I’m going to be honest: Deathcore is dying. It has been for a couple of years now with the exception of a few breakout bands that still follow the same guidelines they did in 2010 such as Thy Art is Murder and I Declare War. With the exception of these bands and a few others, most other bands are either grasping at dead straws and getting nowhere or moving on to the new waves of deathcore. Or rather should I say the new wave of nu-metal.
It is literally such old news that nu-metal has wriggled its way into the modern metal scene, but I’m not talking about how nu-metal exists again, I’m talking about how nu-metal is advancing. Nu-metal is now what is always has been, as well as what it never has been, mixing with genres that have taken the spotlight since their underwhelming, greasy, fartbutt death in the mid 2000’s. From modern radio-rock in the form of the new Of Mice & Men album, to metalcore in the form of the new Beartooth album, to the fact that King 810 is a successful band at all, it is obvious nu-metal is here to stay.
For those of you who enjoy intently following the rises and falls of trends in music genres like I do, you have most likely noticed that deathcore has turned towards two different directions. One direction is the “sludgewave” direction, which is basically deathcore with somehow even more breakdowns, fronted by bands such as Traitors, Black Tongue, and Feign. The other direction is the rising star and the center of attention in this conversation: The nu-rapcore direction, with bands such as Sworn In, Gift Giver, and Darke Complex (Widow) taking cues from popular nu-rapcore bands of the late 1990’s and 2000’s such Korn, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot and Papa Roach. While both directions are different, I classify both of them under the broader umbrella of “nu-death”.
2015 is roughly eight weeks old now and we have three new nu-rapcore tracks from the three bands listed above, let’s take a look at each band.
When Sworn In dropped The Death Card in 2013, they became one of the first popular nu-death bands to hit the scene. Listen to their first single ‘Hypocrisy’ below and note the opening “whehh’s” straight out of a Slipknot song, the thumpy chugs, and most importantly, the rapping section two minutes in. A star is born.
Another important accomplishment Sworn In make was also being one of the scene’s very first popular “asylumcore” bands. “Asylumcore” is otherwise known as “bands whose most popular subject matter is how crazy and trapped inside their own head they are”. See example below.
Sworn In recently announced their new album The Lovers / The Devil, as well the first single ‘Sunshine’, which can be seen below.
Although this song is sans rap influence, the nu-rapmetal influence is still dripping in this song. Pay attention to the Nine Inch Nails drum-and-bass sections at 1:30. The industrial metal revival has already come and gone in the form of Motionless in White and Whitechapel but I have never witnessed a core band include a section like that. Respect to Sworn In for staying futuristic. Will nu-death eventually evolve into a Nine Inch Nails electro-industrial wave? Will that be the hot trend of 2016? No one can say for sure. God have mercy on our souls.
A band that was known as Widow until last week, Darke Complex started gaining notoriety after a short hiatus with the release of their first single ‘Invertebrate’. Unfortunately for us all, their debut EP will be releasing eleven months after the release of this song. ‘Invertebrate’ is a solid song, I believe this band is one of the most promising nu-rapcore bands of today, with their heavy nature, genre bendability, and those Chester Bennington-like cleans, this song is a solid display of what nu-rapcore is capable of.
There was like a month in 2014 nu-death history where VHS-themed music videos and VHS font were cool, however I haven’t seen anything since, bands looking for something doable and new should take notice.
Darke Complex announced their new EP Widow and this new song ‘Desperation’ last week, touching the edges of both “asylumcore” and nu-rapcore with their guitar scratches in the breakdown at 1:00, the rapping thirty seconds later, and trademark Linkin Park cleans.
One of the bands that got popular in the post-Sworn In “asylumcore” wake is Gift Giver (see also Barrier and Villains) with their 2013 EP Daddy Issues. With a mix of kooky deathcore and a touch of nu-metal industrial influence, Gift Giver is one of the havier bands in the nu-death genre.
Gift Giver recently premiered the first single off their upcoming album Shitlife (really?) titled ‘Cursed’, and it appears they too have taken the nu-rapcore direction, which is apparent at the Limp Bizkit rap section thirty seconds into the song.
So what do you think? Eight weeks into the year and we already have three solid indications that nu-rapcore is the new, cool direction to go in. Do you have any examples of your own? How do you feel about these bands and these songs? Let me know!