5 new bands you need to hear this month

(left to right from top) Black Void/Doodswens/Callous Daoboys/Come To Grief/Oni
(Image credit: Olivia Keasling/Press/Ironshore/Svart/Nuclear Blast)

Looking for the perfect band to provide those summer jams? Rather more in the mood for heartbreaking doom, or Dutch black metal? We've got you covered, as these five bands represent the finest ear-splitting newcomers you could hope to find. Brace yourselves, it's about to get heavy.

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Callous Daoboys

Nobody knows how to pigeonhole the Callous Daoboys. “It’s always cool when someone compares us to Converge or The Dillinger Escape Plan,” the Atlanta band’s frontman Carson Pace tells Hammer on a video call. “But, also, we get Panic! At The Disco comparisons. It’s the weirdest thing.”

Give them a spin and you’ll understand why people struggle, as the band’s manic hardcore darts off the walls à la Botch and The Chariot. However, they’ve also filled out their ranks with synth and violin players to add discordant background noise. Baroque pop intermittently lifts you from their polyrhythmic hell, while spoken-word samples come thick and fast. Long story short: they’re beautifully batshit. 

Despite the restless genre-hopping, Carson admits, “I’d never say that I’m a good songwriter. I pride myself on titling things.” Fair enough. Not only is his band’s name genuinely memorable, he’s penned songs called Flip-Flops At A Funeral, This SimCity Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us and A Brief Article Regarding Time Loops, the latter their current single. Their next album, Celebrity Therapist, continues the trend. Due later this year, its title takes a jab at cults, especially Scientology, and the manipulative behaviour they use to ensnare people. 

“It’s a title I’ve had in my head for years,” Carson explains. “Scientology has that celebrity centre, of course, and the idea of someone like Tom Cruise going to therapy tickles me.” The singer elaborates: “The record is basically about losing your loved ones to cults, as I have in various different ways. I was raised in a Christian cult, so when it comes to anti-vaxxers, QAnon and the alt-right, it’s a bummer to see a lot of people that I really love falling into stuff like that.” 

It’s a good thing the Callous Daoboys’ name and music have staying power, since Carson wants to make a scenewide splash. “I hope this band inspires a hundred great bands,” he declares. Matt Mills 

Sounds like: Mathcore, noise and tech-metal teaming up and getting really pissed at each other
For fans of: Botch, Respire, Pupil Slicer
Listen to: A Brief Article Regarding Time Loops

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Come To Grief

What's in a name? With Come To Grief, the answer’s a lot. Not only is the negative sentiment entirely justified, but the band feature two members of legendary 90s sludge/doom progenitors Grief – and the rotten apple certainly hasn’t fallen far from the tree. 

“The running themes are, as usual, pain, betrayal, depression, despair, world annihilation and eternal suffering,” says Jonathan Herbert (vocals/guitar) of the band’s first full-length album, When The World Dies

“As Jonathan says, there’s a lotta pain, anxiety and hopelessness,” agrees Terry Savastano (guitar/vocals). “I see this world through a very dark lens, and the bullshit and assholes I deal with on an hourly basis inspired this record no end.” 

As with fellow sludge survivors Eyehategod, there’s a real sense of sickness running through Come To Grief’s material, and Terry in particular has witnessed some turbulent times. “In 2012 I was committed to a mental institution for a little while and the only thing that got me through was my family and my music,” he says. “This is pure therapy for me.” 

Therapy it might be, but the struggles are real and ongoing, with Terry admitting his anxiety and depression are worse than ever. Between them the band suggest spending time outdoors and nixing social media as partial coping strategies, but with an album titled When The World Dies you have to wonder whether they think there are any positive outcomes for humanity. “I do feel we’re heading further and further in the wrong direction,” concludes drummer Chuck Conlon. “Can we ever come back from the mess we’re in? I’m really not so sure.” Alex Deller

Sounds Like: A sludge metal shitpit of fear, emptiness and despair
For fans of: Grief, Noothgrush, Eyehategod
Listen to: Life's Curse

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Black Void

It's been barely 12 months since Lars Are Nedland unveiled his art-metal act White Void, but rather than returning to his day job as vocalist for avant-garde BM expansionists Solefald, Lars has again assembled a motley crew of musicians to explore the ying to White Void’s yang. 

“I found myself needing a contrast,” Lars says of his new project, the fittingly named Black Void. “Something raw and hard. Uncomfortable and unruly. A flipside of the coin if you will.” 

Joined by drummer Tobias Solbakk (of Ihsahn’s solo band) and guitarist Jostein Thomassen (who plays alongside Lars in Borknagar), Black Void’s debut album, Antithesis, finds them reaching into the noisesome swamp of first-wave black metal to find the crossover points with bilious hardcore punk. This wasn’t just a stylistic choice either – it was ideological. 

“To obtain the right vibe, I told Jostein that he could only play downstrokes,” Lars explains. “He had to beat the strings rather than picking them. It did wonders to the aggression of the guitars, even if it meant him bleeding all over the place.” The resultant blood, sweat and tears are almost palpable in the visceral snarls of Antithesis, an album whose bleakness is underpinned by the Nietzschean nihilistic philosophies espoused in its lyrics. 

“Question everything,” Lars says. “The foundation of our knowledge, the basis of morality; Nietzsche tells us to think and to be critical. I think that’s a virtue.” Rich Hobson

Sounds like: Bilious black metal being played by nihilistic crust punks
For fans of: Darkthrone, Anti Cimex, Hellhammer
Listen to: Reject Everything

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There are many benefits to growing up in the Cayman Islands, but a lesser-known one is having Iggy Pop as your parents’ neighbour. “I’ve known Iggy since I was 14 years old,” says Jake Oni, frontman and mastermind behind the project that bears his name. 

Jake enlisted the punk godfather to appear alongside another friend of his, Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe, on Secrets, the impactful first single from Oni’s upcoming second album, Loathing Light. “Randy’s a huge Iggy Pop fan, so it was cool to get them both on the same track,” he says. 

That track was co-written by LOG’s Mark Morton, while another song, War Ender, features aggro-hip hop duo City Morgue, but Jake is much more than a dude with a great contacts book. Oni has been his brainchild since 2014, releasing their djenty debut album, Ironshore, in 2016, but this is a complete reboot. 

“The only similarity is that I’m doing the vocals, and it’s the same name,” says Jake. “But besides that, it’s a completely different thing.” This latest iteration swaps knotty complexity for a more direct assault inspired by 00s nu metal and hardcore. “I want to make the music that I want to hear,” says Jake. “I just want to leave something cool behind.” Dave Everley

Sounds like: The New New Wave Of American Heavy Metal
For fans of: Lamb Of God, Chevelle, Blindside
Listen to: Secrets

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The history of Doodswens was written onstage. The Dutch duo played their first gigs without having recorded a single song and quickly built a reputation based on their live performances. “We just started jamming and people caught on to that. We got our first gig, then the band name and then we created our set,” drummer Inge van der Zon remembers.

That set would turn into the band’s first demo in early 2019 and lead to appearances at prestigious metal events like Roadburn Festival and tours alongside the likes of Marduk. It has taken almost three more years for Doodswens to release their first album, Lichtvrees, a vicious yet atmospheric gem that is inspired by the Second Wave of Black Metal as well as a blooming Dutch underground scene. 

“I wouldn’t change a thing about our demo because it was raw and pure, the full force of energy that we evoked at that time”, singer and guitarist Fraukje van Burg states, “but we matured and so the music is changing, too. We had more time to develop this sound and put more thought into this album. It definitely has a deeper meaning.” 

Though ritualism plays an important role in the band’s stage and video performances, their lyrical content is rooted in their emotional journeys. Lichtvrees (“fear of light”) moves through different stages of darkness and light, highs and lows, to come to a universal conclusion, as van Burg explains: “You learn to accept the light but also the fact that darkness can always return. This way, you can reach some form of enlightenment, some peace of mind.” 

In these uncertain times, Doodswens can only hope to spread this message live as soon as possible. But one thing is for sure: It will always be the two of them. “We don’t want to sound like a five-person band,” says Inge. ‘This is the essence of two people.” Christina Wenig

Sounds like: A dark entity summoning the spirits of oldschool black metal
For fans of: Darkthrone, Enthroned, Wiegedood
Listen to: In Mijn Bloed