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. Spanning from spasmodic hardcore (Vein) to psychedelic doom (King Woman) to apocalyptic death-rock (Grave Pleasures), these are five bands you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
Tech-death crew Entheos has operated in the spotlight since its 2015 formation due to its high-profile lineup: ex-Animals as Leaders drummer Navene Koperweis, ex-the Faceless bassist Evan Brewer, ex-Scale the Summit guitarist Travis LeVrier, and vocalist Chaney Crabb, who made headlines in the metal blogosphere with her 2014 vocal-audition video for Veil of Maya. The group proves up to the scrutiny on Dark Future, their head-spinning sophomore full-length, which sets djenty prog riffery against spacey ambient interludes. "The best thing about it is the contrast," Entheos drummer/producer Navene Koperweis said of the record in a recent interview with Revolver. "It's all four people bringing their own thing to the table, and now for the first time, I feel like this is the band."
King Woman singer Kristina Esfandiari doesn't consider her band's output to be metal, but whatever you want to call it, it's undeniably heavy — drone-y and doomy and touching on deep topics from religion to the psychedelic experience. "I think people get uncomfortable when they can't label you," she said to us of the group, which released its acclaimed debut full-length, Created in the Image of Suffering, earlier this year. "It's expressive, emotional music. And anybody can relate to that, you know? I want to have a positive message and empower other people through the way I live and the way I perform." And indeed she does.
Hailing from the Merrimack Valley area outside of Boston, Vein take a hyper noisy and technical approach to hardcore, applying the teachings of both Botch and Sepultura into one fiendishly fun and wholly original package. Chaos is king, but so is locking into a grooving mosh part — for a few bars at least — until chaos returns again. But make no mistake, Vein knows the middle ground between dissonance and good songwriting. "Anyone can do blast beats for five minutes ... but it's only going to be memorable if you are constructing something that resembles a song in the end," says vocalist Anthony DiDio. "It's easy to do crazy, crazy, crazy, but writing a good song is what makes it special."
Though all the band members are well below the quarter-century mark, Vein have existed for more than four years, releasing a demo in 2015 and a split with GIF from God earlier this year. The strength of that material, as well as their high-octane live show, led to a recent label deal with Closed Casket Activities, who will release the group's first LP in 2018.
Strobe lights, a chainsaw and one of the more ridiculous hairstyles in heavy music — those are just a few of the things you can expect from Austin industrial-hardcore duo Street Sects when they bring the terror live. "Under 20 minutes, but 180 miles an hour the entire time," frontman Leo Ashline has described his band's confrontational onstage presentation. "Give somebody something that whether they liked it or they didn't, they were going to walk away remembering it. If it goes much longer than that, it can be kind of obnoxious."
The band delivers as promised, and on record, as well — although Street Sects' most recent offering, the EP Rat Jacket, displays a gothier, more melodic side that only makes the group deadlier.
Metal dudes making death rock, Grave Pleasures traffic in dark, sardonic, irresistibly hooky post-punk that lives up to the hype around Beastmilk, the band from which they evolved. The Finnish outfit's previous releases were solid and enjoyable, but its new full-length, Motherblood, is its definitive statement to date, and the rightful follow-up to Beastmilk's landmark 2013 LP, Climax. "If you come to accept death, you'll be at peace with it and you'll start to enjoy life more," main man Mat McNerney told us of the philosophy behind the group. "So that's the positive message behind the band — the Grave and the Pleasures. It's the idea of: Come dance with us while the whole shithouse goes up in flames."