4 brilliant new metal bands you need to hear this month

Asinhell/Body Void/Creak/Celestial Sanctuary
(Image credit: Brittany_Bowman/Skyeler Williams/Joe Guppy/Press)

Happy New Year! 2024 is officially upon us, and with it a whole host of brilliant new bands to explore. Much as we did last year, we've sought out the best and brightest new bands the alternative music spectrum to bring you the finest - and most punishing - new sounds around. 

This month we've gone hard on extreme metal with Asinhell, the death metal side project of Volbeat frontman Michael Poulsen, Cavalera-endorsed British death metal newcomers Celestial Sanctuary, Newcastle nu metalcore bruisers Creak and New England's industrial doom beasts Body Void. Start your new year right - with an absolutely glorious racket. 

Metal Hammer line break


“I found an old guitar and small amp in my basement, cranked it up to 10, and it sounded absolutely disgusting… it was perfect,” Volbeat’s Michael Poulsen beams. Joining forces with Insidious Disease’s Marc Grewe on vocals and Raunchy’s Morten Toft Hansen on drums, new project Asinhell has all the makings of an old-school death metal monster. 

For Michael, it’s a return to his roots, harking back to his 90s band Dominus. “Returning to the style of my old band felt pretty natural, almost like jumping on your bike again,” he reflects. 

Asinhell began life as a number of riffs Michael wrote while working on Volbeat’s 2021 album, Servant Of The Mind. He subsequently put together a band to realise his old-school death metal vision and, when they finally hit the studio, the aim was to capture everything in its rawest state, recording a live take and layering in some extra guitars. 

There was never any attempt to polish the sound - Asinhell is untameably rough around the edges, and that’s exactly how they like it. You might be wondering why Michael is taking a step back from vocals this time around - and the answer is simple. “Because Marc Grewe is the best,” states Michael. 

When Marc’s uncleans brutally rumble out like a hungry lion on tracks such as Trophies, you can’t help but agree. Roiling with frantic blastbeats, chunky riffs and churning breakdowns, their debut, Impii Hora, is an abrasive whirl of 80s-tinged death metal. 

And unlike Michael’s arena-bothering main job, this one isn’t for the mainstream. “We don’t want to over-hype it,” Michael insists. “We want it to exist where it belongs, in the underground.” 

Asinhell may very well be crashing into a basement near you soon. Emily Swingle

Impii Hora is out now via Metal Blade

Sounds Like: Mercilessly thundering death metal lurking in the depths of the 80s underground
For Fans Of: Death, Bolt Thrower, Entombed
Listen To: Island Of Dead Men


Newcastle nu metal/metalcore brutes Creak have always loved a savage riff, but it’s the raw emotion found in metal and hardcore that’s been the driving force behind the four-piece. “If I’m going to sing about very specific things from my life, it’s all or nothing,” explains vocalist Jack Dunn. 

There’s a delicious aggression to Creak’s debut album, Depth Perception, but there are also moments of atmospheric introspection, the band taking inspiration from the surreal works of David Lynch, anxiety-inducing horror films and videogame soundtracks. Left To Heaven, for example, started life as Creak’s take on the Resident Evil save music. “We didn’t set out to make an album, we just got excited trying out new things,” Jack says. 

With lyrics written about his mum’s cancer diagnosis and her four-year recovery, the album tackles guilt, fear, loss, misery, dread and self-loathing in excruciating detail. But as heavy as Depth Perception is, it never feels oppressive. 

“It just felt like there was more to explore than anger,” Jack admits. “I’m not very good at talking about how I’m feeling normally, but I was making music with my friends and getting things off my chest. It was a positive experience, even if it was difficult.” 

With massive mosh-calls and stirring melodic passages, Creak hope to share a message of “Whatever you’re feeling, that’s OK” with fans. “There’s an element of ‘These things suck, but I’m not going through it alone’,” says Jack. Ali Shutler

Depth Perception is out now via Prosthetic

Sounds Like: The crushing, cinematic soundtrack to a harrowing, real-life horror
For Fans Of: Code Orange, Pupil Slicer, Beartooth
Listen To: Hare In The Woods

Celestial Sanctuary

Max Cavalera has given Celestial Sanctuary his seal of approval, and they’re unapologetic champions for ‘The New Wave of British Death Metal’ – the name they’ve coined to describe their place amidst the batch of exciting death metal bands, such as Tomb Mold and Blood Incantation, who have been revitalising the scene on a global scale. 

Their second full-length, Insatiable Thirst For Torment, is an eight-track pummelling inspired by the Jivaro, an Ecuadorian tribe who rebelled against Spanish colonials and their gold tax in the 16th century. “It isn’t a concept album, but there’s this theme running throughout of greed, temptation and wastefulness,” explains frontman Tom Cronin. 

The band use a macabre story about a Spanish governor’s execution as a springboard for its exploration of rapacity: “He had a thirst for greed, so they melted their gold and silver, and poured it down his throat,” Tom says. 

The brutal story is well in keeping with the band’s core death metal influences, and they even shared a stage with Obituary in February. “There are two bands that I credit for us starting this project: Obituary and Morbid Angel,” says Tom. “To go from starting this one-person demo thing in my basement, to three years later playing with Obituary, blows my mind completely.” Madison Collier

Insatiable Thirst For Torment is out now via Church Road

Sounds Like: If the sludge on the walls of Hell’s moodiest dungeon could emit sound (and really liked blastbeats)
For Fans Of: Obituary, Morbid Angel, Frozen Soul
Listen To: Biomineralization (Cell Death)

Body Void

Flesh Market, on Body Void’s new album, Atrocity Machine, is less than seven minutes long – practically a hardcore track by the band’s usual monumental standards. Yet guitarist/vocalist Willow Ryan’s music remains a pounding, shrieking sludge assault of industrial doom and power electronic howls. “We wanted to do shorter songs, because live it’s just more fun to play more songs,” they explain. “There’s also a desire to be more focused and less sprawling.” 

Willow also applied this focus to the record lyrically and thematically. While they’ve previously explored climate change, dysphoria and trans identity (the latter the subject of Deathless, the latest album from Willow’s side-project, Hellish Form), Atrocity Machine refers to capitalism. 

The 10-minute title track feels like a kind of national anthem of colossal dismemberment; you can hear the tattered, broken humans being fed into a blind and horrific process. “I find myself basically just writing about how capitalism grows and evolves,” Willow explains. “How it reduces us, extracting labour. The atrocity machine is just America.” Noah Berlatsky 

Atrocity Machine is out now via Prosthetic

Sounds Like: Sludge-soaked giant machines falling on the unsuspecting with enormous clangs and squeals
For Fans Of: Uniform, Godflesh, Pharmakon
Listen To: Atrocity Machine

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.