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 brutal Connecticut death metal (Vomit Forth) to a band that sounds ripped from a John Hughes soundtrack (Choir Boy), here are five artists you'll want to get on now before everyone else does.
RIYL Judas Priest, Magic Circle, Bitch
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Hearkening back to the classic riffy attack of Priest, Iron Maiden and Angel Witch, Savage Master's retro approach is simple, well-crafted and built to empty kegs. Led by the distinctive vocals of charismatic powerhouse Stacey Savage, the band have put together their definitive work thus far in the new LP Myth, Magic and Steel.
QUOTE "I think currently we are our best version of the band," guitarist Adam Neal enthuses. "This was the longest time we've taken to create an album, and I plan to take even longer on the next. ... I do think listening habits can have an influence in your material. I'm constantly going through cycles of what I obsessively listen to. I listen to a ton of new and old music, lots of genres, and you're always hearing new ideas and arrangements and then you may try to work some of those ideas into your style. I think it's important to be adventurous in your listening habits."
RIYL Hatebreed, Madball, Cold as Life
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE With a lineup that includes some of the best names in hardcore from the Midwest, Never Ending Game give a masterclass in muscular Nineties hardcore, nodding to everyone from Integrity to E-Town Concrete on their buzzy, freshly-released LP, Just Another Day, on Triple B.
QUOTE "Never Ending Game started in the spring of 2018 after months of talking about doing the band at Detain and Freedom shows, where we all became friends," says vocalist Mikey. "The idea was to create a band that paid homage to all our old-school favorites: Cold as Life, Next Step Up, Bulldoze, E Town, etc. Detroit has a great lineage of hard bands and we wanted to continue the trend as such. We played some shows and fests off this release, leading to the signing with Triple B Records. Sam [Yarmuth, Triple B founder] put out much of the Freedom material, so the fit felt perfect."
RIYL Infest, Cold Sweat, Crossed Out
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, Protocol deliver a live show every bit as searing as their debut EP — a nihilistic, noisy trip into furious, negative hardcore complete with skull-rattling blasts, cold-as-ice riffs and breakdowns built to flip over tables. They're torch-bearing descendants of Negative Approach and Neanderthal, brandishing a raw hate that's simply untopped in hardcore today.
QUOTE "Being from North Florida, especially Tallahassee, definitely does feel like being on the outside looking in sometimes," admits vocalist Ahmad Ferguson. "Though, of course, it'd be lovely to be in the center of everything and for things to come to us, making things happen and getting to contribute to a community has been extremely fulfilling. No one really knows who we are, no one has any expectations of us, and with that comes the freedom to be who we are, as we are. To quote Tallahassee hardcore starlets Hated Youth, 'hardcore rules.' It's not going anywhere, and no matter where you are, you can make something happen."
RIYL Devourment, Demigod, Rottrevore
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE In an age where the death metal is the buzzword du jour, this Connecticut-based quartet distinguish themselves with a form of brutal extremism that nods to classic Finnish influences with a touch of slam just to make things a little more disgusting.
QUOTE "In regards to the 'surge of death metal in 2019,' I don't think there is one," says drummer Nick Herrmann. "There's definitely more bands trying to think outside the same box that 1,000 other bands have been stuck inside of, and it just seems like more people on the outside are catching on. Death metal is just as relevant now as it ever was. If you know, you know."
RIYL Simple Minds, M83, Drab Majesty
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Since their warmly received debut on Dais Records, Salt Lake City's Choir Boy has steadily proved themselves to be a juggernaut of synth-focused, goth-scarred songwriting, crafting the type of instant-classic tunes fit for the soundtrack to the greatest John Hughes movie never made. Just listen to their just-released single "Nites Like This" to see what we mean.
QUOTE When asked about the direction of the group's forthcoming new material, Choir Boy mastermind Adam Klopp points to the group's latest single. "'Nites Like This' is a good representation of the new material in both sound and theme," he says. "It's a bit less somber than our previous material and a bit more pop."