10 unreleased songs by major metal bands we want to hear right now

Unreleased Songs
(Image credit: Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns/Frank Hoensch/Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Not every song a band writes makes it to the final album. While many become bonus tracks or are compiled in rare and b-sides collections years later, others remain locked away in the bands' vaults or left on the stage where they briefly rolled out out for a jam. Some of these recordings have surfaced online as evidence while other remain shrouded in myth. Whatever their origin story, some of rock and metal's biggest names have unreleased material we'd love to see properly released.

Metal Hammer line break

Metallica – Vulturous

In between a playing Master Of Puppets all the way through and assorted greatest hits on their Escape From The Studio 2006 tour, Metallica treated audiences at select shows to two cryptically-titled and unfinished new songs, The New Song and The Other New Song. While bits of the former were cannibalised into The End Of The Line from2008’s Death Magnetic, the beefy, thrashy has yet to see the light of day. Dubbed Vulturous by fans the lyrics are complete rubbish, which is to be expected from a jam that only the saw the light of day on four occasions. However, the riffs are enough to suggest that with a bit of spit and polish Metallica could feasibly do something with it down the line.

Slipknot – Carve

While Clown has promised that an entire album titled Look Outside Your Window, recorded back in 2008, will be released in the near future, there are a few songs from Corey Taylor's early days in the band that Maggots have been talking about for the last 20 years. A bootleg titled Silver Disc, which features one of Corey's first performances, includes the unreleased songs Carve, Coleslaw and Windows. They're raw, unhinged and definitely worth checking out for an unfiltered look into the Des Moines group's origins. 

System Of A Down – Friik

System Of A Down surprised their fans recently by dropping their first new songs in 15 years, Protect The Land and Genocidal Humanoidz. The former was actually written by guitarist Daron Malakian for Scars On Broadway’s 2018 album Dictator, while the latter dates back to an aborted SOAD album session roughly four years ago. They're not the only songs the band have in the vaults – the characteristically oddball Friik pre-dates their debut album, while Virginity stems from the Toxicity period.

Korn – This Broken Soul

An outtake from Korn’s revolutionary 1994 debut album, This Broken Soul is a troubled, eerie song that sits perfectly with the mood conjured by the youthful Bakersfield band. Its only appearance has been on the bootleg Immortal In House Cassettes, that also features the band's 1993 demo, a live performance from 1995 and another unreleased song, Layla, which sadly isn't a cover of the Derek And The Dominos chestnut.

Gojira – The rest of Maciste All’inferno

When Gojira released a live performance of the previously unheard song Inferno in October 2020, fans wondered how such a seismic riff had laid dormant for so long. In fact, it was just one of 15 pieces of music from a one-off 2003 performance where the band played along to the 1925 film Maciste All’inferno, creating 50-minute score of avant-garde extremism. Now we've had one slice we'd quite like to delve into the rest of the cake while we patiently await album number seven. 

Slayer – Assassin

Anyone else thinking that the world has gone to shit since Slayer hung up their guitars? As we're never going to get new music from them again, we might look to some of their earliest compositions that never saw the light of day to get a fix. Now Reign In Blood this ain't, but Assassins from 1983 provides a chance to hear the infant band's NWOBHM worship it full glory.

Limp Bizkit – Poison Ivy

With Stampede Of The Disco Elephants having turned into the Chinese Democracy of nu metal, we only need look at the turbulent writing and recording of 2003's Results May Vary for evidence of Limp Bizkit's troubled creative process. Trying to follow the enormous success of Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavoured Water without recently departed guitarist Wes Borland proved to be a tough  proposition, with song after song scrapped. Some of those off-casts, Relentless, Poison Ivy and Until The End,  circled online for years in bootleg, and while they might not get a field of 50,000 bouncing around they're an intriguing view of a band during a difficult period.

Trivium – Ascent Of The Phoenix

As mythical as the bird it takes its name from, Ascent Of The Phoenix was demoed during the sessions for Trivium’s fourth album, Shogun, with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it snippet heard during the documentary that featured on the album's deluxe edition. While guitarist Corey Beaulieu claimed in 2017 that the band weren't planning to release the song but may end up using a few of its ideas in future compositions, he's supposedly played a bit to his followers on Twitch recently, so we may still see it rise from the ashes.

AC/DC – I’m A Rebel

AC/DC’s new album Power Up proves that you can never write anything off when it comes to the Australian icons. So what are the chances of them releasing the long-lost track I’m A Rebel, a song with a fascinating backstory? Written by Angus and Malcolm Young’s older brother, Alex, it was recorded by the band in Germany in 1976 before being shelved. The original AC/DC version has never seen the light of day, but Alex Young persuaded German metal veterans Accept to record their own version of the song, which ended up as the title track of their 1980 album, I'm A Rebel.

Black Sabbath – The Next Time

Any band with almost half a century of studio history must be sitting on a pile of undiscovered treasures. Though Ozzy Osbourne insists every song he's recorded with Black Sabbath is out there, there are unreleased tracks floating around featuring subsequent singers Ronnie James Dio, Tony Martin and such long-forgotten names as Dave Walker and David Donato. Of most note are The Next Time and Bad Blood from 1992's Dehumanizer sessions, the album that saw the Dio-fronted Heaven And Hell-era line-up reunite for the first time. The former might not have been deemed good enough to make the final track listing on but it's still a ripper with the much-missed Dio in grand voice.

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.