5 artists you need to know: January 2023 | Revolver

5 artists you need to know: January 2023

From lush black metal to bulldozing metallic hardcore
Trauma Bond press photo 1600x900, Trauma Bond
Trauma Bond
photo courtesy of Trauma Bond

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 lush black-metal to bulldozing metallic hardcore, here are five artists you'll want to get on now. 

Blackbraid band portrait 2022 press UNCROPPED , Wolf Mountain Productions
photograph by Wolf Mountain Productions


RIYL Wolves in the Throne Room, Agalloch, Uada
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Blackbraid's 2022 debut, Blackbraid I, was fully recorded in a friend's bedroom, but you'd never guess that while listening. The one-man black-metal project of indigenous musician Sgah'gahsowáh teems with color, beauty and emotion, deftly channeling the robust wonder of the Adirondack wilderness into majestic black-metal songs that barrel forward like a bird of prey grazing the treetops in pursuit of a meal. The production is exquisite, the added flutes and rattles flesh out the dynamic interludes, but the intensity never falters.
QUOTE "I have a very intimate connection with the mountains I live in, and for the most part Blackbraid I is my attempt to share that connection with the rest of the world," Sgah'gahsowáh says. "Of course, the songs are complicated and some of them go deeper than [that], but for the most part, I really just wanted to make a record that spoke to people and also kind of gave them a bit of insight into my relationship with nature and the way I see the world."

Trauma Bond press UNCROPPED
Trauma Bond

Trauma Bond

RIYL Converge, Pig Destroyer, Botch
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Trauma Bond's music sounds more like an exercise in catharsis than an intentional set of genre box-checkings. Sure, you can hear the quintessential tenets of grindcore and late-Nineties metalcore in their spit-hocking 2022 LP, Winter's Light, but the duo of vocalist Eloise Chong-Gargette and multi-instrumentalist Tom Mitchell — who met at a photoshoot, the former a model and the latter a photographer — don't appeal to conventions. Their photos look like ritzy fashion ads but their music is caustic and primal, like they're yanking out their innards in an attempt cleanse their souls.
QUOTE "We want it to be violent — but cathartic violent. Not 'I'm gonna fuck you up' or a fetishizing gore kind of violent," Mitchell says. "So long as it feels mildly like a panic attack, I'm happy," adds Chong-Gargette. "Eloise being a chosen subject for visual aesthetics somehow makes people derive a juxtaposition that is ultimately quite curious," Mitchell says of the band's mystique. "There's no real mystifying correlation between the two, but admittedly it can work in our favor because that curiosity brings attention."

Rabbit 2023 portrait UNCROPPED


RIYL Gulch, Integrity, Candy
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Rabbit's debut EP, Halo of Flies, is the kind of music that leaves welts all over your body. The New York five-piece play hardcore that's metallic but doesn't rely on breakdowns, instead walloping with scabrous riffs that feel like getting pushed up against a moldy concrete wall in a basement mosh scrum. Live, they're even more intense, summoning an unrelenting torrent of noise through extraordinarily loud guitars, madman vocals and drums that knock the wind out of you with every thud.
QUOTE "We'd like the emotional, vulnerable, and experimental qualities of it to stick out more than anything," the band say of their sonic approach. "We love caveman riffs but at the end of the day none of us are tough guys." As for their next batch of music, expect even more brute strength: "Heavier, more metallic in some ways, but still with a healthy dose of hardcore and punk influence."

Mspaint 2023 press UNCROPPED , Libby Zanders
photograph by Libby Zanders


RIYL The Armed, Militarie Gun, Suicide
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Take the reference points above with a grain of salt; MSPAINT are a band who defy easy categorization among their peers and predecessors. The Missisippi quartet have no guitarist in their ranks, but their music very much channels hardcore's ferocity and economical structure. Fat synth thwomps fill out the body of their sound, while vocalist DeeDee yelps above the pulsating rhythms with an irregular, post-punky snarl. Their debut LP, Post American, was recorded at The Pit studio where Nails and God's Hate have tracked material, but MSPAINT sound nothing like those bands. Just listen to the damn song below.
QUOTE "The album title is an attempt to portray that American art and its influence oftentimes perpetuates emulation and a recycling of ideas that are sort of fixed in position as identifiers for what is considered 'good,'" DeeDee explains. "We definitely challenged ourselves as musicians to create something that doesn't align with just musical influences, and challenges us emotionally and artistically."

Adrienne live 1600x900


RIYL Poison the Well, Earth Crisis, Undying
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Adrienne's band name is borrowed from the Underoath song, "A Message for Adrienne," and their sound splits the difference between the stylish chugs of the 2000s metalcore scene and the heavier sounds that defined turn-of-the-century metallic hardcore. Already dubbed a must-see live act by peers in the Massachusets underground, their 2021 EP is some of the best lowercase "m" metalcore of the nascent revival, and the mosh charge they contributed to last year's One Scene Unity compilation is their best song yet. By this time next year, their name should be everywhere.
QUOTE "We have an EP we're currently finishing up in the studio," the band say of what's next. "In comparison to our self-titled, this one is heavier, more dynamic and features more guitar interplay. The songs are a bit longer as well with two tracks hitting the five-minute mark."