The Next Generation: Here Are 10 New Bands You Need To Know

Every decade has its own generation of leading bands. The 00’s had Killswitch Engage, Bullet For My Valentine, Converge, Escape The Fate, and Trivium; the 10’s had Bring Me The Horizon, Motionless In White, Of Mice & Men, We Came As Romans, and Memphis May Fire; and now the bands that will define the 20’s are taking shape. Despite the rough start the 20’s was dealt with, the music scene is filled with excitement and anticipation. Thanks to modern technology, bands were able to work hard from the comfort of home and continue producing music. Additionally, these technological advances make it possible for bands to market their music and connect with fans across the world with ease. The best up-and-coming bands are taking advantage of the tools before them to grow exponentially. Here are 10 bands that made it impossible not to notice their growth. This is The Next Generation.

*Bands listed are not listed in any particular order, as defining a decade is a group effort and not a competition*

**Additionally, bands with more than two albums will not be considered, and the second album must be recent**

Now kick back and enjoy new music by some of the biggest up-coming-bands!

The Next Generation: 10 Bands Taking Over During The 20’s

Tallah

Tallah

FFO: Slipknot, Korn, Linkin Park, Knocked Loose

Genre: Nucore, Nu-metal, Hardcore, Beatdown

Who are Tallah?

Tallah are ridiculous. I mean this in only the best way imaginable. This band is absolutely off-the-walls. They prove that nu-metal isn’t only alive and well, it never even reached its peak. Coining the term nu-core, Tallah are here to lead the next generation of bands; the one’s formed by the kids of the 90’s that grew up with nu-metal at the forefront of popular music.

The Story of Matriphagy

Tallah’s appeal persists beyond just the dynamic sound of the band. The dark band have a concept album to match, and honestly dark is an understatement. Drummer Max Portnoy details the album saying “Matriphagy is a concept album about how an overprotective mother pushes her son to the edge of insanity through psychological and physical abuse. Having spent two decades trapped inside a glorified prison, and after some failed rescue/escape attempts, the son, in a state of heavy delirium, does the unforgivable to free himself from his mother’s wicked hold“. The story is even more intense and disturbing than this synopsis suggests. I recommend you hear it for yourself and then watch the series of videos where talented vocalist Justin Bonitz explains the dark story they crafted.

Tallah Make Metal Disturbing Again

Overconfidence – Tallah

While nu-metal stayed mostly lowkey in the 10’s compared to the mainstream success of the 90’s and 00’s, there is nothing lowkey about Tallah’s sound. From odd yet wildly catchy choruses, to iconic nu-metal riffage, to beat-down style breakdowns, Tallah have taken everything exciting about the metal scene and kicked it up to 1000. The Earache Records band have coined the term nucore to capture this heavier take on the nu-metal sound. One would think a band this heavy would not be too accessible, but the band’s popularity is skyrocketing at a fast pace. The band is already playing the stages of mainstream rock and metal festivals, yet their debut record ‘Matriphagy‘ only released October 2020. Just wait until the band’s second album, and I guarantee they will have taken over the scene by then. Tallah bring an energy live that hasn’t been seen since the early days of Slipknot. Check out their famous hate5six liveset below.

hate5six – Tallah Live (Matriphagy in full)

Listen to: The whole Matriphagy album in order honestly. Matriphagy is a concept album with a story being told from start to end. It is written so well and deserves a full listen. However, if you must listen to only a couple of tracks, I recommend Overconfidence, L.E.D., and We The Sad

Sleep Token

Sleep Token

FFO: Polyphia, Issues, Loathe, Periphery, Veil of Maya, Spiritbox

Genre: Progressive Metal, Alternative Metal, Ambient

Who are Sleep Token?

If you follow Metal Shell on any (or preferably all!) social media accounts, you saw this one coming. Sleep Token has quickly become one of my favorite bands ever. Not much is known about the Spinefarm records band other than that they are based out of Britain. The mysterious nature of the band is intentional; with the band only being known as a collective lead by vocalist, Vessel. The band has deep-rooted lore that follows the musical extension of a cult that worships the deity only known as “Sleep”. The lore of the band can be read below:

The Lore of Sleep Token

“Sleep Token is the musical end of a sprawling global cult that worships the deity of ‘Sleep’, an ancient being that is given power by those who believe.

Sleep Token are a masked, anonymous collective of musicians; united by their worship of an ancient deity crudely dubbed “Sleep”, since no modern tongue can properly express it’s name.

This being once held great power, bestowing ancient civilisations with the gift of dreams, and the curse of nightmares.

Even today, though faded from prominence, ‘Sleep’ yet lurks in the subconscious minds of man, woman, and child alike. Fragments of beauty, horror, anguish, pain, happiness, joy, anger, disgust, and fear coalesce to create expansive, emotionally textured music that simultaneously embodies the darkest, and the brightest abstract thoughts. He has seen them, he has felt them, he is everywhere.

Sleep Token, led by the perpetually tormented Vessel, creates music that brings to the fore our most submerged thoughts and feelings, coaxing them from the desolate, terrifying caves of our subconscious mind.”

The Romantic Yet Dark Sound of Sleep Token

Alkaline – Sleep Token

The band is difficult to describe, and deserve a full digestion before judging the band. Sleep Token are a progressive metal band with a romantic and serene sound; this tranquil sound is occasionally interrupted by devastating breaks. I’ve never heard a band that flirts with these sounds so well. While playing through their debut album The Sundowning, one moment you’ll feel like you are floating in the clouds; at other times you’ll feel like your in the middle of a mosh pit in hell.

Fortunately the evidence is there that Sleep Token will not have a sophomore slump. The lead single Alkaline off their second album This Place Will Be Your Tomb is debatably their best song to date. I have full faith that Sleep Token will only surpass the high expectations already set for them with their second record. It is no wonder why the metal scene is worshiping Sleep Token. Worship.

Listen to: Alkaline, Jaws, and the Sundowning album in full. Worship.

Spiritbox

Spiritbox

FFO: Northlane, Veil of Maya, Crystal Lake, Sleep Token, Loathe

Genre: Metalcore, Progressive Metal, Alternative Metal

Who are Spiritbox?

If you keep up with the alternative scene even a little bit, you already know who Spiritbox are. The Canadian band have absolutely taken the metal world by storm. They don’t even have an album out, yet yield an incredibly impressive 552,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. This may just be the most drastic increase in growth witnessed within the scene.

These impressive statistics did not happen by some act of magic or anything. The members of Spiritbox have been important figures in the scene for ages. Their hard work and gradual increase in expertise led the band to perfecting their craft before even releasing a full album. Fortunately the wait is almost over. Spiritbox will be releasing their highly-anticipated debut album Eternal Blue under Rise Records September 17th, 2021. Oddly enough, the band are even touring with Limp Bizkit starting next week. Sounds like one hell of a party if you ask me!

The Terrifyingly Beautiful Sounds of Spiritbox

Circle With Me – Spiritbox

Spiritbox sound both terrifyingly beautiful and beautifully terrifying. From monsterous heavy bangers like Holy Roller and Rule of Nines, to the beautiful masterpieces of Circle With Me and Secret Garden, Spiritbox seem to be able to do it all. This duality is exactly what makes Spiritbox such a promising band. The talent it takes to perfect both of these sounds is impressive, and we are totally here for it.

Listen to: Holy Roller, Circle With Me, Blessed Be, Rule Of Nines

VRSTY

VRSTY

FFO: Issues, Slaves (name change TBA), Emarosa, nightlife, Michael Jackson

Genre: Alternative Metal, Soul-punk, Rnb

Who Are VRSTY?

VRSTY started off as a solo project by vocalist Joey Varela. The Shameless singer has been an active member of the alternative scene for nearly a decade. He has consistently put out quality music full of soul and passion, and the hard work started paying off recently. This work ethic scored VRSTY a signing from Spinefarm Records (yes, VRSTY are label mates with Sleep Token! The label is killing it in the 20’s).

After releasing three EPs, each progressively better than the one before it, the band that has been in the background of the alternative scene has rocketed passed the boundaries of this scene and broken into mainstream hard rock radio. The band have recently taken over SiriusXM Octane and have recently scored a spot on the Shiprocked lineup. I can’t imagine this exponential growth will end anytime soon. I can only imagine that their debut full-length record will launch the band even further passed the current ceiling of rock.

VRSTY Sound Massive

Massive – VRSTY

Throwing VRSTY into the same categories as other soulful bands such as Issues, Slaves, and Emarosa is honestly a disservice to the band. VRSTY don’t merely sprinkle in rnb influences into their metalcore tracks, they ARE a rnb band. Put some emphasis on the band part, as there is at no lack of riffs and heavy moments in their music. The band is truly the product of a rnb fan that grew involved in the alternative scene. This heavy dosage of the rnb sound is exactly what makes VRSTY so captivating.

Describing their sound, vocalist Joey Varela said “when people ask me what we sound like, I say, ‘We’re whatever you want us to be’. I can’t put a genre on us, because I’m a pop and R&B singer who loves metal. There are pop tracks, metal tracks, and R&B tracks. It’s super different heavy music with pop-inspired vocals. The genre has enough bands who sound similar. If you spend time trying to do what’s popular, you fall into a mode. That’s not something we’re interested in. The music has to be fun for us and the people listening to it“. VRSTY are unconditionally themselves, and we are here for it.

VRSTY sound massive, and the band only proceeds to progress with every release. The band doesn’t even have out (what I would call) a full album yet, but I am confident that their debut will turn the scene upside-down. Imagine if Michael Jackson was backed by a metal band. That’s all I have to hear before I dive head-first into their discography.

Listen to: Massive, Dig, Shameless, Colorblind, Unity.

Loathe

Loathe

FFO: Deftones, Slipknot, Code Orange, Sleep Token, Spiritbox

Genre: Nu-metal, Metalcore, Progressive Metal

Who Are Loathe?

What do you get when you take the floaty vibes of Deftones and add in a large helping of black metal levels of aggression? You get Loathe. With their release of their second album I Let It in and It Took Everything in 2020 the band have blown up exponentially. Now reaching 220,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, the English band are quickly rising up in numbers. While the band isn’t as new as most bands on their list, their latest record is what really put them on the map. All 10 of their top 10 tracks are from the album. Their promising career is only just getting started, and there is no doubt that they will be one of the biggest bands to represent the 20’s.

Loathe are one of the many incredible bands signed by promising new label Sharptone Records (check out their roster, it is great!). With the band on the same label as We Came As Romans, Miss May I, Of Mice & Men, and Crystal Lake, their continued success is eminent. The band have already secured festival spots such as the UK’s Slam Dunk Festival and Download Festival. We are confident that many more festival performances will follow in 2022.

The Haunting Sounds of Loathe

New Faces In The Dark – Loathe

Loathe are a band gifted with the mastering of two very different sounds. They don’t merely flirt with the the spacey sounds of Deftones or the dark heavy sounds of Code Orange; the Gored band has perfected both of these sounds. They could release material as two different bands and would still find success. Personally, my favorite side of Loathe is when they fuse these sounds to the point where one track sounds like two separate ones. Songs like Screaming and New Faces In The Dark show the heavenly side and aggressive side of the band.

This yin and yang approach is where the band really comes into their own. No one else is doing this so flawlessly. Their is a reason why I Let It in and It Took Everything is such a huge record. We can only assume that Loathe are only just getting started, and they are sure to be a leading band of the 20’s.

Listen to: Two-Way Mirror, Aggressive Evolution, Screaming, New Faces In The Dark, Gored

Backwordz

Backwordz

FFO: Fire From The Gods, Sylar, Linkin Park, Dropout Kings, Notions, UnityTX

Genre: Nu-metal, Rap metal, Hip-hop

Who are BackWordz?

BackWordz are a libertarian street hip-hop influenced metal band that bring top tier flows and riffs. The libertarian band preach a unique message within the metal and hard rock scenes. In a polarized scene where you’re typically either a far-left liberal metalcore/hardcore outlet or a hyper conservative mid-west festival playing band, BackWordz are here to stir the pot. The best thing about the Individualism band is that you get something with them that you won’t (and can’t) get anywhere else.

While many new listeners likely won’t initially agree with a lot of what the band has to say, frontman Eric July (original frontman/writer for Fire From The Gods) brings up a lot of good points that are worth digesting if you have an open-minded to these types of topics. I recommend giving their debut album, Veracity, a full listen. Like in real-life, It is easier to grasp the full message if you listen to the whole speech instead of out-of-context quotes. Fortunately the record is a long one, reaching a whopping 18 tracks (only one track is an interlude too!). There is a lot to learn from Veracity. One of my favorite traits of the band is their “Be Great” attitude and message. The band is sure to live up to their potential if they stay true to this idea.

Be Great With a Self-Release

The band is one of the oldest bands on this list, but they only have one album under their belt. The Texas band self-released their first record, Veracity (with help from the now defunct independent label StaySick Recordings) back in 2017, and have yet to release their second album. The band reportedly finished the second album last year, but are waiting to release it until they can demonstrate the record live. The band may have ever started recording their third album while waiting. With only one album released so far, it is safe to say that BackWordz have hardly started their musical journey. After the huge commercial success of their self-released debut record, it would be no surprise if the Self Ownership band take over the 20’s.

The Many Sounds of BackWordz

Self Ownership (Ft. Fronz of Attila) – Backwordz

BackWordz have a diverse array of sounds and styles within their disposal. Seriously, I can’t even begin the list them all. The band tackles rap, street hip-hop, metalcore, hard rock, hardcore, thrash, pop, you name it. With 18 tracks on their debut album alone, the independent band had a ton of room (literally) to experiment. The band are accessible in their sound, yet still pack a punch. Anyone could enjoy at least a handful of their tracks (I recommend listening to all of them though!)

Back in 2017 I was listening to BackWordz in my car while waiting for my 8:00 AM lab to start. I am just rocking out and enjoying the album and I suddenly hear a knock on my window. For a split-second I assumed I was getting silenced by the police or a professor or something. Fortunately I was wrong in my assumption. A fellow student knocked on my window to ask who the band was. He then informed me that “they sound sick”. You can’t make this up! I have been following the band for years and I know they are only just getting started. I highly anticipate the release of their second (and maybe third?) record. For a band called BackWordz, they sure are aiming to push the scene forward throughout the 20’s.

Listen to: Self Ownership, Individualism, Statism, Let Me Live, Snap

Dropout Kings

Dropout Kings

FFO: Linkin Park, Attila, Sylar, Backwordz, Hacktivist

Genre: Trap Metal, Nu-metal, Rapcore

Who are Dropout Kings?

Dropout Kings are a Phoenix, Arizona based band currently signed by Suburban Noize Records. The band previously released their debut record AudioDope with Napalm Records and additional EP GlitchGang with StaySick Recordings. The band can’t seem to go anywhere without attracting a label. Fortunately the band are stronger than ever under Suburban Noize Records, and the band is ready to continue their upwards trajectory. The band re-released their EP GlitchGang with their current label, adding their single I Ain’t Depressed Featuring Hacktivist. The song is their best to date, so I recommend keeping an eye on Dropout Kings and anticipate a second record by the young band.

I have been following the band for awhile and I am increasingly impressed with their growth and work ethic. The band never stop working on their products, including several outside of the band. Singer Adam Ramey (the trapmetal king himself) is becoming an expert in the marketing world. This is evident in the band’s ability to score huge heights regarding engagement and impressions on social media. Their Facebook page is basically a mainstream meme page! Modern bands have a lot to learn from Dropout Kings, and they are definitely leading the next generation in terms of self-marketing and self-investment.

DOK are Reinventing Nu-Metal

I Ain’t Depressed (Feat. Hacktivist) – Dropout Kings

While maybe bands have imitated the nu-metal sound of the 90’s and early 20’s, Dropout Kings are reinventing it entirely. Seriously, these guys have modernized the sound in an incredible way. By fusing metalcore with trap, the band achieve something that has never been done before. The band coined the term TrapMetal to describe their music. Bands like Attila have used the phrase, but Dropout Kings go all out with the sound, securing it as a true genre.

Listen to: I Ain’t Depressed, GlitchGang, Hakai, Devil’sPlayground, Going Rogue (feat. Landon Tewers)

UnityTX

UnityTX

FFO: Notions, Hatebreed, Backwordz, Sylar, Dropout Kings

Genre: Rap, Hip-hop, Hardcore,

Who are UnityTX?

UnityTX are the product of eternal struggle and undying dedication. Coming before hunger, frontman Jay Webster worked for over seven years to get the band where it is today. There is no doubts that UnityTX will only grow monumental in size after conquering all of these hardships. The band’s profile on label Pure Noise Records’ website details these struggles saying “

Formed in 2014, the group has battled untold numbers of ups and downs, from numerous member changes to even more naysayers kicking back at their refusal to bow to genre norms — not to mention deep turmoil for Webster himself, including near homelessness and serious doubts about the viability of his musical dreams. Just when it seemed they were gaining traction, misfortune was always just around the corner looking to cut them down. But now, with MADBOY set for release September 25 via Pure Noise Records, UNITYTX is living proof of the power of personal resilience and sheer will“.

The label was correct too, as MADBOY made some major RUCKUS upon release. The band is still quite lowkey, as they have a little over 37,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, but this is only the beginning for UnityTX. With two high-octane releases out so far – their debut album MadBoy and their new 2021 EP HELLWAY – the band are already gaining a small but loud-and-proud fanbase. Just wait until album two. UnityTX will be tearing up some venues underground style, but worldwide.

This is Rock Music

RUCKUS – UnityTX

As frontman Jay Webster shouts in the brutal track CROSS ME, “this is rock music motherfucker!”. UnityTX are here to tear down genre norms and show kids everywhere that you can make whatever music you want to make. Their energetic and aggressive mixture of hardcore and hip-hop is sick. This take on both sound take the best from each. The quick and deadly RUCKUS hits like a freight train in a hit-and-run, and the freestyle RACK IT UP shows exactly how well Webster can rap. When you’re great at two things separately, you’re destined to create a dangerously awesome mixture.

RUCKUS + CROSS ME (LIVE!) – UnityTX

Webster is on a mission to make music that allows fans to feel free. The frontman once said “I hope to create a culture for kids of all ethnicities. I want kids in the black community who grew up like me — who want to get into punk or heavy music but don’t feel comfortable because they’re not being represented — to know it’s possible. I want every single person who comes to our shows to feel free. If we can do that, everything else will work itself out“. UnityTX are destined to achieve this goal, along with everything else that comes after it.

Fun fact! UnityTX and BackWordz – both bands are from Texas – appear on the same collaboration with fellow Texan nu-metalcore band Notions. We can only hope that a tour featuring all three acts will follow soon. Check out the music video for TxxthTxke below. While Notions didn’t quite make my list, their is no doubt they will be a leading band of the next generation as well.

TxxthTxke – Notions (feat. BackWordz & UnityTX)

Listen to: RUCKUS, CROSS ME, BETTER DAYZ, Agony, Walk with Me

Tetrarch

Tetrarch

FFO: Korn, Linkin Park, Slipknot, Motionless In White

Genre: Nu-metal, Metalcore, Nu-core

Who are Tetrarch?

While label Napalm Record’s calls Tetrarch “metal’s hottest new rising stars” (and it is true!) they are actually not a new band. Like myself, Tetrarch are from Atlanta, Georgia and have been involved in music since 2007. Also like myself, the band are now based out of Los Angeles, California. This highlights the start a new chapter for the band. The band have tackled both the Atlanta and Los Angeles scenes, two areas that I have been frequently a part of. However, they made this list because of the massive outbreak they have obtained very recently – they only have two records released – with their most recent release being last April.

On Tetrarch’s official website, the bands journey is detailed stating “fierce individuality and an outsider’s mentality aren’t just at the heart of Tetrarch – they form the band’s sonic mission statement. Formed in Atlanta, Georgia in just their middle school years by vocalist and guitarist Josh Fore, lead guitarist Diamond Rowe, bassist Ryan Lerner and drummer Ruben Limas, the band has proven themselves to be a powerhouse inspired by their outcast roots – equally defined by not only their metallic power and melodic hooks, but their outspoken embracing of all those who deem themselves oddities, misfits or even simply misunderstood. Their unfiltered, inclusive image, consistently unabashed and angst-ridden sermon to the misjudged masses, and anthems of acceptance in a time of palpable division are what sets them apart as one of the brightest stars of hard rock’s future“.

This dedication and tenacity will not go to waste. Tetrarch worked hard leading up to their explosive second album, and there is no way they won’t be amongst the next generation of icons within the scene.

The Negative Noise of Tetrarch

I’m Not Right – Tetrarch

The band are part of the nu-metal revival, but while most bands merely bring the energy and party metal attitude of the genre, Tetrarch bring the eerie and dark nature of the genre’s earlier days. This style is reminiscent of the Korn – during their earliest records – bringing dark lyrical content, distorted choruses, rap style screams, and punishing low growls. The band is moody and unapologetic; they really just let it all out there. It took me some time to get into Tetrarch for this reason. These days I am into more positive (but still heavy) music. The band bring all the angst of early nu-metal. Don’t let this deter you though, as this is now one of my favorite aspects of the band. They are a perfect outlet for inner frustration and dark times. Perhaps their 2021 record – released under Napalm records – Unstable came at the perfect time. During the 2020 and 2021 have been rough, and this dark record came at a relatable time for many.

Listen to: I’m Not Right, Negative Noise, You Never Listen, Unstable, Addicted

nightlife

nightlife

FFO: Issues, Letlive, Slaves (name change TBA), VRSTY

Genre: Soul-punk, Rnb, Alternative, Progressive Metal

Who are nightlife?

Out of all the bands destined to take over the scene, nightlife are the newest. Seriously, the band only just released their first single two weeks ago. Their track new low was an instant hit for anyone who caught wind of the new release. Combining the riffage of progressive metal with the attitude and song of rnb, nightlife were able to masterfully a blend of genres that many previously only experimented with.

The band calls their music soul-punk, picking up from the legacy of letlive. The Baltimore band consists of talented musicians that have been making waves in the scene through social media. With only three songs total under their belt – and already making waves – there is no doubt that nightlife are going to be a household name by the end of the 20’s. Give them time to release one full record and the scene is there’s. The next generation looks great, but this soul-punk band makes it look fantastic.

The band is currently independent, which only makes this debut release that much more impressive. singer Hansel Romero explained on Twitter that they mixed everything from “demo-to-master”. This is impressive as the production on the EP is huge. You should definitely keep both eyes on this soul punk band.

The Soulful Sound of nightlife

new low – nightlife

The band is the perfect definition of what a band should be in 2021. By fusing current top pop and rnb with modern rock and post-hardcore, the band are perfecting something many bands before them have only attempted. Since 2019, many bands went towards this “vibey” sound. Some succeeded, while others fell flat on their face. Nightlife take this concept and make it sound more incredible than ever, while also sounding 100% organic and real. The natural sound and feel from the music is refreshing and powerful. There is no doubting that the band will find success in the modern alternative scene and perhaps even beyond these boundaries. Nightlife may be the newest band on this list, but they are also crucial evidence in showing that the next generation is here, and it kicks ass.

The Next Generation Playlist

What did you think of the list? Check out our The Next Generation Of Metal Playlist, where you can indulge in the sounds of these incredible new bands sure to take over the 20’s. The Spotify playlist can be found below.

Did we miss any bands? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

Keep an eye out for my next series of articles where I will compile and detail everything you need to know about each of the promising 10 bands. Stay tuned!