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 a band redefining post-punk and death rock for 2019 (Temple of Angels) to particularly furious Icelandic post-hardcore crew (Une Misère), here are five artists you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
RIYL Watain, Weakling, Dispirit
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Uada hails from the Pacific Northwest, home of bands like Wolves in the Throne Room and Fell Voices, who have expanded on the world created by USBM godfathers Weakling. Much like those groups in their peak, this Portland-based shadow collective is worthy of adjectives as like "epic," "venomous" and "unrelenting," but more importantly also "refreshing" and "dramatic."
QUOTE: "The Pacific Northwest is a really unique place with an almost distinctive sound that is harnessed from its landscapes and weather patterns," explains vocalist-guitarist Jake Superchi. "From vast sections of unexplored wilderness to the majestic Cascade mountain ranges, cloaked in overcast while soaked in rains coming off the jagged coastlines. It is progressive as it is wild, dark as it is beautiful, and uplifting as it is depressing. These are the elements that craft the sound in a lot of bands in this region. I believe the solidarity of our nature can help us understand more about ourselves and open our minds to the old ways of thinking, before times of mental slavery and the rat race society quickly casts us into. Our kind were never meant to fit in, and those who continued to travel west did so for the sake of adventure, expansion and freedom. Exceeding boundaries is something music in the Pacific Northwest has done for a long time and will most likely continue to do. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all become our surroundings. Luckily for us, we enjoy our atmosphere and the knowledge, as well as presence it provides."
RIYL Botch, Disembodied, Code Orange
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Since its early days, metalcore has evolved rapidly and diversely, becoming both more simplistic and commercial in some cases and way more complex and challenging in others. U.K. rising stars Employed to Serve, fronted by the charismatic Justine Jones, cleverly manage to carve out a striking middle ground, pulling in the best of both sides of the equation and tapping into a vault of wide-ranging influences, from Slipknot to Nile.
QUOTE "When we first started out we were hugely inspired by bands like Svalbard, Pariso, Palm Reader and We Never Learned to Live, who were also fresh and starting to make their mark on the U.K. scene," guitarist Sammy Urwin says. "Seeing these bands out there pushing their music by touring all over motivated us to want to do the same. We started playing together and formed a really tight-knit scene, helping each other out by putting on shows or just housing each other whilst passing through on tour. Over the years this has only gone from strength to strength with bands emerging like Conjurer, Pijn, Ithaca, Loathe, Ohhms and Venom Prison just to name a few. The best thing about the U.K. scene for me is that there's loads of exciting bands around at the moment, but none of them sound the same, everyone's got their own thing going on. This keeps shows more interesting. Instead of having carbon copy after carbon copy, there's something different to watch."
RIYL Joy Division, Total Control, Boy Harsher
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Temple of Angels take the post-punk aesthetic and shakes its foundations, adding the soaring vocals of Bre Morell to turn that frown (almost) upside down. Sure, the main jumping off points for TOA are the relatively obvious influences of Joy Division, the Cure and death rock, but the Austin band elevates its sound and vision way past the sum of its parts.
QUOTE "The smaller size of Austin allows people to regularly see each other and helps build relationships that a bigger city might not be able to do," enthuses bassist-guitarist Cole Tucker of Temple of Angels' hometown. "Austin is also in the middle of a very conservative state and attracts like-minded artistic people looking for a release and musical opportunities. The musical nature of the town creates a setting that actively helps hosts artists and allows them to perform regularly."
RIYL Vein, Converge, the Black Dahlia Murder
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE If the primary motivation behind the creation of metalcore was to fuse the blunt-force brutality of hardcore with the technical prowess and darkness of metal, then Vatican are pursuing the style along a path that stays very true to that original intent. Deft and devastating, the Savannah, Georgia-based band is a melting pot of metalcore influences, and one that could only exist in the now.
QUOTE: "It's hard for us all to agree on one band that really guides us stylistically, but I think we can all agree that the mentality a band like Gojira carries is something we all take notice of," proclaims guitarist Tom Lovejoy. "[They are] a band that's hyper focused on one direction, but still makes zero artistic compromise and doesn't play any games to win people over."
RIYL Trap Them, the Hope Conspiracy, Amenra, Craft
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Like Neurosis, Amenra and their ilk, Iceland's Une Misère sit on the windswept borderlands between hardcore and darker, more cataclysmic experimental metal. It's beguiling territory, where the alchemical six-piece meticulously mixes the vein-bulging fury of Trap Them and HopeCon with the nihilism and hate of Craft and Dismember, occasionally stirring in strains of EDM and ambient music, as well.
QUOTE: "Our craziest show would have to be our third and secret show at Roadburn," says vocalist Jón Már, referring to the pioneering European festival. "As it was announced the same day that we were supposed to be playing, we didn't quite believe that there would be such a good turnout but at a venue that had the capacity of a hundred people — it felt as if there were a thousand people there. The air had become thick with sweat and anticipation as we stepped onstage, and from there on, everything went better than we could have ever planned. The crowd was so up for it, as were we. There was a guy there that had broken his rib during our first show there, but that didn't stop him. He was there, in the pit, ready for pain. The show ended in a crowd surf from both me and our drummer. We felt as if the small bar venue, Cul De Sac, had become a stadium hall in that night."