4 brilliant new bands you need to hear this month

Jesus Piece/Punk Rock Factory/Distant/Fvnerals
(Image credit: Phobymo/Press)

We're well into the heart of festival season now, which naturally means plenty of opportunities for exciting new bands to step up and pull focus at a seemingly endless sea of fields around Europe, the UK and beyond. That in mind, as we do each month we've scouted low and high to find the most exciting bands around now that you need to know. 

This month we have the brutal hardcore of Jesus Piece, Dutch deathcore with sci-fi leanings from Distant, the oppressive drone metal of Fvnerals and the band that have been inciting Disney sing-alongs en masse at festivals: Punk Rock Factory. What's more, we've added all of these bands to our sprawling playlist of the hottest bands of 2023 for your listening pleasure. So sit back with a cold one and get stuck in to these brilliant up and coming bands.

Metal Hammer line break

Jesus Piece

Five years can seem like forever in music, but Pennsylvania crushers Jesus Piece have approached the time between releases like an ambush predator waiting for the perfect moment to strike. They set pulses racing with their 2018 debut, Only Self, but follow-up …So Unknown represents a levelling up: a hulking slab of death metal-imbued hardcore that weighs killer riffs against malevolent atmosphere. 

“We all had our struggles with getting together and getting the record finished, but we made it happen,” says vocalist Aaron Heard. “Taking years off can really break a band, but it made us stronger.” 

He’s not kidding. With …So Unknown, Jesus Piece have distilled all the rage, frustration and anxiety of the past few years into their songwriting. Case in point: the track Gates Of Horn. “I wrote that song about the nightmares I was having during quarantine,” says Aaron. “Horrible dreams of dying almost every night. Waking up in a panic. The title comes from Greek literary imagery: true dreams come through gates of horn, false through ivory.” 

For everything they have endured, there have also been glimmers of light. Between albums, Aaron spent time playing bass for shoegazers Nothing. “It strengthened my sense of empathy for my bandmates,” he says of the experience. “It also gave me more insight into what we need to make touring less stressful.” 

More significantly, he became a father. While he admits he’s still trying to strike a balance between parenthood and being in a hungry, rising band, it has brought about some fundamental changes. “Fatherhood helped switch my outlook on life entirely,” he says. “Before I just felt like I was headed downward with no real plan. Very cynical. Nothing to really look forward to in the world so the future meant nothing to me. It’s all about longevity now.” Alex Deller

...So Unknown is out now via Century Media

Sounds Like: 90s metalcore colliding with death metal that delivers throat-punch after throat-punch
For Fans Of: Xibalba, Vein, Disembodied
Listen To: Gates Of Horn

Punk Rock Factory

Sometimes things in life just… get out of hand. Certainly for the members of Punk Rock Factory, being booked to play the Sophie Lancaster Stage at Bloodstock, the UK’s most metal festival, having never played a gig before and armed only with a handful of pop-punk covers of retro kids’ TV themes and songs from musicals, was not a situation they felt they were ready for when they made their live debut in 2021.

“We were shitting ourselves,” vocalist/guitarist Peej admits. “We thought, ‘We’re not getting out of here alive, are we?’ But the tent held 6,000 people and it was full, with as many outside trying to get in! I remember one bloke on the front row, big beard and loads of tattoos – he was clenching his fists and singing along to the theme from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!” 

Winning over a metal crowd of such magnitude is one of many things Punk Rock Factory have achieved in their short time as a band, earning a massive online following that has resulted in millions of streams on YouTube and Spotify. Though not by design, there’s no denying their unique sense of fun has been a godsend in the doom-and-gloom of the 2020s, and following Bloodstock the band have been building a repertoire they can take on tour.

 “At first, we just did it for a laugh,” drummer and vocalist Kob admits. “Suddenly our numbers on our YouTube channel were going crazy. So we just went with it!” Stephen Hill

It's Just A Stage We're Going Through is out now via Sausage Factory

Sounds Like: Sum 41 trying to entertain their kids with old Thundercats and Masters Of The Universe VHS tapes
For Fans Of: Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, Bowling For Soup, anyone on the Punk Goes Pop albums 
Listen To: Gummi Bears


With new album Heritage, time-travelling deathcore crew Distant have transported their sound from the medieval pandemonium of their first two albums into a new space age. Ditching the chainmail, Heritage is a sci-fi spectacle rammed with robots, colossal soundscapes and whirling cosmic instrumentals. And the Dutch collective have fully committed to the shift, crafting a rich lore to suit. 

“The album follows the pursuit of revenge,” vocalist Alan Grnja explains. “We started in the Dark Ages, now it’s a time shift towards something more futuristic. We wrote a book for the last album, The Rise Of Tyrannotophia, and this album is a direct follow-up.” 

This intricate world-building allows listeners to immerse themselves in Distant’s reality, as well as giving the band a unique edge within extreme metal as they take a similar lore-based approach to Ghost or Babymetal. “Some bands are inspired by stories that already exist… we wanted to create our own,” says Alan. 

Fast-rising stars within the deathcore scene, the band have used their position to unify the community. Heritage’s title track drafts in Lorna Shore’s Will Ramos, while juggernaut song Argent Justice brings together a 16-vocalist line-up that sees veterans like Eddie Hermida (Suicide Silence), Frankie Palmeri (Emmure) and Aaron Matts (ten56.) rub elbows with newcomers like Devin Duarte (Worm Shepherd). “Everybody was into it,” Alan says happily. “It’s like the Avengers Endgame of the deathcore scene." Emily Swingle

Heritage is out now via Century Media

Sounds Like: Being scalped by a shock wave of apocalyptic blastbeats, sci-fi distortion and vengeful howls
For Fans Of: Fit For An Autopsy, Lorna Shore, Brand of Sacrifice
Listen To: Argent Justice


Loads of heavy metal bands write about the Apocalypse. Fvnerals take that trope one step further: they cannot wait for the world to end. “I think it’s long overdue” the Leipzig-based duo’s guitarist, Syd Scarlet, tells Metal Hammer. “People are horrible everywhere. Everybody should want the world to end.” 

That desire to see a planet cleansed of humanity manifests itself in the title of Fvnerals’ third album, Let The Earth Be Silent. And if you think that name is grim, wait until you hear the music. The duo – completed by vocalist, bassist and Syd’s romantic partner Tiffany Ström – cultivate an oppressive landscape using cacophonous droning, blasts of snares and chords, and slow-motion black metal riffing. 

For Syd, the goal is for these incessantly hopeless sounds to resonate through the ages – right up until the second all of us are nothing but ash. “When you listen to classical music now, even though it was written hundreds of years ago, you’re still able to connect with it in a way,” he says, “Like, ‘Whoa, this is such a sad piece of music.’ I hope people can still do that, even though it’s a different style.” Matt Mills

Let The Earth Be Silent is out now via Prophecy. 

Sounds Like: Ambient metal as dark and hopeless as being trapped in a cave
For Fans Of: Sunn O))), Bell Witch, King Woman
Listen To: Ashen Era

Metal Hammer line break

With contributions from