5 bands every metal fan is going to be talking about in 2023


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We live in a world where the minutiae of modern life are constantly laid bare under the striplight glare of social media. Many things have been devalued or dismantled as a result, not least the concept of enigma. Shadowy London duo Zetra are out to change that. 

“Truth should not be revealed but worked for, and is best shrouded in riddles,” say the pair, who communicate as a single entity via email. “The light of Zetra can only be created in darkness.”

Here’s what we do know about Zetra. They formed in London at the end of the last decade, and have released a series of singles and EPs via Bandcamp, many of them available only on cassette. Their sound is an icy, enveloping mix of 80s-inspired synth-pop, goth-metal heaviness and atmospheric dream-pop, capped with hazy vocals of indeterminate gender(s). The selected shows they have played have seen the pair surrounded by chains and burnt-out electronic hardware, and shrouded in dry ice. 

“It has been said that Zetra sounds like synthpop wrapped in chains, a sword slicing through velvet, and like being pummelled to death with love,” they say. “It has been said that Zetra look like inhabiting neon-lit underpasses in a foggy dystopia.”

2023 isn’t going to see the mystery lift. According to the duo, they have “relocated to the Commune” to record their debut album. And what exactly said record will sound like? “A prayer circle participated by [Tony] Iommi, Enya, Charli [XCX] and Chris Martin.”

That may sound like an self-consciously eclectic list, but Zetra make no bones about their place in the scheme of things. “In 2023 Zetra will continue to insist that it is a Heavy Metal band,” they say. “Heavy Metal must once more take its rightful place at the forefront of popular music. To achieve this, Heavy Metal must be exorcised and born again.” Dave Everley

Zetra’s debut album is due out this year