7 brilliant new metal bands to watch out for in 2024

Brat/Blackgold/Alt Blk Era/The Sun's Journey Through The night/Militarie Gun
(Image credit: Greta Gerstner/Reelz/Fabrice Gagos/Press/Daniel Topete)

Another year, another opportuntiy to discover some amazing new bands. Every week we offer a round-up of the best new metal songs and each month we bring you a selection of  some of the hottest new bands from across the heavy music spectrum, but which bands will ultimately rule the roost?

Well, that's where this feature comes in. Below you'll find a collection of some of the most exciting, unique bands set to make waves in the world of metal in 2024, from the Japanese 'samurai metal' warriors managed by Matt Heafy to rising alt and nu metal stars, myserious black metal figures and 'Bimboviolence' pioneers. So with no further ado, here are the seven bands we think everyone will be talking about by the end of 2024. 

Metal Hammer line break


Reborn ‘samurai metal’ warriors uniting East and West, with a little help from Matt Heafy


(Image credit: Press)

Ryujin: the name refers to the dragon god of the sea in Japanese mythology. It conjures an image of a vivid, serpentine monster, rendered in arresting colours even as it exudes menace and danger. 

“In the West, dragons are dark and villainous,” explains Ryoji Shinomoto, singer and guitarist with self-proclaimed ‘samurai metal’ warriors Ryujin, who named his band after the deity in question. “In the East, dragons are auspicious and peaceful. The dragon god is considered the god of water, and Japan is surrounded by the sea. Because of the proximity of oceans and mountains, he exists as a god of nature as well. The basis of my music is nature worship and a wish for peace. That’s why the name Ryujin fits so well.” 

The Sapporo-based trio’s self-titled new album draws deeply from their homeland’s history, mythology and music. Their shapeshifting songs are rooted in a blend of ‘western’ forms – from venomous black metal to galloping power metal to hard rock balladry – and a distinctly Japanese sound. As well as being a master guitarist, Ryoji incorporates traditional instruments in Ryujin’s music, including the banjo-like shamisen and the dragon flute. 

“It’s a crossover between Japanese music and heavy metal,” says Ryoji. “There is everything from atmospheric black metal songs to rock ballads to power metal-like anime songs. Even though Japan is simply called ‘Japan’, there are so many different aspects to it.” 

Ryujin aren’t an overnight phenomenon. Until the start of 2023, they were called Gyze, releasing four albums under that name. As Gyze, they caught the attention of Trivium’s Matt Heafy, who was reconnecting with his Japanese heritage at the time via his Ibaraki project. 

An invitation to sing on the new material Ryoji was writing swiftly snowballed, with Matt getting involved in managing the band (the new name was his suggestion) and producing the album, as well as contributing vocals to four tracks, including Raijin & Fujin, named after the Japanese gods of the storm and the wind. 

“Working with Matt has expanded the band’s possibilities,” says Ryoji. “He opened my eyes to playing many different kinds of music. I never thought the day would come when I would sing a ballad. He broke those chains. The two dragons on the album cover seem to symbolise me and him.” 

Last year, Ryujin toured Europe for the first time under their new name, and there are plans to return this summer for festivals. And at home? There’s work to do there, but Ryoji is clearly up for the challenge. 

Babymetal’s achievements are amazing, but unfortunately there is not a metal scene as such in Japan,” he says. “There are a lot of metal bands, but being Western is considered high quality. So if future Japanese bands start to use shamisen or torii [traditional Japanese temple gates] in their artwork, it will be testament to our efforts. It would be great if there were more world-class samurai metal bands.” Dave Everley

Ryujin is out now via Napalm. 


Limp Bizkit-approved masked marauders mixing up nu metal, “dirty” hip hop and anything else they damn well please


(Image credit: REELZ)

Blackgold frontman Spookz doesn’t have to pause to think about his favourite moment of 2023. In a year that saw the masked and anonymous newcomers play Download, release an EP (Volume 2) and support the likes of Skindred and Limp Bizkit, one achievement towers above all. 

“I sang Nookie at Wembley!” he gushes, still amazed his band were tapped by Fred Durst himself to open for Bizkit on their UK and European tour. Rising stars of the Nu Wave Of Nu Metal, and the UK Wave Of Heavy Blackgold maintain the droptuned riffs and massive radio-ready hooks that dominated turn-of-the-millennium metal.

They also profess a voracious appetite for classic “dirty hip hop” groups such as Wu-Tang Clan and Cypress Hill, refusing to merely make hip hop-inflected metal when they could make something that truly bridges both worlds. In that spirit, Blackgold’s latest single, Old School Sound, is all about celebrating 90s hip hop, the band even drafting in rapper Hyro The Hero to facilitate a full stylistic transformation. 

“Nu metal breaks down walls,” Spookz says, pointing to Bring Me The Horizon as a band who are better for having disregarded genre. “Every time Bring Me release a new song, I’m like, ‘I have no idea what this is going to sound like’,” he enthuses. “They could do anything.” 

As for Blackgold themselves, the band intend to build on the successes of 2023. There are plans for more EPs and standalone singles, and their first headline show is looming on May 10. 

“The world moves fast now,” says Spookz. “How you felt writing that album isn’t necessarily what excites you six months later. I much prefer this idea of having something always ready to drop. We want to keep putting out bangers and making each one different.” Rich Hobson

Blackgold's new EP Back With Another One is due May 10. The band play their first headline show at The Dome in London that same night. 


Pink-loving New Orleans filthsters giving extreme metal its own Barbie moment

BRAT band

(Image credit: Greta Gerstner)

Like Barbie with a buzzsaw, Brat spit out a gut-wrenching fusion of death metal, grindcore and powerviolence with a Y2K aesthetic, under the banner of ‘bimboviolence’. 

“I’ve always really enjoyed traditionally feminine things but also heavy metal and hardcore, so I wanted to find a fun way to marry the two,” frontwoman Liz Selfish explains of the term’s origins. 

Despite having pink artwork and merch, and using samples from the likes of Britney Spears and Vanessa Carlton live, Brat’s sound/lyrics are rooted in the nihilistic sludge filth of their native New Orleans, closer in spirit to the likes of Eyehategod and Thou than self-professed ‘bimbocore’ originator Scene Queen. 

“After about a year of us being a band, I found out about Scene Queen,” says Liz. “While we are different musically, we are both championing an aesthetic that has traditionally been looked down upon in the world of metal and owning it.” 

Liz and partner/guitarist Brenner Moate originally formed Brat in 2020 after a karaoke rendition of A Day To Remember’s I’m Made Of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?. “I don’t know if I would have realised I could do vocals without that night!” Liz admits. 

The duo released two EPs in 2021 and 2022 respectively, bassist Ian Hennessey and drummer Dustin Eagan filling out the line-up. The band recently signed to Prosthetic Records (home to Pupil Slicer and Undeath) and will release their full-length debut album this spring. “Dustin has described this album as a ‘freak gumbo of sonic assault’, which sums it up pretty well,” explains Liz. 

The question remains, however, whether Brat’s message is sexual, satirical, political or something else entirely. According to Liz, their mission is one of jocular viciousness. “Our main goal is just to have a good time and keep it kind of campy and stupid,” she says with a grin. Mike Adams

Alt Blk Era

Nu gen livewires on a mission to make space in the alternative community

Alt Blk Era

(Image credit: Fabrice Gagos)

For ALT BLK ERA, pinpointing their highlight of last year is no easy task. Perhaps it was when the Nottingham sisters – 19-year-old rapper Nyrobi and 16-year-old singer Chaya – performed their biggest show yet at Glastonbury, taking their place among a select few heavy bands who have played the festival. 

Or maybe it was the moment they discovered their fiery mash-up of nu metal, hip hop and electronica had won them a MOBO nomination, in the Best Alternative Act category. “Me and mum were jumping, hugging, running around,” Nyrobi remembers of the morning she saw the announcement on social media. 

It’s worth pointing out just how rapid the duo’s rise has been; they only released their first metal-influenced single, Obsession : SOLAR, in May 2022, having discovered heavy music during the pandemic. At Glasto they hung out with Skindred backstage, while Nyrobi calls seeing her idol, rapper Ashnikko, a ‘What am I doing here?’ moment. “It feels like two seconds since we came on the scene. But it’s also validating. We’re doing something really amazing and people love it.” 

Metal is changing and ALT BLK ERA are on the front lines. “People look at us in shock when they first see us because they’re not really sure how to react,” says Nyrobi. “If we’re dressed in white, I’ve got my afro out, Chay’s got a loc and obviously, there’s not that many Black women in the rock and metal scene.” 

Last year’s debut EP, Freak Show, pulled from the duo’s disparate energies. Nyrobi is energetic, in-your-face and answers all of our questions, while Chaya is shy, her chilled energy coming through instead in her ethereal vocals. And their music blasts a loud, defiant message. 

“When we first started coming up, we got comments: ‘You don’t belong’ or ‘Black people can’t do this’, or ‘You’re trying to be white’,” says Nyrobi. She says Freak Show was written about their own experiences, both growing up in and fighting for their place within the alt scene. 

“I wrote it for young alternative people, but also my younger self. We’re trying to build a genuine family and community. We see ourselves in our fans as much as they see themselves in us.” 

Now, the duo are gearing up for a whirlwind 2024. Recently, they teamed up with nu gen scene-mate Delilah Bon for single Witch, a song that shines a light on the Black and indigenous women who were killed during the 14th-17th Century witch trials. The track also calls out ingrained societal misogyny. 

“I’ve been told my energy is not ladylike,” says Nyrobi. “That I need to smile or be nicer. Women are complete beings. We have every emotion, not just ‘sit still, be quiet’.” 

They’ve also signed with Earache Records, who will put out their debut album, which is expected in the summer. They say it will blend metal with influences as varied as The Prodigy, Lady Gaga, Ashnikko and Arctic Monkeys. “It’s a real feast!” chortles Nyrobi. “It’s still a journey, still a story.” That journey is only just beginning. Dannii Leivers

Alt Blk Era's debut album is expected later this year. Alt Blk Era play Download Festival in June, 2000 Trees in July and Burn It Down Festival in August.


Drive-thru-playing New Jersey hardcore mavericks who refuse to be pigeonholed


(Image credit: Ian kelly)

Gel are proud misfits, even in a scene as full of outsiders as hardcore. The New Jersey five-piece draw influence from The Cure as much as their genre’s usual suspects, and they initially amassed a cult following under the banner of ‘Hardcore for the fucking freaks!’ 

“I feel like bands, especially in hardcore, all have their tag,” explains guitarist Anthony Webster. “‘Philadelphia hardcore’, ‘Boston hardcore’… we didn’t fit in with any of that. We’re not exactly a hardcore band, we’re not exactly a punk band; we fall in between those things, so we were like, ‘Let’s build our own space.’” 

With their broad influences and nonconformist ambitions, Gel have masterminded a distinct sound, clashing scrappy hardcore against more midpaced post-punk drumming. Having formed in 2018, they went viral in 2022, thanks to footage of them playing to an amped-up crowd at a fast food drive-thru, and subsequently won mainstream acclaim with last year’s debut album, Only Constant

Anthony teases that their momentum will continue apace in 2024, with even more music on the way. “We have the next batch of songs done and I’m very happy with them,” he says. 

Until then, Gel have crammed their calendar with live shows. They’ll start the year by touring America with hardcore innovators Code Orange. Then they’ll play a host of European festivals during the summer, including Download and Hellfest. 

“We’re doing all the big rock festivals this year,” Anthony states, “but, at the end of the day, we still want to play hardcore shows. I think we have to find the balance between those things. I want us to feel comfortable both being a big band and being a hardcore band.” Matt Mills

Only Constant is out now via Convulse. Gel play Download Festival in June. 

The Sun's Journey Through The Night

Enigmatic black metallers with a hardcore streak, painting on a cosmic canvas

The Sun's Journey Through The Night

(Image credit: Press)

Even in a climate where black metal is getting a new lease of life, and new audiences, through bringing in outside influences, finding a band who cite both Architects’ Memento Mori track and ambient extreme metal mavericks Paysage D’Hiver as inspirations is unexpected. 

For The Sun’s Journey Through The Night’s shadowy frontman No One, however, the link between the two is the processing of trauma into something transformative. “Memento Mori really hit me because it was on the final album they did with Tom [Searle] before he passed away,” says the singer. 

“It’s so dynamic, it’s like walking over mountain ranges. It had a real impact on our song Orion, which has really taken a lot of people because it is so deeply personal, and it’s very different to what you would normally hear on a black metal record.” 

The record in question is Worldless, The Sun’s Journey Through The Night’s fourth album in three years, and one that’s seen the UK band graduate from a bedroom project into a genuine cult entity, attracting an ever-growing army of obsessive fans. 

Elaborately masked, and with a richly metaphorical, extraterrestrial story of death, rebirth and godhood unfolding throughout their releases, the band might have hit upon a formula superficially similar to Ghost, Gaerea and Sleep Token, but their singular driving force is the fusion of the raw, incendiary emotion drawn from No One’s hardcore past and black metal’s vast, cosmic canvas. 

“From a mental health standpoint, it is a massive catharsis to be able to write personally but from that perspective,” says No One. “People can put their own meanings on it, so this isn’t just mine, it’s theirs, and that’s incredibly important. But the infinity of space created the infinity of possibilities in what I could write about, and what I could draw from it. There’s no limits on this.” Jonathan Selzer

Worldless is out now via Church Road. The Sun's Journey Through The Night play Incineration Festival in London on May 11 and ArcTanGent in August. 

Militarie Gun

Next-gen hardcore heroes mixing intense grooves with massive melodies

Militarie Gun

(Image credit: Daniel Topete)

The resurgence in interest towards hardcore over the last few years has accelerated way beyond the confines of the underground punk scene. Driven by the crossover success of Turnstile, 2024 may well be the year hardcore finally breaks the mainstream. And if it does, expect youthful LA quintet Militarie Gun to be right at the front of it. 

“I feel like you can trace a line all the way back to a band like Fugazi and find us alongside all these other bands that were doing much more with punk and hardcore than what is the norm,” says the band’s vocalist and mastermind, Ian Shelton. 

Big words, but he’s right. The buzz surrounding Militarie Gun off the back of last year’s debut album, Life Under The Gun, is huge… and rightly so. On that record, they took classic, stomping hardcore grooves and imbued them with gorgeously bright, sunny melodies. “It’s all rooted in punk, but it’s got to be melodic as well,” says Ian. “We look to try and be ugly and beautiful at the same time. That was always the goal.” 

The UK shows that Militarie Gun played at the end of 2023 were certainly both of those things: absolute fist-swinging carnage from the front to the back of the venue, punctuated by total strangers euphorically hugging each other as they belted out those soaring choruses. It was a glorious sight to witness a band so young able to captivate people in this manner so early in their career, but Ian already believes Militarie Gun have surpassed Life Under The Gun

“We have had a year and a half of writing since we created those songs,” he says. “We’re not trying to pivot, but we’re going to continue experimenting. Honestly, I don’t think you’re ready for where we go next.”

Life Under The Gun is out now via Loma Vista. 

Dave Everley

Dave Everley has been writing about and occasionally humming along to music since the early 90s. During that time, he has been Deputy Editor on Kerrang! and Classic Rock, Associate Editor on Q magazine and staff writer/tea boy on Raw, not necessarily in that order. He has written for Metal Hammer, Louder, Prog, the Observer, Select, Mojo, the Evening Standard and the totally legendary Ultrakill. He is still waiting for Billy Gibbons to send him a bottle of hot sauce he was promised several years ago.

With contributions from