The 10 best new metal songs you need to hear right now

Metallica/Babymetal/Sabaton/Jesus Piece/Sleep Token
(Image credit: Tim Saccenti/Fix Square/Tim Tronckoe/Phobymo/Andy Ford)

Well, talk about a big week for new music in the metal world. Metallica surprise dropped the second single from their upcoming album 72 Seasons, Sleep Token dropped two new songs barely a fortnight after their last release(s) and Babymetal gave us all a fresh taste of their upcoming album, The Other One

But, we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves. First up, the results of last week's vote! It was a strong start to the year from the likes of Trivium, Periphery and Ville Valo (who ook a very respectible third place), but the top two spots belonged to Japan, newcomers Hanabie taking second place to a runaway lead by power metal heroes Lovebites. 

Which brings us back to this week - a massive heap of big names in Metallica, Sabaton, Babymetal, Sleep Token, Suicide Silence and In Flames representing some of the biggest and most well-known names in our world all unveiling new music to explore. We're not so much warming up for a new year of music as diving in headlong, so as ever don't forget to vote for your favourite below!

Metal Hammer line break

Metallica - Screaming Suicide

Excited for the new Metallica album yet? Yeah, us too - even more so after hearing the follow-up to first single Lux Æterna. Screaming Suicide bottles the same youthful, thrashy energy, but adds a layer of musical maturity and some pretty bold, taboo-busting lyrics. It wouldn’t sound out of place on Master Of Puppets or Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, which is some achievement.

Babymetal - Metal Kingdom

With their live return just over a week away, Babymetal have unveiled the latest single from their upcoming album, The Other One. Pounding, epic and suitably massive, the track shows just how different an approach Babymetal are taking with this new release, stripping away some of the frenetic pop elements for a hard-hitting metal banger. 

Sabaton - The First Soldier

After two World War I-themed albums and an EP, heavy metal’s own Action Men are still deep in the muddy trenches on upcoming EP Heroes Of The Great War. Lead-off track The First Soldier is an absolute epic (even if it does sound like Men Without Hats’ novelty early 80s pop hit The Safety Dance), with a suitably ambitious 12-minute animated video made in conjunction with historian Nota Bene that tells the story of heroic French infantrymen Albert Roche, who reputedly captured 1180 soldiers during WWI.

In Flames - Meet Your Maker

“We want to bring the metal back,” says In Flames singer Anders Fridén of the Swedes’ new album Foregone in the brand new issue of Metal Hammer, and Meet Your Maker lives up to that billing. If it’s not quite a full return to 90s melodeath, the thunderous drum barrage and Anders’ throwback growl will please anyone who thinks they peaked with Clayman – although the blockbusting chorus roots it squarely in 2023.

Sleep Token - Granite

Sleep Token aren’t messing around, releasing their third single this month in Granite. At this point, we shouldn’t be surprised that each single has showed a very different vision for where Sleep Token are going with their next album, Granite turning the dial up on the band’s R&B inclinations with percussive claps and gentle synths and vocal melodies giving way to a tech metal judder around the song’s final minute that shows just why Sleep Token are selling out venues wherever they go. 

Sleep Token - Aqua Regia

We repeat, Sleep Token are not messing around, Aqua Regia marking four singles from the experimental group in half as many weeks. The band’s latest single plays on the same piano-led smooth melodies that made last album This Place Will Be Your Tomb so captivating. The band have continued their meteoric ascent this week with sold-out shows across the UK, and Aqua Regia captures the instant earworm quality the band are so easily able to tap into.

Suicide Silence - Alter Of Self

Drugs are bad, kids. We’re not sure if that’s exactly the message deathcore champs Suicide Silence were going for with new single Alter Of Self, but the ghoulish zombie visages the band take on in the video certainly lend a horrific vibe to the chugging brute of a song. There’s a decided classic death metal vibe to Alter, but with a beefy hardcore beatdown that affirms why Suicide Silence were top-drawer deathcore heavyweights in the first place.   

Jesus Piece - Gates Of Horn

Since 2015, Jesus Piece have been delivering some of the most delightfully brutish metallic hardcore on the planet, taking up the gauntlet thrown by Code Orange and using it to absolutely clatter everyone in sight. Gates Of Horn is yet more proof this band's second album ...So Unknown may just be the best hardcore album awaiting us in 2023. 

Entheos - I Am The Void

Almost six years since their last album, progressive extreme metal group Entheos have announced their return with the ethereal I Am The Void, the first single taken from their upcoming new album Time Will Take Us All. Even the melodies of I Am The Void drip with menace, a lurking presence of nastiness that comes forth in vocalist Chaney Crabb's guttural growls (and perfectly counterbalanced by her otherworldly cleans), all feeding back into a sense of alien otherness that is genuinely thrilling. 

The Lucid - Sweet Toof

Saving undoubtedly the weirdest for last, ex-Megadeth bassist David Ellefson's new group The Lucid have unveiled a second team-up with Insane Clown Posse's Violent J on a re-working of Faith No More classic Epic. It's exactly as out there as you'd imagine - musically, the song sticks fairly close to the original instrumentation, but vocally and lyrically the song goes so far off-script we can only imagine somewhere Mike Patton is cackling gleefully like the wonderful mad metal goblin we love. 

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.