Spring is almost upon us! As the days get longer, the tours more frequent and album releases look set to keep us very (very) busy for the foreseeable, it's hard not to feel incredibly excited about all the new music flying at us.
As ever, this week we've hunted high and low to find you the very best new songs around from the world of heavy music, but first - the results from last week's vote! It looked to be a tight race to the top early in the week, but ultimately The Raven Age came out on top with Parasite, beating out Espirit D'Air and The Amity Affliction.
This week we have all-new offerings from Babymetal and Lovebites (both past winners of the fan vote), as well as new supergroup Elegant Weapons and relative newcomers As Everything Unfolds and Dethrxner. We want you to tell us which songs excite you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below - and check out the updated playlist at the bottom of the page which features some of the best songs 2023 has had to offer so far...
Babymetal - Light and Darkness
Babymetal have certainly changed direction with their last few singles, but Light And Darkness shows just how different new album The Other One is. Propelled by pulsing synths and subtle electronics, the ‘metal’ part of their enchanting formula is almost stripped away entirely in favour of powerful pop melodies that highlight just how far-reaching their sound is and the sheer dramatic scale of what this band have achieved.
Papa Roach ft. Beartooth - Cut The Line
On last year’s Ego Trip, Papa Roach showed off their whole skill set, pulling from their past and looking towards the future in equal measure. One of many highlights was the razor-sharp anthem Cut The Line, which has now been unleashed with the addition of Beartooth’s Caleb Shomo, taking the heavier edges to a whole new level with his powerful and passionate howl. By celebrating the bands that are flying the flag today whilst continuing to march to a beat all of their own making, collaborations like this remind you why the Roach are still a powerhouse after all these years.
Elegant Weapons - Blind Leading The Blind
With an illustrious alumni that includes members of Judas Priest, Rainbow, Uriah Heep and Accept, it’s fair to say that you can guess where Elegant Weapons’ bread is buttered so far as sonic territories go. Sure enough, the band’s debut single - taken from Horns For A Halo, out in May - is a blast of classic late 70s/early 80s heavy metal, stomping riffs and arena-conquering choruses taking us right back to the genre’s heyday.
Sophie Lloyd feat. Matthew K Heafy - Fall Of Man
British guitar hero Sophie Lloyd teams up with Trivium’s Matthew K Heafy for Fall Of Man. Taken from her upcoming debut album, the single lets Lloyd flex her classic heavy metal skills with pounding riffs while Heafy shows off just how he became one of modern metal’s most reliable fixtures. There’s an undeniable radio quality to the song, but its tonal shift from first single Do Or Die suggests Lloyd’s upcoming album will be a smorgasbord of heavy metal worship - we can’t wait to hear it.
Lovebites - Stand And Deliver (Shoot 'Em Down)
With Judgement Day, Japan's Lovebites have "perfected the power metal formula" - at least according to Hammer reviewer Catherine Morris. Stand And Deliver (Shoot 'Em Down) certainly backs up this claim, exploding to life with some hefty low-end from new bassist Fami, an excellent addition to a virtuosic group with some seriously brilliant tunes in the tank.
Cassyette - Boom
Just a couple of weeks ahead of her UK and European tour, nu gen rising star Cassyette has released new single Boom. The track is a prime example of nu gen's disregard for traditional genre, mixing explosive alt-rock, nu metal and electronica in a fascinating fusion that already feels like an anthem in the making. Put this right alongside Sad Girl Summer, cause Cassyette is building one hell of an anthemic arsenal.
Ov Sulfur - Befouler (feat. Alex Terrible)
Right now, you can barely move for brilliant things happening in the world of deathcore as the genre makes a big comeback. With tinges of symphonic extremity, Ov Sulfur are adding their name to the roster of deathcore bands to watch in 2023, new single Befouler seeing them team up with Slaughter To Prevail vocalist Alex Terrible for an apocalyptic, imperious blast of heaviness.
August Burns Red (feat. Spencer Chamberlain) - Reckoning
Gearing up to celebrate both their 20th anniversary as a band and release their 9th album Death Below, August Burns Red are riding high at the moment. And with tracks like Reckoning, the record’s near eight-minute curtain closer, it’s clear just how much more fuel they still have for their collective fire. An epic that ebbs and flows perfectly between crushing breakdowns, flowery refrains and ambitious storytelling - not to mention also featuring an appearance from Underøath’s Spencer Chamberlain - it is ABR at their most boundless, brutal and brilliantly deep.
Dethrxner - Get Good (ft. Andreas Bjulver )
The collision of hardcore and hip hop has been a key part of the heavy world for over 30 years now, but that doesn't stop newcomers like Dethrxner adding a fresh, thuggish twist to the art. New single Get Good sees the band team up with Cabal's Andreas Bjulver for a brain-juddering blast of metallic hardcore that stomps with gleeful abandon.
As Everything Unfolds - Flip Side
As Everything Unfolds have been one of the UK underground’s best-kept secrets for the last half a decade, but it feels like that’s all about to change with their new album Ultraviolet. More specifically, it’s songs like Flip Side, a neon-stained post-hardcore punisher that perfectly embodies both sides of the band, that are going to be the catalyst. Bubbling between caramel atmospheres and throat-shredding intensity, controlled wonderfully by vocalist Charlie Rolfe, it’s a short, sharp and savage look into what makes them tick whilst also serving as an unstoppable propellor towards stardom.