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 mutant deathcore to steely synth-rock, here are five artists you'll want to get on now.
RIYL Turnstile, No Warning, End It
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE It'd be a genuine challenge to find someone who likes present-day hardcore but can't get down with what Buggin are doing. The Chicago band play an utterly addictive style of rompy, groovy, flip-off-the-stage-and-swing-your-fist music that channels Step 2 Rhythm-era Turnstile; snarling vocals, chunky guitars, but still super duper fun. Their live shows are a riot, and their debut LP is due out this year on Flatspot Records. Get acquainted now.
QUOTE "It changes song to song, but we try to keep it more lighthearted than anything," the band say of their lyrical subject matter. Their still-unannounced album is under wraps for now, but here's what fans should expect: "It's basically just an elevated version of what we've always done. We re-recorded a couple of our demo tracks and it sounds and feels like a natural progression of the band."
RIYL Nine Inch Nails, Sisters of Mercy, Ministry
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE For their debut album's latex-strapped first single, "Pray," VOSH said they wanted to make "something to dance or fuck to," so that's the vibe you're getting from this four-piece of D.C.-area scenesters. Vessel (out March 3rd) is a bewitching assortment of industrialized morsels, some wielding NIN/Ministry-style metallic propulsion and others melting into an alluring fainting couch of seductive, syrupy synthy-ness. Something that goth lifers and goat-worshipping heshers can mutually adore.
QUOTE "A very important aspect of the band's identity for us is intensity," says vocalist Josephine Olivia. "We wanted the live performance to be an experience, not just plugging in and playing, but being more intentional and making a real connection to the audience. I think each of us have been in bands that sort of just show up, play the gig and leave. Which is fine and sometimes that's all you need. This feels much more involved, there are more theatrics and it feels very special to us."
Gates to Hell
RIYL Jesus Piece, Year of the Knife, Dying Fetus
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE There's something in the Louisville, Kentucky, water that's making every hardcore band from that region go breakdown-crazy. First, Knocked Loose, and now Gates to Hell, who're newly signed to new-gen death-metal powerhouse Maggot Stomp Records — a perfect fit for their spiked-bat sound that splits the difference between floor-stomping metalcore and chug-addled death metal. Armed with three guitarists and endless mosh parts, their live shows are a kick boxer's delight.
QUOTE "We are a couple of songs into our next release," vocalist Ryan Storey enthuses. "The tracks are insane. It's got more death-metal influence without holding back any of our hardcore influence. It's faster, heavier, groovier, but just as moshable as anything else we've written. I don't think we're changing our style in any way, I just think we're honing our craft."
RIYL Sworn In, Knocked Loose, Meshuggah
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Even though they've only released two songs, it's clear that Gut Fauna are onto something special (and also have the most disgustingly awesome band name in recent memory). The Texas group's sound blends the brees and breakdowns of old-school deathcore with a Knocked Loose production style, throwing in a few skronky, proggy guitar noises for good measure. Having played in slamming deathcore bands before this, these guys know how to write shit that makes you want to throw someone through a window.
QUOTE "Gut Fauna was started at the beginning of the pandemic as a way to approach heavy caveman music with a nod to more sophisticated, progressive elements," says drummer Mitch. "I had been sitting on this name since 2018 after reading a bunch about gut health and the micro-biomes that inhabit our intestines keeping us healthy," he adds. "In a way, 'Gut Fauna' can refer to the anxieties and nervousness that torments the average human, like deadly butterflies in your stomach."
RIYL Motörhead, Siouxie and the Banshees, Wipers
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Poison Ruin's dungeon-dwelling post-punk evokes the swift chop of a scythe's blade decapitating a medieval lord. After a couple buzzy underground releases, the Philadelphia solo-project-turned-quartet are readying their brilliant Relapse Records debut, Harvest, 11 songs of dank, peasant-revolt fervor played with a blunt-force crustiness that's in the family of hardcore without losing itself to full-throttle aggression. Snarling, rockin' and raggedly hooky, Poison Ruin are here to rescue post-punk from a fate of stodgy retromania.
QUOTE "The medieval symbolism/allegories that are strung through Poison Ruin's lyrics and imagery are meant to highlight brutality, toil and desperation in daily life," says frontman and founder Mac Kennedy. "People associate these things with a bygone 'dark age,' but not much has fundamentally changed. It just looks a bit different. I think the vast majority of people today can relate to the 'peasant' perspective due to massive wealth and power disparity in contemporary society."