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 a spanking new band creating muscular hardcore with melodic vocals (Mutually Assured Destruction) to a post-metal juggernaut on the rise (Sunrot), here are five artists you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
RIYL Neurosis, Amenra, Swans
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Slow and steady wins the race, and these Garden State sludge killers are just now creeping into the lead of the post-metal pack. On the precipice of writing their new album, Sunrot is poised for bigger and nastier things.
QUOTE "Meaner and leaner," responds guitarist Rob Gonzalez when asked what can be expected from the band's new LP, just days before heading into the studio. "It's definitely different from our previous releases, especially with the addition of our fifth member [Alex, drums]. There was a lot more writing on everyone's end so there's a lot of perspective in these songs. We still keep the atmosphere that we've had on our previous album and songs before, but with a heavier, knock-in-the-teeth attitude with harsher noise and guttural riffs. I'm excited to share and play these songs. The burning space station has landed."
RIYL Only Living Witness, Life of Agony, Exhorder
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Clean vocals are a really tricky thing in extreme music — when executed poorly, it can dull the edge of a hard-hitting composition. Featuring members of Break Away, Fire & Ice and more, M.A.D. have nailed the correct formula of metallic riffs, hardcore groove and muscular, melodic vocals across their first demo released only a few short days ago (July 12th, to be exact).
QUOTE "The DIY aspect of hardcore has been integral to the creation of M.A.D ...," vocalist Ace Stallings says. "The DIY ethos within hardcore has taught us not wait around for offers and to take exactly what we want when we want it. The band started writing in April, recorded in May/June, released our material this month, and our first show, as I'm writing this, is tomorrow at the This Is Hardcore pre-show in Philadelphia. We have a handful of shows booked for Fall of 2019 as well — a couple of which were put together in part to start playing live as quickly as possible. All of this to me is an exhibition of the power of 'doing it yourself' and what you can make happen when you believe in your own talent and ability."
RIYL Bastard, Warthog, Extreme Noise Terror
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Nosebleed take the speed and brutality of Japanese hardcore of yesteryear — bands like Bastard, Lip Cream and the Burning Spirits — and mingle it with razor-shredded vocals to produce something in world of Extreme Noise Terror but with a modern hardcore leaning. It's gnarly, unrelenting and totally badass.
QUOTE "A few years after I moved to Richmond, I met Zach Monahan [Enforced], who had just moved to town from Northern Virginia," vocalist Valentina Lopez recalls about the genesis of the band. "I half-jokingly said I wanted to start a band, and he hit me up on Twitter and told me we should do it. He wrote some guitar parts for it. Soon after that at a mutual friend's house party, I was sitting on the back porch drinking beer with Ian Mills and Marcus Tisdale. We talked about how it would be cool to be in a band that sounded like Motörhead." The resulting group, Nosebleed, now has a very different lineup — Lopez, guitarist David Jaycox, bassist Connor McCormick and drummer Isaac Hullinger — but their core inspirations haven't changed much. "I'd say our influences are Japanese hardcore, UK82, NYHC," says the singer. "More specifically, bands like Bastard, Death Side, Madball, Cro-Mags, Discharge and Motörhead."
RIYL Midnight, Venom, Celtic Frost
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Recorded by Carson Cox (of indie faves Merchandise), Witchtrial is pedal-to-the-floor classic heavy metal and heaping doses of punk attitude. Featuring members of Genocide Pact, Warthog, Red Death, DOC and more, this is a band built for speed and nihilism, and their latest long-player for Beach Impediment Records is nothing less than a fist-raising, beer-soaked collection of truly ripping riffs and killer songwriting.
QUOTE "Having a punk background influences everything Witchtrial does," explains drummer Connor Donegan (also of Genocide Pact, Red Death and others). "We try to bring the urgency and dirtiness of punk to metal in the same way that Celtic Frost, Bathory and early Slayer did. Power over technicality. "
RIYL Negative Approach, Infest, Gauze
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Featuring members of Municipal Waste, Suppression and Devoid of Faith, this Richmond-based quartet conjures ultra-pissed hardcore at impossible velocity. With a much loved demo and now a forthcoming 7-inch due on Iron Lung, Under Attack write the sort of pint-sized punk epics to keep you heading back to the well over and over.
QUOTE "Under Attack was formed out of four old Richmond, Virginia, friends who found the need to play punishingly brutal hardcore-punk and get back to the DIY roots from which they all came," enthuses guitarist Mark Telfian. "Like Voltron, their individual parts are for the greater good of the unit. The idea came from Dave Witte, who connected with [me] one day while I was eating at Dave's food truck, Go Go Vegan Go. [We] both talked about a mutual desire to play music as aggressive as Negative Approach with some faster elements like Capitalist Casualties. Soon after the planning and some of the writing materialized, Witte contacted Alex Copeland, vocals, and Jason Hodges, bass. The lineup was secured in early 2019!"