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 noise-pulverized death metal (Triumvir Foul) to "Satanic doo-wop" (Twin Temple), here are five artists you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
RIYL Cro-Mags, Power Trip, Iron Age, No Warning
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE It seems like almost out of nowhere, Ekulu have taken the sometimes snobby NYHC scene by storm with thundering riffs and streetwise swagger. Maybe it's the fact that the band includes members of much-loved groups Illusion, Glory and Candy that has people in such a tizzy, but regardless, Ekulu are carrying the torch for hardcore by adding Nineties-style groove, ripping thrash and more.
QUOTE "We've played a lot of cool opening slots and it kinda feels like we found the cheat code," enthuses guitarist Connor Jones. "We've all been playing in bands for years and that helps. Other than that, we just make the music that we wish already existed. I've found I'm usually not alone when thinking of what I want to hear from bands."
RIYL Amy Winehouse, Lee Fields, Charles Bradley
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE "Satanic doo-wop" group Twin Temple cheekily take the classic blueprint of Fifties and Sixties R&B and Soul (see also Daptone) and reimagine it for the Lucifer-lovin' crowd. It might sound like a gimmick, but the execution is so dead-on and the delivery so authentic that the duo deftly defies novelty status. Doom-metal Mecca Rise Above Records rightfully love what Twin Temple do, recently reissuing the duo's long-sold-out debut LP with gloriously profane new packaging.
QUOTE "To us, rock & roll has always been about pushing back against oppressive and boring societal norms and hailing the individual, which are also key concepts to us as Satanic witches," singer Alexandra James explains. "So in that sense, we're simply carrying on both the rock & roll and Satanic traditions, in a way that's true to our Selves. That being said, we truly love classic American rock & roll from the golden era of the 1950s and Sixties, but you'll find influences ranging from jazz, soul, blues, gospel, country and beyond on the record. Our record collection is pretty vast, but we listen to everything that falls under the rock & roll umbrella."
RIYL Grave, Dismember, Gatecreeper
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Though the band proudly sports a name that's a clear nod to early Metallica, Creeping Death actually have very little in common with the Big 4 thrashers, sonically. Born from the fertile Texas metal/hardcore scene, Creeping Death instead pull from the buzzsaw sounds of Stockholm-style death metal, mixing in elements of modern hardcore. As heard on their Specter of War EP, it's simple and brutal, much like a baseball bat to the face.
QUOTE "The first bands I saw locally that made me want to get involved were Vulgar Display and Power Trip," says drummer Lincoln Mullins, hailing a few of his Lone Star State heroes. "Some bands that heavily helped influence me and are still killing it now would be Iron Age, Bitter End and Mammoth Grinder."
RIYL Dead Congregation, Pissgrave, Portal
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE While there has been a resurgence in death metal as a whole, the strongest work is bubbling to the surface from bands on the outer reaches of the genre. Featuring members of Ash Borer and others, Triumvir Foul create highly atmospheric, unhinged and suffocating death metal infused with the harsh noise of power electronics. Their latest effort is a true monument of disgust, Urine of Abomination, a concept LP about "the obliteration of the godhead and humiliating him in piss." Stream the album below, where it makes its premiere; you can order it in the U.S. via their label Vrasubatlat or via 20 Buck Spin, and in Europe via Invictus.
QUOTE "Listen to the record before some bald useless idiot sap with glasses makes an opinion for you and everyone else to recite," proclaims vocalist/guitarist/bassist Ad Infinitum. "Black/death fukking khaos!!! Hail Vrasubatlat!"
RIYL Ghostemane, Alice Glass, Die Antwoord
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE With a range of influences across hip-hop and heavy rock, this ex-stripper and former sleaze-metal musician has taken a left turn into rap. The result is caustic, black-as-night and grittily empowering hip-hop that dips into industrial and witch house (check last year's DANAVI$ION), garnering praise from the likes of Kanye West and Marilyn Manson.
QUOTE "I believe the correlation between rap and metal revolves around pain and darkness so the two are similar, especially to me," Dentata says. "Marilyn Manson, DMX, Motörhead and Eminem are among the top of my list. Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics is a huge inspiration to me. She is one of the most underrated artists ever and, because I incorporate performance art into my shows, I will always give her credit where its due. I hope to one day chainsaw a guitar in half while topless in her honor. Another major inspiration to me is Alice Cooper, one of the original performance artists. He is one of the greatest to ever do it. I'll never forget the emotion I felt when he slow-danced with a doll during the song 'Only Women Bleed.' Its a very impactful way to experience live music and will always be as important to me as the songs themselves."