Don’t call it “Screamo”

Every metal fan has heard their music categorized into the inaccurate umbrella term screamo at least once during their listenership. People who label any type of metal music like this do it because metal is an alienating music style. If you’re not a fan or at least appreciate it, you really don’t understand why screamed vocals with a very abrasive sound around it is considered good music. So screamo is a label that people put on metal music to either disregard it or just to label something that they don’t know anything about. Besides the obvious issue of disregarding a form of art just because you don’t understand it, there are a couple of reasons why people should not off handedly label metal music: screamo.

First of all, there is already a genre of music called screamo. And technically it’s not even metal. In the 80’s, the two extreme movements in rock music, punk and metal, combined to make many different sub-genres. Some more punk than metal, some more metal than punk, etc. From that came hardcore punk, a more abrasive version of punk music. From that, a dramatic and breathy sub-genre with poetic lyrics called emo was born. The more aggressive version of emo with screamed vocals, dissonant and twinkly guitars, and odd time signatures is called screamo. From that small history lesson, you can see that labeling a whole style of music after one very specific genre that is basically an off-shoot of an off-shoot is ignorant.

You can also see that extreme forms of rock, like punk and metal, have many different variations that turn into sub-genres. As does other types of music and art. Therefore, an umbrella term for a whole style of music is very inappropriate. In metal music there is:

Thrash metal: fast paced guitars and double bass drum with yelling, shrieking, or screamed vocals.

Metalcore: fast paced heavy guitar riffs combined with slow paced breakdowns. Features both screamed and clean vocals.

Black metal: fast tempo, heavily distorted lo-fi sound with an emphasis on creepy and gothic atmosphere. Features shrieked vocals.

All of these are metal sub-genres. All of these feature some sort of screaming. All of these sound different. None of these are screamo. Don’t call it screamo.


If you want to hear screamo, listen to: I Hate Myself, Circle Takes the Square, or I Would Set Myself On Fire For You. If it’s not your thing, I encourage you to expand your horizons and try some metal. DM me on Twitter for metal suggestions or anymore screamo suggestions.



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