The 10 best new metal songs you need to hear this week

The Hu, Witch Fever, Clutch and A.A. Williams
(Image credit: All press)

Happy Friday! Or Saturday! Or Wednesday! Or whenever you’re reading this, our weekly run down of the best new music out there. 

Before we get to this week’s runners and riders, we have last week’s winner to announce. In a crowded field featuring Delain, Wednesday 13, Drowning Pool and more, Megadeth were first past the post by a long chalk – though hats off to dark horses Slaiughter To Prevail for coming in second.

Right, onto this week’s business. It’s a stellar line of bangin’ new tracks from epic Monglian folk rockers The Hu, Maryland groove masters Clutch, Brit agit-punks Witch Fever, euro-doom OGs Candlemass and more. 10 bands, all making puppy-dog eyes at you in a craven attempt to get you to vote for them in the poll below. Over to you…

Metal Hammer line break

The Hu – Black Thunder (Pt 2)

Mongolia’s greatest musical export since throat-singing call Black Thunder the “crown jewel” of upcoming second album This Is Mongol. In fact it’s so epic they’ve released it in two parts, with the first arriving last month. Accompanied by a typically epic video that puts most Hollywood blockbusters to shame, Pt 2 is even more anthemic than its predecessor, pulsing with the energy of 100,000 angry horsemen heading towards you at high speed.

Clutch - Slaughter Beach

Masters of groove, Clutch are still bringing some of the most effortlessly cool riffs after 30 years and 13 studio albums. Slaughter Beach is everything you could hope for from a Clutch single - massive riffs, Neil Fallon laying down the law like a rock’n’roll preacher and a smattering of sci-fi/fantasy imagery that wouldn’t look out of place on Frank Herbert’s Dune. 

Arch Enemy - The Watcher

Arch Enemy’s capability for crafting utterly colossal melodeath anthems is front and centre on the band’s newest single, The Watcher. Boasting a chorus hook big enough to snag Jaws’ Bruce the shark, The Watcher bridges the line between Swedish melodeath and Iron Maiden, the dual guitar assault of Jeff Loomis and Michael Amott leaning hard on classic heavy metal sensibilities.

Witch Fever - I Saw You Dancing

Growling basslines, droning guitars and a video clearly inspired by found footage horror… must mean Halloween is around the corner. I Saw You Dancing is a prime example of how Witch Fever balance rumbling menace and shrieking breakouts without actually relieving any tension, the track sounding like some grotty snuff tape found in an abandoned house. 

A.A. Williams - Golden

Oceans of darkness and melancholy beckon on A.A. Williams’ new single Golden. Moving from a minimalist piano and vocal combination to something altogether more haunting and elegiac, the song is beautiful to behold and utterly intoxicating in its misery. Williams has never shied away from the dark side, but Golden envelopes the listener entirely.  

Candlemass - Scandinavian Gods

If you find yourself cursing the sun and begging for Autumn’s reprieve, Candlemass are here for you. Sweden’s doom metal masters are back with Scandinavian Gods, the first single from their new album Sweet Evil Sun, due for release on November 18. Moving at glacial pace and anchored around traditional heavy metal histrionics, Scandinavian Gods is classic Candlemass through and through. 

Cancer Bats - Friday Night (feat. Amy Walpole)

Snapping necks and breaking teeth is just business as usual for Cancer Bats, Friday Night no exception to the band’s generally accepted capability for kicking seven shades of shit out of the listener. Witch Fever’s Amy Walpole adds extra throat-shredding barks to the track, a handy team-up considering both bands are touring together in September.  

UnityTX - Burnout

Looking for more brilliantly subversive hardcore along the lines of Turnstile? UnityTX have you covered, Burnout combining a pulsing, thumping beat with some trippy almost shoegaze melodies and an all-conquering chorus. The song’s core bassline is insidiously infectious, adding an extra bite to the refrain ‘where’s my head at’ - blown away by this song, clearly. 

Irist - Heal

Irist’s debut Order Of The Mind was a tantalising glimpse into what their sludge/prog combination could do, unfortunately stopped in its tracks by the pandemic. Thankfully Heal, the first song from the band’s upcoming EP Gloria, brings the same level of colossal heaviness and gargantuan melody to the table, the band shooting for the stars in ways that will inevitably draw comparisons to Gojira. But then, when was being compared to one of the 21st Century’s best bands an issue?

BlackLab - Crows Sparrows And Cats (feat. Laetitia Sadier)

A band whose name comes from a portmanteau of Black Sabbath and Anglo-French avant garde indie  band Stereolab (whose Laetitia Sadier appears on the track no less), BlackLab can swing from occult rock to doom, punk and everything in between. The hard-hitting core riff of Crows Sparrows and Cats definitely marks it in the Sabbath camp, but swirling cosmic sounds also chuck a bit of Hawkwind into the mix. A heady and addictive brew, to be sure. 

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.