Here at Revolver, we pride ourselves in living on the cutting edge of heavy music, from metal and hardcore to industrial and hip-hop, 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. From fairy doom to psychedelic hardcore, here are five artists you'll want to get on now.
RIYL Chelsea Wolfe, Blackwater Holylight, Thou
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Faetooth's origins are "a group of childhood friends [who] finally decided to start a project," and their chemistry is apparent. Their 2019 EP, ...An Invocation, blended eerie doom metal with squally, grungy guitars, but their upcoming debut, Remnants of the Vessel, is both heavier and higher fidelity. Faetooth playfully call themselves "fairy doom," and while it's a tag that works, there's nothing cutesy about their literate lyrical narratives and plodding riffage. But the atmosphere is mystical as hell.
QUOTE "A through-line you might find is the way Jenna, Ari and Ash often recontextualize older stories, films and novels into experiences in our own lives," the band say of the album's lyrics. "Single and opening track 'Echolalia' re-imagines the story of the Tower of Babel, 'La Sorciére' describes the 1972 film Belladonna of Sadness, and 'Remains' is a reflection on the 1938 novel Rebecca. It feels as if we're illustrating a world in which all of these stories are true and interact with one another."
RIYL Obituary, Undeath, Gatecreeper
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE You like death metal that sounds like it'll give you back sweat? Then you'll like Tribal Gaze. The Texan quintet's debut LP, the Nine Choirs (out via Maggot Stomp), is a truckload of down-and-dirty Southern death metal with dashes of hardcore, slam and tech-death influence. Crowbar-esque dirges are broken up by Nile-like spasms and World Demise-era Obituary breakdowns. Fun for everyone.
QUOTE "There's something a bit more refreshing about the idea of heaven and angels being the antagonist of a story as opposed to the over usage of the devil and hell in metal," guitarist Quintin Stauts says of the Nine Choirs' lyrical themes and disturbing cover art. "The only thing that could scare a preacher more than hell is getting to heaven and finding out it's not what they thought it would be."
RIYL Turnstile, Scowl, Righteous Jams
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Spaced are a hardcore band, but going by their flowery appearance and cover art that looks like the Dazed and Confused soundtrack, you might mistake them for acid-munching hippies. You wouldn't be totally off-base. The songs on the Buffalo band's newly-released Spaced Jams show their affection for psychy, chorus-drenched riffs and Seventies hard-rock solos that somehow blend seamlessly with the urgent punk barks and two-step rhythms. Groovy, man.
QUOTE "It was essential to us when we started to not just be another predictable hardcore band," says vocalist Lexi Reyngoudt. "Black T-shirt, block font — we love it, it's hard, but we wanted to try something new. We're all a bit eccentric and unusual and the aesthetic of the band is a natural extension of that. ... Besides, why should boring stoner jam bands be the only bands that can use cool psychedelic imagery?"
RIYL Shadow of Intent, Veil of Maya, AngelMaker
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Deathcore is going through a maximalist phase right now — ornate strings, symphonic synths, regal black-metal flair. So it's refreshing to hear Australian newcomers Ascent of Autumn boil the genre down into a sound that's chuggy, catchy and extremely tight, but not over-the-top. The melodic chord progressions, noisy licks and elastic djent grooves on their new album, Awakened, go down easy but never feel redundant. Fresh, but not showy. Heavy, but not headache-inducing.
QUOTE "Awakened tells a very personal and introspective journey, whilst tying in philosophy to make sense of it all," says frontman Tristan Daniell. "For example, 'The Maw' delves into questions of reality versus perception, and our ability to learn objective truth. 'Chirality' ties that idea to our perception of identity and what others can ever truly know about me as a person, and 'The Struggler' talks about learning to live in a life without truth or purpose."
RIYL Negative Approach, No Warning, Gouge Away
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Punitive Damage play the type of hardcore punk that makes you wanna get up out of your seat and shake your whole body until you fall over. After a couple rippin' seven-inches, the Vancouver band are issuing their terrific debut LP in October, and it's not an easy record to describe in just a few words. The foundation is early 1980s American hardcore, but there're also NYHC mosh parts, swaggering rock & roll riffs, and insanely fucking powerful vocals from singer Jerkova that give every song a fastcore intensity, but are always in service to the catchy instrumentals. Band rules.
QUOTE "We didn't want the whole record to sound the same," says bassist Kermit. "We went more rock & roll one way, more youth crew in another, went more egg punk in another way. For me, I was really thinking about bands that make me wanna have a big, toothy, angry face and smash a brick on my head." Guitarist Czecho adds, "As much as I would have liked everything on 11 and full blast the whole time, we were very deliberate in making a record that pushed and pulled as it progressed. If you wanna rage for 20 minutes straight, you can always just see us live."