November, already?! We're hurtling towards the end of the year - and with it all those lists people love to complain about - but there's still no shortage of fantastic new music to discover. While we've got you covered when it comes to the best metal albums of 2023 (so far), our voyage of discovery for excellent new bands never slows and with festivals announcing on a weekly basis right now, that offers plenty of opportunities to find new bands to get excited about for summer 2024 and beyond!
That in mind, we've hunted high and low to find you the most exciting new bands around in the metal world. Whether that's heartland fare from thrash metal warriors, industrial noiseniks or death metal brutes, or moving beyond into the worlds of goth, hardcore, punk and beyond, we like to think we can find something for just about any taste.
This month we bring you rising metalcore stars of As Everything Unfolds, brooding post-metal from Scotland's Healthyliving, ambitious prog from Ukraine's Ignea and electro-infused metalcore from World Gone Cold.
As ever, you'll find a playlist of all these bands below, so don't forget to check it out!
As Everything Unfolds
“Chaotic, anthemic and cinematic,” are the three words Charlie Rolfe feels best summarise her band, As Everything Unfolds, contenders for the title of UK metalcore’s newest ‘it’ band. When they’re not appearing on every UK festival line-up possible, or touring with the likes of Enter Shikari and Electric Callboy, they’re writing moody metalcore tracks with insatiable poppy verses that are guaranteed to stick in your head on loop.
The band’s vocalist and chief songwriter, Charlie is also a huge film and TV buff and a photography graduate, and her affinity for those subjects plays into the visual aspects of the band. “Our albums are based on loose concepts,” she explains. “The first album [2021’s Within Each Lies The Other] was based off the magician tarot card, and then our new album, Ultraviolet, is based around the idea of ultraviolet light and how it changes our perspective.”
Released in April, Ultraviolet saw As Everything Unfolds smashing expectations set by their debut, as their hard work paid off and several songs broke the one million streams mark on Spotify.
“Our first record was like trial by fire. You don’t really know what you’re doing,” Charlie admits. “The second time around, we needed to focus more on the sound of the album, making sure it sounds different. We loved the mix on The Greatest Mistake Of My Life by Holding Absence, so we asked Taylor Larson to produce.”
It’s a decision that clearly paid off, with Taylor helping the band hone their innate talent for anthemic choruses that has made them such a perfect choice for festivals, where you can often hear the crowd long before you actually see the band. Considering the leap fellow British metalcore reformists like Architects and Bring Me The Horizon have made in recent years, it’s undoubtedly a promising sign. Yasmine Summan
Sounds Like: Electro-infused, arena-ready modern metalcore
For Fans Of: Spiritbox, Bring Me The Horizon, Architects
Listen To: Slow Down
Voltaire warned that ‘perfect is the enemy of good’, and Edinburgh-based alternative trio Healthyliving certainly took that to heart when crafting their debut, Songs Of Abundance, Psalms Of Grief.
Collaborators Amaya LópezCarromero and Scott McLean had already worked together on several musical projects – Maud The Moth, Ashenspire, Falloch and Tyrannus, to name but a few – so when it came to writing music for the nascent Healthyliving, they knew they had to take a different approach to songwriting this time – namely, not to obsess over perfection.
“The songs had to be finished in one sitting,” explains Scott. “To try and provoke a sense of immediacy and pick up whatever was going on in that moment. Often when I look back on songs I’ve written that way, I find I like it more than the stuff I thought I’d done perfectly.”
Honouring this process and seeing the songs as “living things, that I try to have a conversation with”, as singer Amaya describes it, lead them to create Songs Of Abundance…, an eloquent, heartfelt meditation on finding beauty in the mundane.
Though they namecheck the likes of Queen Adreena, Nirvana and Portishead as their major influences, they sound like none of those bands; they aren’t trying to emulate anybody else. Even the band’s name is a tongue-in-cheek rejection of the notion of perfection, as Amaya explains: “You open social media and there’s all this insistence on some form of betterment,” she sighs. “But life is fucking complex, there are no easy fixes.” Catherine Morris
Sounds Like: Introspective, expansive alternative rock languishing between shoegaze, doom and post-punk, with a heartstopping vocal
For Fans Of: Messa, The Oath, Shaam Larein
Listen To: Galleries
Ignea weave a cinematic tapestry of symphonic, progressive and death metal, heavily influenced by their Ukrainian musical heritage. Their third LP lives up to its name, immersing listeners in ‘Dreams Of Lands Unseen’ via a concept that follows the journey of Ukrainian travel documentarian Sofia Yablonska, who explored the world in the 1920s-40s.
Ignea, who formed in 2013, trace Sofia’s footsteps to Morocco, the Sahara, China and beyond, bringing the sounds of those destinations to your headphones, while also highlighting their own culture through passages sung in their native tongue.
“I want people to hear Ukrainian language, which is not very common among metal bands,” explains vocalist Helle Bohdanova. “I want people to have this journey, to feel immersed in this experience and feel like they are listening to more than just an album.”
Keyboardist Yevhenii Zhytniuk is Ignea’s composer, while Helle deals with their lyrical message. Although Dreams Of Lands Unseen is undoubtedly a concept record, it can stand even without knowledge of Sofia’s journey, its hypnotising melodies and thrashing gutturals seeing moods rise and fall like a ship on the ocean.
“We want the stories to be an integral part of our music,” Helle admits. “But if a random person listens to the lyrics, you can attribute them to your daily life, this feeling of homesickness and the will to discover new places.” Jon Garcia
Sounds Like: Wayfaring cinematic metal that will fuel your imagination and rack up stamps in your passport
For Fans Of: Arch Enemy, Epica, Ad Infinitum
Listen To: Dunes
World Gone Cold
With an eclectic line-up consisting of former members of P.O.D., Attack Attack! and Demon Hunter, you’d be hard pressed to guess what World Gone Cold sound like. Even the band were confused when they started out. “When we sat down, we really didn’t know what it was,” admits vocalist Ryland Raus.
Ryland tells us the band got together as a fool-around thing, with more and more members being added to the line-up because they were friends of friends, before “it just got crazy!”
“Electronics? Throw them in there!” he says excitedly. “I like the poppy stuff, so let’s lean in on that. It got real weird, and, next thing you know, we got our own thing going on.”
The result is World Gone Cold’s excellently catchy, slightly unhinged self-titled debut EP, comfortable indulging in a variety of metal genres while being unashamed to embrace what’s in the charts.
“We couldn’t be happier with the sound that came out,” smiles Ryland. “It’s heavy, it’s poppy, it’s groovy – it’s exactly what I wanted to make. I have a broad set of tastes, and it’s cool to feel like all of that is represented here.” Stephen Hill
Sounds Like: Crushing modern metalcore, with surprise vocal hooks that Usher would be proud of
For Fans Of: Issues, Poppy, Bring Me The Horizon
Listen To: Burn