The 12 best new metal songs you need to hear right now

Ghost/Oceans Of Slumber/Powerwolf/Fever 333/Harper
(Image credit: Press/Zach Johnson/VDPictures/Solo Nichol/)

Be it mud, constant downpours or the threat of food poisoning, Download Festival 2024 proved that great music triumphs over all. Thank god then, that we've got an almighty selection of the best new music around for you this week, some illustrious names popping back up to remind us that metal is, in fact, utterly brilliant.

In that spirit, here are the results of last week's vote! There was some serious heft back in the mix last week with the likes of Shavo Odadjian unveiling his heavy new band and new singles from Winterfylleth and Nails, but heavy metal legend Bruce Dickinson beat them all to a healthy third spot, though did find himself displaced from the runner-up position thanks to the return of beloved death metallers The Black Dahlia Murder. That left top spot to Charlotte Wessels, whose Chasing Sunsets captured the magic and grandeur that fans fell in love with in her tenure with Delain, proving that she's not scaling back her ambitions even as she forges ahead as a solo artist. 

This week we've got a hell of a selection for you. Ghost unveiled a retro rocker single as part of their Rite Here Rite Now promo, while the likes of Fever 333, Harper, Zeal & Ardor all have excellent new sounds for you to consume. If you prefer things on the more bombastic side of the heavy metal spectrum we've got fresh cuts from Powerwolf and Brothers Of Metal, while if you'd rather explore the cosmos with prog metal we've got Oceans Of Slumber and Vola to scratch that itch. 

As ever, we need you to let us know which songs excite you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below - and have a fantastic weekend, come rain or shine! 

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Ghost - The Future Is A Foreign Land

Trading Hammer Horror for Dusk ‘Til Dawn, The Future Is A Foreign Land offers an altogether different sonic landscape for Tobias Forge’s satanic superstars to explore. Taken from the freshly released Rite Here Rite Now movie, Future… still exhibits the massive, hook-driven sensibilities that have made Ghost such a massive proposition this past decade. 

Ghost - The Future Is A Foreign Land (Rite Here Rite Now - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - YouTube Ghost - The Future Is A Foreign Land (Rite Here Rite Now - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - YouTube
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Oceans Of Slumber - Poem Of Ecstasy

You can always rely on Oceans Of Slumber to deliver some of the most gorgeously luscious and powerful prog metal melodies around. What’s even more delightful is when the band embrace their heavier aspects, however, and after the relatively more sedate stylings of 2022’s Starlight And Ash it’s utterly glorious to behold the band firing at full force again with Poem Of Ecstasy, a track which pits Cammie Gilbert’s powerhouse voice against straight-up death metal breakouts. 

Oceans of Slumber - "Poem of Ecstasy" (Official Music Video) 2024 - YouTube Oceans of Slumber -
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Powerwolf - Sinners Of The Seven Seas

What is it with heavy metal and pirates? Even the usually werewolf obsessed Powerwolf can’t resist the lure of a life at sea on new single Sinners Of The Seven Seas, offering a typically bombastic sing-along that puts some serious bollocks behind the notion of a jaunty sea shanty, turning it into a proper heavy metal epic. 

POWERWOLF - Sinners Of The Seven Seas (Official Video) | Napalm Records - YouTube POWERWOLF - Sinners Of The Seven Seas (Official Video) | Napalm Records - YouTube
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Brothers Of Metal - Heavy Metal Viking

Pirates not your thing? Then let Brothers Of Metal take you to more familiar territories with their fist-pumping new anthem Heavy Metal Viking. Even stranger is that the track shifts the tone away from their usual epic power metal focus to instead sound like something straight out of the 80s, right down to the grandstanding guitar solo. More surprising is that it works, incredibly well in fact, the song’s hook almost destined to stick in your brain for weeks to come. 

BROTHERS OF METAL - Heavy Metal Viking (2024) // Official Music Video // AFM Records - YouTube BROTHERS OF METAL - Heavy Metal Viking (2024) // Official Music Video // AFM Records - YouTube
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Zeal & Ardor - Fend You Off

After the more insidious, grinding tones of Clawing Out, Zeal & Ardor return to more melodious waters on latest single Fend You Off. It’s testament to just how distinctive the band’s sound is that even as they expand their sonic approach away from the original blues/black metal mix to something more resembling alt. Metal, Fend nonetheless feels like it’d fit in snugly with past efforts, explosive breakouts and soulful vocals giving way to black metal rasps in a wholly distinct and utterly delightful way. 

ZEAL & ARDOR - Fend You Off - YouTube ZEAL & ARDOR - Fend You Off - YouTube
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Harper - Bird In A Cage

The youngest artist to ever perform at Download Festival, metal wunderkind Harper is celebrating this week with the release of new single Bird In A Cage. Emotive, explosive and delivered with an air of roiling frustration, Bird… shows just what the 12-year-old vocalist is capable of, serene melodies giving way to utterly ferocious howls, stunning production ensuring the track has a sense of enormity that suggests massive things lie ahead for Harper. 

Harper - Bird In A Cage (Official Music Video) - YouTube Harper - Bird In A Cage (Official Music Video) - YouTube
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Arrd - Sarab

There’s no shortage of brilliant new extreme metal bands coming out of the Middle East these days, and you can now count Arrd among their ranks. Black metal based out of the Netherlands and drawing on a distinctly Arab cultural heritage, the band’s debut single Sarab is an imperious and mesmeric beast that looms with titanic presence. It’d be wise to keep your eyes out for the band’s debut album, expected sometime later this year. 

ARRD - Sarab (Official Music Video) - YouTube ARRD - Sarab (Official Music Video) - YouTube
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Fever333 - New West Order

Fever333 bring the beat! Jason Aalon Butler’s alt metal agitators lean hard on their hip hop inclinations on new single New West Order, booming beats and buzzing guitars providing a springpad for Butler’s insistent and fiery flow, the promise that “there’s a Fever coming” getting us plenty excited about the band’s next record and upcoming tour of the US, UK and Europe. 

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Vola - Break My Lying Tongue

Taking off like a rocket, prog metallers Vola set themselves adrift in a cosmos of ascendant melody on new single Break My Lying Tongue. Taken from the band’s upcoming new album Friend Of A Phantom - due November 1 - the track flirts with space age tones whilst delivering an almighty, earthy breakdown in its closing moments that hints at heavier things yet to come from the band. We can’t wait.

VOLA - Break My Lying Tongue (Official Music Video) - YouTube VOLA - Break My Lying Tongue (Official Music Video) - YouTube
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Defences - The Almost

A new voice in UK alternative metal, Defences latest single The Almost is a hypnotic, alluring vision of where the metal landscape has shifted in recent years. Mixing shades of pop sensibility with metallic breakouts, The Almost feels like it applies some of the genre-blurring tendencies of a band like Sleep Token in a wholly unique way that will surely land with those looking for emotive, anthemic sing-alongs. 

Defences - The Almost (Official Visualiser) - YouTube Defences - The Almost (Official Visualiser) - YouTube
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Ensiferum - Winter Storm Vigilantes

Folk metal veterans Ensiferum are on fine, extra joyous form on new single Winter Storm Vigilantes. Taken from the band’s new album Winter Storm - out October 18 - the track bridges the bouncy, power metal stylings that popped up on 2020’s Thalassic with their older, shreddier melodeath-like approach that has been their bread and butter for almost 30 years. With extra jaunty folk, naturally. 

Ensiferum - Winter Storm Vigilantes (Official Video) - YouTube Ensiferum - Winter Storm Vigilantes (Official Video) - YouTube
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Amongst Liars - By Design (ft. Felin)

Propulsive, anthemic alt metal, anyone? British group Amongst Liars have teamed up with singer Felin for new single By Design, resulting in a very different kind of duet as the pair unite for a massive-sounding, hook-filled rocker that begs to be screamed en masse in venues around the world. The band will get a taste of that shortly, when their UK tour kicks off in Eastbourne on July 4. 

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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.