Here at Revolver, we pride ourselves in living on the cutting edge of heavy music, from metal and hardcore to industrial and goth, and we try to keep you on the front line, too, by giving you a deep look at the innovative noisemakers poised to shape the sound and the scene. To that end, we've rounded up a handful of artists who, we think, are on the rise across several different genres. Spanning from Texan experimental punk (Lace) to U.K. death metal (Slugdge), here are five bands you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
Trail of Lies
Though NYHC is associated with the five boroughs, some of the most influential and insane bands have come from the state, not the city. Take Buffalo, for example, which gave us Snapcase and Every Time I Die, or Syracuse, birthplace of Earth Crisis and the latest sensation of remorseless brutality, Trail of Lies. Yet, while the local hardcore scene played an integral part in their upbringing, Trail of Lies are hesitant to credit just that as the reason for the buzz surrounding the new LP W.A.R., out now on Edgewood Records. "We were raised to have a strong work ethic and think outside of the box. This led us to become the way we are with this band," says vocalist Tom Damiano. "Not only have we incorporated this mentality in our lyrics, but it is also instilled how we operate as a band."
So few records truly take off at the end of the day, and it can be even more surprising if the band in question had been around for a bit before finally starting to find its audience. Case in point, U.K. crew Slugdge, who fuse black death and, yes, sludge metal on Esoteric Malacology, their fourth LP since forming in 2012. The release, which hit via Willowtip in early March, has gained tons of momentum since its release, reaching outside of the usual niche realms of hybrid death metal and into more mainstream territory, despite the band never compromising its sound. "Yeah, we're surprised by the response to [Esoteric Malacology]," says Slugdge vocalist Matt Moss. "So to see such positivity surrounding our work is a massive boost for us, and a little daunting at times, too. We live in the middle of nowhere in the U.K. and we don't play live, so most of what we see via social media seems a little unreal at times."
When Lingua Ignota (a.k.a. Kristen Hayter) released her incendiary LP All Bitches Die to Bandcamp in June 2017, she fully expected to sell a few copies and then move on with touring to promote it further. What Hayter didn't expect was for it to take on a life of its own, her harrowing baroque-classical–meets–industrial-noise compositions gaining fans exponentially only by word of mouth. Labels came calling, and now the cult favorite will finally get the vinyl release it deserves, via extreme-music tastemakers Profound Lore. "Lingua Ignota is not a neutral project by any means and I've been asked to tone it down in various capacities since I've started," explains Hayter. "But Profound Lore only encouraged me to remain uncompromising and brutal, and that was ultimately what sold me to them as a label. I feel like they really believe in my work and won't ask me to dilute it to make it more fashionable or palatable. It's a huge show of faith."
It's hard to discuss of Oakland-based AILS without speaking in hushed tones about the passing of the great Ludicra. AILS contains frontwoman Laurie Shanaman and guitarist Christy Cather from said great band, who return with similarly melodic guitar mastery that marked those classic releases, also dipping into black metal and other influences to make an entity of its own. Though the new group comes from well-proven stock, they are fully aware of their place within the storied Bay Area history. "We've all been residing in the Bay Area for years, some of us since early Nineties ... watching and supporting each other in this thriving and diverse music community for quite a long time now," states Shanaman. "We know we are lucky and often spoiled to witness and be friends with so many great musicians/bands here."
There is something about Texas punk and hardcore that is so unique. From bands like Big Boys to Scratch Acid to Butthole Surfers, many of the sounds coming out of Texas have never been duplicated — a legacy of originality continued by Houston's Lace. Employing a raw punk approach as a baseline, Lace carve their own path, with elements of desert rock, post-punk and death rock threaded throughout their Human Condition LP, an impressive debut out now on Funeral Party. The bandmates concur that their approach is decidedly weird, but wholly belongs to the Lone Star. "Growing up in Texas, if you were on the fringe in anyway, you were exposed to all sorts of freaks, egomaniacs and eccentrics that played in bands that were sonically dissonant and chaotic in a purposeful way," says guitarist Craig Mickle. "Bands like Rusted Shut, Fatal Flying Guillotines and Insect Warfare barely scratch the surface of the guitar abuse I saw as a young budding weirdo that made me stray away from the normal 'punk' approach to playing my instrument."