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Considered the most brutal section of a metal/metalcore/hardcore song. The breakdown is characterized by a beat much slower than the main verses and chorus of a song, the primary ingredients being a steady beat from the drums (with lots of cymbal and sometimes double-bass) and a chugging rhythm from the guitar.

Originally developed by Atilla the Hun, the breakdown had it's place in warfare for many years. That was, until people began to notice that the Earth's human and animal population had begun to decrease exponentially from direct exposure to breakdowns. Other health complications also arose from indirect exposure such as 4th degree burns, the introduction of the Ebola virus, and terminal bleeding of the ears. For many centuries, the breakdown was outlawed in civilized nations, at least until war broke out in Europe in the late 1930's.

It was used primarily by the axis powers during WWII to rip the faces off of the allies during an approach. When Hitler got word that Nazi forces were using "the breakdown" against the enemy, he called it off saying "No way man, that's too fucking brutal."

It's also a proven historical fact that the atomic bomb explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan were staged by the U.S. government. Instead, the government had agreed to blast two very metal breakdowns over the Japanese cities. Knowing that the American public would not condone their actions, there was a big cover up involving the use of atomic weapons.

The breakdown we know today has been manipulated to the point that, under strict government regulations, it can be used in sanctioned locations. With the rise of heavy metal, evolving into what we call "metalcore" music, rock artists have learned the proper ways to display this once deadly technique to the public in a fashion that will kill as few people as possible.
Steven: "We learned about the Big Bang today in science."
Nancy: "The Big Bang? Pish posh. The universe was formed by a fucking xXbrutalcoreXx breakdown.

Stan: I'm sick of all these damn Chuck Norris jokes.
Pablo: Haha! Yeah?! Chuck Norris is so strong, even a breakdown can't kill him! Haha! Haha! Ha--
*Stan plays breakdown*
*Pablo's head explodes*
by x_Joe_x April 23, 2007
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if music were sex, the breakdown would be the orgasm.
breakdown clias;dsd why do i have to write a fucking example
by aksjdlaksdjayoyo August 24, 2008
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A style of guitar riff used in Hardcore (punk) music that consists of a single note being chugged slowly for maximum heaviness and brutality. Different rhythms and numbers of strums are used in a repeated fashion for usually 2 to 4 bars in length. Written equilivent: JUD-JUD, JUD-JUD, JUDJUDJUDJUD, JUD-JUD, JUD-JUD ...and so forth.

Great for hardcore dancing.
by Straight Up February 19, 2004
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A part in a song such as a metalcore or hardcore song, where the riffs become very heavy but melodic, causing you to get a rush of energy and slam dance like never before.
Last night during Tower of Snakes by 18 Visions, the break down was so insane I just had to mosh.
by G Moore January 23, 2005
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The reason my neck is in a brace right now.
Dude were you at August burns red's concert last night?

Yeah man, on the 3rd breakdown of back burner, i was run over in a mosh pit. but it was fucking worth it cause breakdowns are fucking sick.
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Sections of hardcore / metalcore / deathcore songs which are rhythmically appropriate for most forms of hardcore dancing (mosh), but not appropriate for two-stepping. In order to be rhythmically appropriate, the music must conform to the following requirements:

1. Tempo: Breakdowns are characterized by tempos in the 65 bpm - 70 bpm range, but also spanning from 50 bpm (double breakdown), to 90 bpm (fast breakdown / stomp breakdown).

2. Content: Breakdowns are further characterized by strong emphasis on rhythm, snares on the 2nd & 4th quarter notes, cymbals on either eighth notes or quarter notes, and kick drum patterns which accent the often staccato guitar playing. Many modifications to this formula can be made (displaced snares, melody), but these modifications tend to detract from the maximum impact of the breakdown.

Because these two requirements must be satisfied, entire songs can be breakdowns, and do not need to contain any fast parts. As well, many slow sections of songs of these genres are not breakdowns, because they do not meet the content requirements.
Pantera is generally recognized as the originator of the breakdown, as featured at approximately 3:52 of "Domination" off Cowboys from Hell. Today, this part of Domination would be recognized as an "old school" breakdown, and only the old timers would hardcore dance to it.
by malarky2020 October 14, 2009
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The part in a song (usually associated with Hardcore, Metal, and Metalcore music genres) where the music becomes heavy and rythmic. Usually has a brutal sound to it and is the perfect music to open a pit or dance to. Breakdowns are what makes hardcore. The singer also usually sings a line or two of memorable lyrics, and then repeats them until the breakdown is over.
Open this shit up, the breakdown is coming!

Did you see Steven dancing to that breakdown?
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