Your essential guide to the Golden Gods New Band category

Pictures of Black Peaks, Heck, The Black Queen, Creeper and Cane Hill
Clockwise from top left: Black Peaks, Heck, The Black Queen, Creeper, Cane Hill

Metal lives and dies in its ability to bring new sounds and fresh approaches to the table. Here are five diverse, different and distinctive bands that have captured the imagination of the underground in 2016 and, regardless of the winner here, are destined to go on to do amazing things.

Black Peaks

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The Brighton quartet have been hotly tipped for some time now, so all eyes were already on them when they released debut album Statues. Rather than buckle under the pressure, they have made a record that is equal parts Tool and Mastodon as it is Every Time I Die and The Bronx. A glorious sonic melting pot from a band with limitless ambition.

Cane Hill

Taking the very best elements of the formative days of nu metal – think the low-end thump of Slipknot’s debut and the nihilistic self-loathing of early Korn rather than the cartoony, day-glo pop hits of its post-millennial nadir – Cane Hill are the poster boys for its rebirth and the stand-out act of the rising scene.


The Southampton punks have been on stunning form over the last 12 months. Releasing two EPs of enigmatic, emotive, gothic glam-tinged punk rock, and dominating in the live environment, be it on festival bills, or at their own headline shows in tiny clubs that, on recent evidence, they’ve already outgrown.


The band formerly known as Baby Godzilla finally got to release their debut album this year. And while we all are aware of their borderline psychotic live shows, we weren’t expecting Instructions to be such a world-class, savage melding of math rock and hardcore.

The Black Queen

The Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato is known for his outright aggression in the day job, but, as The Black Queen prove, he’s a man with a soulful voice and a wide-ranging musical palate. This is dark, electronically driven rock with brain dominating hooks, and a welcome oddity to the metal scene.

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Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.