5 Artists You Need to Know: May 2020 | Revolver

5 Artists You Need to Know: May 2020

From Belarusian avant black metal to a revolutionary Killswitch side project
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Mora Prokaza, 2020

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 Killswitch Engage singer Jesse Leach's punk-rock band (the Weapon) to theatrical, pre-Hispanic Mexican folk metal (Cemican), here are five artists you'll want to get on now.

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RIYL Code Orange, Vein, Harm's Way
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Floridian duo Bloodbather make nasty, gnarly metallic hardcore rendered all the more suffocating by layers of industrial texture. What really sets the band apart, however, is the way in which that abrasive sound is juxtaposed to the group's gothy, glammy image, which is more Marilyn Manson or Orgy than it is Deathwish Inc.
QUOTE When it comes to the inspiration behind Bloodbather's flamboyant fashion aesthetic, guitarist and synth master Salem Vex says, "Personally, I take a lot of cues from Prince, Bowie and Marilyn Manson. My first 'move' was really inspired by Twiggy Ramirez, the whole babydoll dress thing. Now, it just keeps getting more intense. I think image is important and something is missed in recent band culture. Nobody cares about seeing five dudes in gym shorts and a shirt."

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Mrs. Piss

RIYL Chelsea Wolfe, L7, Babes in Toyland
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Goth chanteuse Chelsea Wolfe's 2017 full-length, Hiss Spun, is her heaviest solo album to date, but Mrs. Piss' new self-titled debut LP is the most crushing thing she's been part of, period. Her longtime friend and current go-to drummer Jess Gowrie joins her in the project, which fully indulges the pair's Nineties-worshipping grunge, sludge and noise-rock inclinations with more than a little riot grrrl attitude thrown in to boot.
QUOTE "Mrs. Piss is very abstract, and you can interpret it in different ways," Wolfe tells us of the concept behind the project, which she and Gowrie plan to expand to include other female and non-binary collaborators. "But essentially, it's like [being] married to the dirt, embracing and empowering your dirty or messy side as a woman and not shying away from that."

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Mora Prokaza

RIYL Dimmu Borgir, Dødheimsgard, Ghostemane
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Belarusian trap-inflected black-metal duo Mora Prokaza are as weird as it comes, and if you know us, you know that we like weird. As heard on their forthcoming third full-length, By Chance, they're brazen, bombastic and unafraid to offend or confound. "There's nothing you can do anymore to be shocking. All you can do is be confusing," Marilyn Manson once told us. In that regard, Mora Prokaza succeed in spades.
QUOTE Asked what's the hardest challenge he's faced so far being in Mora Prokaza, irascible vocalist-guitarist Farmakon responds, "I have always encountered only one problem, and it still has not been resolved. It's hard for people to work with me because my creative potential absorbs them. This always causes a lot of problems. I'm used to it, but you know, it's very difficult. I understand that it's not my fault. Speaking about me — I am choosy, demanding and despotic sometimes. These are not the best features of me. I believe that the best way to give birth to art is loneliness. I am a loner. And, most likely, this is a necessary measure to save yourself and art in me."

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The Weapon

RIYL Killswitch Engage, Bad Brains, Minor Threat
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE He may front one of the biggest metalcore groups in the land, but in his heart, singer Jesse Leach is a punk rocker. The vocalist's revolutionary, anarchist impulses comes to the fore in his rabble-rousing DIY side project the Weapon. The group's debut album, A Repugnant Turn of Events — which tears through nine songs in under 20 minutes — rages against "tyrannical governments, racism, fascism, homophobia and all forms of oppression," and a large portion of the proceeds from its sale will go towards helping independent venues in the NYC area.
QUOTE "The revolution begins in the liberation of the mind and the awakening of the soul!" Leach enthused of the album on his personal Instagram. "Fight the real enemy, and power to the people!"

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RIYL Sepultura, Brujeria, Alien Weaponry
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Guadalajara's Cemican wield pre-Hispanic musical instruments of Mexico in the making of their blood-raising tribal folk metal, and sing in the Mayan language of Nahuatl, relaying ancient myths. They recently got the nod from Adult Swim's taste-making singles series, and their third album, 2019's In Ohtli Teoyohtica in Miquiztli, surges and slams like Slipknot scoring Apocalypto.
QUOTE "From start to finish, Cemican's mission was mainly to exalt and bring our pre-Hispanic culture to the whole world," drummer Tlipoca says, "and to revive the ancient sounds so that the public was involved with music, and mysticism of the sounds of death, also to bring to the stage the glory of ancient Mexico with its rituals, dances and war costumes, accompanied by our powerful metal sound."