"They might just be the most underrated band ever." We asked Tobias Forge, Robb Flynn, Max Cavalera, Sharon Den Adel and more metal icons to recommend us some new music. Here's what they picked

Metal legends
(Image credit: Press (Sharon: Future, Max: Rodrigo Fredes))

Metal thrives on new blood. As much as we all love to celebrate the Iron Maidens, Slipknots and Avenged Sevenfolds of this world, it's through new, exciting, boundary-pushing music that metal is truly kept alive at its grassroots. While we're proud to fly the flag for new metal bands every month (and on that note, here's who we think you should be checking out right now), we thought we'd throw it out to a bunch of metal icons and ask them who they think are the most exciting young names in heavy music today.

From crushing deathcore to mind-bending prog metal, from mainland Europe to Northern Africa, we ended up with a dazzling array of bands to pick from, so here they are. According to your favourite metal artists, these are the acts you really should be wrapping your ears around ASAP, with a handy playlist so that you can do exactly that.

Metal Hammer line break

Max Cavalera, Soulfly: “Celestial Sanctuary are great, they’re one of my favourite sort of old-school death metal bands. They’re from the UK and I haven’t got to meet them yet – we’ve only really spoken through sending packages to each other! I like their record [Soul Diminished] a lot and I’m looking forward to the new one they’ve got coming up.” 

Tobias Forge, Ghost: “Crypta blow my mind. They’re a cool combination of death metal and black metal, but still super- decipherable, where you can sing everything she [Fernanda Lira] sings. They’re fantastic and I wish them the very best.”

Dani Winter-Bates, Bury Tomorrow: "Static Dress are are absolutely killing it at the moment. Their vocalist, Olli Appleyard, is an absolute genius. When we talk about bands like Bring Me revolutionising the game…I think they might be one of those in a few years’ time.”

Tomi Joutsen, Amorphis: “There's doom group from Finland called Sapata; their singer has a beautiful voice and is almost like a witch! They play within that traditional doom style, but do it in a way that feels very unique and new. It’s really powerful.”

Jesse Leach, Killswitch Engage: “I’m a big fan of this guy, Blackbraid. He’s a Native from the Adirondacks region in New York. It’s really interesting traditional black metal, but he adds flute and all the lyrics are about nature worship. It’s bringing attention to Native cultures and the beauty and the starkness of nature.” 

Will Ramos, Lorna Shore: "Distant are a Dutch deathcore band and they’re really good. I love them. They’re my boys. We’ve played with them so many times. And they’re up and coming, they’re doing really well right now. And I hope that they continue to do well and blow up, because that’s what they deserve.”  

Sharon Den Adel, Within Temptation: "Annisokay aren’t that well known outside Germany, but they deserve a lot of exposure. I love how emotional their vocals are, but they’re still so heavy. That band should be playing to huge crowds – their singer is a real mastermind.”

Robb Flynn, Machine Head:Orbit Culture are fucking crushing it – their latest record is insanely good. I can’t wait to hear where they go next.” 

Wolfgang Van Halen, Mammoth WVH: “The Intersphere are this German alt prog band, and they’ve just put out a new album. It’s called Wanderer, and I’d been looking forward to hearing it for ages. It’s awesome. The band have a killer, versatile sound. They’ve got this ability to be super-melodic, but they can be really heavy at the same time.” 

Joel Hokka, Blind Channel: “Lost Society supported us on our headline tour, and they’re Finnish. We think they have the most potential breakthrough as a breakthrough band – after us! But they’re amazing. I think the scene is just waiting for them to blow up.” 

Pär Sundström, Sabaton: “Myrath from Tunisia might just be the most underrated band ever. Their new album really excites me – they have something fresh and back it up with a great stage show. They played a tiny stage at Wacken where nobody brings more than guitars  and amps, and brought a two-truck production. It was amazing!” 

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.