Shane & Ryan Flynn
The Top 10 Bands Poised To Breakout
2019 has seen many bands make significant strides in both popularity and the size of venues in which they can headline. Kentucky hardcore act, Knocked Loose, has perhaps become the hottest band in the scene as their most recent album "A Different Shade Of Blue" charted at number 26 on the US Billboard Charts and they have increased their headlining venue size quite significantly. Horror-themed metalcore band Ice Nine Kills has also seen a great spike in numbers both streaming and attendance numbers as the band is currently embarking on a headlining tour of rooms averaging 1,800 capacity in size. Also worthy of inclusion is veteran Swedish heavy metal group Avatar, who played their first large scale US headlining tour in 2019, myself having witnessed them sellout a 2,000 capacity venue in New Jersey. While the aforementioned bands have begun achieving a newly found level success, lets take a look at some bands who may be poised to do the same to varying degrees in the near future.
1. Crystal Lake (Japan) - I firmly believe if Japanese metalcore band, Crystal Lake had the broader range of exposure American bands are afforded they would already have broken out. The band has been putting out full-length records since 2006 but really hit their stride in 2011 with a change in vocalists. While they have become much more buzzed about in recent years it's still not nearly as much as one would expect for a band who makes such excellent heavy, creative, beautiful metalcore. Now having an American record deal with Sharptone records and gaining momentum off of their most recent album Helix, we expect Crystal Lake's stock to steadily rise in coming years.
2. Dealer (Australia) - A brand new band created by former members of Northlane and Alpha Wolf, Dealer has all the makings to become a cult-classic band. 2019 saw the band drop their anger-filled, mosh-educing debut EP titled "Soul Burn" on Stay Sick Recordings. The EP alone generated significant buzz in the core scene and it's seemingly only a matter of time before the Australian's become possibly the most popular and polarizing nu-metalcore acts of the 90's revival scene.
3. Dayseeker (USA) - Southern California's Dayseeker has the recipe to become a crossover success reaching fans of many genres. The band blends pop style vocals with catchy heavy riffs creating a sound that could appeal to a large audience of people. The time feels ripe for Dayseeker to take the next leap in the process of becoming a mid-range venue headlining band, possibly even more than that one day if the band continues to find innovative appealing ways to reinvent their sound in coming years.
4. Thornhill (Australia) - Progressive metal and metalcore outfit Thornhill just released their debut LP, "The Dark Pool", in October to widespread critical acclaim. The band has created a perfect formula blending a soaring vocal style, which is comparable to fellow Aussie's Karnivool, with progressive guitar melodies making them one of the most interesting new metalcore bands to come along in several years. I believe with the more exposure and hype the group is likely to receive and eventually international tour dates, it should just be another record or so before they become one of the highest regarded new bands of the scene.
5. Alpha Wolf (Australia) - The third Australian band to make the list, Alpha Wolf had their first video to hit one-million views on YouTube this year with their song "Black Mamba". Now that may not sound like anything extraordinary but in this day and age it is quite an accomplishment as metal music video views have declined drastically over the past several years. Combing beatdown hardcore with elements of nu-metal, the band is quickly one of the leaders of a new scene of groups in an increasingly popular 90s aesthetic style that could lead to big future returns if the band can afford any missteps.
6. The Offering (USA) - I struggled with deciding if this band should be on the list or not. The Offering are a heavy metal band from New England who combines, classic heavy metal, melodic death metal, and progressive metal to form a sound best described as 'modern heavy metal'. They certainly draw influences from the classics but perform in a much more updated version than acts like Judas Priest. The reason I struggled with putting the band here is because they are still very unknown, however if you look at some of the largest bands in heavy music today, many of them can be described as just "heavy metal". The Offering is very much the next step in the evolution of the metal sound and could become the next huge stars of the genre if they are exposed to the right audiences and pushed by a good label.
7. SeeYouSpaceCowboy (USA) - Nostalgia is always a huge factor in what becomes popular and I feel it will be no different with chaotic metalcore/hardcore outfit, SeeYouSpaceCowboy. Not to say the band is only nostalgia as they are a fantastic original group, however they do display many tendencies of the formerly incredibly popular "scene culture" admitting to being influenced by bands such as Attack Attack! and I Set My Friends On ire, which is endearing of the band to admit in it's own right . As we've seen with the recent 90's revival craze, there will always be an audience for revivals once enough time has passed and I believe this band will be the ones to lead the rebirth of scene in due time despite their noncommercial, abrasive sound.
8. Enterprise Earth (USA) - The only full-on deathcore band to make the list, Enterprise Earth can also lay claim to being the only newer deathcore band on pace to hit one-million views on YouTube. The band has a long way to go of course before they can lay clame to truly being a potemtial rising star but they've managed to garner attention outside of the small deathcore community which has become increasingly difficult over the past several years. As the band grows they present a possibility for their genre to have a new band in the limelight for the first time in quite awhile.
9. Left Behind (USA) - Left Behind dropped their third LP "No One Goes To Heaven" and continued to increase their trajectory in the hardcore scene following their praised 2017 LP "Blessed By The Burn". I feel a key to Left Behind's future success is the hints of southern metal they display naturally as a Texas band. That style of groove connects with many people as seen by the mass success of Pantera and possibly one day by Left Behind as well to a smaller degree.
10. Fit For An Autopsy (USA) - New Jersey's Fit For An Autopsy has been undergoing a transition over the past few records from a deathcore band to a band more along the lines of Gojira with the addition of crushing breakdowns and that is something that could connect with nearly every portion of the metal fan-base. I feel comfortable saying nobody could listen to the groups last three records and honestly say they're not good. Through beautiful song structures, crushing heaviness, and top tier metal production, I feel Fit For An Autopsy can achieve success to a much higher degree than anyone thought was possible.