Every month in Metal Hammer magazine (opens in new tab), we ask a respected artist from our world what new or emerging band we should be listening to. They've given us some absolutely cracking suggestions over the years, so we thought we'd amass some of the best and most interesting recent recommendations to give you the definitive look through the bands you need to hear right now - courtesy of the bands you love.
From jammy prog metal to scything death metal and even a splash of 80s-style goth and shiny indie, there's a ton of stuff covered from all over the music spectrum. Here's what got thrown at us...
Ville Valo, HIM/VV
Recommended band: Twin Tribes
Style: Shimmering post-punk with its dark heart in the 80s
Ville says: “I like a lot of music that goes left-of-centre, like Twin Tribes from the States. They’re a goth duo who basically rip off everything that’s been done in the past, but they do it beautifully. They’ve got some great songs.”
Matt Heafy, Trivium
Recommended band: Turnstile
Style: Bouncy, danceable hardcore with bonus 80s influences
Matt says: "The new Turnstile record has been nonstop repeat for me. What’s cool is I could picture that band on tour with Rage Against The Machine. Out with a Vampire Weekend. I could see them with Slipknot. They’re out with Suicide Boys right now. That band could tour with anything, and it will work."
Brann Dailor, Mastodon
Recommended band: Netherlands
Style: Bruising, metallic alt-rock from NY
Brann says: "I can never give enough love to these guys. They are from Brooklyn, New York, and they are super-heavy. They remind me of Melvins and Big Business, Gojira a little bit, but they have really got their own thing going on, really fuzzy, garage-y and kinda twisted."
Sharon den Adel, Within Temptation
Recommended band: Annisokay
Style: Shiny, catchy-as-crabs metalcore from Germany
Sharon says: "We worked with Annisokay on the single Shed My Skin, but I don't just name them because we worked with them. We think their music is really exciting to listen to and really cool. Amazing vocals, it's melodic, it's heavy, it's everything we love, so check it out!"
Dani Filth, Cradle Of Filth
Recommended band: Ghosts Of Atlantis
Style: Symphonic black metal decadence
Dani says: "From the county that spawned the irksome likes of Ed Sheeran and Cradle Of Filth, Ghosts Of Atlantis build their lore around ancient Greece and Atlantis in an epic crossover of styles encompassing Dimmu Borgir, Amorphis and Parkway Drive, weaving historical findings and fantasy into one incredible musical journey.”
Jacoby Shaddix, Papa Roach
Recommended band: Des Rocs
Style: Rollocking rockabilly meets anthemic post-hardcore
Jacoby says: "Des Rocs is from Long Island, New York and he's a rockabilly-punk-emo. He's got a vibe: it's like future blues, and he's super-unique. Nobody out there sounds like what he's doing right now. It's fresh and it's different, he rips on guitars and he's a great showman."
Tatiana Shmayluk, Jinjer
Recommended band: Tallah
Style: Abrasive nu metal given a 2020s polish
Tatiana says: "We’re all really into Tallah. They are totally doing their own thing and don’t play by normal industry rules. That suits us great, because Jinjer love bands that say, ‘Fuck the rules!'"
Dan Briggs, Between The Buried And Me
Recommended band: Hällas
Style: Warm, fantastical prog rock
Dan says: "Hällas were my favourite discovery of 2020 when the second LP, Conundrum, came out. It's like if 70s Yes had time travelled to the 80s and brought 80s Yes's gear back with them to make a record. Amazingly adventurous arrangements, warm recording and my favourite singalong at the end of Fading Hero that makes for a truly cinematic climax. Tune up your double-neck 12 string, fire up the Mellotron and blast off!"
Recommended band: Hangman's Chair
Style: Majestic, gothy doom for the downtrodded
Carpenter Brut says: "It’s a French band. It’s like, doooom doom – Type O Negative-ish, in a way. I’ve known them since the beginning, as we have common friends. They’ve played in French hardcore bands for a long time, and I knew all their previous bands!”
Larissa Stupar, Venom Prison
Recommended band: Heriot
Style: A brutalising death/doom/industrial metal hybrid
Larissa says: "They really jumped into my eyes and ears. They are really interesting, aggressive, fast and exciting. We can expect some cool things from them; I know Debbie [Gough, Heriot's guitarist/vocalist] from playing shows with other bands."
Benji Webbe, Skindred
Recommended band: Florence Black
Style: Riffy, Southern-tinged hooks aplenty
Benji says: "There's a band from Wales called Florence Black. I have actually recorded a song with them, it’s called Gunshot. They’re a bit like a heavy version of The Black Crowes. That’s the way I would imagine them to be. Florence Black are definitely a band doing good things and I love ’em!”
Spencer Charnas, Ice Nine Kills
Recommended band: We're Wolves
Style: Blood-splattered, howling metalcore
Spencer says: "We're Wolves is a metal band coming up out of Florida. They’re bringing back the golden era sound of metalcore complete with a twisted, bloody edge. Keep an eye on these boys!”
JB Brubaker, August Burns Red
Recommended band: Michigander
Style: Floaty indie-pop made for festival stages in the sunshine
JB says: "I stumbled upon Michigander randomly while listening to an Apple Music radio station. While they don't have a proper full-length at this point, I've had their five-song EP, Where Do We Go From Here, on heavy rotation. The songs can have a melancholy undertone while still being infectious. I feel like Michigander picked up where Coldplay left off when they decided to become a full-blown pop band. This EP has really struck a chord with me."
Iva Bjørnson, Enslaved
Recommended band: Golden Core
Style: Progressive doom with ice in its veins
Ivar says: "I am very excited to see where this power duo can go. Proggy doom with some Old Norse concepts and Icelandic lyrics. They started back in 2014 and are still very young guys. This is doom for the people!”
Ali Richardson, Bleed From Within
Recommended band: The Totemist
Style: Jammy, expansive tech-metal instrumentals aplenty
Ali says: “A jam project between Toska songwriter/guitarist Rabea Massad and Black Peaks drummer Liam Kearley. Nothing to do with the fact that I'm mates with the guys, but the musicianship and creative goodness these lads have produced is truly brilliant. Check out their EP on your preferred streaming service and play it loud!”