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 grass-passin' doom to gleeful straight-edge hardcore, here are five artists you'll want to get on now.
RIYL Righteous Jams, Mental, early Angel Du$t
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Anklebiter harken back to a different era of hardcore without sounding like by-the-numbers pastiche. The Northeast band formed on a whim earlier this year to carry the torch for the now-defunct straight-edge crew Result of Choice, and while their 2022 demo brings to mind the sound of early 2000s Boston hardcore with classic NYHC song structures, the bright production, playful percussion and overall catchiness shows Anklebiter have a raw talent for busting out likable bangers.
QUOTE "The goal was not to release a flawless demo, it was to release something to jump around to," says vocalist Rachael. "Hell, my voice cracks in it, like, five times." "We just wanted to write a demo for a band that could've played Posi Numbers Fest back in the day and would've had people slamming and acting stupid," adds drummer Nick. "A lot of people take hardcore so seriously," explains guitarist Evan. "And I think there's a time and a place for that, but this band is sonically referencing an era of hardcore where things weren't that way."
RIYL Electric Wizard, High on Fire, Baroness
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Telekinetic Yeti make doom metal with the gleeful unpretentiousness of a stoner gazing behind the glass of a fine dispensary. The Iowa two-piece's new album, Primordial, has a song called "Ancient Nug" for fuck's sake, and what makes their music stand out so much in a crowded field is that the fuzzy textures, girthy riffs and mountain-man vocals are all top-notch, but there's also a levity to their approach — a genuine fun-ness to their energy — that avoids the couch-locked pitfalls of so many good yet boring doom bands.
QUOTE "I was pretty much stoned off my ass while writing all the songs," guitarist-vocalist Alex Baumann says of Primordial's creative process. "I hope this album is a breath of fresh air to heavy-music lovers, I hope it makes people's ears perk up, whether that be a new sound they didn't expect, a weird timing they didn't expect, or just something that gives them that sweet blast of dopamine we are all searching for."
RIYL Nails, Fuming Mouth, Insect Warfare
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE While many of their peers are connecting heavy hardcore with death metal, Killing Pace are snapping together metallic mosh-punk with grindcore. The self-titled debut from the Richmond, Virginia, newcomers is as sonically weighty and brutal as any modern beatdown band, but the craftsmanship of their riffs and the precise dynamic maneuvers — knowing exactly when to cut the blazing tempo and treat the listener to a gnarsty groove — elevates them to a higher plane of songwriters.
QUOTE "We didn't really have a set vision," the band say of the project. "All we knew is we wanted to write a record that we wanted to hear — extreme, aggressive songs with absolutely no filler and no breaks for the listener." Insect Warfare, Magrudergrind and Napalm Death are among their influences, and here's their message to the hardcore kids who come to their shows. "Our music is fast. Stand up front at shows and move to the fast parts."
RIYL Nine Inch Nails, Sonic Youth, EMA
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Just Mustard's new album, Heart Under, shakes up the pieces of late 20th century dark rock until they sound fresh again. The clattering chasm of "I Am You" and the pulsating thump of "Seed" are industrial as hell, while the taut post-punk of "Mirrors" and the smoky jitters of "23" are smeared with screechy guitar warbles that shape the reverse-reverb gooiness of My Bloody Valentine into darker, spookier forms. The Irish quintet are noise-rock practitioners with a goth sense of heartache.
QUOTE "We started by just writing songs and treating each song as it's own thing and focusing on that," the band say of Heart Under. "And then when we had enough songs the album started revealing itself to us and we were able to start realizing some themes. The main theme was water — lyrically, there were themes of loss, disassociation and regret."
RIYL Dying Fetus, Xibalba, Internal Bleeding
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Not only are they called Sentenced 2 Die, but their music sounds like it would ring through the halls of a medieval dungeon while cursed souls await the gallows treatment. The Minneapolis band's 2022 promo has a clear hardcore influence in the chug parts, but the hellishly gurgling vocals are old-school death metal to a tee, and the atmosphere of the riffs and production will definitely speak to the sensibilities of people rocking Cannibal Corpse shirts. God's Hate fans are welcome, too.
QUOTE "We want to play death metal that is easy for any fan of metal or hardcore to appreciate," the band tells us. "We try to draw influences from more old school death metal and thrash/crossover, while giving it a modern, heavy twist that makes kids at shows want to dance. To stand out we want to write straight to the point songs that are catchy and easy to mosh to yet packed with riffs."