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 nihilistic metallic hardcore (Trench) to PMA-instilled death metal (Umbra Vitae), here are five artists you'll want to get on now.
RIYL Code Orange, Nails, Vein
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Canadian quintet Trench make metallic hardcore that's steeped in dismal industrialized atmospherics and packed with mosh-driving grooves. Their take-no-prisoners sound and even more unhinged live shows have won them an underground following in the Great White North, including Misery Signals' Jesse Zaraska, who guests on their ripper "Hellbent Gate." Trench's freshly released debut LP, Blossom, should introduce them to fans worldwide.
QUOTE "A band that Trench collectively appreciates and adores is Type O Negative," says the group's Cole Young (guitars, programming). "We've always bonded over Type O, and you can find us listening to them constantly. We released Blossom on the 10 year anniversary of Peter Steele's death, RIP, which was beautifully unintentional, and made for a very special day for us."
RIYL Cynic, Myrkur, Extol
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Boasting current and former members of Dillinger Escape Plan and Extol, multinational supergroup Azusa burst onto the scene in 2018 with their debut LP, Heavy Yoke, blowing minds with their kaleidoscopic sound, which zigs and zags from black metal and prog to dream pop and post-rock. Their follow-up, Loop of Yesterday, finds them fully coming into their own while still maintaining their manic drive to push sonic boundaries.
QUOTE "Personally, my goal was to create a new subgenre more than fit into one, and that ultimately, I'm trying to create a sound, or the recording I can't seem to find," bassist Liam Wilson says of Azusa's mission statement. "Within that, we all have distinct voices, but the sum of the whole is greater than the parts ... and we save a lot of space for that unseen fifth member, that 'spirit' or 'muse' in the room to bring forth something beyond what any of us could ever claim full responsibility for."
RIYL Poppy, Ghostemane, Ho99o9
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Genre is dead and Zheani is dancing on its grave. The fearless Aussie makes music that spans hip-hop, emo, metal, experimental R&B and beyond, all of it bound together by her brash, raw, scarred and proud POV. Judging from the hard-hitting new single "DIRTBIKE," produced by King Yosef, her art is only getting more brutally honest.
QUOTE "I grew up with all the 'adults' around me bumping Nineties/early 2000s rap. The themes portrayed where a mirror of my surroundings: drugs, crime, violence, poverty," Zheani recalls of her musical roots. "I rebelled from that as a teenager by entwining my identity with the emo/metal/post-hardcore scenes that I found online. This was the music I could play that would piss everyone off — these days my youngest sister torments my mother with K-pop. When I started making music, these worlds collided for me. It wasn't just drug-dealing and braggadocio. It wasn't just existential dread and self-loathing. It was drug-dealing, existential dread, self-loathing and braggadocio."
RIYL Dismember, Entombed, Gatecreeper
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Leave it to Converge's Jacob Bannon to make death metal "righteous." His new supergroup Umbra Vitae — which features current and former members of Hatebreed, the Red Chord and Job for a Cowboy, as well as Bannon's own shoegazing project Wear Your Wounds — sounds as nasty and gnarly as anything Stockholm has ever barfed up, but lyrically it aims to inspire, making for a fascinating study in shadow and light.
QUOTE "For me, Umbra Vitae is darkly confrontational and my own internal struggles are nested within each song," Bannon has said of the band. "At this point in my life, it is of the utmost importance to use this art and music as the vehicle for a healthy purge of emotion. By design, even in something this intense, there is righteous intent to be a better human through the process of creating it."
RIYL Eluveitie, Primordial, Agalloch
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE The members of folk-metal sextet Sojourner may hail from far-flung corners of the globe — New Zealand, Sweden and Italy — but their new, third album, Premonitions, sounds anything but fractured and scattered. Sweeping, cinematic, simultaneously desolate and lush, the sextet's compositions garner extra depth from the contrasting coed vocals of Emilio Crespo and Chloe Bray, the latter of whom also plays guitar, tin whistle and piano.
QUOTE "Being an international band means we can't get together all the time and hang out and rehearse," Crespo says when asked what's the hardest challenge the band has faced. "Also, playing live is a bit more costly for us since we all fly from different countries and it can be difficult logistically, but we all love what we do and we make it work."