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 "exhaustingly heavy" deathcore to "impure" grunge, here are five artists you'll want to get on now.
RIYL L7, Babes in Toyland, Sonic Youth
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Margaritas Podridas are bringing back the noisy, chaotic side of grunge music, and we're totally onboard. Hailing from Hermosillo, Mexico, the quartet's name translates to Rotten Daisies in English, which was selected by bandleader Carolina Rivera when her mom caught her drinking beers at age 16 and called her "impure." Their ripping, gnashing, oddly catchy songs play with that juxtaposition between ugly and pretty in a way that feels fresh.
QUOTE "At first, I wanted to do punk songs about sexism and violence towards women," Rivera says of her lyrical approach. "But I didn't want my band to be put in a politics/punk-protest music box, so I felt better singing more abstract, personal lyrics about anything — social issues, my own perception of life and the things I've been through. I don't like speaking for everybody."
RIYL Suicide Silence, Dying Fetus, Whitechapel
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Sick of where deathcore is today? Tired of symphonic overtures and theatrical embellishments? Crave the oppressive breakdowns and no-nonsense aggression from when deathcore was "actually scary," as Mike Sugars puts it? Try Psycho-Frame. Featuring members of Moodring and Vatican, the Missouri six-piece (including two frontmen, Sugars being one of them) went 10 steps beyond beast mode on their fresh debut, Remote God Seeker. "Exhaustingly heavy" was the goal, and that's what they accomplished.
QUOTE "No symphonies, no push pits, no whisper vox, no gimmicks" is Psycho-Frame's mission statement, and Sugars means it. "Look, all of those things listed above just suck," he says. "There's been a drought on good deathcore for roughly 10 years... I'm sure there are people who took offense to the mission statement. If the shoe fits, you better double knot that shit because we probably were thinking about you. Also, push-pitting sucks. Literally grow up."
RIYL The Dillinger Escape Plane, the Callous Daoboys, Omertà
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Soulkeeper's music sounds like a computer virus that gained sentience and crawled out of the screen to destroy humanity. Their new album, Holy Design, is packed with chaotic mathcore littered with glitchy synths and skronky guitar leads that lash against the ears like electrical shockwaves. With dizzying visuals to match, the Minneapolis band are creating a whole world to get lost in.
QUOTE "To me, what separates us from the average 'core' band is our attitude," says vocalist Eric Roberts. "We don't bend ourselves to fit any one shape of extreme music, and I think it sometimes makes us more enemies than friends. The metalcore crowd thinks we're too fast and abrasive, the hardcore crowd thinks we're too produced and inorganic. Honestly I don't care what any of them think."
RIYL Bolt Thrower, All Out War, 100 Demons
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Death-metal bands with hardcore influences are having a well-documented moment right now, which makes Ephemeral's hardcore with death-metal influences sound rejuvenated. The Bolt Thrower riffage and Obituary lurches abound on their new Tower of Silence EP, but the Florida band are more interested in breakdowns than blast beats. This is some of the heaviest, nastiest mosh music of the year thus far. Perfect for hardcore kids who spin-kick in death-metal longsleeves.
QUOTE "We wanted to keep the same dark, heavy atmosphere of the demo, but introduce new sounds and influences, also," guitarist Tobby Davilmar says of Tower of Silence. "There's a bit more melody and technicality on this record, while still being dissonant at the same time. Writing songs that makes sense overall is really important to us. A lot of Matt's lyrics are very personal and existential, as well as being critical of organized religion and things of that nature."
RIYL Cro-Mags, Leeway, Hellhammer
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Symbiote's music just hits different. The Atlanta band have ties to Show Me the Body frontman Julian Cashwan-Pratt, who produced their gripping new EP, Pilgrimage to Lobotomy, and is releasing it on his Corpus label. A song like "Disengage" evokes thrashy NYHC of the Leeway or Cro-Mags variety, but caked in grime. "Gargantuan Power Drill" is even noisier, with blown-out guitars that recall early Bathory, but perfectly legible vocals that almost sound like Power Trip's Riley Gale at times. Scorching and jagged but still thoughtfully composed, Symbiote's songs are a treat.
QUOTE "Lyrically a lot of [the EP] has to do with the relationship that us mid-20-year-olds have with technology and the government," says singer Jalen Jenkins. "Being aware of how predatory technology can be under the guise of 'convenience,' and that same sentiment with the government and political figures. It also has a lot on the power of community, in hardcore but also in general. Solidarity with your fellow humans is a powerful thing, and we believe that punk music today needs to be talking about those injustices."