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 melodic post-hardcore (Drug Church) to technical-death wizardry (Horrendous), here are five groups you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
Initiate is a SoCal-based hardcore team that dips its toes into late-Eighties/early-Nineties hardcore-isms, showing a love for Turning Point, Damnation A.D. and several others while shying away from the Victory Records material that was making the biggest waves during that era (Earth Crisis, Snapcase, etc). The result of Initiate's approach can be heard on a furious and taught teaser for the forthcoming Before Long… LP and at their thoroughly entertaining live shows. With the latter, the band has the ability to move hearts and minds, it's just a question of where they want to land. "We have a nine song LP Before Long... fully mixed and mastered, just trying to figure out what path we want to take with its release," the band explained. Wherever that is, consider that home blessed.
2018 has meant an onslaught of bands that play in the Stockholm/Incantation/Dead Congregation wading pool, but Horrendous is not one of them. Though the band has experimented with some of those sounds in the past, their latest effort Idol is firmly rooted in the Coroner/Voivod/Death corner of curiosity, experimentalism and riffs. "The creation of Idol was an overwhelming endeavor," confesses frontman Matthew Knox. "We put a lot of blood and sweat into making each album, but this experience was unlike any before. We spent about two years writing and recording the record, and the process put a lot of strain on the band itself and our personal lives, but we couldn't be happier with the final product ... We are always challenging our ideas of what is possible and allowing our sound to naturally develop in the context of our ever-expanding interests and abilities."
Usually it's names like Metallica or Slipknot or Cannibal Corpse, but in the case of Candy, the answer was the Stone Roses. That's correct, in a forthcoming interview with Revolver, the Richmond-based hardcore team (featuring members of Backtrack, Malfunction and more) named the Madchester favorites as their most ideal touring partner. And while the influence of Ian Brown and the rest of the Roses cannot be overstated, Candy's efforts bare little resemblance to the crew, instead calling upon nihilistic punk and hardcore as its jumping-off point. Due later this year, Candy's debut LP for Triple B aims for a redefinition of the genre, something that the band feels is long overdue within the scene. "There's still a lot of people stuck in old ways of doing things that could benefit from pushing boundaries," says singer Zak Quiram. "We like to focus on things that inspire us."
If you hadn't noticed, pretty much the world identifies as hardcore in 2018 — there are so many smaller musical strains that are totally unrelated seeing their way into the genre. For instance, take Drug Church, a post-hardcore facing band that dials in elements of Archers of Loaf, Superchunk, Polvo and more with their punk-leaning tendencies to create a hybrid all their own. On their latest single "Avoidarama," the band channels Girls Against Boys to create a slithering, noisy post-punk ripper while vocalist Patrick Kindlon cooly croons like a hardcore Nick Cave or Peter Murphy. And while the new LP is a step ahead in terms of stronger songwriting and cohesive creative direction, the group writes off the changes with the cynicism and humor that we'd expect from a hard-working band. "We spent more money. That gave us more time," says drummer Chris Villaneuve. "More opportunity to argue and watch YouTube videos of bands we don't like. More chances to act out scenes from Some Kind of Monster. And that's how an Album of the Year is made."
Upon Andrew Elstner's exit from Torche, the guitarist/vocalist decided to do something a bit out of the ordinary in his quest for a new creative outlet: absorb an entire band. Luckily Atlanta's Days Old Man was up to the challenge. After catching the two-piece doom juggernaut at a local bar, Elstner' reaction was sudden and definitive: "[They] absolutely smoked me and from that moment, I was determined to play with them." So became Dead Now, a three-piece riff-heavy act that is as concerned with power-pop as it is with woofer-quaking guitars — a chemistry that has worked well for Elstner in past endeavors. And with a new LP due in September via Brutal Panda, you can expect to hear (and see) more from this sugar-y doom machine in the coming months. "The plan is to get out on the road as much as we can, shamelessly ping those connections. We're already writing for the next one, so the future looks mighty."