Skip to main content

Extreme Metal's best new bands

Abhorrent Decimation
Abhorrent Decimation

Lord Of War

Future brutality, California-style

Where many of their post-deathcore peers have a great sound but no songs, Lord Of War have the razor-sharp tunes to match their blistering chops. Last year’s Suffer album was criminally overlooked and is simply the finest example of ultra-modern death metal to emerge in years. Future gods. Listen to: Manufactured Existence (Suffer, 2016)

Trojan

Prog death devastation from Indonesia

One of the most exciting bands in the ridiculously populous Indonesian metal scene, Trojan’s grisly but precise sound is equal parts slamming death metal and synapse-popping Meshuggah-style polyrhythms. Laudably progressive by design, recent album Archaic Dimension is an absolute monster. Listen to: Re-Fallen Race (Archaic Dimension, 2017)

Vacivus

Murky UK death with a heart of horror

Death metal seldom gets more twisted than Vacivus’s squall. Their new album could propel this Sunderland quintet to the upper reaches of the UK extreme underground. Their muscular but gnarly attack will leave you breathless. Or dead. Listen to: Towards Infinite Chasms (Temple Of The Abyss, 2017)

Carnal Decay

The ultimate Swiss grinding machine

Underground heroes in their native Switzerland, Carnal Decay’s hybrid onslaught offers a sublime blend of DM, brutal hardcore and flat-out, swivel eyed grind. Their latest album brims with weirdly accessible moments while removing your face. Listen to: Your Guts My Glory (You Owe You Pay, 2017)

Ulsect

Ulsect

Ulsect

Technical, dissonant death metal

Featuring two members of avant-black metallers Dodecahedron, Ulsect’s self-titled debut takes their reality-warping dynamics into the realms of death and post-metal, adding heaving riffs and doomy passages into their repertoire of whorls. Listen to: Moirae (Ulsect, 2017)

So This Is Suffering

Obdurate bruisers on the deathcore trail

For anyone concerned about the future of deathcore, So This Is Suffering offer a defiant, jaw-shattering response. Insanely heavy but subtly sophisticated, the songs on new album Palace Of The Pessimist are full of sharp ideas and lacerating hooks. Suffering never felt so good. Listen to: Xenomorphic (Palace Of The Pessimist, 2017)

Cytotoxin

German sci-fi death to rattle your teeth

Standard bearers for a new breed of DM that ups the brutality ante on every level, Cytotoxin are rapidly establishing themselves as one of Europe’s most extreme bands. Light-speed blasting, wild technicality and a dash of futuristic fervour combine to make your skull explode. Nice. Listen to: Antigenesis (Gammageddon, 2017)

Images At Twilight

Extreme symphonic madness from Norway

The curiously named Images At Twilight play extreme symphonic metal, with a fair few death and black metal influences. There are shades of Bal-Sagoth and Carach Angren, but despite the orchestral touches, the vibe is less melodramatic. Listen to: Ninhagaz (The End Of An Era Chapter I) (Kings, 2015)

Widowmaker

Widowmaker

Widowmaker

Alabama brutes with a deathly core

Flying the flag for the thrilling midpoint between brutal DM and state-of-the-art deathcore, Widowmaker’s face-flaying ferocity and crushing breakdowns will send fans of Thy Art Is Murder into a state of frothing rapture. Check out their self-titled debut EP for some top-notch thuggery. Listen to: The Nihilist (Widowmaker, 2017)

Light Of The Morning Star

Gothic metal rarely sounded so severe

London band Light Of The Morning Star are an unusual entity, with a sound that could be described as gothic metal, albeit with the ‘metal’ component drawn from the world of contemporary black/extreme metal. Sinister vampiric goodness. Listen to: Coffinwood (Nocta, 2017)

A Sense Of Gravity

Wild, extreme prog from the home of grunge

Doggedly putting Seattle back on the heavy map, A Sense Of Gravity’s unhinged take on fervently proggy death is one of the most distinctive noises in metal right now. Scattershot structures and dizzying shred-worship collide: it’s the sound of heavy music being catapulted into the future. Listen to: Echo Chasers (Atrament, 2016)

Howls Of Ebb

Death/black metal spells from San Francisco

Unique entity Howls Of Ebb combine death and black metal with electrifying results, drawing on occultism and demonology to summon devastating hymns. Inventive songwriters and strong performers, they are unafraid to explore new territories. Listen to: Maat Mons’ Fume (Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows, 2016)

Replacire

Replacire

Replacire

Extreme prog insanity from Boston, MA

Thriving in a self-constructed midpoint between pulverising extreme metal and forward-thinking prog splendour, Replacire are inspirational madmen. Second album Do Not Deviate is an audacious celebration of insane ideas and mind-bending virtuosity. It also has huge tunes. Listen to: Moonbred Chains (Do Not Deviate, 2017)

Repulsive Vision

Thrashy death metal the old way

An older band who have only kicked into gear recently, Cumbria’s Repulsive Vision formed in 2010 but released their debut record this year. Turning the heads of DM fans, it’s fast-paced, aggressive, sometimes thrashy, and satisfying. Listen to: Fragmentary (Look Past The Gore And See The Art, 2017)

Poison Blood

Black metal purity meets punk rock hate

A collaboration between members of Horseback and Krieg, Poison Blood are purveyors of dirty BM with an anarcho-punk edge. Not every band convincingly nails the blackened spirit, but this dastardly duo are masters of mystic malevolence. Listen to: Myths From The Desert (Poison Blood, 2017)

Violent Life Violent Death

Violent Life Violent Death

Violent Life Violent Death

Venomous riot-starters for a world gone mad

The soundtrack for an angry and hateful world, VLVD’s face-ripping punk-metal attack is loud and nasty enough to make Trump shit his pants. The North Carolina crew’s debut EP is a relentless adrenaline blast. The revolution starts here. Listen to: Straight Teeth (V-EP, 2016)

Whoredom Rife

Classic black metal for the 21st century

Whoredom Rife appeared three years ago and have already made a name for themselves with their unapologetically intense take on black metal. A subtle but effective updating of the Norwegian classics. Listen to: Cursing The Storm To Come (Dommedagskvad, 2017)

Abyssic

Grandiose symphonic death/doom

When the title track of a band’s only album clocks in at 28 minutes, longer than many albums, you know they’re not messing around. That record, last year’s A Winter’s Tale, marks Norwegians Abyssic out as masters of symphonic extreme metal. Listen to: A Winter’s Tale (A Winter’s Tale, 2016)

Locust Leaves

Greek progressive metal madness

Technically Locust Leaves aren’t a new band, but they’ve only recently come to life, releasing their debut album A Subtler Kind Of Light this year following a split record in 2012 and apparent inactivity after that. A progressive and creative take on the extreme metal template. Listen to: Pillar (Vraxos) (A Subtler Kind Of Light, 2017)

Hellripper

Scotland’s king of the arcane mosh

A one-man blackened speed metal machine from Aberdeen, Hellripper does things the old-school way, but this is no lazy retro affair. Instead, the songs on current album Coagulating Darkness stab and slash like newly minted classics beamed in from the mid-80s underground, but laden with contemporary oomph. Listen to: Bastard Of Hades (Coagulating Darkness, 2017)

Scáth Na Déithe

A crushing maelstrom of aggression

Dublin-based duo Scáth Na Déithe formed in 2015 and are currently unsigned, but that’s likely to change given the weighty bombardment of their debut album, Pledge Nothing But Flesh, released earlier this year. It’s a fearsome cocktail of foreboding death, black and doom metal. Listen to: Bloodless (Pledge Nothing But Flesh, 2017)

Abhorrent Decimation

DM supremacy from south London’s suburbs

Death metal diehards Abhorrent Decimation have an unerring knack for delivering rapacious grooves and subtly irresistible hooks. Their debut album, Miasmic Mutation, was a brutal triumph, but new album The Pardoner is really grabbing people’s attention. This is refined and smart 21st century extreme metal, full of grim lyrical insights and rebellious flair but never less than 100% brutal. If you saw them at Bloodstock in August, you’ll know they destroy live, too. If UK death metal is on the rise, Abhorrent Decimation are riding the crest of the wave. Listen to: Conspire (The Pardoner, 2017)

Turia

Driving hypnotic and surreal black metal

Formed in the Netherlands in 2014, Turia have released two albums of hypnotic, minimalist, fuzzy and otherworldly black metal. The songs are unrelenting and trance-like, with paintstripping screams, chugging guitars and loose, even calming, melodies. Immerse yourself… Listen to: Dede Kondre (Dede Kondre, 2017)

Venom Prison

Venom Prison

Venom Prison

Savage DM with an important message

One of the best albums to emerge at the end of last year, Animus didn’t just feel like one of the biggest blows from a UK death metal scene that was starting to throw haymakers, but a sign of extreme metal’s well-worn hallmarks being recklessly fucked with. Proudly rallying against sexism in the scene while subverting classic death metal tropes, Venom Prison emerged as one of the most exciting bands our isle has produced in recent years, and even made their Hammer cover debut last month as a part of our special State Of The Nation address. Listen to: Abysmal Agony (Animus, 2017)

Slow Death

Misanthropic fury with a lust for noise

When hardcore gets nasty, the results are often thrilling, but few modern bands sound as hellbent on destruction as Boston/Connecticut crew Slow Death. Using extreme noise as an extra weapon, their bursts of breakneck belligerence will make you want to smash everything in sight. Listen to: Hungry Rats (Hate-Filled World, 2017)

Wildspeaker

Dirty destruction with a hardcore soul

Blackened sludge warriors on a mission to terrify, Wildspeaker deal in organised chaos and scabrous, post-Converge riffing. New album Spreading Adder is a compelling exercise in pitch-black rage, but it swings like a megalodon’s ballbag and kicks like a donkey on PCP. Listen to: Still Life (Spreading Adder, 2017)

River Black

Groove metal terrorism from the US east coast

One of roughly 217 current bands featuring Municipal Waste legend Dave Witte on drums, River Black’s rampaging groove metal assault stands out from the extremity crowd due to the sheer power of the band’s riffs. Check out their eponymous debut and bang your head until it snaps off. Listen to: Shipwreck (River Black, 2017)

Chaos Trigger

Chaos Trigger

Chaos Trigger

Rise of the British neck-wreckers

Unsung heroes of the UK scene, Wales’s Chaos Trigger draw from death metal, hardcore, groove metal and grind, but the end result of that crosspollination is thrillingly individual. Degenerate Matter is one of 2017’s slow-burning gems: the riffs, the rage, the intensity… what’s not to like? Listen to: Binary (Degenerate Matter, 2017)

Riivaus

Icy, catchy-as-hell unholyness

A one-man black metal outfit, Riivaus hails from Finland and favours a traditional corpsepaint, forests and snow aesthetic. That’s apt, because the riffing on this year’s debut album is cold as ice, while also being surprisingly punky and catchy, making for an irresistible onslaught. Listen to: Uhrirovio (Lyöden Taudein Ja Kirouksin, 2017)

Tchornobog

Creepy and immersive metal for brave souls

The claustrophobic and crushing tunes of Tchornobog are not for the fainthearted, combining black, death and doom metal in lengthy and disturbing fashion. A single album, released this year, is the only evidence of this one-man US-based act – who knows what the future will hold? Listen to: I: The Vomiting Tchornobog (Slithering Gods of Cognitive Dissonance) (Tchornobog, 2017)

Raised By Owls

British grind upstarts riff on our culture

On debut album The Great British Grind Off, Derby’s Raised By Owls take on hallowed British institutions such as the Bake Off of its title, Harry Potter, Chuckle Vision… and David Cameron. Plus, the artwork from Jim’ll Paint It is nothing short of genius. Good, unclean fun. Listen to: The Great British Grind Off (The Great British Grind Off, 2016)

Triverse Massacre

Triverse Massacre

Triverse Massacre

Cumbrian crushers go for the throat

Like being clubbed to death by robots, Triverse Massacre’s precise, future-death assault is terrifying but impossible to ignore. Latest EP Hades suggests that this Carlisle quintet have the chops, the songs and the intensity to make a devastating impact. Listen to: Styx (Hades, 2017)

In Reverence

Mind-melting death metal

Sweden is hardly a stranger to kickass death metal, and Stockholm collective In Reverence produced one of the finest extreme metal albums of 2017 so far with the regal The Selected Breed. Those impatient for a new Behemoth album could do worse than check out these crushers. Listen to: Prometheus (The Selected Breed, 2017)

Tarnkappe

Underrated black metal with passion

Appearing in 2014 with debut album Tussen Hun En De Zon (Between Them And The Sun), Netherlands trio Tarnkappe offer embittered yet stirring black metal, played with total zeal. Last year’s Winterwaker is a step up, staying true to its claim of summoning “the Cold spirit from the North”. Listen to: Aan De Aarde Gebonden (Winterwaker, 2016)

Necromaniac

London-based resurrection of 80s evil

With Spanish, Polish and Greek contributors, Necromaniac transport the listener back to a time before the thrash, death and black metal genres properly parted ways, recalling the darkness of early Slayer, Celtic Frost and more with a furiously organic assault. Listen to: Underneath The Crucifix (Morbid Metal demo, 2015)

Fellwarden

Fellwarden

Fellwarden

Atmospheric folky black metal from London

Featuring The Watcher and Havenless of premier UK black/post-black outfit Fen, Fellwarden sees the duo pursuing similarly dreamy and introspective landscapes. Shimmering guitars, considered songwriting and folky black metal overtones make this one for fans of Agalloch… and Fen, obviously. Listen to: Wayfarer Eternal (Oathbearer, 2017)

Cult Of Eibon

Lycanthropic 90s Greece exhumed from a grave

You’d never know Athens’ Cult Of Eibon formed in 2015. Channelling the glory of the heavy metal-inspired, synth-augmented Greek black metal bands of the 1990s, such as Necromantia Varathron and Rotting Christ, their classic sound belies their young age. Listen to: Wolf Blood Communion (Lycan Twilight Sorcery, 2017)

Gaoth

Soulful and slow-burning black metal

A one-man outfit from Ireland, Gaoth entered the scene last year, releasing the impressively mature debut album Dying Season’s Glory – initially a self-release, but soon reissued by Northern Silence Productions. Emotive, moving and atmospheric, with plenty of clean guitars and forest vibes. Listen to: Weeping Of The Fens (Dying Season’s Glory, 2016)

Orm

Epic black metal from darkest Denmark

Releasing their self-titled debut album this year, Orm are rising stars. Epic and majestic black metal is the order of the day, with harsh dual vocals and ethereal backing vocals cutting through the riffs to elevate their songs. Listen to: A Tree Ablaze/Yggdrasil Brænder (Orm, 2017)

Kadaverdisciplin

Flat-out Swedish devilry with fire in its belly

The latest band to erupt from Sweden’s frequently seminal black metal scene, blackhearted bastards Kadaverdisciplin will thrill fans of Marduk, Watain and Dark Funeral with their remorseless and necrotized but very metal onslaught. Satan is real and cranked up to 11. Listen to: Death Supremacy (Death Supremacy, 2017)

How Motörhead influenced extreme metal