This is it: the last big push of festival season (in Europe at least), the likes of Wacken, Bloodstock, ArcTanGent and Reading/Leeds all popping up over the next few weeks. There's no time to think about that, though, when there are still so many brilliant releases popping up to usher summer out with a bang, and this week we've got a heap of fresh singles to bring to your attention.
But before we get into that, the results of last week's vote! No surprise that Ghost took top spot with their stunning Spillways single, but it is definitely worth pointing out that power metal champions Blind Guardian were close on their heels, pulling a very admirable vote-count in second place.
This week it's all to play for - we have the return of Gothenburg heroes In Flames, brand new songs from Amon Amarth and Alter Bridge, and new blood in the form of Defacing God and The Effigy. Oh, and right at the last, Slipknot dropped another brand new song on us. Sure.
Check out all the songs below, and don't forget to cast your vote!
1. Slipknot - Yen
Did anyone order a Vol. 3 sequel? Slipknot had been dropping hints that their upcomng record was going to return to melodic sensibilties of their 2004 masterpiece, but Yen shows just how true that statement is. It might be a ballad, but this is a Slipknot ballad, so that means massive creepy vibes, subliminal symphonics and lyrical imagery like "as the knife goes in/cut across my skin/when death begins/I wanna know that I would die for you". Probably not one you'll see on a greeting card any time soon.
2. In Flames - The Great Deceiver
Having dug back into their melodeath roots for recent single State Of Slow Decay, In Flames have done it again with this thrashy, galloping banger. Packing everything you'd want from vintage In Flames while sounding very much at home in 2022, it sounds like Gothenburg's finest are back on peak form.
3. Amon Amarth - Find A Way Or Make One
Amon Amarth might have dialed back on the theatrical singalongs of their past couple of albums for The Great Heathen Horde, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still have some absolute bangers in the bank. Find A Way Or Make One is a proper ‘raised flagon and spilled beer’ kind of song, built around a massive hook and some surprisingly glam-like guitar leads.
4. Defacing God - The End Of Times
Denmark’s Defacing God trade in apoplectic extreme metal with apocalyptic overtones and, as The End Of Times shows, business is booming. A tidal wave of blast beats and crashing riffs, the Danish band’s second single embraces the vitriol of extreme metal’s underground while also courting the sense of grandeur that has helped everyone from Amon Amarth to Cradle Of Filth become firm fan favourites.
5. Alter Bridge - Silver Tongue
If you’ve been begging for Mark Tremonti to dust off the brass knuckles and bring the heft a la Metalingus or Ties That Bind, good news: Silver Tongue is exactly the Alter Bridge song you’ve been waiting for. The latest single from the band’s upcoming album Pawns & Kings, Silver Tongue is a straight-up bruiser, its muscular riffs and clattering drum-beats elevated above the sweaty pit only by Myles Kennedy’s superb voice.
6. The Effigy - Cindersun
Falling somewhere between the gothic metal of Paradise Lost or Evanescence and the symphonic grandeur of Nightwish or Delain, The Effigy’s second single Cindersun doesn’t fall neatly into any one camp, preferring to flit between styles. Lyrically drawing on Ancient Greek mythology (and the story of Icarus in particular), Cindersun is an epic and beautiful track from a fascinating new artist.
7. Malevolence - Higher Place
Though primarily known for visceral, physical metallic hardcore, Malevolence have never shied away from discussing their sensitive side, particularly when it comes to struggles with mental health. Higher Place trades in the usual hardcore high-energy workout for soul-wrenching melody that comes off like someone cleared the sludge off Crowbar with a wire brush.
8. The Offering - WASP
Jesus, this made our brains hurt. The first single from The Offering’s second album, WASP is akin to having someone carpet bomb the inside of your head while using a riot hose to give you an enema. With shades of System Of A Down, Strapping Young Lad-era Devin Townsend and Dillinger Escape Plan at their most acerbic, WASP isn’t just inspired by the chaos of the past few years - it is a sonic reflection of utter fucking anarchy.
9. Petbrick - Primer
Ever wondered what Igor Cavalera does when he’s not clattering the kit with his brother in Cavalera Conspiracy (or the pair’s recent jaunts doing classic Sepultura album sets)? The answer is ‘clatter the kit for some other poor sod’. Alongside Wayne Adams, Igor is one of Petrbrick’s chief aural terrorists, fusing abrasive industrial noise and electronica in ways that make Ministry sound like Depeche Mode. The first single from Petbrick’s upcoming record Liminal, Primer is a solid show of the nosebleed-inducing frenzy Petbrick are capable of.
10. Lord Of The Lost - Children Of The Damned
If you’ve ever listened to Iron Maiden and thought “hm, bit cheerful for me”, Lord Of The Lost have you covered. The German industrial-goths have reimagined the Maiden classic Children Of The Damned as a piano-led operatic epic, giving the song its full Andrew Lloyd Webber dues.