After deathcore became the hottest (and most controversial) new metal subgenre in the late 2000s, the scene lost its new-car smell in the mid-2010s and didn't produce any new breakout stars until the early 2020s.
That all changed with the rapid ascension of bands like Slaughter to Prevail, Lorna Shore and Brand of Sacrifice, who were suddenly being hailed by a new generation of pig-squeal and breakdown aficionados as the genre's new guard.
Now that deathcore has been experiencing a real upswing for a couple years, we asked our readers to pick the single best band in the genre right now.
Fortunately, most voters understood the assignment and didn't just select deathcore's greatest bands ever, but the ones who are currently killing it on the live circuit and inspiring YouTube reactors to drop their jaws.
See the top five vote-getters ranked accordingly below.
Slaughter to Prevail have claimed they're "tired" of deathcore, but deathcore isn't tired of them. The Florida-via-Russia heavy-hitters were gradually picking up momentum until their pair of Kostolom singles, "Baba Yaga" and "Demolisher," set the internet ablaze with the sheer violence of their sound and, in the case of the former, visuals.
Since then, vocalist Alex Terrible has become an increasingly polarizing figure, but Slaughter to Prevail's music (namely 2023's "Viking" single) remains incredibly popular and incredibly bludgeoning.
Psycho-Frame released their first music in spring 2023, and they're already being touted as one of the genre's best rising acts. Featuring members of Moodring and Vatican, these MySpace nostalgists evoke a time when knuckle-dragging bands like I Declare War, Oceano and a Mitch Lucker-fronted Suicide Silence ruled the deathcore landscape.
"No symphonies, no push pits, no whisper vox, no gimmicks" is their combative tagline, and on a song like "The Plot to Nuke the Midwest," you know they mean business.
Fit for an Autopsy have outlived multiple deathcore hype cycles, and are now more popular than they've ever been. Part of their staying power should be credited to their consistently decimating live show, which has only become tighter and more physically imposing over time.
They've also never been afraid to evolve their sound in new ways, as heard on 2022's monstrously epic Oh What the Future Holds and 2019's heavy-yet-catchy The Sea of Tragic Beasts.
A lot of modern deathcore bands have found broader audiences by dabbling with clean vocals and/or state-of-the-art production. Signs of the Swarm, however, just keep getting heavier, and their popularity is following suit.
The Pittsburgh band's 2023 Century Media debut, Amongst the Low & Empty, is packed with skull-splitting songs like "Tower of Torsos" and the title track that trade in chunky riffs, lower-than-hell vocal bellows, and teeth-knocking breakdowns spliced with icy electronic flourishes. Clearly, people dig it.
Lorna Shore have scraped and clawed their way to the top of the deathcore mountain, overcoming tumultuous lineup changes, low intra-band morale and plenty of internet haters.
After a rocky stop-start trajectory in the 2010s, the band found unprecedented success with 2021's "To the Hellfire," their majestically crushing first song with current screamer Will Ramos, which picked up internet wind and propelled them to the front of the pig-squeal pack.
Last year's Pain Remains album remains the high-water mark to beat for blackened, symphonic, emotional deathcore, and the band are showing no signs of slowing down. In 2023, you can't talk about the style without mentioning Lorna Shore.