Many of the new acts opening today’s mosh-pits defy expectations and break down barriers. The scraggly beards, boozy breaths back-patches and denim vests of years gone by are giving way to a new generation of metal music.
One of the draws of heavy music has always been its inaccessibility, in much the same way as the Intertops mobile casino guards its best games. Metal music differs from most other forms of music because it ignores “feel good” vibes to focus on embracing the chaos anger of modern life.
The industry tends to rely on safe bets but the underground still takes musical risks. Who are those artists who are ignoring the mainstream in a bid to lead the genre into the unknown?
Rolo Tomassi brings an atmosphere of intelligence and well-thought-out planning to the metalhead scene. The approach is complex and is paying off – proof can ben seen in their latest album, “Time Will Die and Love will bury It” that shows strength and vulnerability at the same time. Rolo Tomassi appeals to a wide audience from hippies and yippies to Gen Xers.
Rolo Tomassi is known for their chaotic style and performances as well as a strong DIY ethic. Their debut album Hysterics was released in 2006. They are known for being mathcore and experiential with influences from genres including creamo, progressive rock, classical and jazz. They focus on songs with a fractured structure and creating confrontational, independent rock.
Nine Inch Nails
Only those who have been living in a cave are unacquainted with Nine Inch Nails, the veteran band that was nominated for this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Spin has descriptive singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Trent Reznor, the only permanent member until Atticus Ross joined in 2016, as “the most vital artist in music.”
Reznor alternates between whispers and screams, a style that has been copied to varying degrees of success. The band also uses software to alter the sound and utilizes complex time signatures, noise and distortion in song arrangements. Another innovation is the chromatic melody and/or harmony used in various pieces. New sounds include guitar squalls, beeps, pops and blotches with distorted and broken percussion.
Code Orange is one of the most relentless, mutating and metallic hardcore bands performing today. Fans enjoy their jarring, industrial noise-rick with its punishing hardcore bluster. On their way to breaking down the walls of hardcore and metal’s past they have garnered a Grammy nomination and continue to charge forward. Many mosh pit enthusiasts see Code Orange as the guiding force in heavy music’s resurgence.
Code Orange sees themselves as “sludge metal.” They continue to grow more abrasive over time, employing influences from indie rock, post-punk, hip hop, groove metal, industrial and electronica and shoegaze. They have been described as “nightmarishly chaotic hardcore,” with ‘90s grunge and experimental underpinnings.
Turnstile was born out of a desire to inject some fun back into hardcore’s straight-edge scene. The band brings frolics and fury to the studio where they channel their hardcore background with piano, electronics and more. Watching them is a wild, unpredictable ride of hardcore sounds.
Turnstile aims to blend genres, scenes, cultures and styles. They defy traditional boundaries with their music that is equal parts positivity, unity and stage dives. A Turnstile album can combine wailing backing vocals, pop-punk- infused bangers, disjointed ideas and a focus on individual choices over group-think.
Deafheaven is a sound of heaven for heavy metal purists and hipsters like. The band, which has only been playing together since 2010, melds together post-rock passages and black metal atmospherics to create a sound that comes out somewhere between Slayer and Sigur Ros. The roars of frontman George Clarke satisfy even the most hardened heavy metal aficionados.
Conjurer is a fresh face that shows some smooth moves. The band stomps through metal’s murkiest swamps relentlessly with lyrics that document declining metal health and disgust through heavy, gut-wrenching pessimism. Conjurer proves that the UK’s heavy metal scene can still produce some fertile sounds.
Conjurer fuses death metal, stoner rock, doom and sludge. There’s even a post-rock element to their sound that gives it a fresh way of looking at the possibilities that can come out of the mosh-pit.
Parkway Drive was once imbued with the sounds of thrash metal but today it’s broken out with a new anthemic edge that highlights a cathartic, unifying experience.
Fans describe the band’s genre as metalcore/heavy metal with sounds that include guitar riffs, breakdowns and screaming vocals. Today, the band sees itself as having outgrown metalcore and are reaching for the types of sounds popularised by Iron Maiden, The Offspring, Dillinger Escape and Killswitch Engage.