Here at Revolver, we pride ourselves in living on the cutting edge of heavy music, from metal and hardcore to industrial and hip-hop, 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. From rippin' thrashcore to "the Ja Morant of shoegaze," here are five artists you'll want to get on now.
RIYL Darkthrone, Bathory, Amebix
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Marthe is so much more than your average bedroom black-metal project. The one-woman band of Italian multi-instrumentalist Marzia was forged in 2018 after Marzia did more than two decades in various blackened crust bands and felt the need to branch out on her own. While she "worships Bathory" and considers the grimy fury of primitive black-metal her muse, Marthe's nasty, dirgy sound is imbued with occasional flecks of melody and a crusty, galloping urgency that sets her apart from anyone else. Southern Lord was smart enough to sign her, so now it's your duty to know her.
QUOTE "I'd love to deliver obscure music with the vibe of the black magic of the early years, when demos were recorded in humid basements, with poor means, in gloomy environments," Marzia says. As for what makes her approach distinct. "When I sing, sometimes I pretend it's a witch. The female universe is very variegated in terms of archetypes. For this reason, being a woman that worships Bathory and plays metal, my style got the moniker of 'Valkyrian Metal.'"
RIYL Gatecreeper, Power Trip, Municipal Waste
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Fugitive are a new band featuring Power Trip guitarist Blake Ibanez and members of Creeping Death and Skourge. Familiar faces, but a sound that stands separate from their other projects on their debut EP, Maniac. The vocals are swampy death metal goodness à la Obituary's John Tardy, but the riffs — of which each song is chock full of — take a more classic thrash route with just a dash of hardcore swing thrown in there. It's heavy, it's nasty, it's moshable, but their delivery favors unbuckled fun-ness over arms-crossed elitism.
QUOTE "I wanted to take what I've done over the years with Power Trip but grease it up a little and have it be more 'in your face,'" Ibanez says. "Basically merge it with the spirit of the rock n roll stuff I love, plus a dose of sleazy classic speed/thrash metal, the pure early stuff. Biggest influences were probably the Beatles, Celtic Frost, AC/DC, Celsius energy drink, KISS' Ace Frehley LP and In-N-Out Burger."
RIYL Ceremony, Negative Approach, Scowl
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Coming out the Bay Area's smokin' hot hardcore scene, Spy's trio of EP's and ferocious live shows have positioned them at the crest of the post-lockdown hype wave. While not channeling any one band in particular, their sound is stompy like the early Boston hardcore legends and as mean as your favorite NYHC tough guys, but heavy enough to hang on a bill with today's metallic miscreants. Their debut LP is on the way, but right now you can down their whole catalog in about 20 minutes. Get goin'.
QUOTE "One thing we all love regardless of genre or style is a great live band, and that's what we strive to be," says frontman Peter Pawlak. "It really is about bringing as much intensity, energy and emotion as we can, while playing the tracks with as much confidence and charisma as we can bring in a live setting. As a vocalist, I like to jump into the crowd, give people the mic, prioritize the experience of those most engaged with us."
RIYL Nothing, Deftones, Smashing Pumpkins
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Cold Gawd playfully call themselves "the Ja Morant of shoegaze," referring to the basketball star who went from unknown college player to 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year in short time. It's not entirely off-base. The Cali group are endorsed by Deftones and on track to drop one of the year's most interesting shoegaze records, with a sound that blurs the heady euphoria of My Bloody Valentine and Astrobrite with the heavy sensibilities of modern influences like Nothing and Cloakroom. They might be spearheading the next wave.
QUOTE "I truly believe the last time this genre had a reshaping was when Nothing and Whirr came out," says bandleader Matthew Wainwright. "That was 10 years ago and being around for that inspired me so heavily that now I want to accomplish what they did and push boundaries in whatever way I can." His vision for God Get Me The Fuck Out Of Here was to "make a piece of art that could hang in a museum like the Art Institute in Chicago," Wainwright enthuses. "I made sure the cover was museum worthy, I made sure the song titles were museum worthy, I made sure the leads were museum worthy. I want every piece [...] to be hung right next to a John Baldessari piece, real talk."
RIYL Strife, Outspoken, Unbroken
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE So many hardcore bands these days are drawing from death metal, and while many of those groups utterly rip, Broken Vow's slightly more melodic style of moshy hardcore feels like a breath of fresh air. The New England band tap into the sound of early Nineties New Age Records bands like the ones listed above, but with a slightly more metallic bite to the leads that brings to mind All Out War and Earth Crisis — especially the latter in relation to frontman Tommy Harte's anti-capitalist lyrical conviction.
QUOTE "Catharsis is important to Broken Vow," Harte says. "Most of our songs center around frustration, injustice, and conflict in a very visceral way. If we can affect one person on a personal level with our output, it's been a success ... Sonically, Broken Vow explores a very specific subset of hardcore that is near and dear to all of our hearts and allows us to flex that muscle in a way that we don't really get to in any of our other bands, allowing us to stay connected to a certain passion."