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 steely industrial pop to black-blooded death metal.
RIYL Gatecreeper, Pig Destroyer, Blood Incantation
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Gowanus Death Stomp begins with the nauseating sound of flies buzzing around a corpse while a man rages in the background about the money he's owed. If that doesn't evoke the image of some poor sap getting his head caved in beneath an overpass, then the music that follows sure does.
Using a palette of aching death metal and tortured grind, NYC's Gravesend paint a vivid sonic portrait of a rotting cityscape in howling agony. Grimly heavy and unflinchingly realistic, their music writhes with unpleasant feeling and black-blooded atmosphere.
QUOTE "We want the listener to feel like they are watching a low-budget, NYC-based slasher film, causing their stomach to knot up in anxiety," says vocalist-guitarist A. (Each member adopts a one-letter moniker).
"The feeling of being on a subway platform late-night with sketchy characters approaching you, all the while soaked in the noxious stench of crack smoke, piss and rotting trash while you hear the street stories of yesteryear manifesting in present times."
RIYL Bring Me the Horizon, $uicideboy$, Banshee,
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Siiickbrain's main musical influences are Deftones, $uicideboy$ and Death Grips, and her music sure sounds like it. "Psychopath," the lead single from her debut album My Masochistic Mind, is an entirely un-classifiable blur of genres; steely, serrated and sensually catchy.
The alternative fashion model and singer-songwriter has already toured with Bring Me the Horizon and collab'd with Pussy Riot and Skrillex, and if the rest of her first LP sounds anything like "Psychopath," then the hype will be real.
QUOTE "I love the sound of industrial elements so [I] wanted to incorporate it as much as I could while also being very experimental with melodies, as well," Siiickbrain says of her album's sound.
"Lyrically, I referenced what it's like having thoughts cause pain even when I don't mean to. Making music saved my life, so I hope that [mine] reaches people who may need a little inspiration to keep going."
RIYL Zao, Dying Wish, SeeYouSpaceCowboy
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE The rise of Ephyra Records and friends (Balmora, Adrienne, Since My Beloved) has been one of 2023's most exhilarating trends, and xNOMADx are a big part of that wave.
Evoking the brief period in the late-Nineties when metalcore was still a burgeoning hardcore offshoot, the Connecticut band make fiery, vegan/straight-edge music for the moshers. Their 2023 demo rules, and their new EP, On Skylines of Embers, is even better.
QUOTE "The goal from day one was to do a vegan straight-edge band," says guitarist Grady. "The sound took time to mold, but the politics and ethics of the band were there from the very start.
"Some people might see that as a gimmick, but everyone in the band follows these ethics and so it is a true reflection of ourselves... This band stands as a statement for a future where all sentient beings' bodily autonomy is respected and the stability of the environment is a fundamental goal of humanity."
RIYL Carcass, Terrorizer, Genocide Pact
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE If you're feeling burnt out on the glut of caveman-riff OSDM, Goetia should revitalize your spirit for extremity. Their eponymous 2023 EP filters pulverizing grindcore rhythms through savory death-thrash riffs, and garnishes the carnage with unhinged black-metal screeches that are more impish than imposing.
Featuring members of grind assailants Genocide Pact and powerviolence superiors Brain Tourniquet, this D.C. trio know how to supply the fucking power while also serving up dastardly riffs that'll leave your eyes twitching and your temples pounding.
QUOTE "This EP deals with magic and relations between the living and the dead," bassist Matt Scott tells Revolver. "There's a lot of gore and brutality in death metal these days, but we really want our music to stand apart from that to create an atmosphere that is more creepy and haunting.
"I don't believe the veil between this world and others is as strong as often thought, and music can serve as a way to tap into that connection."
RIYL Madball, No Warning, Terror
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Ozone are making New York-style hardcore with a Texan flair. Like their Lone Star State ancestors in Bitter End, Iron Age and Power Trip, the Fort Worth band excel at playing thrashy, metallic riffs with a light-on-their-feet hardcore springiness.
Fans of fellow not-from-New York-NYHC kingpins No Warning will especially love "Don't Know Shit," an instant finger-pointing anthem that drips with style and brash attitude.
QUOTE "Seeing Power Trip in the early days at venues like 1919 Hemphill in Fort Worth completely stopped me in my tracks," says guitarist Ty Yarborough. "[It] blew my mind in so many ways and is the sole reason I wanted to be in hardcore bands and be a part of an underground subculture like this.
"I definitely hope we honor the tradition of Texas hardcore that's been established and also bring something new and signature to the table for the current generation of folks finding hardcore."