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

Slipknot/Employed To Serve/Powerwolf/Venomous Concept/Lovebites
(Image credit: Andy Ford/ Matteo Vdiva Fabbiani for VD Pictures/)

You know it's been a good week for new music when you've got a surprise brand new Slipknot single. The End, So Far is still fresh in our minds from 2022, but Iowa's finest made their return with the dark, brooding Bone Church, and they're not the only band offering up excellent new sounds. 

But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. First, the results from last week's vote! Sweden's satanic superstars Ghost took top place with their Joe Elliott featuring team-up Spillways, but it was a tight battle elsewhere on the podium. Sid Wilson-endorsed newcomers Swollen Teeth took an early lead, but were ultimately bumped off by thrash legends Overkill and returning Swedish industrial heroes Deathstars, who took a very admirable second spot with This Is

As with seemingly every other week this year, we've got a stacked and diverse offering for you this week. In addition to Slipknot, there's a brutish new remix single from Employed To Serve (with added Alien Weaponry), Japanese power metallers Lovebites get their thrash on and a brilliantly po-faced Alice Cooper cover from Germans Powerwolf. As ever, don't forget to vote for your favourite below!

Metal Hammer line break

Slipknot - Bone Church

Picking up from the experimental vibes of last album The End, So Far, Slipknot reappeared this week with surprise new single Bone Church. Since The Subliminal Verses we’ve known the band have excellent chops so far as ballads go, but Bone Church really drills in on heart-wrenching, soul-tearing miserablism that previously popped up on the likes of Circle, Snuff and, to a lesser extent, Yen (clips of which have been used as part of Bone Church’s video), Slipknot still catching us off-guard after almost 25 years. 

Powerwolf - Poison

Take one of Europe’s most bombastic, fun bands and let them loose on a classic by the godfather of shock rock. That’s exactly the appeal of Powerwolf’s cover of Alice Cooper classic Poison, the German heavy metallers playing things surprisingly straight as they go full 80s in celebration of Cooper’s 75th birthday. That said, the addition of church organs on the track makes us wonder how the original track ever did without.

Employed To Serve - Sun Up To Sun Down Remix (ft. Alien Weaponry)

Masters of the swaggering juggernaut riff, Employed To Serve have announced an expanded edition of 2021’s superb Conquering by teaming up with New Zealand’s Alien Weaponry for a souped-up remix of Sun Up To Sun Down. With both bands playing to arenas alongside Gojira, the new version Sun Up To Sun Down shows just how well ETS can craft an anthemic howl-along while not losing the pure visceral edge of metallic hardcore that remains at the core of their sound.

Dying Fetus - Unbridled Fury

Five years since their last album, death metal stalwarts Dying Fetus have released brand new single Unbridled Fury. The track title says it all - a hyperactive, venomous blast that swings from thick, punchy grooves to all-out blast-beats and acrobatic guitar wizardry, the song shows DF at their most incendiary, arriving just in time for the band’s European tour.   

Venomous Concept - Fractured

The brainchild of Napalm Death’s Shane Embury and Brutal Truth’s Kevin Sharp, Venomous Concept has generally been an outlet for the pair’s hardcore punk inclinations. New album The Good Ship Lollipop is showing the same kind of demented creativity that fuelled Napalm Death’s Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism however, Fractured taking things in a decidedly more post-punk direction with some snarls that would fit perfectly in the ND canon. 

Lovebites - Dissonance

Blurring the lines between thrash and power metal, Lovebites’ latest single Dissonance strips away the usual fun and glory of their sound to show just how hard the Japanese band can go. It’s an explosive blast of speed and power worthy of the very heaviest that the likes of Blind Guardian or even Gamma Ray might have put out, chucking some incredible guitar leads to remind us power metal isn’t always smiles and plastic swords.

Vosh - Pray

Between Grave Pleasures, Tribulation, Host, Naut and Zetra, 2023 is already off to a blinding start so far as sleek goth tunes go. D.C. newcomers Vosh are more aligned to the fetid basements and industrial back-alleys that spawned Ministry and Nine Inch Nails, playing with seductive melodies and raunchy imagery to bring sexy back to goth in a big way. 

Currents - Remember Me

Mixing elements of techy, amibitous prog and propulsive metalcore, Currents have announced their new album The Death We Seek with explosive new single Remember Me. It's a typically slice of heartfelt, emotionally driven power from the Connecticut-based band. The band also revealed that guitarist Ryan Castaldi is currently battling lymphoma, and have set up a GoFundMe page to support him.

Invent Animate - Immolation Of Night

If you're in the market for explosive prog-tinged metalcore, you also can't go wrong with Texans Invent Animate's new single, Immolation Of Night. Taking the most explosive elements of metallic hardcore and affixing them to creepy high notes that feel like something straight out of a Hitchcock horror - with a suitably dark video to match, albeit closer to the excellent The VVitch - Immolation Of Night is a brilliant slice of visceral power. 

Lord Of The Lost - Leaving The Planet Earth

Scene-shifting German industrial goths Lord Of The Lost yet again conjure a sense of macabre magic with their latest post-punk tinged effort, Leaving The Planet Earth. Like a more miserablist Depeche Mode, or Rammstein if they'd leaned harder on Bauhaus than Ministry, Leaving The Planet Earth is a sleek, electro-tinged slice of 80s nostalgia that could fit in well with the likes of Unto Others or Grave Pleasures. 

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.