rising hardcore bands
Photos by: Sharptooth/Kat Nijmeddin, Jesus Piece/Spotify, Sanction/Ian Rees, Ithaca/Spotify]

Breakdowns, blast beats and hard-hitting riffs: Now more than ever, hardcore bands are enjoying their moment in the spotlight. With the hardcore scene branching into a wide range of other genres from death metal to indie rock and everything in between, a new wave of hardcore bands are bringing a fresh perspective to an already wide-reaching genre.

Here are 20 of the best newer acts bringing bold sounds you need to check out.

Read more: Marilyn Manson posing with Taylor Swift sends Twitter into a frenzy


1. BLACK MATTER DEVICE

HQ: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
CHECK OUT: “The Pointy End,” “Honest To Goddess,” “Hell Is Other People”
If you took the skronky, jazz-oriented chaos of the Dillinger Escape Plan’s debut album, Calculating Infinity, and added a hint of melody, you’ve got Black Matter Device. The band’s debut album, Modern Frenetics, is a frantic exercise of hardcore technicality with enough clean passages to steer itself away from the near-grindcore tendencies of Dillinger’s debut to carve its own path.

2. BOUNDARIES


HQ: Hartford, Connecticut
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

Check Out: “My Body In Bloom,” “Sour Mouth,” “Pain Medicine”
Boundaries take the blueprint created from early 2000s metalcore and brought it screaming to the modern age. Their breakdowns point toward bands such as Hatebreed and Throwdown, but they manage to bring in some melodic elements without weakening their sound in the slightest. Beefy breakdowns are in abundance, but they also toss in an occasional dissonant riff for good measure to expand their musical palette.

3. THE CALLOUS DAOBOYS


HQ: Atlanta, Georgia
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check out: “Fake Dinosaur Bones,” “The Absolute Barnstormer,” “Screen Test”
In the past few years, it’s become increasingly common for bands to incorporate classical instruments such as the saxophone, flutes or horns, but the Callous Daoboys take it a step further with a full-time violin player. The band capture all the chaotic, feedback-induced lunacy that popularized the Chariot with a slightly more technical approach. The band also bring in a quirky sensibility to each song that makes those maddening riffs even more violent sounding.  

4. CLOSET WITCH


HQ: Keokuk/Burlington/Muscatine, Iowa
Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp
Check out: “Blood Orange,” “Nekhbet,” “Eyelids Of Horus”
Despite Slipknot being the only band from Iowa to gain major recognition, the state’s music scene isn’t completely dead. Closet Witch bring together ferocious powerviolence and biting melody with a cathartic intensity. The band are equally successful at razor-sharp bangers and atmospheric noise coupled with an intense political overtone.

Read more: Apple reveals iTunes replacement with three standalone apps
5. COLD SHOULDER


HQ: Toronto, Ontario
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Guilt,” “Primitive,” “Fed Up”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a harder working hardcore band from Toronto than Cold Shoulder, and it shows in their music. The metallic hardcore band’s tight knit sound often bounces between mid-tempo mosh riffs and upbeat punk bangers but manages to bring in some melodic elements without stripping away the aggression.

6. FORTUNE’S FOOL


HQ: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Amygdala,” “Filth,” “Trephination”
Beatdown riffs are plentiful when you dig into the discography of Fortune’s Fool. The band’s sound is packed with two-step riffs and hardcore grooves that call back to the foundations of the genre while bringing a harder overall feel. The band’s bass is right in your face instead of buried under noise; their guitars crisp and harsh; and vocalist Phoenix Herrera brings a burly growl that ranges pretty close to death metal.

7. ITHACA


HQ: London, England
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Impulse Crush,” “The Language Of Injury,” “Secretspace”
The U.K. has produced countless amazing hardcore and metalcore bands in the last decade, and Ithica are quickly making their way to the top of the crop of new bands emerging. Their melodic instrumentals coupled with the harsh shrieks of vocalist Djamila Azzouz and heavy-hitting blasts of aggression make for a nuanced sound that’s uniquely their own. While each song has a sense of anger and hostility, there’s also a cathartic emotional response that keeps you locked into their music.

8. JESUS PIECE


HQ: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check out: “Workhorse,” “Punish,” “Neuroprison”
If you’ve been sleeping on Philly hardcore act Jesus Piece, now is the time to wake the fuck up. The band made a swift rise to success last year with their debut album, Only Self, and for good reason. Their sound is entrenched in the beatdown approach of ’90s hardcore with a hard-hitting groove that relentlessly smashes its way across their entire record without letting up for a moment.

Read more: WCAR guitarist reflects on healing process after Kyle Pavone’s passing
9. LEECHED


HQ: Manchester, England
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check out: “The Stone And The Steel,” “Boar,” “Guilt”
If you’re into the jarring dissonance of Code Orange and the overt brutality of Nails, Leeched are the perfect amalgamation of those two sounds. The band fantastically tear through meaty breakdowns and grooves while packing in plenty of speedy riffs to satisfy those who need something a little harsher. Their buzzsaw guitar tones seamlessly pair with their primal death growls, making for a mess of heaviness that is definitely not for the faint of heart.

10. MINORS


HQ: Windsor, Ontario
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Flesh Prison,” “Consumed,” “Meanderist”
If blistering powerviolence is your type of thing, look no further than Minors. The band’s sound is steeped in grimy feedback and blast beats built to cause hearing loss with a hardcore edge in the vein of classic acts such as Converge and Trap Them. Their frenetic blasts of noise aren’t all they’re capable of though, with sludgy hardcore riffs coming in abundance.

Read more: Top 10 hardcore bands throwing down under in Australia
11. MORTALITY RATE


HQ: Calgary, Alberta
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Selfish Thieves,” “Roses,” “You Were The Gasoline”
Hardcore is suffused in frustration with the world, and Calgary’s Mortality Rate have tackled the issues close to them with a firm fist. Vocalist Jess Nyx furiously shrieks and growls about personal losses, world economics and more to the ultra-heavy backing provided by the rest of the band. If that isn’t enough to entice you, just a few seconds of their feedback-heavy Entombed-meets-hardcore guitar tones will seal the deal.

12. MOUTHBREATHER


HQ: Boston, Massachusetts
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Denim Jacket,” “Tourniquet,” “Probortion”
When hardcore meets in the middle with grindcore, the results are extreme to say the least. Boston’s MouthBreather push their sound to maximal intensity with a harsh technicality that’ll make ears bleed. The band manage to intertwine plenty of mid-tempo feedback-laced grooves with lightning-fast riffs that are like a constant punch to the gut coupled with unsettling, frantic screams.

Read more: Kellin Quinn teases possible collab with band that “influenced [him] heavily”
13. NOISE TRAIL IMMERSION


HQ: Berlin, Germany
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Mirroring,” “Acrimonious,” “Symbology Of Shelter”
Mixing black metal and mathcore is almost unheard of, but Noise Trail Immersion twist the two genres and blend them together with incredible success. All the elements of black metal are present; constant blast beats, demonic shrieks and haunting atmospheric guitar riffs. But their hardcore influences shine through to make them sound like no other black-metal group.

14. PORTRAYAL OF GUILT


HQ: Austin, Texas
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Among Friends,” “A Burden,” “Humanity Is Frail”
Blending together the melodic side of screamo with hardcore and grindcore has payed off in spades for Austin’s Portrayal Of Guilt. The band get the best of both worlds between the extreme noise of bands such as Converge and Napalm Death and the “softer” melodies of City Of Caterpillar. Some incredible guests (NØ MAN’s Maha Shami, Majority Rule’s Matt Michel and Full Of Hell’s Dylan Walker) drop in to assist PoG in shifting the moods from track to track on their debut full-length.

15. SANCTION


HQ: Long Island, New York
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Sixhundredthirtyone,” “Fixated Upon A Figure,” “The Infringement Of God’s Plan”
Long Island’s Sanction sound like stepping into a time machine. Their sound could easily have been from the ’90s metalcore scene with its focus on unrelenting beatdown riffs and dissonant breakdowns. They’re a bare-bones band who prefer to leave the frills to others in place of good old-fashioned hardcore with just a hint of early deathcore mixed in.

16. SECTIONED


HQ: Edinburgh, Scotland
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Toothgrinder,” “Victorious, Neverending,” “Betrayer
Scottish noisemakers Sectioned are the sister band to mathcore breakouts Frontierer, but instead of the Meshuggah-meets-Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza style of the latter, the band opt for a more noise-oriented chaos. The drop-tuned madness that comes from the band lies heavily in noise, grind and hardcore grooves with just enough technicality to feel the connection to mastermind Pedram Valiani’s other project. If you’re looking for a nonstop assault on the ears, Sectioned have you covered.

Read more: Crown The Empire, Attila, more set for Rage Fest summer tour
17. SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY


HQ: Los Angeles, California
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Self Help Specialist Ends Own Life,” “I Am A Trans-Continental Railroad, Please Run A Train On Me,” “You Don’t Understand The Liquor Is Calling The Shots Now Randy Bobandy”
You’d be sorely mistaken to think of SeeYouSpaceCowboy as a joke band. Sure, their song titles and band name are ridiculous, but their sound is a no-nonsense assault of blast beats, abrasive high-pitched breakdowns and danceable noise-rock grooves. Their tone instantly beckons to early Daughters, and much like this band’s first record, SeeYouSpaceCowboy’s debut is over before you know it, with songs hardly lasting past a minute of intensity.

18. SHARPTOOTH


HQ: Baltimore, Maryland
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “No Sanctuary,” “Clever Girl,” “Blood Upon Your Hands”
Hardcore is inherently political, but Sharptooth make it their modus operandi. The band’s pissed-off sound extends past the Hatebreed-worshipping riffs and breakdowns to their lyricism with overt callouts to Donald Trump, homophobes and a range of other assholes who’ve been fighting against progression in the world. It’d be simple to chalk this band up to being a political gimmick, but the genuine relatability in their lyrics makes it clear that they’re passionate about what they write about and are here to make a statement.

19. THOUGHTCRIMES


HQ: New York
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: “Punk Rock Guilt,” “Artificer,” “Soapbox Sermon”
Ever since the departure of the Dillinger Escape Plan, the band’s various members have been moving on to a wide range of new projects. Drummer Billy Rymer’s new project Thoughtcrimes sees him right at home, with a familiar mix of ultra-heavy hardcore with a hint of groove and some melody, leaning away from the sprawling tendencies of Rymer’s former band without sacrificing any of the savagery.

20. WRISTMEETRAZOR


HQ: Washington, D.C.
Facebook | Instagram | Spotify
Check Out: XOXO (Love Letter From A Loaded Gun),” “Insecurity Checkpoint,” “Expiry Date: 12 Hours”
The mid-2000s metalcore scene brought countless amazing acts who are now inspiring a new generation of bands. Wristmeetrazor are one such band, taking inspiration from the likes of Norma Jean, Zao and Pageninetynine. The band’s frenzied riffs and seamless switchups between clean vocals and throat-shredding screams make for a great throwback sound while still coming across fresh to even the most knowledgeable metalcore fan.

Top 10 hardcore bands throwing down under in Australia