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

(Image credit: Press/Kyle Lamar Digital Myle)

Easter is upon us! Scary as it is to think about, we're now four months into 2024 and the year is seriously shaping up. We've already had a new album from Judas Priest to get the year started in earnest, but with Kerry King finally bringing his solo project to life in just a few weeks time and albums from the likes of Nightwish and Opeth expected before the year's end, there's still plenty to get excited about yet. 

Speaking of, here are the results of last week's vote! Some of metal's biggest names made a return with Corey Taylor, Serj Tankian and Ozzy Osbourne all making guest appearances on other artist's tracks. Nonetheless, Togolese metal band Arka'n Asrafokor took third place with the excellent Angry God Of Earth, coming just behind nu metal veterans P.O.D. The big winner though was Billy Morrison, whose team-up with the Prince Of Darkness took top spot by some way. 

This week we've got a diverse spread of bands for your listening pleasure. From new scene stars SeeYouSpaceCowboy and DVNE to well established talent like Allegaeon and Fu Manchu, we've hunted high and low to find you the very best new music around. As ever, we need your help deciding which tracks excite you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below - and have a fantastic weekend!

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SeeYouSpaceCowboy - To The Dance Floor For Shelter (ft. Courtney LaPlante)

In a scene as widely populated as metalcore, it can be hard to stand out. San Diego’s SeeYouSpaceCowboy haven’t had any issues, however, their brand of “sasscore” pulling from disparate sources to create something wholly unique. New single To The Dance Floor For Shelter is a great demonstration of this, starting out as a piano ballad before breaking out into something akin to mid-00s screamo, Spiritbox’s Courtney LaPlante lending a powerhouse vocal that gives the song a suitably dramatic climax. 

Fu Manchu - Hands Of The Zodiac

Desert rock legends Fu Manchu are back with a new double-album in The Return Of Tomorrow, due June 14. Lead single Hands Of The Zodiac picks up where the band left off on 2018’s Clone Of The Universe, stoner stomper striking a balance between the massive riffs of 70s heavy metal and sunshine-soaked grooves of SoCal punk, put together in a bundle that’s fuzzier than a cuddle from sasquatch. 

Allegaeon - Iridescent

By and large, Allegaeon aren’t exactly known for being whimsical. That doesn’t mean the melodeath monsters can’t have a bit of fun however, as the video for new single Iridescent shows. Dressed as hotdogs and splattered with condiments, the video is a fun counterpoint to the band’s wild technical chops, widdling guitars and vicious breakdowns showing how sonically acrobatic this band can be. 

Bodysnatcher - Murder8 (ft. Jamey Jasta)

With riffs delivered like a vice grip around the throat and guest vocal contributions from Jamey Jasta, it’s fair to say that deathcore brutes Bodysnatcher have gone hard on new single Murder8. Breakdowns arrive like body blows from a bulldozer, while utterly vicious lyrics like ‘fentanyl made me an only child’ make this one of the most nihilistic and bleak singles you’re likely to hear this year. Bruising in every sense of the word. 

Shooting Daggers - Wipe Out

Spiky hardcore punk with a crusty edge, Shooting Daggers released their debut album Love & Rage a little over a month ago. Latest single Wipe Out shows how the band like to do it - fast, furious and without fuss, the track flies by in a sub-two-minute flash while its music video harkens to the glory days of skate punk. 

Full Of Hell - Gasping Dust

Speaking of short, sharp blasts on absolute bedlam, US grindcore maniacs Full Of Hell have unveiled details of their upcoming eighth full-length. Collabs with everyone from Merzbow and Primitive Man to shoegazers Nothing might afford the band plenty of room to sonically experiment, but when it comes to their own output it’s an almost sure shot that they’ll be delivering chaotic, noisy grindcore. Sure enough, Gasping Dust flies by in barely a minute, shrieking and growling like a terrier with its tackle caught in a beartrap. 

Priest - Just A Game

Synthwave has always skewed towards a sense of 80s nostalgia, but with new single Just A Game Priest are pushing the genre a decade forwards. Shades of The Prodigy and 90s eurodance crop up amidst the group’s usual mix of cyberpunk and goth elements, adding unique new flavours to the band’s sound that tantalise with possibility. 

Reliqa - Killstar

Whether you’re talking Karnivool or Voyager, Ne Obliviscaris or Caligula’s Horse, Australia has quietly established itself as a hotbed of prog metal activity in recent years. Newcomers Reliqa are the country’s latest offering, signed to Nuclear Blast ahead of the release of their debut album Secrets Of The Future on May 31. New single Killstar (The Cold World) is a dexterous of the band’s technical prowess, digit-twisting guitars flitting around the weighty vocal prowess of singer Monique Pym, striking a balance between prog’s most instrumentally adventurous tendencies and the straight-ahead delights of a great, hooky song.  

Hell:On - When The Wild Wind And The Soul Of Fire Meet

Rumbling like an oncoming apocalypse and no less ominous, Ukrainian death metallers Hell:On are trudging forward with relentless pace as they prepare for the release of their seventh album, Shaman. When The Wild Wind And The Soul Of Fire Meet is an exercise in grandiose extremity, evoking a sense of foreboding mysticism with pendulous riffs - as well as the occasional Gojira pick-scrape - whilst calamitous drums clatter the listener like a jackhammer to the spine. It’s hard, heavy and utterly thrilling.   

OU - 淨化 Purge (ft. Devin Townsend)

Having enlisted Devin Townsend to produce their upcoming second album 蘇醒 II: Frailty - due April 26 - it only makes sense that OU would also bring some of Hevy Devy's unique skills to the table sonically. Their resultant collaboration, 淨化 Purge is a gloriously massive and maximalist composition which contrasts OU's own ethereal stylings against the ultra-OTT bombast he pioneered with Strapping Young Lad three decades ago. 

Defects - Modern Error

Fresh from supporting Orbit Culture on their sold-out UK tour, Defects will be setting their sights on the release of debut album Modern Error on May 24, as well as an appearance at Download Festival a couple of weeks later. The album’s title-track shows off Defects’ own crowd-baiting brand of metalcore-melodeath mashup, riffs rolling like a runaway train while radio-friendly choruses are belted out with gusto. Keep your eyes on this lot; we reckon they’ve got a massive 2024 ahead. 

Kryptos - Turn Up The Heat

Old school heavy metal from Bangalore, Kryptos's latest single Turn Up The Heat is all about capturing the all-strutting, all-headbanging power of metal at the peak of its commercial prowess in the 80s. Taken from the band's forthcoming new album Decimator, Turn Up The Heat isn't so much delivered with a knowing wink as burying its head in the sand and refusing to acknowledge that trad metal ever fell out of fashion. In the process, it captures the attitude that helped the genre become a world-beating phenomenon. 

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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.