Happy Metallica day! Yes, we're aware that there are other albums out today (if you're looking to top up on your thrash buzz elsewhere, we'd recommend the new records from Overkill and Holy Moses), but there's no denying that a new Metallica record is a massive event worthy of commemoration.
But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. First, the results from last week's vote! It was a solid showing from new talent and veterans alike, but there could be only one winner and Therapy? again took the top gong with the stellar Poundland Of Hope And Glory. Elsewhere, Swollen Teeth and Defying Decay took second and third place respectively, showing the nu metal revival is still in full swing.
This week has seen an absolute banquet of new releases pop up, be it a new music video from Metallica, the announcement of a Ghost covers EP or new albums from the likes of Sevendust and Kvelertak. As ever, we want you to tell us which song excites you most, so don't forget to cast your vote in the poll below.
Metallica - Sleepwalk My Life Away
After the more thrash-oriented Lux Æterna and Screaming Suicide, Metallica have been showing off the unstoppable heft they can bring forth on more recent singles 72 Seasons and If Darkness Had A Son. By now, we know that 72 Seasons isn't in the business of firing out ballads, but when the grooves are this powerful, we can't say we mind too much.
Ghost - Jesus He Knows Me
"The Lord is coming, but only if we give him what we wants." Ghost got typically tongue-in-cheek about Easter weekend with the announcement of new covers EP PHANTOMIME and a massive cover of Genesis tune Jesus He Knows Me. Accompanied by a very risque music video (featuring Ghost lore newcomer Father Jim Defroque), the song is a perfect continuation of the stadium rock vibes of last year's Impera.
Sabaton - 1916
Arriving just in time for the band's appearance at Wembley Arena this weekend, Swedish tank fanatics Sabaton are showing off their more sombre, reserved side with a powerful cover of Motorhead's 1916. This being Sabaton, naturally they go big - full orchestral swells and Queen style guitar harmonies make the song sound like an epic, while the music video - shot at The Black Country Living Museum near Birmingham - is a fully cinematic effort.
Sevendust - Fence
It's been almost a year since Sevendust announced they knew when they were going to break up, but the band are clearly still firing on all cylinders as they announced new album Truth Killer with the lead single Fence. Throwing back to the buzzing nu metal aggro of their early records, Fence is yet more proof that the nu metal renaissance is in full swing right now.
Kvelertak - Kroterveg Te Helvete
3 years on from their last album Splid, Norwegian black'n'roll punks Kvelertak are back with a triumphant blast of oiled up rock'n'roll. Kroterveg Te Helvete sizzles with the same electric energy as 70s and 80s rock classics, albeit with a black metal adjacent twist and chunky hardcore riffs thrown in for good measure - pretty much exactly what we've come to expect from these owl-obssessed rock'n'rollers. If this doesn't make you feel like summer is on the horizon, nothing will.
The Raven Age - Serpent's Tongue
Back in February The Raven Age took top spot with Parasite. A couple months later, they're back and gunning for gold again with the trad-metal stylings of Serpent's Tongue. There's an almost baroque sensibility lurking beneath the driving riffs and massive vocal melodies, giving the band a King Diamond like twist that we must admit, suits them incredibly well.
Shade Empire - In Amongst The Woods
Who doesn't love a dose of sweeping, epic black metal? Finns Shade Empire certainly do, new single In Amongst The Woods taking off like the Wild Hunt and riding on sweeping guitars, subtle symphonic swells and a sense of grandeur that could only come from the rugged, untameable terrain of Scandinavia. With new album Sunholder coming in September, we can't wait to hear what else they have in store.
BLACKGOLD - Villain
Currently out on tour with Limp Bizkit, BLACKGOLD have embraced nu metal in its entirety with new single Villain. From its POD-like crashing main riff to the bared-teeth gnash-along chorus, Villain is an ample showcase of what these newcomers are capable of, knocking out old school-style metal club bangers that can fill a dancefloor. Between the Bizkit tour and an impending appearance at Download Festival, it's looking like a big year for BLACKGOLD.
In Fear - Doom Sequence
If you find yourself itching for mechanised, juddering nastiness, Bristolian newcomers In Fear have you covered. New single Doom Sequence is a chugging, lumbering beast packed with beatdowns and lung-shredding howls, the barrage only letting up for an insidiously catchy melodic chorus that feels almost mocking as the beats get harder and heavier. With debut album All Is. All Shall Be coming in May, we should see soon just how hard this lot can go.
Deadline - Vitriol
The music video for Deadline's Vitriol might be taking on 90s classic Pulp Fiction, but there's no disputing which decade the South African band worship at the altar of. Vitriol falls squarely into the crossover between trad metal and thrash, throwing up shades of everyone from Helloween to Overkill and Manowar, a fist-aloft dose of triumph that reminds us why 80s metal was so unstoppable.