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 artists who, we think, are on the rise across several different genres. Spanning from U.K. industrialized hardcore (Leeched) to cinematic Aussie doom (Potion), here are five groups you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
RIYL: Godflesh, Eyehategod, Ministry
Originally an NYC duo that toiled at drum machine–driven industrial punk, Uniform have been reborn with their latest offering The Long Walk for free-thinking record label Sacred Bones. The inestimable Greg Fox (Liturgy) sat in to provide live percussion on the new record, adding in sampled drums as well notching up the brutality past 11, providing the perfect backdrop for Ben Greenberg's apocalyptic guitar tone and Michael Berdan's pained yelp. The record is part of a long-time vision for guitarist/main instrumentalist Greenberg. "Live drums with triggers has been part of the plan almost since we first started the band," he says. "We've always tried to challenge ourselves with different approaches to combining acoustic/human and electronic/synthetic sounds and textures. The relationship between the two is such a classic dynamic and fits into so many other debates within music that have been going on for a long time — analog vs. digital as another example. We embrace both, and I think the most interesting challenge is finding new ways for human and electronically derived sounds to coexist, become generative together, lead us in new creative directions."
RIYL: Grave, Bolt Thrower, Autopsy, Incantation
Originating from the wicked mind of Justin DeTore (Sumerlands, Mind Eraser, Mental, etc.), Innumerable Forms have exploded into a full-fledged supergroup with the addition of Jensen Ward (Iron Lung), Chris Ulsh (Power Trip, Impalers), Doug Cho (Rival Mob, Give) and Connor Donegan (Red Death, Genocide Pact). The result is Punishment in Flesh, the band's latest monstrous offering and an unrelenting, mechanized death-metal assault vehicle that crushes everything in its path. It wasn't an easy record to pull off considering the band members' various other endeavors. "The biggest challenge was scheduling so everyone could be in the same place at the same time," admits Detore. "Jensen's in Seattle, while Ulsh and Connor are on tour the majority of the year. But listen, those guys are serious, so they were able to make it work. Writing wasn't as much of a challenge. Granted, we worked hard on the songs, but both me and Jensen had a pretty clear vision of what we wanted ... The new material expands on that."
RIYL: Harm's Way, Cursed, Amenra, Rotten Sound
The chainsaw guitar tone of Leeched speaks volumes, far and away from the typical sound of their Manchester, U.K., locale (Oasis, Stone Roses, etc.). Not surprisingly, the trio cites non-hometown influences, including recent faves like Nails, Trap Them and Gaza. Leeched's forthcoming LP You Took The Sun When You Left is due via Prosthetic on August 24th, and while you think you may have the band's sound pegged based on their reference points, the album is far from a carbon copy of any of those gnarly hardcore bands, taking impressive left turns into doom, industrial and death metal. "The main challenge when creating the new record was creating the music that we were all happy with," professes frontman Laurie Morbey. "It took a while, but after slogging through various song structures, riffs and lyrics, we eventually reached the point where we were producing songs that we were all equally satisfied with — exploring new ideas such as adding samples and programmed elements."
RIYL: Turning Point, Quicksand, Fugazi
In the U.S. Army Field Manual, "MIL-SPEC" means a unit built to military specifications or substantially modified away from commercial use, making sure that all products maintain a certain sense of uniformity throughout — a sort of quality control. Ironically, then, the Toronto band Mil-Spec is far from uniform within the world of hardcore in 2018; from the opening bars of the Changes 7-inch, their urgency, fury and riffs set them apart from the sea of soundalikes catering to the flavor du jour. Sure, Mil-Spec's sound is rooted in classic hardcore influences, but the band also looks toward some less-apparent favorites like the Dischord roster with some of its riffing, making for a fascinating new approach. Their musical influences may be scattered, but Mil-Spec's goal is singular: "We wanted to make a record that people could see themselves in," says Mil-Spec's Matt LaForge. "The goal was to share ideas, feelings, and experiences that our kindred spirits — whoever and wherever they were — would recognize from their own minds."
RIYL: Electric Wizard, Bongzilla, Yob
Amongst the sludgy muck that birthed unbridled hate-mongers like Eyehategod lies Potion, an Australian trio that seemingly lives by the riff in a cloud of cannabis smoke. The Sydney-based psychedelic doom team employs the misanthropic discordance of Grief paired with the subtle melody of early Electric Wizard to create their own vibrating bongload of lysergic nightmares, as recently evidenced by their excellent Women of the Wand cassette. "The biggest takeaway for me about those bands was the epic and kind of cinematic quality to the songwriting," explains vocalist/guitarist Lee Jowono."That bare-bones approach of playing through a fuzz pedal and a cranked Marshall while still taking the listener on a journey."