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 musicians who, we think, are on the rise across several different genres. Spanning from furious politically charged grindcore (Fluoride) to a cheeky stoner-rock band championed by Metallica (Bokassa), here are five artists you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
RIYL Early Kreator, Testament, Power Trip
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Let's be real, a new black-thrash band doesn't exactly sound like the most exciting prospect in 2019 — that is, until you hear Boston's Black Mass. Anyone that can play with this level of speed and ferocity is not only going to impress the thrash community, but revitalize a genre with the injection of nitro needed.
QUOTE "We try to keep things fresh and interesting by bringing back an old-school sound from a modern-day perspective," frontman Brendan O'Hare says of Black Mass' approach. "We're not old heads who grew up in the old ways so we tend to mix things up a bit since we're not afraid to step outside the box. We listen to a wide range of music and sometimes it bleeds through the boundaries of what people might consider our core genre of thrash."
RIYL Red Fang, Mutoid Man, Turbonegro
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE With a super catchy approach to hard rock that focuses on big bold choruses and even bigger guitars, not to mention a righteous sense of humor and the endorsement of one of metal's biggest stars, Norway's Bokassa are well on their way to breaking out of the underground. Their new album, Crimson Riders, is due June 21st and it slaps.
QUOTE "I think rock was always about having fun, but somewhere along the line people forgot that and starting taking themselves way too seriously," says frontman Jørn Kaarstad. "I never really got that part of metal, punk and rock where you had to be all tough and serious all the time. I guess I can partly blame that on growing up on South Park and NOFX. Every time I see like an artsy band picture I still think of Cartman's legendary Christian-rock band Faith + 1. That doesn't mean we aren't serious with our music, because we are, but I think if you have a little tongue-in-cheek approach to stuff, you can get away with a lot more than if people always expect you to be all one sided and deadly serious all the time."
RIYL Hellhammer, Bathory, Midnight
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE The resurgence of classic heavy metal has led more bands to revisit the deep, dank historical bowels of the genre. Malleus practice classic first-wave black metal, dealing in thrashy riffs and primitive vocals that remind you that this shit used to be EVIL back in the day. Thanks to groups like Malleus, it still is.
QUOTE "Our best show memory would have to be playing Union Pool in Brooklyn in May of 2018," recalls guitarist The Hammer. "We played with Natur, Occult Burial and Blackrat. ... It was basically a huge party with everyone raging on each other's sets. On the way down, we stopped for food in New Haven and the waitress asked if we were in a band and the conversation eventually lead to her offering to piss onstage during our set. Major regrets on not taking her up on the offer. All the bands were great. After the gig, I think Blackrat set up their own makeshift bar outside the venue by stashing a case of PBR in a bush. PBR never tasted better, honestly."
RIYL Tragedy, Cloud Rat, Infest
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE "Philly vegan grind" outfit Fluoride, much like many of the acts in the Nerve Altar stable, breathe new life into their respective subgenre. Elements of everything from black metal like Craft and Deathspell Omega to crust punk such as Tragedy pepper the band's violent new record, April's Disentanglement, one of the most compelling grind-related releases in recent memory.
QUOTE "Suzy [Garry, vocals] and I have really similar music tastes and leftist politics so finding common ground at the beginning was easy," recalls guitarist Rick Dillenberger. "Initially, we were really into stuff like combatwoundedveteran, Gasp, Dropdead, Despise You, Cloud Rat, Orchid, Water Torture, Framtid and a ton of other similar stuff I can't remember. We knew we wanted to start a punk band, lyrically at least, but there were a ton of avenues of influence that — while still imperfectly executed — are probably more noticeable on our new record than at first when we were still figuring out how to manifest the sound we were imagining. ... We're really just trying to push ourselves as much as possible and chasing the pipe dream of making music we're happy with."
RIYL Nails, Trap Them, Dismember
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE While like many great bands in modern hardcore, Massachusetts' Fuming Mouth may self-identify as a part of that genre, they feel more like a genre-smashing amalgam of death metal, grind, hardcore, punk and other forms of heaviness aligned into one furious, quivering mass of hatred. Check out the new single "Fatalism" below for evidence. Fuming Mouth's forthcoming LP, The Grand Descent, is set to drop June 7th via Triple B — you can preorder it here.
QUOTE "We wanted to make good music, that's really it," explains guitarist-vocalist Mark Whelan when asked about his and his bandmates' goals for The Grand Descent. "We did want to simplify what we'd been doing on previous demos and singles. 'Fatalism' is a perfect example of that — there's only three chords in that whole song, but it rips your head off."