You know it's a mad week for new music when the internet is ablaze with talk about the heavy new Nickelback single. Granted, early suggestions the Canadians had gone full metalcore proved to be false, but the consensus is still that the band are firing on all cylinders with their newest track San Quentin.
It was a real race to the top in last week's vote; some early teething issues with VV aside (no, we don't know what went on there) Ville Vallo charged to the top by mid-week. But it was a colossal effort from nu metal revivalists Tallah that took the way - and by a pretty wide margin - Shaken (Not Stirred) taking the crown with some massive throwback vibes.
This week we've got another stellar assemblage of bands for your consideration. In addition to the new Nickelback, we've got Ozzy Osbourne, Lamb Of God, Alter Bridge, Wednesday 13 and many more for you to dive into. As ever, don't forget to cast your vote below!
1. Nickelback - San Quentin
Be honest, you didn’t have “massive Nickelback comeback” on your 2022 bingo card, did you? Longterm fans will point to the fact the Canadians used to cover the likes of Sad But True and Cowboys From Hell in live sets (and in fact, were close enough with Dimebag that they wrote a song about it - the exceptional Side Of A Bullet), but the truth is Nickelback built up plenty of metal cred even when they were rock’s punching bag. Throwing back to the riff-heavy material of Silver Side Up and The Long Road while keeping the absolutely colossal choruses that have seen them play arenas around the world, San Quentin is an absolute jam.
2. Ozzy Osbourne - Nothing Feels Right (feat. Zakk Wylde)
Nobody would have batted an eye if Ozzy had downed tools after the phenomenal Ordinary Man. Instead, he went and created an equally impressive follow-up, Patient Number 9 recapturing the wild energy of his early solo records while still bringing some of the emotional gravitas of that last album out at choice moments. Nothing Feels Right is one of them, reuniting Oz with longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde for a steadily building epic. “Don’t regret me, even when I do” - as if we ever could.
3. Alienblaze - Not Yours Never Was
Replicating the Trent Reznor trick of taking a killer vocal line and repeating it until it is written into the listener’s DNA, Alienblaze’s Not Yours Never Was also makes great use of thrumming electronica to completely embed itself into your consciousness. A standalone single, there’s no word on when (or if) a full Alienblaze album is in the works, but we’re definitely tantalised at the prospect.
4. Alter Bridge - Sin After Sin
Built around the guitar skills of Mark Tremonti, Sin After Sin perfects Alter Bridge’s mixture of thrusting heft and soaring melody while turning every element up to 11. The result is a massive anthem perfectly suited to the stages Alter Bridge have become accustomed to over the past decade, the kind of song that bypasses the brain to provoke an instinctual, excitable fervour.
5. Lamb Of God - Grayscale
Few bands in the metal world are as consistently reliable as Lamb Of God. Riffs with grooves so deep you could call them canyons, drums that come in like a fist to the face and over it all Randy Blythe’s inimitable snarl, Grayscale is a fine showcase of how Lamb Of God have been able to climb the ranks of the metal world, creating titanic anthems that leave their detractors eating mud.
6. Wednesday 13 - Insides Out
Put it down to the masks, but we’re getting major Murderdolls/Slipknot vibes from the video to Wednesday 13’s Insides Out. It’s been a long time since Wednesday dropped the punky schlock of his early material, but it’s still impressive to see just how dark and heavy his band get on their latest single, the main riff more suited to some early 90s death metal than anything you’d hear Misfits or other horror-inspired metal and punk icons.
7. We Came As Romans - Golden
Five years since the release of their last album - and four years since the tragic passing of vocalist Kyle Pavone - We Came As Romans are making a triumphant comeback. There’s a poignancy to the chorus line “Show me the way to go on without you there” that betrays just how much this band have been through, but also an underlying sense of triumph that ultimately makes Golden such an addictive and powerful listen.
8. Bloodbath - No God Before Me
Death metal supergroup and all-round lovable gang of gruesome scamps, Bloodbath deliver a baseline quality of DM excellence on par with the best the genre has to offer. No surprise that No God Before Me is utterly excellent then, a lurching behemoth of death/doom perfectly suited to vocalist Nick Holmes and only slightly offset by subtle choirs chucked into the mix for an evil church sermon vibe.
9. We’re Wolves - One Step Closer
Chester Bennington’s influence is still keenly felt in the metal scene, particularly as the nu metal revival gets into full-swing. Linkin Park have even infiltrated the usually horror-inspired We’re Wolves, whose cover of One Step Closer adds a little metalcore twist to the nu metal classic.
10. Signs Of The Swarm - Unbridled
If you’ve been desperately craving some gut-turning, low-end lurking brutality, Signs Of The Swarm are very much here for you. Flesh-blistering blast beats and bilious grunts give way to nimble-fingered lead guitars, but Unbridled never loses sight of the fact it is utterly filthy, absolutely shredding the senses at every opportunity. ‘Orrible, in the best possible way.