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Screamo is a post-hardcore-influenced subgenre of emo that evolved in the early 1990s. This initially involved a more aggressive offshoot of emo music and used short songs that grafted "intensity to willfully experimental dissonance and dynamics."

Screamo essentially describes a particularly dissonant style of emo influenced by hardcore punk. Screamo uses typical rock instrumentation, but is notable for its brief compositions, chaotic execution, and screaming vocals. The genre is "generally based in the aggressive side of the overarching punk-revival scene."

In addition to melodic transitions from heavy to soft styles, the genre is also characterized "by frequent shifts in tempo and dynamics and by tension-and-release catharses." Screamed vocals are used "not consistently, but as a kind of crescendo element, a sonic weapon to be trotted out when the music and lyrics reach a particular emotional pitch." Some consider the genre to be a bridge between hardcore punk and emo.

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