Spooky season is here! The time of year when pumpkin-flavoured products inexplicably fill the shelves and we dust off our favourite horrors, but also a perfect time to retreat from the bitter cold by cramming into a sweaty venue to enjoy some excellent music.
Speaking of, last week's vote saw virtuosic talent trump all, as Polyphia took top spot with the fantastic Ego Death, featuring additional contributions from guitar legend Steve Vai. Also in the top running were Venezuelan alt-heavies Murky Claw, and the incomparable Devin Townsend, proving that working outside the box pays off.
This week sees the return of some top tier metal heroes. Lamb Of God's Ditch arrives right as their new album Omens is sent howling into the world, while Alter Bridge are still smashing out hard-hitters like This Is War ahead of the release of Pawns & Kings next week. There's also a brand new version of Nightwish's Noise, a catchy-as-all-hell Wednesday 13 and the announcement of a new Bury Tomorrow record.
As ever, don't forget to vote for your favourite below!
Lamb Of God - Ditch
All-out bedlam erupts from the opening notes of Lamb Of God’s Ditch. Taken from the band’s new album Omens, Ditch is an unyielding fist to the face, all blistering beats and throat-shredding howls from Randy Blythe. Few bands can make extremity sound so anthemic, but then that’s exactly why Lamb Of God are one of metal’s most beloved bands.
Alter Bridge - This Is War
The epic opening track from Alter Bridge’s upcoming Pawns & Kings, This Is Hell is all about grabbing the listener by the throat and absolutely pummelling them. Colossal, bruising riffs from Mark Tremonti, soaring vocal melodies from Myles Kennedy - still proving his claim to being the best voice in contemporary rock - and arena-sized choruses all make this a perfect demonstration of how Alter Bridge became such an iconic force in contemporary rock and metal.
Nightwish – Noise (Live At The Islanders Arms)
Livestreams, eh. Remember them? Back in the depths of the pandemic, symphonic metal nabobs Nightwish created impressive – if slightly hokey – VR pub the Islanders Arms in order to play songs from 2020’s Human. || Nature. album. This stirring, live-in-a-fantasy-boozer version of Noise gets a proper release ahead of the deluxe edition of their album, out in November.
Wednesday 13 - Good Day To Be A Bad Guy
Trust Wednesday 13 to create a headbang-inducing anthem about how the dark side has all the fun. Good Day To Be A Bad Guy is an insta-classic, its thumping riff and enormous chorus hook calling right back to the likes of Dead In Hollywood from the first Murderdolls album, or the schlocky fun of early Wednesday albums Transylvania 90210 and Fang Bang.
Bury Tomorrow - Abandon Us
Coming with the announcement that Bury Tomorrow’s seventh album The Seventh Sun will be with us on March 31st 2023, Abandon Us is nearly as pessimistic as its title may suggest. Instead, it’s a slab of fist-pumping metalcore the likes of which we’ve become accustomed to from Bury Tomorrow, the kind of massive anthem that has propelled the band into bigger venues and better festival spots over their 17-year career.
Beyond The Black - Winter Is Coming
Beyond The Black’s latest single Winter Is Coming delivers exactly the level of bombast and power we’ve come to expect from symphonic metal, driving riffs and wailing guitar solos underpinned by elegant string arrangements that add a sense of enormity. Coming with the announcement that a record will be with us in January next year, this sounds like the perfect way to stave off the winter chill.
Zetra - Satellite
With their banks of icy synths and grinding fuzz-riffs, enigmatic London duo Zetra hit that sweet spot where much-missed goth-metal kings Type O Negative and early 80s pop cyborg Gary ‘Cars’ Numan. Except Satellite’s sepuchral noise is topped off by deliberately androgynous vocal that lend it an air of detached otherworldliness. Unleash the dry ice!
Turmion Kätilöt - Isä Meidän
Disco metal. It’s not exactly unfamiliar territory - there’ve been shades of disco creeping into everything from Dog Fashion Disco and System Of A Down to Avatar and Night Flight Orchestra, but few are doing it in such an extreme way as Turmion Kätilöt. Isä Meidän arrives just in time for the band’s tour supporting Nightwish next month, and ahead of Turmion Kätilöt’s tenth album Omen X in January. Bonkers and, frankly, brilliant.
Anti-Flag - Modern Meta Medicine (feat. Jesse Leach)
Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach has never made a secret of the fact he's a massive fan of punk, so his appearance on Anti-Flag's latest single Modern Meta Medicine makes perfect sense. Taking aim at healthcare issues in the US, the single is a typically fiery blast of anthemic punk from Anti-Flag, building to an incendiary, screaming crescendo.
Ingested - From Hollow Words feat. Sven de Caluwé
Utter brutality prevails in From Hollow Words, the latest face-smushing offering from Ingested. Teamed up with Aborted/Coffin Feeder's Sven de Caluwé, the track is a suffoacting flurry of blast-beats, sludgy riffs and guttural vocals belched from the bowels of hell. In short, everything you could want from extreme metal. Lovely.