Download is finally back! Granted, we got a small-scale version of the festival with last year's Pilot event, but this weekend will see rockers, punks and metalheads of all shades return to Donington Park to celebrate music in all of its glory. It's almost enough to bring a tear to your eye... For those of us who aren't swanning off to a festival field, there's still plenty of celebration to be had for the joys of new music.
Last week, Swiss folk metal heroes Eluveitie took top spot in our fan vote, proving that the decision to release their heaviest song ever was going down a storm. You can watch their decidedly black metal adjacent video below.
This week we see some more heavy hitters return to the table - Parkway Drive, Lamb Of God and Soulfly all seaoned vets with decades of experience behind them. There's also an influx of new blood with A.A. Williams releasing the first song from her forthcoming second album, and Berlin-based prog metallers R3VO making their Hammer debut. As ever, at the bottom of the page you can vote for your favourites, helping spread the good gospel; heavy metal is alive and kicking, with plenty to be excited about.
1. Parkway Drive - Glitch
Parkway Drive’s brand of ultra anthemic metal continues to deliver the goods. Four years since the release of their last album, the Aussies show they haven’t forgotten how it feels to stand astride some of the world’s biggest stages as Glitch comes fully loaded with arena-sized riffs and a chorus that begs to be sung en masse. No word on an album yet, but with their long-delayed tour set for October surely it’s only a matter of time…
2. Lamb Of God - Nevermore
The first track from brand new studio album Omens, Nevermore has everything you could possibly want from a new LOG jam – massive grooves, skin-flaying riffs and a guttural showing from Randy Blythe, whose snarls just don't seem to soften with age. There's an almost mechanical, grinding propulsion to this song. The early signs for the new record are very good indeed.
3. A.A. Williams - Evaporate
A.A Williams' Evaporate captures the London death gospel songstress in her element; stylishly sombre and intensely brooding, this ghostly gem is a haunting experience from start to finish. While first grounded by a weighty, chugging rhythm, Williams’ vocals soon emerge to lift the track from the earth by sending it straight to the heavens.
4. Soulfly - Scouring The Vile (feat. John Tardy)
Max Cavalera’s love for extreme metal is well documented, but it’s still gratifying to hear Soulfly fully exploring classic death metal on Scouring The Vile. With Obituary's John Tardy providing guest vocals it’s no surprise that the track doffs its cap heavily to the Floridian death metal legends, but there’s also an inimitable sense of Cavalera brilliance to it all that throws right back to Beneath The Remains-era Sepultura.
5. Hammer King - Pariah Is My Name
With a name like ‘Hammer King’ there was little chance that these Germans would be plying techno-metal mash-ups, and sure enough Pariah Is My Name waves the trad metal flag with pride. The first single from the band’s upcoming album Kingdemonium, Pariah Is My Name is cut from the same cloth that has swaddled the likes of Saxon through to Hammerfall, Powerwolf and beyond.
6. Stake - F*ck My Anxiety
Back with their second album since rebranding as Stake (formerly known as Steak Number Eight), F*ck My Anxiety is exactly the kind of mind-warping alt-metal madness we’ve come to love from the Belgians. From its trippy video (complete with raised middle finger mask) to the clattering riffs that sit somewhere between Helmet, Mr. Bungle and Faith No More, F*ck My Anxiety is a suckerpunch to the senses.
7. R3VO - Artificial Pleasure
Hailing from Berlin and plying a sound that sits somewhere between Muse and Marmozets, R3VO’s Artifical Pleasure is exactly the blast of thrumming electro prog metal that the scene needs. Taken from the band’s forthcoming EP Fireflies, the band are carving their own intricate niche in the scene.
8. The Devil Wears Prada - Salt
If massive choruses and frantic, hyperactive riffs are your idea of heaven, then The Devil Wears Prada's Salt are the Saint Peter of metalcore's pearly gates. Closer stylistically to the UK's take on metalcore (think Architects, While She Sleeps or even Sempiternal-era BMTH), Salt is all about making its hooks as massive as possible, crafting an addictive earworm that's near impossible to dislodge.
9. Holding Absence feat. Alpha Wolf - Aching Longing
Teaming up with Aussie metalcore troupe Alpha Wolf, Holding Absence's Aching Longing brings a heft and abrasion not usually present in the Welsh band's sound. As with their previous team-up with Loathe, the results are stunning, Aching Longing's chorus feeling tailored to massive sing-alongs, be that in sweaty clubs, arenas or festival fields.
10. Hollywood Undead - City Of The Dead
Officially announcing their eighth studio album Hotel Kalifornia, City Of The Dead is exemplar of Hollywood Undead's ear for impossibly catchy choruses, their hip-hop/metal fusion harkening back to the days where nu metal ruled the airwaves. Considering the genre is currently experiencing a comeback, its not hard to see Hollywood Undead riding this wave right to the top.