The 11 best new metal songs you need to hear this week

Halo Effect/Erra/Venues/Volcandra
(Image credit: Markus Esselmark/Press/Venera Red/Patrick Ballard)

February is here (finally)! It's been a long slog to get to the end of January, but we got there with a few brilliant records to get us well and truly into the flow of 2024, not to mention more than a few excellent singles to kick the year off. 

Speaking of, the results of last week's vote! With three Hammer cover stars on last week's roster [that's Bad Omens, Hanabie and our recently-revealed cover with Bruce Dickinson], it's hardly surprising that all three took top spots, Bad Omens bringing up the rear. What is surprising is that Maiden legend Bruce Dickinson was pipped to top spot by Japan's Hanabie, proof as ever that there are no sure things when it comes to fan mobilisation. 

This week we've got a host of fresh faces for your delectation, as well as some names who might not be household entities, but certainly have made waves in the metal world over the years. As ever, we need you to tell us which new songs excite you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below - happy listening! 

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The Halo Efffect - Become Surrender

With their 2022 debut Days Of The Lost The Halo Effect made a massive impact as they showed their pedigree wasn't just for show, producing some of the most anemthic, hard-hitting melodeath bangers this side of peak-era Gothenburg. We still haven't got official word on a follow-up as yet, but stand-alone singles The Defiant One and now Become Surrender show that The Halo Effect's time in arenas has only helped them refine their ears for all-conquering bombast, this latest single bounding on massive riffs and a chorus that demands huge sing-alongs. 

Job For A Cowboy - Beyond The Chemical Doorway

Job For A Cowboy might long have departed the deathcore realms they helped popularise in the mid-2000s - two decades ago! - but that hasn’t stopped them being any less sonically ambitious in the years since. The long wait for a new record is almost over with Moon Healer due on February 23, new single Beyond The Chemical Doorway showcasing prog-like cosmic and arcane tones amidst a brutal, technically stunning composition. 

 Erra - Cure

Would you check out those guitars?! Erra announced their new album Cure would be with us April 5 by releasing the record’s title track, an explosive, massive sounding beast which combines the best parts of anthemic metalcore, subtle electronica and powerful, bounding riffs that sound like they’d be at home in an arena. It’s big, it’s bold - it’s a brilliant hint at things to come from the band, and has us very excited to see them at this year’s Download Festival. 

Vanir - Fall Of Arkona

Denmark’s Vanir are now seven albums deep - or will be, at least, when Epitome arrives on Feb 16 - and charting their own course for rampaging melodeath on new single Fall Of Arkona, chucking up some truly sublime lead guitars alongside the kind of bloodthirsty roars that could turn even the meekest into a berzerker. With an unstoppable marching rhythm and lyrics based around Danish history, this lot are like the bastard lovechild of Amon Amarth and Sabaton, with all the glorious sense of grandeur and bombast that suggests.  

Venues - Unspoken Words

We’re not forsaking melody completely this week, as Germany’s Venues’ new single Unspoken Words shows off vocalist Lela’s talents when it comes to crafting powerful, emotional sing-alongs. There’s still a sense of heft - not least from co-vocalist Robin snarling out verses - but Unspoken Words is grandiose in a cinematic way, subtle production flairs making the song sound utterly massive, while a staccato breakdown towards the song’s close lands some powerful blows to get fans headbanging amidst the sing-alongs. 

Hamferð - Ábær 

Hamferð’s grasp of heart-wrenching melody and oceanic depths of heaviness has never been in question, but even by their own standards Ábær is a gorgeously moving, utterly devastating monolith. Befitting a band who have danced with funeral doom over the years, Hamferð have taken their time working on Men Guðs Hond Er Sterk, their first new album in six years, Ábær dropping the listener into the heart of death-doom despair and then offering a lifeline of anguished melody to cling to like driftwood. 

Kassogtha - Rise

After 2022’s rEVOLVE showcased a Gojira-like sense of gargantuan prog metal extremity, Switzerland’s Kassogtha are back with an altogether wilder and more frantic vision on new single Rise, swinging from a frantic gallop to soaring, melodic choruses. While there’s no word on if Rise is the first taste of a new record, but Kassogtha will be embarking on their debut headline tour of the UK in February, kicking off in London on Feb 8 and rolling through Birmingham, Bournemouth and Sheffield before closing out in Glasgow on Feb 13. 

Volcandra - Fouled Sanctity

Death metal is a broad church these days, bands as likely to sing about aliens and cosmic nihilism as they are good old fashioned blood’n’guts. Louisville’s Volcandra have set their sights on sword’n’sorcery for new single Fouled Sanctity however, unveiling a video that is gloriously daft and sees demons, beheadings and blokes clad in full clattering suits of armour - everything your growing metal band needs, in short. Taken from their forthcoming second album The Way Of Ancients - due March 1 - Fouled Sanctity looks to be all gurning riffs and rumbling double-bass before suddenly breaking out into a black metal like blastbeat, later on even adopting a trad metal gallop that shows how far the band are casting the net this time out. 

 Gravemind - >_Terminal

Australia has been a hotbed for brutish, breakout metalcore for a good while now, so it should be no surprise that newcomers Gravemind emerge with a sound that is already primed to conquer global audiences. Leaning hard on the heaviest side of the genre, >_Terminal delivers brutish, crushing riffs and angry-god howls with a healthy dollop of BLEGH that anyone bemoaning metalcore’s shift to pop melody will surely welcome. 

Blanket - Porcelain

Given just how widespread its influence is in the modern alternative music spectrum, it’s hard to believe shoegaze started out firmly in the realms of indie. In truth, Blanket aren’t a million miles from the genre’s roots sonically, but as new single Porcelain shows, the band have much more in common with the likes of a Deftones or Nothing than the genre’s originators, embracing the stirring, emotional heart of alternative metal whilst offering a wall of pulsating noise that shows their gaze isn’t wavering on new album Ceremonia, due March 22 via Church Road.  

Morbonoct - Mortal Shell

Remember when we mentioned ‘cosmic nihilism’? Well, it doesn’t just apply to death metal, Ukrainian musician Alex Medvedev evoking the sonics of a malevolent universe on Mortal Shell, the newest single from his Morbonoct project. The harsh tones of black metal are as perfectly suited for the frozen expanse of the skies as they are frostbitten forests of Scandinavia, Mortal Shell offering a sense of otherworldly, harsh beauty amidst raging blizzards and ethereal shrieks from vocalist David Welnicki that give way to something truly transcendent and powerful. Keep an eye out for new album The Highest Purpose, on February 19.  

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Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.