Here are the best new metal bands you need to hear this month

This month's best new metal bands
(Image credit: Press)

Whisper it, but 2023 is almost over. It's been another incredible year for heavy music (if you need evidence of that, check out the stellar 50 best metal albums of 2023 list that our own readers - that's you lot! - voted for), and despite January being just a couple of weeks away, it's still not slowing down. 

Want some proof? We've got four more brilliant new metal bands and artists to throw your way, running the gamut from nu-industrial noise to black metal from the grim, frosty realms of, er, Los Angeles, to catchy-as-crabs hardcore to good old fashioned doom-death. Cast your eyes (and ears) beloew for nore.

Metal Hammer line break

Militarie Gun

When vocalist Ian Shelton formed Militarie Gun in early 2020, his intention was to make hardcore “more and more melodic”. But after writing and recording the My Life Is Over EP alone, he pulled together a band – just in time for COVID to scupper any immediate plans. “They were basically the last people that I saw before the entire world shut down,” he admits.

It may well have been a blessing in disguise, however. The time spent holed up focused and sharpened Militarie Gun’s grasp of the music they wanted to make, and the result is that debut album Life Under the Gun is an incredible mix of bouncy, modern hardcore in the vein of Turnstile with plenty of alt-rock and indie influences woven in. “I was very inspired by Fugazi,” Ian nods. “I think you can draw a line from them to Modest Mouse to us, those are all really big influences.”

After two more EPs – All Roads Lead To The Gun I and II, both released in 2021 – Militarie Gun signed to Loma Vista for Life Under The Gun, making them unlikely labelmates with everyone from Korn and Ghost to punk legend Iggy Pop and hip-hop superstar Denzel Curry.  But the way Ian sees it, the new material Militarie Gun is writing is actually way ahead of where hardcore currently sits, so having such a diverse group of bands on the same label might be another unexpected blessing.

“There’s different stuff that’s currently being experimented with,” he says. “We’re trying to remain true to the band but keep growing and experimenting. We’ve written some songs where we’re like ‘maybe in five years everyone will be ready for that one.’ We’re more than down to sit on things until the time is right.” Settle in: Milatarie Gun might be here for a while.

Life Under The Gun is out now via Loma Vista

Negative Vortex

Negative Vortex’s 2015 demo was a satisfyingly gnarly love-letter to dank, dismal 90s death-doom. But after countless failed line-ups, abandoned recordings and mental health problems, and needing a change of scene, NV founder M. Feschner relocated from his native Brazil to the creative hub of LA and looked up his old friend Libra, with whom he’d pioneered Brazil’s goregrind scene in 90s band The Endoparasites. Thirty years on, Feschner approached Libra to produce Negative Vortex’s debut album in his Hollywood studio and before long, the one-man-band became a duo. But although their collaboration was fruitful, it wasn’t always an easy partnership. Asked if recording was a friendly process, both men laugh long and hard. 

“I’m surprised we’re both still alive!” says Feschner. “I had such a strict idea of what it should be…” “And I completely destroyed his idea!” Libra adds with a chuckle. “He has his roots in the old school, and everything not like that is a sell-out. I understand wanting to stay underground, but I like to elevate things to an epic, movie-like atmosphere. Everything was a struggle between those two things; that drama is imprinted on the album.”

Ultimately, Libra’s massive production breathes radiant new life into Feschner’s evil-smelling old-school doom-death - something Feschner was happy to confirm, once the dust settled. “One day when he was listening to the album, he sent me a message out of the blue saying, ‘Thanks for making this happen, it sounds perfect’,” says Libra. “I got really emotional!”

Tomb Absolute is out now via Sentient Ruin


In the world of The Elder Scrolls video game series, the Daedric Princes are powerful, supernatural entities, capable of terrible evil. They’re also the lyrical inspiration behind the nu-industrial-electronica hybrid of Texan metallers, Daedric.

“I play Skyrim incessantly,” says singer and lyricist Kristyn Hope, the former singer of prog metal band Aesop, speaking to Hammer from her hometown of Dallas, Texas. The band’s self-described “gaming metal”, sees her take the lore of that fantasy universe and apply it to her own life. Recent single, Wretched, from debut album, Mortal, sees her battle her own inner demons (“Do you fear the hatred down below?”), assuming the character of Daedric Prince Hircine, with Kristyn singing over throbbing synths and bouncing guitars. 

“I was such a shy person,” she says. “I didn’t even speak in high school. Going in this vocal journey of wanting to sing in front of people was a very difficult. You have to push past that fear and say, ‘I’m bigger than this’.”

Since Kristyn formed Daedric with her husband, Clay Schroeder and producer Geoff Rockwell during the pandemic, they’ve enjoyed a steep trajectory, clocking up over a million streams on Spotify ... all without ever having played a gig. “We’re holding out for good opportunities,” Kristyn explains.

Instead, the band have focused on building a fanbase online. “I get a lot of DMs on Instagram and it’s beautiful because something as cheesy as gaming metal has made a difference in someone’s life, and it’s so worth it.”

Mortal is out now via Fixt

Agriculture aren’t your standard black metal misanthropes. Befitting a project heralding from the “city of angels”, the US quartet are snubbing the genre’s hate-fuelled obsessions and getting busy with the rapture.

“We’re using this intense style of music to provoke joy and a connection to spirit”, says vocalist and guitarist, Daniel Meyer-O’Keeffe. “To see black metal as just cheerless, nihilistic and dark is too reductive. Lots of black metal we love – Wolves In The Throne Room, Sanguine Eagle, Agalloch – is spiritual, or at least spirit-focused. Black metal can also be fun – there’s nothing depressing about seeing a Mayhem show.”

In keeping with their positive outlook, Agriculture’s self-titled debut album is a glorious rush of tremolo-picking and ecstatic shrieks, building on the euphoric promise of last year’s EP, The Circle Chant. Punctured by fragments of pedal-steel, sax, violin and an Ebullition Records-style 90s emo tear-jerker, it’s bold, buoyant, but predominantly hard-hitting flux – dubbed ‘ecstatic black metal’ by the group – has garnered an instant cult following.

“The success of this band has shocked us all”, Daniel admits. “But now we get to play more shows, to make more radical connections though the spiritual practice of ecstatic black metal. We’re grateful to everyone who listens.”

Agriculture is out now via The Flenser

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.