The 12 best new metal songs you need to hear right now

Kerry King/Mimi Barks/Blackgold/Melvins/Harper
(Image credit: Andrew Stuart/Jack Defroand/Reelz/Mackie Osbourne/Ashlea Bea)

It might be the week before Valentine's, but there's no love lost in the world of metal this week as Kerry King makes his long-awaited return with the unveiling of his solo project and a few choice words about his ex bandmates.

But we digress - first, the results of last week's vote! It was a tight-run battle for the top spot last week as Blackpool shoegazers Blanket held an admirable bronze with Porcelain, but ultimately it was Faroe Islands death-doom beasts Hamferð who took gold, edging out Swiss prog metallers Kassogtha with the crushing Ábær

This week it's all to play for, as Kerry King isn't the only metal hero to return. Doom might again win the day as My Dying Bride announced their new record, whilst Melvins take on the sludgier side of pace has always proven a sleeper hit with fans of gut-churning heaviness. We've also got Coffin Storm, the new project from Darkthrone's Fenriz - yes we are having a good Friday, as it happens - and fresh cuts from the likes of The Ghost Inside, Harper, Blackgold and more.

As ever, we need you to let us know which tracks excite you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below - happy listening!

Metal Hammer line break

Kerry King - Idle Hands

 The dust had barely settled on Slayer’s farewell tour when Kerry King revealed he was planning to forge ahead with his own project and with Idle Hands, the thrash metal legend makes a furious return. With Death Angel vocalist Mark Osegueda on vocals and other top-tier thrash alumni like Phil Demmel and Paul Bostaph in the group, it’s hardly surprising that Idle Hands kicks like an angry mule and is twice as vicious, giving us plenty to be excited about from King’s new project. 

My Dying Bride - Thornwyck Hymn

Britain’s most miserable band make an imperious return on new single Thornwyck Hymn, My Dying Bride showing that the gothic doom metal grandeur that made them a pioneering force in the genre in the early 90s hasn’t waned in the three decades since. Mournful violins glide across tarry, glacial riffs and the band embrace their more melodic inclinations for this first single from upcoming album A Mortal Binding, set for release on April 19. 

The Ghost Inside - Wash It Away

After making a triumphant comeback from adversity with their 2020 self-titled record, The Ghost Inside have announced their upcoming sixth record, Searching For Solace due on April 19. Unlike previous single Death Grip, which was all grinding heaviness and grit teeth, Wash It Away embraces a much more ascendant mood, built around a soaring chorus and weightless melodies before bringing the beatdown back in a big way in the final minute. 

Mimi Barks - FSU

 Even before she’d released her debut album, Mimi Barks had already established herself as one of nu gen’s leading lights. Now the genre-blurring maverick has announced that on September 26 her debut album This Is Doom Trap will be out in the world, lead single FSU laying out an electro-infused snarler to kick off the album campaign. 

Melvins - Working The Ditch

27 albums in and Melvins are still a distinctive musical force, their artery-clogging sludge riffs still trudging forward with implacable pace. Working The Ditch is the first taste of Melvins’ new album Tarantula Heart - due April 19 - a record that sees them utilising the percussive forces of both long-time drummer Dale Crover and ex-Stone Sour kitsman Roy Mayorga, adding an extra clatter to their already brutish sound.

Benighted - Scars

Benighted return with their first new album in four years with Scars, an all-out frenzy on the senses that flicks between creepy melodies and all-out blasts of nastiness. Taken from new album Ekbom - due April 12 - it’s the first hint of the nastiness that lies beneath the surface for the French deathgrind veterans. 

Harper - I Hope You Choke

Still proving she’s the world’s most metal pre-teen, Harper’s latest single I Hope You Choke is a furious blast of metalcore that’d do her heroes in Spiritbox proud. But then, that’s hardly surprising considering the quality of her other singles thus far, giving us plenty to be excited about when she makes her Download Festival debut in June. 

Blackgold - Today’s My Day

Gloriously snotty, Blackgold’s newest single Today’s My Day embraces the world conquering swagger of nu metal at the height of its powers with lumbering caveman riffs and a chorus that begs teenagers to howl along - “Today’s my day, fuck everyone/I’ll do what the hell I want”. Puerile? Yes. Obnoxious? Absolutely. Wicked? Also yes. The band’s new EP Back With Another One is due May 10, just in time for their first headline show that same evening at The Dome in London. 

Coffin Storm - Over Frozen Moons

 Trading the frosty tones of black metal for a more traditional vision of heavy metal, Darkthrone vocalist Fenriz is at the head of new project Coffin Storm. Accompanied by Aura Noir’s Apollyon and Bestial Tormentor of Inferno, perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that the band’s first single Over Frozen Moons explores the oft-unexplored links between trad metal and it’s blackened offshoot, stomping forward with imperious, menacing tones that chuck up shades of everyone from King Diamond to Saint Vitus. The band’s debut album Arcana Rising arrives March 29 so we won’t have to wait too long to find out just how the rest of the record will shape up.  

BRAT - Hesitation Wound

Don’t let BRAT’s daft videos fool you; this band are just as nihilistic as their NOLA peers Eyehategod and Crowbar, albeit with a much more frenzied approach that drags them out of sludge and into grindcore territories. Hesitation Wound is a perfect example of this fusion of styles, vicious, short sharp blasts giving way to agonising stomps and howls. Taken from the band’s upcoming debut album Social Grace - due March 15 - BRAT are already proving themselves as one of extreme metal’s more colourful new personalities. 

Prompts - Sun Eater

Fancy a bit of sonic bedlam? Not even 10 seconds go by without Japan’s Prompts absolutely clattering the eardrums with all-out mayhem on Sun Eater, taking the notion of glitching riffs and jumping in the deep end as notes squeal, crunch and howl with absolute rabid intensity. The fact Sun Eater later gives way to some genuinely sublime melodies is a superb show of just how unpredictable this band can be.  

Beyond Unbroken - The Madness

With djenty riffs and powerful, hand-on-heart choruses, Beyond Unbroken are tapping into the unique fusion of extremes that made Periphery’s latest record so formidable. It’s a mixture that still sounds fresh, not hurt by Beyond Unbroken’s choice to subtle infuse some symphonics into their sound to give it an extra cinematic boost, lending the band a sense of ambition and individuality that suggests they could well be big league contenders going forward. 

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.