Cult Leader – Useless Animal [EP]

Cult Leader’s second extended-play is Useless Animal.The first two tracks are a feverish maelstrom of mathcore and crust punk much like their debut Nothing for Us Here. The third track is a nearly seven-minute long dirge cover of Mark Kozelek’s (of Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon fame) “You Are Not of My Blood.”…

The Dillinger Escape Plan – The Dillinger Escape Plan [EP]

The Dillinger Escape Plan demonstrated humble yet promising beginnings on their self-titled debut extended-play. Originally released in 1997 and reissued by Earache Records in 2002 (doubling the original track count from three to six), this release is in the vein of early nineties metalcore alongside that produced by Converge, Cave In, and Hatebreed – albeit…

Underoath – They’re Only Chasing Safety

Listening to They’re Only Chasing Safety by Christian metalcore band Underoath is like reading my teenage self’s favorite Clive Cussler novel. It will always be a classic of my middle/high school days, but upon checking it out almost a decade later, I can’t believe how many issues it has that I didn’t pick up when I…

The Green River Burial – Blight [EP]

Why do I have this? I really hope that I didn’t pay money for this. The Green River Burial is a band that demonstrates why “metalcore” is a pejorative. There are two singers: one with a decent high-pitched scream akin to fellow Deutschlanders Heaven Shall Burn, and another with a hackneyed deathcore growl that probably has…

Trap Them – Séance Prime

Séance Prime was New England crust punk/grindcore quartet Trap Them’s first release for Deathwish Inc., an extreme music label and operated by Converge vocalist Jacob Bannon. Released in 2007 as a companion piece to debut full-length Sleepwell Deconstructor, the EP merged death metal riffs with d-beat and hardcore punk to create a unique buzzsaw-guitar sound…

The Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us Is the Killer

New Jersey heavy metal group The Dillinger Escape Plan is one of the pioneers1 of the “mathcore” genre: a style of metalcore that features oft-changing time signatures and dissonance with stylistic similarities to grindcore and jazz fusion. Their fifth studio album One of Us is the Killer qualifies the spastic punishments of earlier albums with…

Cult Leader – Nothing for Us Here

What do you do when your frontman is accused of sexually assaulting a fan? Start another band, I guess.1 Such are the circumstances surrounding Cult Leader, of which three members were metalcore/sludge metal group Gaza.2 Nothing for Us Here contains that newfangled experimental metal that’s the hallmark of Deathwish, Inc.3: mathy, crust punk riffs with…