Though a sub-genre of metalcore, deathcore is heavily influenced by modern death metal in its speed, heaviness, and approach to chromatic, heavily palm muted riffing, dissonance and frequent key changes. Lyrics may not always be in the death metal vein, but traditional growls, and pig-like squeals are prevalent, often combined with metalcore vocals. Much of deathcore features breakdowns, a trait which is attributed to the hardcore aspect of its metalcore influence. New York death metal veterans Suffocation, as well as Maryland's Dying Fetus, were among the first death metal groups to make the breakdown a staple in their music.
Deathcore seems to have most prominence within the southwestern United States, especially Arizona and California (most notably the Coachella Valley), which are home to many notable bands and various festivals. In a similar gauge of success, many popular or up and coming deathcore bands are featured on Black Market Activities, the label of The Red Chord's Guy Kozowyk.
Before the rise of deathcore, bands such as Abscess and Unseen Terror used the term to describe hardcore punk/death metal hybrids. Germany's Blood also released a 1986 demo entitled Deathcore, while another German group, formed in 1987 and related to Blood, used Deathcore as a band name.
As with most subgenres affiliated with metalcore, there is a strong feeling of backlash and resentment from traditional metal and extreme metal fans who feel as though their music is being co-opted and cashed-in for profit. For this reason, many bands find themselves mislabeled or attacked through the Internet and in print in critical chastising, even before normal musical development can occur. This has in turn led to the rejection of the label by many bands, and defending of by others.
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