The 12 best new metal songs you need to hear this week

Ghost/Nita Strauss/Asking Alexandria/UnityTX/Knife Bride
(Image credit: Press/Danny Warsnop/Kat Martinez)

Happy Friday! We're now officially past the six month point of 2023, which is as good as excuse as any to dig out some of the finest records of this year in the worlds of both rock and heavy metal, to assess that yes, 2023 has been another great year for music. 

But we digress; you don't come here to look back after all so here are the results of last week's vote! There was a diverse spread of styles on offer last week, from prog-tinged metalcore to all-out death metal brutality, but it was the bombast of heavy metal that won the day; newcomers Dogma took a very admirable third place with My First Peak, beaten out by a triumphant KK's Priest and last week's overall winners, the baroque stylings of Amaranthe's ultra-addictive Damnation Flame.

This week we bring you new music from Ghost, Asking Alexandria and Atreyu, as well as fresh cuts from (relative) newcomers ranging from the hard rock of Nita Strauss to black-metal-meets-trip-hop from Underdark, hip hop hardcore from UnityTX and genre-splicing bedlam from both Knife Bride and Future Static. As ever, we want to know which songs excite you most, so don't forget to vote for your favourite below!

Metal Hammer line break

Ghost - Stay (ft. Patrick Wilson)

Phantomime has only been with us for a couple of months, and already Ghost have added another new song to their arsenal. A cover of Shakespeare’s Sister’s Stay recorded with Insidious star Patrick Wilson and featured on the soundtrack to new movie Insidious: The Red Door, Stay is a surprisingly understated and subtle track - only really picking up in the final minute for some primo 80s pop rock glory. 

Asking Alexandria - Bad Blood

Fans who have been desperately waiting for Asking Alexandria to return to their early days of all-out heaviness will surely meet Bad Blood with massive smiles. A massive, stomping riff is accentuated with blast-beats, while Danny Worsnop’s vocal melodies give listeners plenty to seize on for a massive sing-along, Bad Blood feels like AA’s answer to the arena-sized anthems coming out of their contemporaries in British metalcore like Architects, Bury Tomorrow and Bleed From Within.  

Nita Strauss - Digital Bullets (ft. Chris Motionless)

Nita Strauss’s Digital Bullets is hardly subtle in who it is putting in the crosshairs, its video depicting a literal troll posting hate comments online. That doesn’t make the track itself any less brilliant however, Nita teaming up with Motionless In White’s Chris Motionless for a punchy, metalcore flavoured rocker with all the expert guitar wizardry we’ve come to love from Nita. 

Atreyu - Gone

After April’s incendiary The Hope Of A Spark EP, Atreyu have announced a follow-up EP The Moment You Find Your Flame will be with us on August 18. Lead single Gone goes for broke in the anthemic stakes, its  neck-worrying main riff, ultra-hooky chorus and epic guitar solos testament to Atreyu’s two-decade-plus experience pleasing massive crowds.      

Equilibrium - Shelter

Shelter ushers in a new era of Equilibrium, introducing new vocalist Fabian Getto after the departure of Robse Dahn in October last year. The new single also sees the band lean harder on their more bombastic elements, aiming more for the fist-pumping triumph and all-out heaviness of Born To Be Epic than their more whimsical folk metal fare, although thankfully doesn’t dispense with the jaunty melodies entirely. 

Orbit Culture - From The Inside

Sweden’s Orbit Culture have been building a serious sense of momentum since 2020’s fantastic Nija, but new album Descent may see them finally truly break through. New single From The Inside shows off the band’s talent for mixing brutal, mid-paced melodeath with classic heavy metal choruses, feeling like a hybrid of Hypocrisy and Metallica with all the best bits of both of those bands kept in tact. Pummelling, powerful and delivered with serious panache, From The Inside is a perfect demonstration of why Orbit Culture have been so hotly tipped. 

UnityTx - Roc Sh!t

UnityTx have been teasing a new album for almost twelve months, singles Burnout and World Of Malice showcasing very different sides of the band with the former embracing a Turnstile-like 90s alt-infused approach to hardcore while …Malice hits like a sledgehammer. Roc Sh!t is the most stylistically diverse song of the trio, UnityTX fully embracing hip-hop on a bouncing, hard-hitting beast that also comes with the announcement that new album Ferality will be with us on September 8. 

Underdark - Unfinished Sympathy

These days there’s no shortage of bands brilliantly mixing black metal and shoegaze, but Nottingham-based band Underdark might be the first to combine extreme metal and trip-hop. A decidedly blackened cover of Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy comes with the news that the band have signed to Church Road Records for their upcoming second album, the track signifying a creative brilliance burning at the heart of Underdark.

Future Static - Gasolina

Another entry in the ‘surprising metal covers of 2023’, Aussies Future Static have put their own stamp on Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee’s Gasolina. Playing up to their multi-genre approach, Future Static tackle the track with a fluidity that mixes elements of nu metal, metalcore and brutish hardcore into a frenzied, ultra-aggro package that’s incredibly satisfying to behold. 

Knife Bride - Smother (Make Me Suffer)

Taken from their upcoming EP Don’t Dream Too Much, Knife Bride describe the video to their latest single Smother (Make Me Suffer) as “poking fun” at the male gaze. The accompanying video certainly plays on suggestive imagery, but it’s the track’s juddering riffs and alluring melodic hooks that has us most hot under the collar, the newcomers making an impression with some impressively catchy moments that’ll stick to the brain like glue.  

E.B. & The Deadlights - Hollow Eyes

Between the likes of Grave Pleasures, Unto Others and Tribulation, there’s been plenty to seize upon when it comes to primo goth metal of late. E.B. & The Deadlights now offer their own entry into the pantheon with Hollow Eyes, a track that takes the anthemic quality of Graves-era Misifts with a My Chemical Romance like angst to create a powerful, moody rocker that only gets more potent as it goes. 

Creak - A Head Full Of Rain

If you’re itching for something fast, hard and utterly deranged, you’d do well to seek out Creak’s A Head Full Of Rain. Taken from the band’s upcoming debut album Depth Perception, you can practically hear the band ricocheting off the walls of the studio with unrestrained force as they take the most thuggish elements of hardcore and feed them through the most extreme sides of nu metal in a sub-two-minute package. 

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.