There’s a rising trend of EDM easing its way into the heavy music scene and yes, its something that has been occurring for countless years prior to today, but it is topical as hell right now due to the sheer influx of songs that have been released over the past few months.sh
I guess with the success that Bring Me The Horizon delivered with amothis year and songs like ‘Nihilist Blues‘, ‘Fresh Bruises‘ or ‘Ouch‘ displaying a significant jump from the rock genre to dance music (and in some cases, it worked), we’re seeing alot of new age bands and musicians from all different types of heavy/rock genres dabbling in the once forbidden fruit (EDM) to see what life is like on the other side of the grass.
Forget about alienating fanbases for a second here and focus primarily on the songs themselves, can you have a musician who predominately is known within the deathcore scene, appearing on song and not have it sound like two Transformers engaged in a spitroast with a T-Rex? Sure you can and this has been proven this year alone, not to mention about a decade ago when some of us got our first taste of the cross-over with bands like Pendulum and The Prodigy… But, it can also go bad and as we’ve highlighted below, it doesn’t matter how much of a well-respected musician you are, you can always make a bad song if teamed up with the wrong kind of person/producer…
Take a look at The Good, The Bad and The Middle Ground Collaborations that resulted when Heavy Musicians teamed up with EDM Artists
Pendulum feat. In Flames – ‘Self vs. Self’
This is one of the examples I mentioned above which we first got our hands on almost 10 years ago from Pendulum‘s album Immersion. Predominately a heavy drum and bass band, they teamed up with the Swedish metallers for what can only be described as a sexy fornication of both genres, where the end result was a listenable and enjoyable cross-promotion for both bands. If you don’t like this, there’s something wrong with you.
Korn feat. Skrillex – ‘Get Up’
When I first came across this it was during a time when I was ever so slowly starting to get into dubstep and Skrillex was at the top of his game within the genre. It still had KoRn’s signature sound, but it was combined with bass drops and that wub-wub sfx throughout which kinda/sorta made it tolerable at first, then enjoyable after a few spins. Some of the other songs on that album (The Path Of Totality) were shithouse, but the majority of the Skrillex collabs were bullshit good.
Linkin Park feat. Jay Gordon (Orgy) – ‘Pts.OF.Athrty’
Before the band did Collision Course with Jay Z, they reanimated their songs from Hybrid Theory with EDM DJs and goddamn it worked so well. Whether it be ‘1Stp Klosr‘ with The Humble Brothers and Jonathan Davis or ‘Pts.OF.Athrty‘ with Orgy frontman Jay Gordon, this was the shit back in 2002.
Fear Factory – ‘Remanufacture Demanufacture’
If Linkin Park’s remix album gets a mention, then so does Fear Factory‘s Remanufacture – Cloning Technology which was produced by Junkie XL and a bloody good jam for those who enjoyed heavy, industrial metal in the 90’s as well as fast-paced techno music. Separate, they were well-respected genres of their time, together, they created something we didn’t even know we needed in our lives and the end result, well, take a listen…
PhaseOne feat. Northlane (Marcus Bridge) – ‘Crash & Burn’
One of the 2019 additions to the movement which, actually fucking ruled. PhaseOne even got Marcus Bridge up on stage at one of his recent shows and played this which would have been a treat and a half to witness the EDM scene kids collectively losing their shit (either in a good or bad way) wondering what the fuck was going on. His Transcendency EP also featured CJ McMahon (Thy Art Is Murder) and Spencer Sotelo (Periphery) and proved you can put two completely different genres together and turn it into musical gold. The heavier the genres (e.g. metal/deathcore and dubstep) the better suited the combination of the two will be.
The Bloody Beetroots feat. Jason Butler – ‘Crash’
Anything with Jason Butler involved is always going to be lit and this was no different. The Bloody Beetroots grabbed the best person for the job on this track, which came from their release The Great Electronic Swindle, the same album which also featured our very own JET on their other song ‘My Name Is Thunder‘. However, the heavier the better and ‘Crash‘ was the better of the two.
Travis Barker feat. Steve Aoki – ‘Misfits’
Similar in style to The Bloody Beetroots, this belter from Travis Barker‘s solo album Give the Drummer Some [Deluxe Edition], actually surprised me so much with how much I enjoyed it, unlike the collaboration Steve Aoki did with the rest of the post-Tom blink-182 members (see The Baaaad category for more). Aoki doesn’t have the best screaming vocals, but the phatness of the song’s beats and Barker’s drumming made it a such a classic punk/EDM crossover I half expected the rest of the album to sound this good, but, alas, it was mainly rap and hip hop songs…
Filter & The Crystal Method – ‘Can’t You Trip Like I Do’
It has just come to my attention that the Spawn movie soundtrack from 1997 boasted a whole bunch of awe-inspiring collaborations and this one is possibly one of the BEST from the album. Filter teamed up with DJs The Crystal Method for this rave inducing bender that jumps between dance track and rock song so seamlessly you’ll have a hard time picking it up if you’re not listening attentively. Remember when all of the 90’s alternative clubs sounded like this or when all of those grungy movies featuring outsiders had a song like this in the soundtrack? If so, you’re old as fuck!
Kayzo feat. Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low – ‘Up In Flames’
The hype surrounding this one was pretty big and it was dubbed as a new song featuring All Time Low, however, upon release it was revealed to just have frontman Alex Gaskarth and the attention fizzled out quicker than it was built up.
Steve Aoki feat. blink-182 – ‘Why Are We So Broken’
If this was heavier or punkier, like Travis Barker’s song with Aoki mentioned earlier, it would have been better. This is just generic pop EDM bullshit that’s as about as enjoyable as a proctologist exam conducted by Edward Scissorhands…
Deadmau5 feat. Gerard Way – ‘Professional Griefers’
Nope. Just could not get into this one. No matter how good Gerard Way is as a vocalist, this song is just awful. Don’t @ me either!
SLANDER & Crankdat feat. Asking Alexandria – ‘Kneel Before Me’
A swing and a miss for this collection of musicians who just threw too much into the mix hoping something would stick….
Chuckie & Betatraxx vs Slash – ‘Rocktronica’
The only thing that could have made this team up good, was the addition of some rock/heavy vocals. I feel like this instrumental is wasted without a good singing belting out some words… Don’t you?
Bring Me The Horizon feat. Grimes – ‘Nihilist Blues’
After hating this song at first, it grew on me and became a favourite to listen to from amo, but after seeing how terrible it was in a live setting (Oli and Jordan were the only members doing anything, while the rest of the band just flailed around in circles), its now 1 win and 1 loss for BMTH and so it sits here in the middle ground… if you ever wondered what a metal version of the song would/should sound like though, check out this cover by Annisokay!
REZZ feat. Aaron Gillespie (Underoath) – ‘Falling’
This was marketed as featuring Underoath, but the only thing about Underoath featuring in this song is drummer Aaron Gillespie who does a pretty bang up job on the vocals, surrounded by a whole bunch of synth. If this featured the full band, akin to that of PhaseOne, it would have been in much better in my opinion…
Knife Part & Tom Morello – ‘Battle Sirens’
Part of Tom Morello‘s solo album The Atlas Underground, released last year, this hook up with Knife Party was written by their frontmen/songwriters/producers!? Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen (they’re also in Pendulum) and, much like Slash‘s collaboration earlier, would have been better with some lyrics being sung/screamed…
Marshmello feat. A Day To Remember – ‘Rescue Me’
This was relatively good, but needed more screams, yells or something heavy from ADTR frontman Jeremy McKinnon‘s vocal cords… It’s their first taste of new music in three years though so I guess it’s better than waiting another three years for new music… or is it?
What do you think? Anything missing from the list or disagree with the placement of any of the songs? Make sure you tell us below.
Words by Browny @brownypaul and contributions from the Wall of Sound team