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. From serrated death-doom to blistering thrashcore, here are five artists you'll want to get on now.
RIYL Hatebreed, Power Trip, Cro-Mags
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Don't let the resume fool you. While the band's guitarist, James Monteith, is best known for his shredding with U.K. prog-metal wizards TesseracT, Cage Fight are a roiling metallic hardcore band whose songs fall somewhere between the furious mosh anthems of Hatebreed and the flesh-ripping thrashcore bangers of Power Trip. Rounded out by vocalist Rachel Aspe (who first made headlines with a viral appearance on France's Got Talent), bassist Jon Reid, and drummer Nick Plews, the band formed in 2021 out of a need to express their pent-up political fury and revel in the primal force of bulky hardcore. Their upcoming debut is bound to blow some roofs.
QUOTE "We want to create a visceral sound that channels our frustrations, anger and confusion at today's status quo," Aspe says. Monteith adds, "For me, it was returning back to a style that I loved growing up: I love chunky riffs, bouncy grooves and the aggression of hardcore and thrash, and I've had the urge to do something like this for some time."
RIYL Carnifex, Cradle of Filth, Lorna Shore
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Black metal is having a real moment in deathcore right now, and Worm Shepherd are one of the genre's leading fusionists. On their pair of beautifully decimating albums, 2021's In the Wake Ov Sòl and 2022's Ritual Hymns, the band — fronted by the vocally acrobatic Devin Duarte — drape their blast beats and breakdowns with elegantly mournful strings that evoke the evil theatricality of symphonic corpse-paint enthusiasts like Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir.
QUOTE "[Deathcore and black metal] are the darkest things to explore musically, in my opinion," Duarte says. "To add destructive breakdowns to a song with beautiful melodies and riffs that feel like you're burning makes for a gorgeous, complete package." Borrowing its theme from the video game Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Ritual Hymns was all about venturing into the expanse. "The focal point was guitar and orchestration," the singer explains. "How epic can these songs feel and how can we make the darkest atmospheres come to life?"
RIYL Snapcase, Turnstile, Higher Power
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Although they formed in South Carolina, a majority of Excide's members now reside throughout the Northern East Coast, which plays as a nice geographical analog to the band's wide-ranging sound. Drawing equally from the metallic bounce of Snapcase and the highly melodic shouts of Quicksand, the band's songs are constantly shape-shifting, but never in a way that feels frivolous. The dueling guitars are as athletic as the melodies are catchy. Stage-divers and moshers are both welcome.
QUOTE "Pushing the weirdo hardcore agenda," is how vocalist Tyler Washington describes Excide's creative goal. "Allowing ourselves, and hopefully inspiring others, to explore less common avenues of songwriting." On their forthcoming debut LP, out later this year via New Morality Zine, that means embracing out-of-genre influences and "lots of phaser" effects. "I never saw us as a 'pedal band' before all of this, but there are sections in songs where we would obsess over achieving the right 'textures,'" Washington says. "I also was on a huge emo kick around the time we wrote and recorded so I think a good bit of that influenced some of the mix, vocal and tonal decisions/themes."
RIYL Cult of Luna, Bolt Thrower, Amenra
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Konvent's music sounds like it could leave a crater in the earth if it were played through the right speakers. The Copenhagen quartet formed in 2015 around a shared affinity for bands like Candlemass, Cult of Luna and Nails, but the trudging death-doom of their 2020 debut, Puritan Masochism, and its even better 2022 follow-up, Call Down the Sun, is wholly their own. While low and slow is definitely their preferred tone and tempo, vocalist Rikke is explicitly inspired by Cattle Decapitation's subterranean bellower Travis Ryan, and the riffs have a serrated texture that adds a death-metal slice to their doom-metal smother.
QUOTE "It might not sound like it, but we hope that other people find peace in our music," guitarist Sara says. "On Call Down the Sun, the lyrics are mainly about the eternal hunt for happiness and the repetition of destructive patterns ... We feel like the sun is a really strong force that both gives life and can take it away, and you can aim for something really high and never get there and then at some point decide to stop aiming, but just call down the sun to yourself instead."
RIYL Ghostemane, Mayhem, Three 6 Mafia
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Sellasouls' earthly home is in Soundcloud's demonic underworld, but the self-proclaimed "vessel" to various deities has no tactile bind with our terrestrial realm. They sing in rhythmic hisses — like a possessed horror movie ghoul, but immune to exorcisms — over ghastly beats dressed in synths that bleat, tingle and murmur in tongues. They're inspired by everything from the glowing metalcore of Bring Me the Horizon and the soot-covered black metal of Mayhem, to the numb thud of emo-rap and the gothic thwomp of trap-metal, but the six full-length projects they've cast into existence over the last year shimmer with the eerie allure of a haunted mirror. You've never heard anything like it.
QUOTE Here's how Sellasouls (A.K.A. the one and only #HISSGOD) describes the sounds emanating from their "vesseled ears": "Imagine a three-headed demon with one head a serpent, one as a goat and another as a wolf, all in one sequence, roaring, engulfed in black flame destroying planets as a shadow ghoul, and someone managed to record it and put it on the internet — and the sounds make it feel like your computer is physically leaking black sludge." Yep, that's exactly it.