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 the grooviest of hardcore (Wild Side) to a modern (and Canadian) take on NWOBHM (Riot City), here are five artists you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
RIYL Warzone, Rival Mob, Integrity, Righteous Jams
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Hailing from Niagara Falls, Canada, Wild Side are the self-proclaimed "baddest band in the world," and judging by the groovy Raybeez-isms, incredible solos, sick divebombs and unflappable songwriting on their debut LP, Who the Hell is Wild Side?, we could give 'em that — at least for the few days remaining in the month of May 2019.
QUOTE "The biggest goal for the new LP was to translate what we sound like live to the recording," guitarist Emmitt Morris says. "So many people had said, 'Wild Side are a great live band,' but we wanted to show people that we have killer songs that are a lot of fun to listen to and that we could create a great sounding record. Our list of influences is a mile long. Obviously, we love NYHC, but it extends far and beyond that. We all love rock & roll, rap, heavy metal and punk, so the Ramones, Metallica, Beastie Boys, Van Halen and AC/DC would definitely be in that list, among many others."
RIYL Morbid Angel, Vanum, Dead Congregation
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Death metal may be alive and well in 2019, but just like with any genre, for every one great band there are dozens that belong in the "out" pile. New Mexico's Superstition features members of Predatory Light and Vanum within their ranks — which is to say there was a high probability from the onset that the resulting "supergroup" would not be among those dozens. And indeed, the band's latest offering, The Anatomy of Unholy Transformation, is vile, putrid and totally unmissable.
QUOTE "Superstition is influenced by the progenitors of the genre, inspired by the early nexus between black metal and death metal before there was any clear delineation between the two," says guitarist KM. "Possessed, Death Metal, Seven Churches; Necrovore; Morbid Angel, Abominations to Altars; Incubus, Browning; Nocturnus, The Science of Horror, and of course, early Slayer pretty much form the foundational inspiration for Superstition. Fuck yeah, these bands would exist in this current climate! These projects are the irrefutable building blocks of death metal — timeless and incontrovertible like death itself!"
RIYL Judas Priest, Sumerlands, Eternal Champion
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Being frank, the idea of a new band drawing on influences from classic heavy metal bands like Judas Priest or Mercyful Fate isn't exactly changing the world in 2019, but then again, it's all in the delivery. Calgary's Riot City's latest effort, Burn the Night, is a triumph in execution — bringing to mind classic metal influences in a way that feels energetic and fresh, not tired and reused.
QUOTE "Our biggest influence would be mostly rock and blues of the Seventies and all the classic heavy metal of the Eighties," guitarist/vocalist Cale Savy enthuses. "Specifically, NWOBHM and bands of the late Seventies/early Eighties such as Iron Maiden, Samson, Saxon, Tokyo Blade, Judas Priest, the list could go on. We all take little things our heroes do or have done and blend what we learn from all of them into one sound. And really that's how we've captured the sound of our first album."
RIYL Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, the Cure
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE With a heavier guitar sound than most classic goth and post-punk, Fearing lives close to the world of Joy Division, but with an even more oppressive, as well as a more muscular, approach. Their latest release, the recently dropped Part Time Punks 1.21.18, is a stellar look into the band's mind-scrambling live firepower.
QUOTE "For this first album, I personally decided to not over-craft any of the material I wrote," vocalist-bassist James Rogers explains. "I feel like a lot of music I've written in the past had to fit in the right genre-bucket in order to come off right, but with this record, we really just wrote what we felt. It seems like a no-brainer, but it can be scary to just let music turn into whatever it will be."
RIYL Knocked Loose, early Converge, Jesus Piece, All Out War
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Within the stacked modern hardcore scene, Portland's Dying Wish is quietly producing bulldozer-like cuts that nod to the chaos of late-Nineties metalcore, but with an extra dose of venom and vitriol. Pulling, as well, from Slayer and Swedish and Finnish death metal, Dying Wish aim to eviscerate.
QUOTE "The most insane gig we have ever played was on our last west coast tour with Serration in Tucson, Arizona, at a brand new venue called Ward 6," recalls vocalist Emma B, who guests on Knocked Loose's forthcoming A Different Shade of Blue full-length. "It was the first show at this venue in a vibrant and excited scene, ready to break in the venue. We had no idea what to expect playing Arizona for the first time, but the whole room was moving and singing along for the entirety of the show. It was good vibes and we can't wait to go back. An honorable mention would be this last Wild Rose Hardcore Fest we played in Calgary, Alberta. Our first tour ever was because they invited us to play a couple years ago, and the fest gets better and better each year."