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Five artists you NEED to watch out for this year!

5 Bands To Watch In 2016

In what has become a yearly tradition amongst The Monolith staff, we like to sit down and argue agree which bands in aprticular we have our beady eyes on for the coming year; who we think will make a big splash, and most of all who you should keep your ears open for if and when they drop new music, or come to your town.

In years past this has been a bit of a death knell for some; more than a few have ended up having very quiet years, and we do wonder if our praise has something to do with it: “oh god,” they’ll say, “don’t move or they might see us!”

We aren’t dinosaurs guys, honest. Nevertheless, we like to do this anyway in the hope that you will pay more attention to them, and hopefully all our choices this year WILL be up to many interesting things; indeed, two of these artists’ records have imminent release dates, and we know the other three are hard at work on or close to completion of theirs, so we’re feeling fairly confident.

So, without further ado, act number one to watch this year is:

The Colour Line Tech Fest 2015 - Sam Rudderforth - Jo Moolenschot.jpg

The Colour Line

We’ve been saying this for a while, since last year at least, but Hull’s The Colour Line continue to be one of the most exciting bands to witness in a small space today. When The Colour Line come to town, they don’t so much perform, but rather detonate, leaving onlookers dodging flying limbs and headstocks as they blast through their Dillinger-esque technical hardcore.

After delays, caused in part by the band slimming down from a five-piece to four and guitarist Sam Arundel switching to bass, the band’s wryly and appropriately named debut release on Basick Records, The Long Awaited Seal of Disapproval, will finally emerge in February. I’ve heard it, and its a bit special. The Colour Line will be supporting that release with a run (literally and metaphorically) across the country with fellow Monolith favourites F·O·E·S in tow in March, which should deliver just the right blend of big riffs, great songs and total shrieking chaos.

Exist Immortal Tech Fest 2015 - Meyrick - hgravesxiii

Exist Immortal

I love it when a plan comes together.

I’ve been watching Exist Immortal gradually develop and mature over a number of years now, and it looks like their hard work is starting to really pay off. They’ve honed their sound into a sleek and crisp take on contemporary metal, drawing influence from modern tech-metal and more traditional sources in equal measure. A busy tour diary has also helped them to develop into a commanding live presence too, presenting those songs in the best possible light.

With a couple of line-up changes since debut album Darkness of an Age, and a second album being readied for release, 2016 could well be Exist Immortal’s biggest year yet. Expect to see them turning heads and waving their long, lustrous locks on a stage near you soon.

Hieroglyph Tech Fest 2015 - Valentina - Jo Moolenschot.jpg


Post-sludge-melodic-tech-core, anyone? As I’ve probably said in the past, I am a big fan of bands who cast their net of influence far and wide, then distill all those disparate elements down into something cohesive and compelling. So I’m really very keen on Hieroglyph. Spearheaded by twin vocalists Valentina and Mark, they’re developing that relationship beyond the standard call-and-response that bands can often fall into with this configuration. Their practice of Valentina singing and Mark bellowing the same lines simultaneously is particularly effective and distinctive.

The band are currently in the throes of recording their debut album, a follow-up to the rather excellent Freefall EP. And if “Solar“, a new song premiered here back in June is anything to go by, we should be in for a treat.

Jusska banner


When guitarist Leander is not bouncing off every available flat surface with his main project Bear, he puts his eight string to more expansive use with side project Jusska. Initially a partnership with vocalist Iason, debut EP L’homme de L’ombre showcased a sound combining big, mid-paced riffs and soaring atmospheric vocals.

Jusska will be releasing the second in a planned series of three EPs, Tsuki, on January 16thh, the studio-based pair have had some drum programming assistance from Mike Malyan, formerly of Monuments. How exciting. Expect a full review of Tsuki in the not too distant future.

Seething Akira

Seething Akira

First coming to our attention at Tech Fest 2013, noisy Portsmouth beat herberts Seething Akira skirt along the boundaries of metal and dance in broadly the same fashion as The Prodigy, Pitchshifter and Mad Capsule Markets were doing around the turn of the millennium, but with a thoroughly modern twist.

Combining in-your-face bravado with self-effacing humour (well evidenced in the hilarious video for “Airstrike“) as well as big beats and meaty riffs, Seething Akira have been steadily building a reputation for bringing the party, especially on the festival circuit. After some experimentation with their line-up, they appear to have settled on a five-piece configuration with a bassist and guitarist backing up the MC pairing of Kit and Charlie.

I’m hearing some maddeningly detail-free rumours that big things are afoot in Camp Akira, so while we wait to find out more, I think we can at least expect a brace of new tunes and plenty of opportunities to dance along with them throughout the year.