We’ve seen vast changes in the music world over the last few decades. With every new genre that was created, a seemingly endless amount of sub-genres would appear. The Rock genre has more offspring than Zeus, and with every new generation of college student, more appear.
Even Rock’s sub-genres have sub-genres!
In my never ending quest to listen to all the music, however, I’ve made an interesting observation. I’ve talked about how music can help attribute to certain moods or feelings in a Previous Post, and this observation coincides with my writings in an interesting way.
When asked, most people would probably name a religious or new age band/singer for positive and encouraging music. What if I told you that I’ve found more encouragement and inspiration to better aspects of my life in a highly unlikely place: Metal.
Specifically, the sub-genre Metalcore.
What exactly IS Metalcore? So glad you asked! According to the Wikipedia page on the subject, Metalcore is: “…a broad fusion genre of extreme metal and hardcore punk. The word is a blend of the names of the two genres. Among other genres blending metal and hardcore, such as crust punk and grindcore, metalcore is noted for its use of breakdowns, which are slow, intense passages that are conducive to moshing. Pioneering metalcore bands—such as Integrity, Earth Crisis and Converge, all of which had formed by 1990—are described as leaning more toward hardcore, with their style sometimes being called metallic hardcore, whereas later bands—such as Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, As I Lay Dying, Bullet for My Valentine, and Parkway Drive —are described as leaning more towards metal.”
“But Music Junkie,” you ask while scratching your head in confusion, “HOW can you feel encouraged and inspired by such an aggressive sounding genre?”
That’s an excellent question pretend reader that I made up for this article, and I’ll explain. You see, this genre IS indeed quite aggressive. I’ve been in mosh and circle pits for bands like Parkway Drive where physical injury was a very real factor.
Upon further exploration of this genre, however, I’ve discovered bands that I truly love and have had the aforementioned positive impact on my life.
Take Senses Fail for example. When they debuted, they were dark and pretty damn Emo. This was attributed to the personal problems lead singer James “Buddy” Nielson was going through. However, Nielson made some major changes in his life, which ultimately led to a change in the band’s sound, and with that we see their journey into the world of metalcore with their fantastic album “Pull the Thorns From Your Heart.” Nielson addressed all his personal struggles that he was going through, and encourages the listener to not fall victim to depression and dark paths, but instead to believe in yourself and work towards fixing things.
On that same note, one of my absolute favorite bands happens to be a metalcore group called The Ghost Inside, and their music got me through rough patches in my life better than any religious experience I had ever had. There are few things in life more encouraging to me then driving in my car after having a rough day and The Ghost Inside comes on with their song “Mercy” off of the “Dear Youth” album, and yelling at the top of my lungs along with lead singer Jonathan Vigil “LIFE’S SWINGING HARD, BUT I’M SWINGING HARDER!”
Then there’s bands like The Color Morale whose every album addresses the serious persona; struggles that we all face, and encourage you to reach out knowing you’re not alone and that there are those who want to help. I saw The Color Morale at Warped Tour back in 2014, and after their set lead singer Garrett Rapp addressed the crowd stating that they’ll be at their merch stand and would love to talk to each and every one of us if we needed it. Now that is true fan devotion and appreciation!
Perhaps this may have been a bit long-winded way of saying this, but I would encourage my readers to check out some of these bands. Not only for their music talent, but maybe you’ll find the same encouragement from them that I did. In fact, here’s a short list of albums I would recommend checking out:
- Killswitch Engage – “The End of Heartache”
- The Ghost Inside – “Dear Youth”
- Senses Fail – “Pull the Thorns From Your Heart
- The Color Morale – “Hold On, Pain Ends”
- The Word Alive – “Real.”