Even with the sun shining and the festival season about to fully kick off, we still can't quite believe it's almost summer. Naturally, that means there's a tonne of albums due to appear over the coming weeks, which (luckily for us) also means a veritable bounty of new singles to pick through each week.
Last week, Coheed And Cambria took top spot with their superb Comatose (and in fairness, what says summer better than power-pop inflected sing-alongs?). A taste of their upcoming album Vaxis II: A Window Of The Waking Mind, the song is yet more proof that Coheed frontman Claudio Sanchez is a genius when it comes to crafting high-concept earworms.
But, time (or should that be Zeit?) moves on and we're on to another week of new metallic gems for your listening pleasure. As ever, a vote at the bottom of the feature will let you have your say, crowning the best new track of the week from Rammstein and Bullet For My Valentine to Conjurer, Blind Guardian and Floor Jansen. Might even be worth cracking out the barbeque if the sun holds out; get into that summer spirit.
Rammstein - Dicke Titten
When Rammstein unveiled Zeit back in March, people feared the worst - a piano-led ballad about aging… were Rammstein growing up? Dicke Titten puts paid to any of that guff - from its jaunty traditional Bavarian brass section to the fact the title translates to “Big Boobs” (with a video that thankfully falls closer to Carry On than Pussy), this is Rammstein at their most comically perverse. You can practically hear Till chuckling after each chorus.
Bullet For My Valentine - Stitches
Released as part of the new deluxe edition of Bullet For My Valentine's self-titled seventh album, Stitches is a prime showcase for the Welsh band's ear for massive, instantly addictive choruses. It’s hard to believe it didn’t make the original album given just how massive it is, sounding every bit as epic as a band who have headlined at Donington and completed their own arena tour should.
Trollfest - All Drinks On Me ft. Jonne Järvelä from Korpiklaani
Their bid for Eurovision might have fallen through, but that won’t take away from Trollfest being one of metal’s most brilliantly daft bands. As the title suggests, All Drinks On Me is a full folk metal knees-up, drafting in Korpiklaani’s Jonne Järvelä to capture the lively oom-pah magic that made folk metal so fun in the first place.
Floor Jansen - Storm
Taking time away from her dayjob as the golden-piped frontwoman of Nightwish, Floor Jansen’s second solo single Storm puts her incredible voice front and centre in a way that you could easily imagine popping up on an upcoming Disney movie. Jansen continues to exude pure star quality and we’re very much here for it.
Final Light - Final Light
Featuring the talents of James Kent (aka Perturbator) and Cult Of Luna’s Johannes Persson, Final Light first made its presence known at this year’s Roadburn festival. As the thousand-odd people that crammed into a Belgian music venue can attest, the collaboration brings out the best of both artist’s repertoires, pulsing electro thrumming through a colossus of post-metal grandeur. Exactly the kind of collaboration we love to see.
Conjurer - Cracks In The Pyre
Colossal, emotive sludge metal goes a long way wherever Conjurer are concerned, but Cracks In The Pyre also hints towards an ocean of melancholic melodiousness that was seldom tapped on their debut. With a video modeled on Ingmar Bergman’s iconic The Seventh Seal, Cracks In The Pyre is a perfect showcase of how Conjurer’s art has evolved in the four years between records.
Yatra - Reign of Terror
Proof that Maryland isn’t all cookies and crabcakes, Yatra’s Reign Of Terror is a face-full of bile and viscous nastiness honed to predatory perfection. Considering the sheer force and thrash breakouts, it’s hard to imagine the band’s sludge/doom roots, if not for their ear for lurking low-end heft.
Will Haven - Wings Of Mariposa
Four years since Will Haven last gave our ears a good throttling and the Sacramento post-hardcore/noise bruisers are back with Wings Of Mariposa. Exhibiting the same pure aggro brilliance the band have been pioneering for the past 25+ years, it’s a tantalising taste of what may yet lie in store just before the band hit the UK in June.
Skid Row – The Gang’s All Here
Hats off to hard rock warhorses Skid Row for sticking to their guns and not embarrassing themselves by trying to reinvent their sound for a modern audience. Sure, former H.e.a.t frontman Erik Gronwall isn’t Sebastian Bach, but the band’s latest singer has a killer set of pipes on him, as this skyscraping blast of prime party metal proves. It bodes well for the upcoming album of the same name.
Blind Guardian - Blood Of The Elves
Long-time stalwarts of heavy metal, Blind Guardian’s output can fall anywhere from Dungeons & Dragons whimsy to full epic metal rampage. Blood Of The Elves falls decidedly more on the side of the latter, harkening back to the sheer bombast of a song like Another Holy War, exactly the kind of battle-ready tune needed to get the masses rampaging through the summer’s festival fields. If this is the direction their new album The God Machine is taking, we're very interested.