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. From a supergroup of doomheads playing lightning-speed punk (Septic Tank) to Quicksandian post-hardcore at it's finest (Fiddlehead), here are five bands you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
Ten seconds into "Trust" and you know that Take Offense is Californian, through and through. The Chula Vista-based band's thrashy approach to hardcore brings to mind West Coast favorites from Cryptic Slaughter to Excel to Suicidal Tendencies, a rare set of influences in a world heavy on Cro-Mags/Agnostic Front soundalikes. For the group, its new EP on Flatspot is a triumphant return; Tensions on High marks the end of a slow period in Take Offense's history during which the band "took a back seat to the personal lives of the individual members," explains bassist Randy Noyes. "But it also marks the beginning of a new chapter that we are all very excited for."
Featuring members of Basement and Have Heart, Fiddlehead capture the elusive urgency and fury found in Nineties post-hardcore bands such as Seaweed, Quicksand and Jawbox. The group's debut LP, Springtime and Blind, due in mid April via Lockin Out/Run for Cover, is just part of its singular quest to follow the band members' collective muse: "Our only goal was to release a 7-inch and there's never been any grand plans to accomplish anything except write and record music we're passionate about," says guitarist Alex Henery. "We don't get to play a lot of shows ... so when we do have the time it's really special."
The Australian five-piece is associated with the subgenre of funeral doom, and here, for once, a categorization of a band feels completely on point. Betraying a lumbering approach dripping wet with down-trodden darkness, Mournful Congregation's latest LP, The Incubus of Karma, is utterly crushing — in both it's fretwork and emotionality. While the album is fresh, some of the ideas realized on it are close to a decade in the making. "Some of the songs and riffs date back to over eight years ago," vocalist/bassist Damon Good reveals. "The mix itself took over a year to complete. So we intentionally took our time to get everything sitting where we wanted it — although I still don't know if we ended up exactly where we expected."
WAR ON WOMEN
War on Women aren't just on the hunt for gender equality; they're more about fighting complacency and injustice overall. Their leading weapon in the fight is hardcore punk — fierce and melodic, displaying catchy songwriting built to keep the band's message bouncing around your head long after the headphones are off. While their forthcoming release Capture the Flag (due April 13th) is an open invite to all even mildly interested parties, vocalist Shawna Potter wants to send it out to a very specific group: "This album is for all the snowflakes who cry 'free speech' when called out on their bullshit. Your time is up."
Featuring the jaw-dropping underground-metal all-star roster of Scott Carlson (Repulsion, Death Breath), Lee Dorrian (Cathedral, Napalm Death), Gaz Jennings (Death Penalty, Cathedral) and Jaime Gomez (At Dusk, Blutvial), Septic Tank is a project that has been in the works since 1994 when the entirety of the then-lineup of Cathedral started to explore its love for Discharge and Siege. What eventually blossomed, two decades later, reflects those influences as well as Celtic Frost, Motörhead, GISM and more across 18 tracks of pedal-to-the-floor punk rock. "It took us 25-year years to get around to recording Rotting Civilisation, yet only took about 10 days to write and record it!" Dorrian comments of the group's debut full-length, which is set for release on April 13th. "For us to make an album like this, it had to be made this way, without the confines of murdering methods of production, involving triggers and other such fake crap. People ask us if this album is a protest against modern production and 'modern hardcore' in particular. Maybe, yes, but doing a record this way is also the only way we could, because it's the only way we know how."