The sun is out, the fields are filling up and once again we have a fresh crop of brilliant new singles to dive into. Last week, Lamb Of God led for charge with their storming new single Nevermore (you can watch that again below) but the brilliant Belgians of Stake certainly gave them a run for their money with F*ck My Anxiety.
This week we have all manner of treats for you; from the typically brilliant new Clutch single We Strive For Excellence to caveman doom courtesy of Conan and southern-tinged prog metal thanks to Oceans Of Slumber, it really is a varied bag. As ever, at the bottom of the page you'll find a fan vote - so let us know which track got you hot under the collar this week.
1. Clutch - We Strive For Excellence
First debuted at their December Live From The Doom Saloon live streams last year, We Strive For Excellence has been kicking around on Clutch setlists for around six months now. With its sleek grooves and Neil Fallon listing things off in typical fiery fashion (honestly, at this point he could recite the phone book and we’d be delighted), it has all the ingredients you could want from a new Clutch record, right down to stomp and shuffle riff.
2. Papa Roach - No Apologies
It should go without saying that Papa Roach know their way around massive anthems (Last Resort, Between Angels And Insects, Scars), but sometimes it’s nice to have a handy little reminder. No Apologies is exactly that, vocalist Jacoby Shaddix interrupting a tender emotional moment between a father and son (both of whom wear bunny ears for some reason) to drop a solid gold sing-along banger.
3. In Flames - State Of Slow Decay
When In Flames are on form, they are an untouchable all-conquering force in melodeath. Luckily, State Of Slow Decay is exactly that, delivering the colossal riffs, sublime guitar leads and eminently roarable choruses we’ve come to expect over the last three decades (and change).
4. Oceans Of Slumber - The Lighthouse
The singles Oceans Of Slumber have released from their upcoming album Starlight And Ash seem to point to it being their most emotionally driven yet simultaneously sparsest record to date. Southern guitar twangs and strings make a luscious backdrop for Cammie Gilbert’s powerful vocal, The Lighthouse going for a much rootsier approach than the decidedly more prog metal flavourings of anything we’ve heard on their previous albums.
5. Nova Twins - Choose Your Fighter
Nova Twins’ Choose Your Fighter is perfectly titled, as the riff that forms the centrepiece of the song makes you want to fight your gran. A stomping electro/rock/metal hybrid, Choose Your Fighter is exactly the kind of empowering, neck-bothering anthem you want to jump up and go wild to.
6. Soilwork - Nous Sommes La Guerre
Hearing the opening notes of Nous Sommes La Guerre, you might start wondering if Soilwork’s Bjorn Strid has mixed up his projects as the track is pure Night Flight Orchestra-style cheese. In truth, you wouldn’t be too far off though - aside from the occasional snarl and scream, Nous Sommes La Guerre is exactly the right brand of dancey, cheesy pop rock. Granted, we hoped for a bit more Gothenburg but a bit of experimentation never hurts.
7. Venom Inc. - Don’t Feed Me Your Lies
40 years since he helped give a name to metal’s most evil genre, Mantas is keeping the black flame alive in Venom Inc. First wave black metal is the order of the day so far as Venom Inc. are concerned and Don’t Feed Me Your Lies plays out in the fertile fields between thrash and territories most black, going at a hundred miles an hour and snarling defiance to all it crosses.
8. Conan - Levitation Hoax
With a sound so heavy it has its own gravitational pull, UK doom champions Conan return with Levitation Hoax, the first single taken from their upcoming fifth album. Sounding like the wrestling entrance music for Godzilla, the single is exactly what you’d hope for when it comes to top-of-the-line doom metal, Conan still keeping one foot firmly in the swamp.
9. Beyond The Black - Reincarnation
On any given song Germany’s Beyond The Black can swing between traditional heavy metal, symphonic metal and even folk when the mood takes. Reincarnation decidedly skews in favour of folk and heavy metal, kickstarting a new chapter of their careers with a typically epic and stirring majesty.
10. Norma Jean - Call For The Blood
25 years since Norma Jean came howling out into the world and they still refuse to be comfortably classified. With wheedling electronica, hard beat-down riffs and an almost Cave In sensibility for massive post-hardcore choruses, it's right on the edges of the school of metalcore they helped birth all those years ago.