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 cutting-edge hip-hop-spiked punk rock (Nova Twins) to epic, anthemic Swedish death metal (Orbit Culture), here are five artists you'll want to get on now.
RIYL Dillinger Escape Plan, Lightning Bolt, Melt Banana
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Endorsed by taste-making hometown heroes Code Orange, Pittsburgh-based electro-grindcore duo Machine Girl — comprised of vocalist-producer Matt Stephenson and drummer Sean Kelly — are out to make "alien music," according to the former. Fittingly then, their new album, U-Void Synthesizer, sounds positively extraterrestrial: a party-smashing hyperspeed collage of extreme metal, punk, noise and heavy electronic music beamed in from another galaxy.
QUOTE "I feel like a lot of Machine Girl is me trying to distance myself from myself," Stephenson recently told us. "It's almost this idealized version of myself. All the weaknesses and shortcomings and insecurities I have — Machine Girl doesn't have any of those. It's a much stronger, supernatural force."
RIYL Kyuss, the Sword, Windhand
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE London prog-doom outfit Elephant Tree have made a name for themselves in the U.K. underground through captivating live shows and two finely honed albums. As much promise as they've shown, their forthcoming third LP, Habits, exceeds all reasonable expectations, taking their mix of lysergic desert-rock doom and gauzy Smashing Pumpkins–esque songwriting into the stratosphere.
QUOTE "We once played a show in Manchester and at the end we covered 'Wild Thing.' We shouted out that some people could come sing the words if they knew them. About half the room crammed onto the stage," Elephant Tree guitarist-vocalist Jack Townley says when asked about the craziest thing that's happened at one of the band's shows. "It was so crowded that I ended up knocking someone's tooth out with the head of his guitar. The guy just threw the horns up and laughed. That was pretty crazy."
RIYL The Fever 333, the Prodigy, Missy Elliot
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE "Nova Twins are the future," Fever 333 frontman Jason Aalon Butler enthused when he announced their December signing to his label 333 Wreckords Crew. The duo's debut album, Who Are the Girls?, delivers on that declaration, offering up a very new millennium brand of bass-heavy, hip-hop-infused punk rock that sounds fresh and hits hard.
QUOTE Nova Twins' mission statement, according to the band's Georgia South, is "to push the movement of diversity in heavy music forward by being another face people can look to. We didn't have many faces to look up to when we were growing up," she says, "so we want to change that and encourage people to be proud of their uniqueness." Her partner in crime, Amy Love, adds, "We are here to represent the unrepresented and to encourage inclusivity. It's harder for non-males in rock music so we want to help break the mold."
RIYL Melvins, Unsane, the Jesus Lizard
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Noise-rock demolition crew Eye Flys features members of Full of Hell, Backslider and Triac, but the biggest giveaway as to their nasty, angular approach is the source of their name: the lead track off the Melvins' 1987 debut, Gluey Porch Treatments. Like the Northwest sludge-masters who lent them their moniker, Eye Flys lurch, slither and rage on their ferocious debut LP, Tub of Lard.
QUOTE When asked what Eye Flys song he'd play for someone to introduce them to the band, singer-guitarist Jake Smith doesn't hesitate. "I guess I'd have to say 'Guillotine,' the second song from our new LP," he says, highlighting Tub of Lard's scathing rant against one-percenters. "It's not my favorite necessarily, but represents us pretty well in all its elements. It's got the heavy head nod, noisy chaos, a groovin' chorus, and an indictment of billionaires."
RIYL Lamb of God, Gojira, Behemoth
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Orbit Culture may hail from Sweden and make death metal, but they don't fall into either the Gothenburg or Stockholm camps of Swedish death. Instead, on their two most recent singles, September's "Nensha" and February's "Rebirth," they conjure cataclysmic heaviness and all-consuming atmospherics more reminiscent of Poland's Behemoth and France's Gojira. Which makes them artists you very much need to know.
QUOTE "It's all a big metaphor for living with anxiety and depression and how to get through it," Orbit Culture vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Niklas Karlsson says of the three-part video series encompassing "Nensha," "Rebirth" and the newly released "The Shadowing." "I've had my fair share of those issues ever since my youth, and I still have it from time to time. Once depression or that first real panic attack hits you, it's a long road to beat it and, as time has gone by, I've learned you never really get rid of it completely. You just get better at living with it — and that's a beautiful thing because often you become more grounded from it and appreciate the small things in life."