Deathcore Bands – Meet The Chug-O-Meter


Deathcore has gotten a bad rap, and the criticisms against it are most definitely justified. Most bands are a carbon copy of one another, and it’s hard to make a distinction between any of them. If you think that’s unfair, send yourself down the Youtube rabbit hole by searching for “deathcore” and randomly pick any three bands to see if you can tell the difference. Fear not people, there is a surefire way to tell if your band is plagued by the same old same old. It’s called the Chug-O-Meter.

The Chug-O-Meter comes as a response to a video called “Deathcore Bands Use The Same Riffs” recently posted by Youtube user Zero_life_left. The video lives up to its name and is put together in such a way that articulates how many popular bands in the genre use the same notes and phrasing in their riff compositions.

The video does a great job of demonstrating how deathcore riffs sound the same from a musician’s standpoint, but it also makes its point clear to anyone who has no musical acumen by stacking riffs from different bands against one another over the span of five minutes. Just watch this video and you’ve heard literally every deathcore song ever written. That’s where the Chug-O-Meter comes in. This useful tool measures how much chug is in a band’s songs on a scale of 1 to 5.  2.5 on the meter and above, you’re in danger of being lost in an already crowded musical field.

To appropriately illustrate the measure of the chug-o-meter, we must start with the lowest of low hanging fruits: Emmure. This is what not to do with your deathcore band. We don’t need to get into how the band is universally loathed among many in metal/hardcore circles for its generic and uninspired music that is played almost exclusively on the E string of the guitar. And because we’re going low, we’re not even going to feature the actual song “Children of Cybertron” here. Instead we’ll go with this cover that many of you have likely seen of this kid playing it on a hockey stick he made for the purpose of shaming Emmure. After one listen, we should seriously consider rebranding Emmure’s music as Flatbrim Djent.  Feel free to use that term in your musical discussions with friends. With enough exposure, we could turn it into a very useful bandcamp tag.

When put against the Chug-O-Meter, Emmure is way above the 2.5 threshold and is coming in hot at 5 and counting. The amount of chug here is way too much, and we’re not sure if these folks have the mental capacity to tone it down even in the slightest.






The Taste of Blood was a band that had come and gone before deathcore peaked. Predator, their only album, came out at a time when many hardcore bands were beginning to fuse death metal into their sound, but this particular album stands out because it really strikes a balance between both hardcore and death metal without seeming too heavy-handed in favor of one or the other. The Taste of Blood switches up the pace routinely throughout Predator’s ten tracks while spreading out the breakdowns instead of piling them up one after another as so many deathcore bands do. There’s actually a fair amount of melodeath going throughout the record that works well in the context of their songs. Lastly, the production on this album has some fantastic drum tones. It doesn’t sound like a senior in high school banging out his term paper on a typewriter. The guitars also have a nice warm tone to them that doesn’t sound like they are being squeezed through a tube of toothpaste. The production here is definitely a feather in their cap, and more bands could benefit from going a little less digital.

As you can see, The Taste of Blood rates a solid 1 on the Chug-O-Meter, well below the the 2.5 threshold. The chugs are well represented here, but the band does not rely on them exclusively as part of their approach.

The next selection is not a deathcore band per se. Ion Dissonance profiles as more of a chaotic mathy skronk hardcore band. On their 3rd album, Minus The Herd, they veered into deathcore territory a little bit, and the track “Void of Conscience” is a good example of that. The opening of the song starts off with chugging riff that would lead you to believe that an all too predictable standard deathcore drumbeat would accompany it. What we get instead is a Suffocation-esqe breakdown that makes use of fast double kick drums over the riff. This song more or less follows a verse/chorus-type structure with almost groove style riff anchoring the verse portion. For the chorus, the double kick drum manifests itself again, this time with a riff that wouldn’t sound uncommon in an early Fear Factory song. Ion Dissonance thrives by taking the previously mentioned band styles and clashing them with their own unique style of playing.

The Chug-O-Meter rates this track as a 3, which is a little over the threshold. This is a rare case where going over on the meter is not a strike against the artist since Ion Dissonance’s style of playing stands out here without rendering the riffs as generic-sounding. Ion Dissonance will also be releasing a new album later this year, and you can stream a new song here for a better representation of what they sound like.








Out of all the bands that carry the deathcore tag, Fit For An Autopsy is the one that best embodies what the genre should sound like if performed correctly. Their 2013 album Hellbound was the perfect blend of death metal and hardcore that utilized a balanced attack of both genres. Mercenary growler Nate Johnson (no longer with the band) was a cut above just about any deathcore vocalist clone who basically copies The Acacia Strain’s Vincent Bennett’s lows and mixes them with those stupid Suicide Silence witch cackles (please stop doing that, you sound only a shade better than this kid who sounds like a seagull choking on a pebble). On the track “Dead In The Dirt,” FFAA hurls pinpoint precision death metal riffing complete with blast beats and thrashing drums to give way to concussion-inducing breakdowns that will leave you just like the song title says.

Fit For An Autopsy rates a 2.5 on the Chug-O-Meter. A perfect balance of death metal and hardcore that maxes out on chug, but does not overdo it.







Hope all you deathcore bands learned a valuable lesson today. Do the right thing and help make deathcore great good decent again.

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  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Bro, do you even core-death and or downbreak?

    • That header image touched me, in my naughty parts.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Those bros’ ear lobes of walls of death are brutal, brah.

        • I hope they get them stuck on something and then they cried about it.

      • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2

        theres a point where if you cross a certain line of utter failure, it actually succeeds.

        -billdsafdsad, 5 months ago

  • You need to update your Authors profile bro.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain


    • Haha, breakdowns are nice, but blast beats still reign.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Bro, do you even chug?

  • Abradolf Lincler

    in real life, when you are failing hard, we typically say ‘chugging it,’ and make ridiculous gagging sounds. like you are chugging dicks.

    seems appropriate here

    • Treebeard, Father of Fangorn

      In my woods, the common parlance is “boofed.”

  • Treebeard, Father of Fangorn
  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    that OG Montreal goalie stick guitar is pretty sweet

    • Treebeard, Father of Fangorn

      Made from my fallen brother. Thrrrrooooooooooooooommmmmmmmm

  • Not gonna lie, sometimes I just need straight-up ignorance.

  • xengineofdeathx

    I remember the first time I heard She’s Strychnine by Ion D. It totally owned my balls. New song sounds pretty good.

    • This probably my favorite Ion D song and also the first song I heard by them.

  • Maik Beninton™
  • Guacamole Jim

    “Out of all the bands that carry the deathcore tag, Fit For An Autopsy is the one that best embodies what the genre should sound like if performed correctly.”

    SOMEONE’S never heard of Despised Icon, apparently. AND MY OPINION IS THE ONLY RIGHT ONE oh no I sound like the Randall Thor of deathcore

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas

    Based on that first picture, I’d say Wilmer Valderrama’s career hit some serious lows (E’s) after that 70’s show

    • Abradolf Lincler

      Slumdog Hundredaires

    • Maik Beninton™

      Readying steel emoji.

  • Waynecro

    Thank you for this helpful guide, Mr. Deuce. This will come in very handy. The other day, I started rocking out to the new Forty Winters album in the gym. But then I heard some stuff that made me think the band might be deathcore, so I stopped listening IMMEDIATELY just to be safe. Now I’ll be able to use the Chug-O-Meter to determine whether I can like the band.

    • If you even have to think about breaking out the Chug-O-Meter you should probably just listen to Mgla instead.

      • Waynecro

        That’s a fair point; however, listening to Mgla in the gym motivates me to stop existing, not to lift harder.

        • Much better point. (I’ve never set foot in a gym.)

          • Waynecro



          • Waynecro

            You get all the cool points for this response.

  • Ayreonaut

    I don’t like fit for an autopsy at all.. I don’t understand the hype with that band

  • Kyle Reese


  • This. Was. Hilarious. And. Ingenious. Thank. You. H. M. Deuce.

  • Xinen

    I’m sorry I just can’t enjoy this genre. I remember the big popularity the genre gained and its various moments, but even early on it just grated on my nerves. I don’t hate breakdowns per se, but used sparingly, and hopefully not done in a chugging core fashion. If I’m going to get down on some stupid, I’ll listen to some slam. Maybe its the culture this music brings, since my neck of the woods is mainly radio faggotry and hardcore, neither of which I like. Plus the whole affair is usually protuned to all hell and back to bring the heavy.

    • You’ve pretty much highlighted everything wrong with this genre, spot on.

      • Max

        What’s really boring is going along to a live show where it’s all hardcore/deathcore/metalcore/crabcore bands on the bill. A whole night of breakdowns, sets full of breakdowns, songs that feature breakdowns of the breakdowns….you just walk away at the end of the night (if you lasted that long) thinking “that in itself is justification for power metal right there – somebody doing something with a guitar OTHER THAN BREAKDOWNS.”

        I keep wondering if anybody else there is getting as bored. Can’t anybody hear it? It’s almost like the breakdown becomes an actual instrument rather than a compositional element. “Oh, we can’t form a band without a bass player” vs. “Oh, we can’t form a band without breakdowns. That would look weird.”

        • If Youtube views are any barometer, these bands are getting sizable amounts of people watching their garbage videos. I honestly don’t get how so many bands can sound so much alike and still get attention. You would’ve think that ship sailed long ago.

  • Max

    I’ll occasionally hear a deathcore song I really like. Oceano’s “District of Misery” and Whitechapel’s “Breeding Violence” are pertinent examples. But a whole album of it? Nah.

  • God ov War

    I like Volumes <3