the macabre, often drawing inspiration from horror movies or literature. Some bands may also touch on political or philosophical subjects within their lyrics.
In the mid to late 2000s and early 2010s, deathcore saw a surge in popularity. Suicide Silence's album "No Time to Bleed" (2009) achieved significant success, reaching number 32 on the Billboard 200, number 12 on the Rock Albums Chart, and number 6 on the Hard Rock Albums Chart. Their subsequent album, "The Black Crown," also performed well, peaking at number 28 on the Billboard 200, number 7 on the Rock Albums Chart, and number 3 on the Hard Rock Albums Chart.
Whitechapel's "This Is Exile" album entered the Billboard 200 chart at position 118 with 5,900 copies sold. Their self-titled album reached number 65 on the Canadian Albums Chart and number 47 on the Billboard 200.
Bands such as Carnifex experienced success with their initial release, "Dead in My Arms" (2007), managing to sell 5,000 copies despite limited publicity. The Australian deathcore group Thy Art Is Murder achieved a notable milestone when their album "Hate" (2012) debuted at number 35 on the ARIA Charts. This accomplishment marked them as the first extreme metal band to break into the Top 40 of this chart.