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

Slaughter To Prevail

(Image credit: Valeriia Nega)

Slaughter To Prevail

In the early summer of 2021, Slaughter To Prevail relocated from their hometown of Yekaterinburg, Russia to Orlando, Florida. The initial idea was to get a foothold in the US market, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine in March 2022 has made it difficult for them to go back – not least because STP’s subsequent single 1984 was a protest against the invasion, treason in the eyes of the Russian authorities.

“Some platforms refuse to work with us, just because we are Russians,” says heavily inked vocalist Alex Terrible, aka Aleksandr Shikolai. “I don’t blame them. I love my country but I respect all other countries. I’m not political, but all I see is a growing hatred.”

The situation weighs heavily on the singer, but his band are determined to let their music do the talking. Slaughter To Prevail are at the very forefront of the deathcore resurgence. Their pummelling, groove-laden brutality and Alex’s insane vocal range have thrust them to the front of the pack. 

“We always want to sound unique and we’re still looking for our sound,” he says. “But we also want to make it as extreme as possible. We don’t call ourselves deathcore. We play extremely heavy metal music, we mix genres however we want.”

It helps they also look incredible. The ‘Kid Of Darkness’ mask that the singer created and wears onstage has quickly become iconic among fans. Alex has sold more than 20,000 masks via his website, and says he’s seen the Kid Of Darkness image tattooed on more than 1,500 fans. 

“The mask is the personification of my soul, what is in my heart, of me, of you, of people who work every day,” he says. “It gives me energy, power.”

Slaughter To Prevail released their most recent album, Kostolom, in 2021. The world may be engulfed in chaos and war, but Alex is single-minded about what the next 12 months hold for his band: “We will release a new album that will make us 10 times bigger.” Stephen Hill

Slaughter To Prevail’s new album will be released later this year

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.