At the cross streets of nu metal and rap lies the band Islander. Their sound — which is self-described as “metal via hip-hop” — is a unique blend between two genres not often melded into one. The final product, however, is an intense burst of passionately delivered lyrics over the heavy guitar chops you’d expect from any metal band.

It has been quite a journey for Islander, who, in just over a year, have gone from obscurity to a band in constant radio rotation. Fueled with a combination of emotionally capturing songs and audience grabbing live shows, Islander continue to lead at the forefront of their peers.

Islander Official Bio

The band is currently gearing up for a tour with Bless the Fall and fellow Ernie Ball artist Escape the Fate this fall with shows starting September 17. You can check out the full list of tour dates on their official website.

Islander riffs with Ernie Ball Beefy ParadigmNot Even Slinky ParadigmBass 5 Slinky Cobalt bass strings.

Get amped with the top tracks from Islander below.

Hiatus Kaiyote


If you’re into “polyrhythmic, multi-dimensional” funk, Hiatus Kaiyote has what you’re looking for. The band exploded onto the scene with their debut album, Tawk Tomohawk, releasing to high praise, including a Grammy nomination — a feat that would be followed up by another only two years later.

We’re not trying to achieve or portray anything, it’s more of an exploration, so I guess that’s where the future element comes into it… You can call it whatever, but at the core it’s eclectic and without confinement.

Nai Palm, Life+Times

Though their sound may be hard to capture with words, Hiatus Kaiyote has a catchy sound that appeals to all kinds of listeners. To catch their funky, futuristic, soul-inspired tunes live, check out their official website for tour dates.

Hiatus Kaiyote explore the limits of music with Ernie Ball Super Slinky and Regular Slinky on guitar. On bass, they use Regular Slinky, Regular Slinky Flatwound, and Slinky Long Scale 6 Strings.

Embrace the sounds of Hiatus Kaiyote with their top tracks below.

Meat Wave


This Chicago-based post-punk trio is full of passion. The most recent Meat Wave release, The Incessant, tells a deeply personal account of the heartbreak that comes after the end of a twelve-year relationship. The twist, though, is that the feelings are projected onto a fictional being from which the album gets its namesake.

When you’re in something like that for so long, it doesn’t shield you from the world, but it softens your reality. A long relationship like that gives you confidence. I was just going nuts, making all the mistakes that you could make. It made for a really whack time — very confused, always unsure.

Chris Sutter, SideOneDummy Records

On the other side of that, though, came one of their most ferocious releases to date. Being their fourth full-length release, Meat Wave has had the chance to settle into their sound and create something sonically mature, yet emotionally raw.

Meat Wave rocks out with Ernie Ball Regular Slinky strings on guitar and Hybrid Slinky bass strings on bass.

Take a listen to the top Meat Wave songs below.

Esmé Patterson


Based out of Denver, Colorado, Esmé Patterson makes what she calls “soulful dream-rock.” Her bright, jangly guitar tones that evoke images sometimes of 60s soul and other times of folk-rock are perfectly counterbalanced by her warm, rich vocals.

On We Were Wild, I moved into some sonic spaces that are new for me. I was making sounds on the record that I wasn’t sure I could reproduce live. I was making a fantastical world that wasn’t sonically rooted in reproducible reality.

Esmé Patterson, Riff Magazine

Separate from her solo work, she has also worked closely with Shakey Graves on songs like “Call it Heaven” and “Dearly Departed.” As a solo act, however, her all-around musical abilities are a force to be reckoned with; between songwriting, guitar, and vocal work, Esmé Patterson is unstoppable.

Esmé Patterson creates her music using Ernie Ball Regular Slinky and Power Slinky on guitar. She also uses Ernie Ball Medium 5 String Loop End Stainless Steel Banjo strings and Medium Loop End Stainless Steel Mandolin strings.

Get lost in Esmé Patterson‘s top tracks below.


Through the Eyes of the Dead


Through the Eyes of the Dead is a deathcore band hailing from South Carolina. Pioneers in the blend of death metal and hardcore, this band is regarded highly in the deathcore community — especially given that they have been around for almost 20 years. Their most recent release, Disomus, came in 2017.

Even after countless run-throughs, you’ll still find yourself throwing spin kicks in your living room to songs like Stygian Maelstrom. By playing to their strengths, Through the Eyes of the Dead have made a straight forward, no thrills record that continues to prove they’re still big hitters within their scene.

Noizee on Disomus

Through the Eyes of the Dead delivers on everything that you’d expect from a deathcore band given their roots in the formation of the genre: chugging, deep guitars paired with grizzly vocals broken up with ringing riffs throughout. To get gnarly with the band live, you can check their tour dates on their official website.

Through the Eyes of the Dead throw down with Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Bass 5 strings on their Music Man Stingray 5 bass.

Rock out with the top tracks from Through the Eyes of the Dead below.

Share this Post