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 an almost genreless vision straight outta NYHC (Show Me the Body) to particularly pummeling shoegaze (Elizabeth Colour Wheel), here are five artists you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
RIYL Turnstile, Against Me!, Sugar
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Vocalist Justice Tripp (Trapped Under Ice) and the rest of the Angel Du$t crew have seen the rapid rise of brothers-in-arms Turnstile (members of whom make up three-fifths of the band), and now it's Angel Du$t's time to shine. While the group's previous output re-envisioned power pop and pop punk through the lens of hardcore, the band's latest singles, "Big Ass Love" and "Take Away the Pain," indicate a wholly new direction — one that has us itching for the full-length follow-up to 2016's Rock the Fuck on Forever.
QUOTE "The main idea was different production on songs that feel like Angel Du$t," Tripp says of the new singles, "taking a song that we would write and stripping it of some of the expectations that come with playing punk. I think people have trouble categorizing Angel Du$t, and I hope that these tracks make it that much harder."
RIYL My Bloody Valentine, Swans, Mazzy Star, early PJ Harvey
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE With a shimmer and sheen blessed by deep spiritual understanding of the works of Kevin Shields, Elizabeth Colour Wheel add elements black metal, punk and slash-and-burn apocalypsisms via the school of M. Gira to create a modern version of shoegaze on their forthcoming LP, Nocebo. Their live show is something to behold and, impressively, the album manages to capture the same vital energy that exists in their onstage performances.
QUOTE "Above everything, Nocebo is an emotional and spiritual release for all of us, a culmination of us just trying to figure out what we are doing with this project. It is a statement of what this band will do," Lane Shi Otayonii says. "There's so much more out there that can influence music other than just other music that already exists; we often find ourselves feeling more inspired by things like a Kieślowski short film, the poetry of Adonis, a Ryoji Ikeda installation, even building a little synth to make some noise with, or crafting something physical. The ideas we bring to this band come from everything in our lives, whether be positive or negative, it's in our music."
RIYL Death Grips, Hammerhead, Jawbox
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE NYC's Show Me the Body throw all of their multifarious influences into a blender to create a modern (molotov) cocktail — elements of antisocial noise-rap (from Anti-Pop Consortium to Death Grips) are mashed up with AmRep-style noise rock and forward-thinking post-hardcore, with a banjo front and center, to create a something that feels familiar yet surprising at every turn. If you ask the trio, SMTB fancy themselves a NYHC band, but this is far from some Agnostic Front throwback — the band's kinship with the genre is in innovative, iconoclastic spirit, not sound.
QUOTE "Hardcore is an American folk tradition, certain phrases, rhythms and standards define it. New York hardcore is a specific chapter of its history," the band's Julian Cashwan Pratt says of SMTB's approach to NYHC. "In 2019 we aim to cross new lines while maintaining the New York Hardcore spirit. Community is of high importance. Our music is a tool to empower, create and strengthen community and family. It is the closest thing we have to possession."
RIYL Absu, Dissection, Morbid Angel
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE In 2019, fans have every reason to be turned off by the term "black metal" considering the hordes co-opting the term and creating music under its aegis of the most clichéd sort. Mere aggression often takes precedence over melody and actual songwriting. Ulthar, a Bay Area trio who deal in black metal infused with strains of death metal and more, aren't reinventing the wheel, but they are giving the underground a fresh take in a world filled with tired tropes and heard-it-all-before genre self-policing.
QUOTE Asked what fans can expect from the band's upcoming tour dates, Ulthar's Shelby Lermo waxes poetic: "Ulthar will present complete auditory/visual synesthesia," he says. "The eye in the leaf is watching out of our fingers. The ear in the stone is listening through our voices. The thought of the wave is thinking in our dreams. The faith of the seed is building with our deaths."
RIYL King Nine, Incendiary, Xibalba
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE 2019 is an exciting time for hardcore, with bands as varied as Turnstile, Incendiary and Mil-Spec reimagining the genre in new and exciting ways. Enter Texas-based Judiciary, who are doing their part to move the genre ahead. Imagine Merauder with a stronger Obituary influence, Power Trip with less Sodom nods, or Incendiary with clenched teeth, and you have a pretty good idea of their approach.
QUOTE Judiciary's Jake Collinson says the record label Closed Casket Activities was a natural choice for the band. "Closed Casket released a lot of the records that got us into hardcore and played a big roll in shaping our musical tastes," he explains. "Releases such as the Incendiary/Xibalba split 7-inch and Harm's Way Isolation had such a different vibe and sound than what we used to hearing at a younger age. When the opportunity came to work with the label, it really wasn't even a discussion. It is exactly where we want Judiciary to be."