Bangkok is a big scene for metal core, death core and post-hardcore in Asia. In this first of many TMR Miniguides, we give you some of the most interesting metalcore and deathcore bands in Bangkok today. For all the core-lovers, this is for you.
In the southern parts of Thailand, torned by terror and religious conflicts, the punk rock and hardcore scenes are not big, but they do lurk underneath the surface as a rebellion and self empowerment. Further up the coast to Bangkok hardcore is still big and shares the scenes with more metal genres and all kinds of core-mixes.
All the way up in the scenic North lies Chiang Mai, nicely surrounded by mountains and green surroundings.
In this second largest city of Thailand the underground scenes are a small but closely bonded community where death metal and hardcore together shares the stages. This is a strong generalization, but it´s pretty accurate and gives you geographic picture of the scenes. Basically everything is centered in and around Bangkok, except for Chiang Mai standing out with their own scenes.
For some reason it seems that the trendy metropolitan Bangkok´s MTV-ish glitz and glamour reflects on the metal scenes as well. Of course this is the centre of mainstream music industry in Thailand, Bangkok is the main stage if you wanna go big in Thailand. So maybe it come as no surprise that the more modern, trendy and by the metal oldschoolers very mocked genres of metalcore, deathcore and post-hardcore seem much more prominent in Bangkok than in Chiang Mai. The legacy of Western metal bands like Bring Me The Horizon, Suicide Silence, Whitechapel and Asking Alexandria, with tattooed arm sleeves and necks, piercings and super slick fashion has really made it´s way to Bangkok´s youth.
Of course brutal death, slam and death metal is alive and well in Thailand. Both Bangkok and Chiang Mai have their own death metal/brutal death festivals like BangCock DeathFest and Chiang Mai DeathFest.
But it seems as if the metalcore, deathcore and post hardcore-ish genres are the ones that are most noticeable and visually prominent in Bangkok. Maybe because they are not as underground as the death metal & brutal death scenes? Maybe I´m biased from my own connections and friends in Bangkok. And yes, I do know that blackmetal bands like Surrender of Divinity hails from Bangkok. But they seem to be a minority in the big sea of core-ish bands. Correct me if I´m wrong.
As a tourist visiting Bangkok without any real knowledge of the metal scenes, you´ll most likely only experience cover bands playing the same old classic worn-out tunes at Kao San Road. The main tourist STD ghetto where tourists come in tens of thousands, spending their money on booze-buckets (OMG the hungover from those), cheap super annoying wooden frogs souvenirs and bad Pad Thai. And yes again, I´ve done just that. Except for these fucking wooden frogs.
The thing is though, that many times the “real” metalscenes are right there. In the middle of everything in Bangkok. You just need to raise your head and look around. Where are those black t-shirts going? So just say hi to the friendly locals, unite in the brotherhood of metal music. They will probably invite you to join them to the gigs. And no matter the genre, these gigs are very, very passionate and intense.
So as your best friend on the Internet of metal, TMR gives you – the unknowing Western tourist – a little metal snack on the way to Bangkok. And the Asian metal heads who of course already know this, or maybe not, who knows – here is a small guide to some of the most interesting metalcore/deathcore bands from Bangkok right now!
Before we move on with the list, I do realize that some of you might categorize bands on the list differently, and that´s fine. The term “metalcore” is pretty close to nu-metal and many times genres just overlaps each other, blending genres into metalcore/deathcore/post-hardcore whatever-core.
And furthermore, the Thai deathmetal/brutaldeath metal warriors out there going ” WTF!!!??? What about our genre? This shit is not representative for Bangkok! John – you suck mainstream balls!”
Well, just relax and stay calm – TMR will of course make a just as good miniguide to the brutaldeath & deathmetal in Bangkok & Thailand!
Tragedy Of Murder
The most brutal and heavy band on the list should be first, right? Tragedy Of Murder has been one of my favorite deathcore bands from Bangkok for a long time. Their ultra groovy death core, intense multi-layered growls over super tight drumming and 7-string mayhem makes them pretty much the Suicide Silence of Bangkok. And they actually do solos! Love solos that goes great with death core, it really makes the songs more nuanced. The track “Consciousness” from the 2015 self-entitled EP makes me wanna circlepit in my living room.
AnnaLynn (don’t know who they are referring to, maybe an ex-girlfriend?) is one of the bigger metalcore bands in Bangkok, formed back in 2004. Even though AnnaLynn has been going for more than 13 years they only managed to come up with 2 full-length albums, entitled ” A Year Of Misery” in 2009 and the latest effort “Staring Down The Undefeated” in 2015. For all you metalcore “melodic-choruses-and-ultra-heavy-verses-and-breakdowns” this is for you. With great musicians, cool song arrangements and the “metalcore-uniform” – there is no surprise that AnnaLynn is one of the more popular metalcore acts in Bangkok.
This band was formed in 2011 and have been pretty productive since, releasing the two albums “Unbroken Memories EP” in 2012 and the full-length “Hearts & Hands” in 2015. The video “Tear” is a new single from 2016, the second video, “Left behind” from their last album “Hearts & Hands” is way more aggressive and moshpit friendly – me like. Because the two videos are so different in style, I thought I´d highlight both of them to give a better picture of the band.
Since many Facebook pages from Thai metal bands are in Thai, or at least many song titles are in Thai, therefore it´s hard to get accurate info sometimes. According to Google Translate this song translates to ” Like A Frog In A Nutshell”. The automatic Facebook translation suggests ” Like A Frog In A Sea Man”. WTF? Now all you Thai readers are probably laughing your asses off and I totally give you that. Maybe I´m super wrong or it´some kind of Thai figure of speech. Anyway, this song packs some groovy death core and metalcore with shrieking guitars, tempo changes and a vocalist on top of his game. The track is taken from the latest album ” No Fate, But What We Make”.
Sudden Face Down
This band separates themselves from the other bands on this list, with a more brutal and gritty style. Even though I really tried to figure out the band´s bio with Google Translate, due to language barriers I quit after 5 minutes. I got lost in translation. The band started in 2005, consisting of highschool buddies and went through several line-up changes through the years. Now they play a hardcore influenced kind of metalcore with elements of death core. The music video of the track “Selfish” (thanks Google Translate) is taken from their latest album “Underworld Beast”. This is groovy and heavy as hell. Like fists with gravel glued to them.
Moving on with the list, Nobuna is the most “MTV-friendly” band on this list, with their mix of clean-singing melodic choruses and growling heavy verses. They feature digital samplings and lots of melodies, with two vocalists sharing the clean singing and growling duties. Sometimes they border to Thai-pop singing-wise, and this is not for the more brutal metalcore/deathcore fans. Fans of Asking Alexandria, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park are more likely to dig this. In conclusion, Nobuna is a skilled band and a very fresh breath of air, so if you´re into metalcore, nu metal and post-hardcore with a twist – then this is definitely something to check out!
Last Man Laugh
Sorry, I need to correct myself – this is the most MTV-friendly band on the list. Tragedy Of Murder opened this list, so this band should close it. Last Man Laugh is a real divider when it comes to determine what is metal. I see the arguments flying around like pissed off mosquitos. And frankly I´m tired of that debate and discussion in the metal scenes. The question “is this real metal?” is not the right question to ask, the right question should be “is this the right metal for me?” As you know metal comes in many shapes and disguises, making it one of the most interesting musical genres. At least if you ask me.
Fans of Suffocation style metal will most likely hate this band, and fans of this band might hate Suffocation metal. But should the both meet on a rock & metal festival infront of let´s say Metallica after a few beers, they would raise their horns together arms over shoulders. Last Man Laugh plays a crazy mix of post-hardcore,metalcore and some weird electronic disco-ish visual-kei party core. Closing the list with a made up genre feels great.
Finally, for this list I tried to find bands that are currently up to date with releases not dating more than 1 year back. Due to language barriers it´s sometimes hard to get correct information about the Thai bands.
Therefore several bands in the same kind of genres who would absolutely go on this list are not included this time. After all this is a Miniguide so I can’t feature too many bands, have to make some kind of selection, right?
Bands totally worth checking out are:
No Goats No Glory – No current info in English
Break The Kids – Seems like they are releasing new material in 2016
Fathomless – Awesome death core/metalcore band currently in the studio
Eccentric Toilet – Another of my personal favorites, currently in the studio
Dreams Of Mad Children – Insane death core, no current info