Here are the 10 best nu-core bands, chosen by Vexed.
The U.K. group just released Negative Energy, the followup to their impressive 2021 debut, Culling Culture, led by the singles "Anti-Fetish," "X My <3 (Hope to Die)" and "Trauma Euphoria."
The band populates a scene loosely defined as nu-core, a more recent development that finds bands playing a hybrid style that incorporates elements of nu-metal, rap/hip-hop, hardcore's rhythm-intensive breakdowns and the ever-popular djent guitar tone for some elastic crunch.
Again concentrating the lyrical content on human emotion and mental health. "Since our first release, we have each endured traumatic experiences, surrounded by death, betrayal, pain and grief. In order to find any strength, we first had to accept that we weren’t OK, then take our trauma and face it head on, sharing our vulnerability, fears and weaknesses," the band says of the new record, adding "Instead of forcing ourselves to try and be positive we put all our negative energy into the album in order to begin our own repair and to overcome."
READ MORE: The Hip-Hop Artists That Inspire Vexed Vocalist Megan Targett
Now, let's dive into the exciting nu-core scene and see who Vexed name as the best bands to play the style further below!
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Vexed, "Anti-Fetish" Music Video
A band that smashes you in the face at 100 miles per hour but with a deep message of mental health. Graphic Nature are unapologetically relentless with a mix of nu-metal influences but also drum and bass. If you haven’t seen them live then you really need to change that.
Australian five-piece Alpha Wolf made the world listen when they dropped their 2020 record A Quiet Place to Die, featuring the huge single “Akudama.”
They went from being a great band to a viral sensation, and rightly so. Using samples, scratching and never afraid of a whammy pedal, Alpha Wolf create insanely catchy and jarring riffs that have made them a standout name in the genre.
For me, Emmure’s Look at yourself really was a redefining album. Vocalist Frankie Palmieri recruited an entirely new lineup and the album is loaded with heavy grooves and an intensity I’ve yet to hear elsewhere.
Don’t get me wrong — old Emmure is great, but since changing their sound, I truly believe they are in a league of their own.
Hailing from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Gideon have that trademark southern American sound with plenty of grit and riffs. Many of their songs are on our daily playlists. If you need to be hyped up, listen to Gideon.
Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t deny you know who they are. King 810 are one of my favorite bands, and their 2016 album La Petite Morte is also one of my favorite albums of all time.
King 810 explore all areas of metal that other bands dare not go and do it with a monstrous and eerie style.
Darko US are a satisfyingly heavy project fronted by Chelsea Grin vocalist Tom Barber.
They’ve got a catalog of super low-tuned riffs and feature a load of samples and effects in their material. “Insects” was the track that made me want to listen to more.
Formed in 2014 in Pittsburgh, Signs of the Swarm have cemented their spot in the deathcore/metal genre with their extreme and unforgiving instrumentation. A song that stands out to me is “Pernicious.”
Code Orange began around 2008, but really found their place on Forever, which was their first release under major label Roadrunner Records. Since then, they have been catapulted to the front of the hardcore/metal scene with their unique sound and high energy live performances.
Defenses were founded in 2013 and have been making waves in the metal scene. The band puts a unique spin on the post-hardcore genre, and make some super catchy hooks. Tracks such as “Shatter” and “What You Know” are particular favorites.
Formed in 2007, this band continues to impress and bring new elements to a genre that seems to be ever-evolving.
With big, groove-laden riffs, AJ Channer’s diverse range of vocals, catchy breakdown sections and even catchier choruses, there’s something from the catalog for anyone.
“Soul Revolution,” which dropped in 2022, is definitely worth a listen