11 Metal Bands to Watch in 2024

Heavy metal is more than a genre of music. It’s a vast, vast world full of its own countless subgenres, thriving regions all around the world, and more bands than any individual person can keep track of, from still-active veterans to rising new bands with buzzed-about demos. We’re always looking for more new bands to listen to, so earlier this year we again reached out to an array of metal lovers to ask them what metal bands they think people should be keeping an eye on. Each person picked one band (or, in one case, two bands) and wrote a bit about each one, explaining why they believe these bands are poised to have a big year in 2024 for one reason or another.

We hoped to get the list live much earlier in the year (note: a lot of these blurbs were written months ago), and it’s also a little smaller than usual, but sometimes life works out this way. Read on for this year’s picks…

Undulation and PeelingFlesh (chosen by Pierce Jordan of Soul Glo)

I couldn’t pick just one, so fortunately BrooklynVegan has allowed me to bend the rules. My two choices for metal bands to be excited about are two bands I talked about in my Best of 2023, PeelingFlesh and Undulation.

If you don’t know, Undulation is a quartet from Seattle whose superb first release, An Unhealthy Interest in Suffering, came out in June of last year. I am deeply eager to see this band hit the road and praying that if/when they come through Philadelphia I won’t be on tour. The collective talent of each member hasn’t been fully revealed and they are essentially one of the world’s many unopened gifts.

Last time I mentioned PeelingFlesh, I had no idea when I’d be able to see them live. Thank fuck that in the time between the year-end reviews and now, they’ve announced a monstrous tour with Jesus Piece, Sanguisugabogg, and Gag. Obviously gonna be one of the best shows of the year, and the tour I’m gonna be on during that time I believe will allow me to catch them in Pomona. So that will rule. Everything I said previously still stands, and as one of my Twitter mutuals said, this band makes music FOR THE NIGGAS.

Editor’s note: Since this was written, they’ve announced another tour.

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KIM and Cheree

KIM and Cheree (chosen by Ragana who made one of the best albums of 2023)

KIM and Cheree are both Oakland based bands with metal influences that Ragana has been lucky to share the stage with. Their music is heavy, new and metal as fuck.

Slimelord by Bradley Lightfoot

Slimelord (chosen by Damian Herring of Horrendous who made one of the best albums of 2023)

The UK death metal scene has been exploding recently, and I think Slimelord is poised to have an especially big year. Their debut full-length, Chytridiomycosis Relinquished, just came out on 20 Buck Spin, and this album is sure to be making many people’s AOTY lists. I believe they’ll be going on a tour of Europe this summer in support of it, as well. This band has a clear, grandiose vision that they manage to convey in a psychedelic and organically murky way (and I don’t mean the production!). You can almost smell the swamp and decaying organic matter as you listen to the twisting riffs and top-shelf performances.

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Uranium (chosen by Body Void)

Sentient Ruin Labratories is putting out the kind of absolutely unhinged cross genre heavy music I want to hear in 2024 and no one embodies the spirit of the label for me better than black industrial outfit, Uranium. They released two full-lengths in 2023. I enjoyed the more straight up industrial outing, An Exacting Punishment, more where they combined Godflesh rhythms with death industrial textures. But there’s no denying the absolutely breathtaking extremity of the second ’23 album, Pure Nuclear Death, which moves from bestial black metal to all out harsh noise meltdown. I hope we see more from them in 2024.

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Knoll (chosen by Cody Drasser of Afterbirth who made one of the best albums of 2023)

Being something of a hard-to-impress person (musically speaking), as well being generally out-of-touch with a lot of things – sorry, I can’t help it, I’m a curmudgeonly “old man” who’s slowly aging out in a genre dominated by younger individuals honing their skills in impressively talented acts that defy description – but consider me completely surprised, smitten and won over by Knoll’s musical oeuvre thus far. While the group has only been around since 2021, the discography of extreme aural battery they’ve managed to amass in that brief period – three full length studio releases, a live album and one split release – is equal parts devastating and inspiring. As if that wasn’t remarkable enough, Knoll arrived in this god-forsaken universe fully formed; a raging, crystallized monstrosity, standing on the precipice of a black hole, howling into a cruel void of cackling stars for all eternity.

Their debut album Interstice (2021) and the sophomore effort Metempiric (2022) highlighted the band’s strong affinity for blurry, miasma-laced death metal and disorienting, destructive grindcore, a potent combination that is near and dear to my own wilted, rotten heart. Their sound is such that it’s as if a murky, wet, cold curtain has been drawn over my soul and, reasonable explanations be damned, I can’t help but love this sort of twisted and deformed auditory mutation as much as I do. It’s simultaneously uncomfortable and inviting.

Knoll’s latest effort, As Spoken, finds the band somehow intensifying their stranglehold on that approach, while honing it to deadly, scalpel-pointed perfection. My friends, this is a bleakly beautiful album that goes for the throat straight from the drop. And though the band traffic heavily in territories that are often the antithesis of joy, laughter and all things cheerful, the exuberance and emotional delivery comes with such passionate intensity, that it’s hard to not be affected on an emotional level by what is offered to the listener. It makes sense that a band like Knoll would continue to attract more acolytes to their dark flock than they would repel them. The output feels inhumanly dark, but you know on a cellular level that it is created by a living, breathing, feeling group of humans and cannot help but be attracted to it.

The band has been relentlessly battling it out in the trenches of the extreme underground ever since their start with what seems like constant touring (a recent successful European run with Nightmarer was completed not too long ago) and an envious DIY approach that graces everything the band does with a notable and unique fingerprint. They have something to say and are beholden to no one.

This level of (seemingly) bottomless energy and creative autonomy is a tricky thing to stay consistent with, but the band has remained steadfastly loyal to their craft. Such consistent efforts should not go unrewarded. I believe in (and supremely hope for) a stupendous avalanche of acclaim and accolades in the year 2024 (and beyond) for the entire band. Knoll is a true force of nature, and I couldn’t be happier or more excited for what’s to come for them.

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Machine Music

Hull of Light (chosen by one of our favorite metal blogs Machine Music)

Hull of Light [Hull of Light banner drops in the background] are a lot of things that I love in one place. Firstly, artists whose work is the altar at which I worship, who, each in their own way, refuse to be anything settled, who are the nomads of our musical wasteland, who go for that jagged jugular of sound that comes close to having no shape at all, before finally materializing as a terrifying, beautiful shape. But, aside from whatever it was I just wrote, the beauty of Hull of Light, who released their first track via Machine Music’s annual charity compilation and who are set to release their debut EP this year, is that they cram all that shapeshifting and ambition into a small, and very human form – one that ranges from the rollickin’ rock of Midnight Oil, the almost ritual post-punk weirdness of This Heat, to the anti-black metal of bands like Emptiness or Virus. And for that I declare them [confetti going off in the background] my “Metal Band to Watch in 2024!” [mic and speaker both disappear, the wooden stage collapses, leaving a misty maroon swamp].

Trauma Bond

Trauma Bond (chosen by graphic artist & ex-Saint Vitus employee Caroline Harrison)

London’s Trauma Bond seemingly came out of nowhere in 2021 with their debut The Violence of Spring. Machine Music’s Ron Ben-Tovim’s April 2021 interview is the likely catalyst for my friends passing around the 2022 release, Winter’s Light. These two EPs are BRUTAL, ANGRY, and Trauma Bond landed on something super special right out of the gate. More informed folks than I have invoked Pig Destroyer, Succumb, Converge, Fawn Limbs, Youth Code, Prodigy, and Nurse With Wound as audible influences. And in early 2023, vocalist Eloise Chong-Gargette described her goals for their music to Revolver as, “So long as it feels mildly like a panic attack, I’m happy.” I have, in fact, described some of my favorite heavy releases from the last few years to friends as sounding like anxiety attacks can feel. So: it should come as no surprise that I’m VERY excited to see what the year has in store for these two. Chong-Gargette and bandmate Tom Mitchell (the instrumentalist of the duo) were in the studio some time late last year recording more Trauma Bond material, and based on the strength of their output to date? Yeah. This is easily in the top 5 on my list of releases I’m looking forward to most in 2024. (In addition to, of course, albums from Julie Christmas, Pyrrhon, Scarcity, and Inter Arma. And about those last three: look, I have an obvious bias since they’re all folks near & dear to me, and have trusted me enough to let me scribble some gross art for them, but sometimes your pals also make incredible cool music and I think it’s worth being very proud of them in public!)

Agriculture by Milan Aguirre

Agriculture (chosen by BrooklynVegan editor Andrew Sacher)

I could’ve picked Agriculture as a band to watch ahead of their 2022 or 2023 releases, so I’m not claiming “firsties” or anything, but 2024 feels like the biggest year yet for Agriculture and there are multiple reasons to be “watching” them this year if you aren’t already. They’ve got a new EP out on The Flenser called Living Is Easy that keeps their momentum going, and they recently went on their first East Coast tour (including a sold-out show at NYC’s TV Eye). As I also wrote when talking about their self-titled debut LP in our list of the best metal albums of 2023, they call themselves “ecstatic black metal” (a phrase Liturgy also used early on), and they share that band’s knack for taking the piss out of black metal purism. Agriculture make black metal that feels both ferocious and bright, with elements of country and sadcore that sincerely add to the experience. They’re making heavy music on their own terms, and there’s something so hypnotic about them that I just keep coming back to.

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and one more for good measure….



Fine, here’s 3 more:
* Balmora
* Civerous

Check out last year’s list.