The brainchild of James Sherwin, rising math metal outfit Catercorner has just dropped the first video, “The Other Osmium,” from the upcoming self-titled EP. Inspired by acts such as Nine Inch Nails, Sikth, and Aphex Twin, their boundary-pushing math metal has won them many fans. Recently, we spoke to James and asked him to pick eight bands he thinks push heavy music into new territories.

1. Humanity’s Last Breath

“Featuring members of Vildhjarta, this band is brutally heavy. I had wondered if we’d reached peak heavy around ten to 15 years ago and things had just got faster, slower, lower-tuned, or more dissonant and abrasive but these guys have managed to cultivate the most crushing guitar tone ever. I love the creativity in the riffs and this video is stunning; so beautifully bleak. Their new album was just released on February 12th.”

2. Igorrr

“Igorrr are just amazing. All these crazy ideas and mixed-up genres all tightly interwoven with an immense dedication to the art of it all, from the instrumentation and sound design to the visuals. Plus, everyone should watch the ‘Very Noise’ video at least once in their life.”

3. Herod

“I seriously had Sombre Dessein on repeat for about a year. They call it progressive sludge. It strikes this balance of solidity and space with an unprocessed, organic feel. Featuring an ex-vocalist of The Ocean. Follow-up album is coming later this year.”

4. Zeal & Ardor

“We need more innovation like this. Blending black metal with Motown, soul, and gospel, amongst other genres. Really powerful to watch live too. There are too many bands churning out the same tired old stuff and the success of this sort of experimentation is really inspirational.”

5. Zombieshark!

“Listening to I Will Destroy You, Myself, And Everything I’ve Ever Loved is an intense experience and really shows that you can make great heavy electronic music. Loads of great textures and beats that will peel your face off; from blast-beats to gabber and breakcore.”

6. Barrens

“Less traditionally heavy than other bands in this list but their album was one of the highlights of 2020 for me. Rather than using them as an additional layer sitting on top, I love how these guys seamlessly integrate synths into post-metal. Great dynamics.”

7. Boss Keloid

Melted on the Inch took me totally by surprise when I listened to it. The music has this richness and great texture, sounding unlike any other band. They have a new album later this year and I’m really eager to see where they go with it.”boss

8. Erlen Meyer

Sang et Or was a 2019 release that I had on repeat for a year at least. Technically not related to 2021, but more people need to listen to this band. I love how they have created something so intense and heavy but without the traditional heavy guitar tones; it all comes from the combination of vocals, bass and playing. Just listen to the song ‘Coton Cardé.’ When you get to around the 5:40 mark it’s like some kind of sandblaster.”

Artwork for ‘Catercorner’ by Catercorner

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.