The 13 best new metal songs you need to hear right now

Creeper/Crypta/Rivers Of Nihil/Catch Your Breath/BRAT
(Image credit: Estevam Romera/Mike Truheart/Aaron Marsh/Greta Gerstner)

Halloween's just around the corner, so how better to celebrate than with another helping of 13 brilliant new songs from across the metal and alternative spectrum? With 2023 entering its closing phases, the "of the year" lists are just around the corner, and with them the promise of plenty of brilliant new albums to come in 2024. 

But we're getting - far - ahead of ourselves. First, the results of last week's vote! In a week of big names like Bring Me The Horizon, Beartooth and Ice Nine Kills, Spiritbox nonetheless proved to still be one of the hottest contemporary bands around with brutal new single Cellar Door taking a very admirable third place, while OG heavy metal gods Judas Priest took second. But it was Britain's own South Of Salem who took top spot, almost two weeks ahead of their mostly sold-out UK tour.

This week we bring you a healthy showing from the metal underground, shades of black metal, sludge, death metal and just about everything in between on offer as the likes of Dimmu Borgir, Allegaeon, Rivers Of Nihil and more provide a heavy soundtrack to the spookiest month of the year. Of course, it can't all be heavy - for that we've got a goth-punk double-bill of Alkaline Trio and Creeper, as well as alt-metal newcomers Catch Your Breath, industrial metal from Derision Cult and post-punk flavoured doom from Cold In Berlin.

As ever, we need you to tell us which song excites you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below! 

Metal Hammer line break

 Dimmu Borgir - Black Metal

Celebrating their 30th year as a band, symphonic black metal overlords Dimmu Borgir have announced a covers album titled Inspiratio Profanus will be with us on December 8, with a mix of songs from genre progenitors (Celtic Frost, Bathory) and classic rock and metal artists on the tracklisting. How better to kick off then, than with the song that gave black metal its name? The Venom classic is world’s away from Dimmu’s usual theatrical leanings, all fire and leather in a snarling package that has us licking our chops at the prospect of hearing what else the band are cooking up. 

Alkaline Trio - Blood, Hair and Eyeballs

With Matt Skiba splitting his time between his flagship band and Blink-182 in recent years, it’s hardly surprising that it’s taken five years for a new Alkaline Trio record to emerge. Thankfully the band’s brand of goth-emo-punk remains potent as ever on Blood, Hair and Eyeballs, the title-track of AT’s new album which will be with us January 26. Bonus points for making a video which combines skate culture with zombies - just in time for Halloween too. 

Creeper - Further Than Forever

Speaking of spooky goth-punks, Creeper are still living their best Jim Steinman/Bat Out Of Hell fantasies with new single Further Than Forever. From the song’s soaring guitars, to its gentle piano keys, Creeper’s sense of theatricality is on full display with the latest single from Sanguivore, a delight to behold for anyone who feels music is getting a little too identikit on the whole. The fact they achieve this whilst never losing sight of their own identities is a sure-fire sign that this British band are destined for great things - as if packing massive rooms around the country wasn’t sign enough - and you can read all about their rise in the new Metal Hammer bundle.

Rivers Of Nihil - Hellbirds

Rivers Of Nihil’s second single since bassist Adam Biggs took over vocal duties in 2022, Rivers Of Nihil certainly seem to be returning to the shores of vicious, aurally acrobatic death metal after 2021’s The Work. Hellbirds feels decidedly more in keeping with the fury and ambition of modern deathcore and metalcore than their previous progressive death metal sound, whilst keeping a sense of scale that is undeniably Nihil through and through. Set to tour with Lorna Shore over the next couple of months, we dare say this track might attract a whole new crowd.

Allegaeon - Inhumation

Allegaeon may have brought original vocalist Ezra Haynes back into the fold after eight years, but the band haven’t backpedalled on their epic take on technical extreme metal with new single Inhumation. Bordering on prog for the sheer seismic scale of their compositions, the American band are all jutting angles and imperious, suffocating blasts, sheer bloodthirsty extremity with some surprisingly melodious lead guitars that feel stadium sized. There’s no word on if we’re getting a new album in 2024 yet, but judging from the standard of Inhumation it’s one we should be keenly keeping eyes out for. 

Crypta - Stronghold

One of the hottest new bands in death metal, Crypta continue to showcase just how powerful their sound is on new single Stronghold. Wailing, despondent guitars soar over murky, lumbering beats, the Brazilian band evoking the horror movie nastiness of 80s death metal without sounding like a tired throwback. 

Catch Your Breath - Dying On The Inside

Texan alt-metal newcomers Catch Your Breath started teasing material for their debut album all the way back at the tail-end of 2021 - quite literally, as first single Shame On Me arrived on YouTube December 31st, popping up on Spotify the following day. Since then the band have steadily been building steam to their debut album of the same name - out today - amassing over a million monthly listeners on Spotify with their brand of emotive, anthemic alt-metal. Dying On The Inside has an almost contemporary nu metal flavour, jutting riffs and massive hooks underpinned with glitching electro elements that feel decidedly in keeping with contemporary metal’s hottest new acts. 

Cold In Berlin - Dream One

British doom with a tinge of post-punk’s detached inhumanity, Cold In Berlin’s latest single Dream One is a perfect soundtrack to the encroaching darkness of autumn. Taken from the upcoming The Body is The Wound EP, the track combines stabbing riffs and choked beats with cold, inhuman tones to create something harrowingly impactful. 

BRAT - Social Grace

Self-described ‘bimboviolence’ and ‘barbiecore’, BRAT answer the question ‘what if Scene Queen combined NOLA sludge with grindcore?’. Granted, that’s probably not a question many have been asking, but these brutal newcomers are ready with the answer anyway: teeth-gnashing riffs drenched in sludgy muck and stomping forwards with all the murderous intent of a starving predator. 

Underdark - Matrimony (December 27 1997)

Post-black metal with boots still firmly in the kvlt camp, Nottingham’s Underdark have crafted their own appropriately bleak concept album for their second outing, Managed Decline coming via Church Road Records on November 24. Like all great concept albums, Underdark’s new single Matrimony (December 27 1997) stands on its own merits, its despondent black metal sound harrowing even without the knowledge that the song is a narrative of unplanned pregnancies, drug abuse and ultimately death, offered with unyielding dread that’ll chill you just as surely as any Norwegian tale of frosty forests. 

Ex Everything - Detonation In The Public Sphere

If angular, hyperactive post-punk is your poison of choice, Ex Everything are here serving up hefty doses. There’s pranging, wild-eyed energy to Detonation In The Public Sphere that sets the nerves on edge, never really committing to the idea of verses or choruses in favour of a sub-two-minute assault on the senses that’ll leave you feeling punch-drunk. With debut album Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart coming on November 10, expect plenty of wonderful weirdness. 

Derision Cult - Slaves Rebuild

Imagine Ministry at their most cinematic via the sleek futurism of LA’s more recent industrial artists (HEALTH, 3Teeth) and you’re partway to the otherworldly Americana of Derision Cult’s latest single Slaves Rebuild. Like a western populated exclusively by cyborgs, the song’s hypnotic beat and ultra-cool vibe mark Derision Cult as a fresh new sound in the industrial scene. 

Akkadian - The Devil Has Evolved

Standing on the shoulders of giants like Gojira and Lamb Of God, UK newcomers Akkadian certainly aren’t lacking for sonic ambition with the stomping, prog metal flavours of The Devil Has Evolved. Taken from the EP of the same name - due for release next Friday - the track is a seismic showcase of godzilla-stomp riffs and massive hooks, betraying some seriously anthemic potential. 

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.